What is a Telehandler and how to choose the right one for your job

The Telehandler: One Tool for All Jobs

Picking the right tool for a project can often be a difficult decision, and in many cases, it seems impossible to settle on just one. This can often be caused by uncertainty regarding the potential applications of various choices. However, safety concerns also play a large part in deciding what to use. In the case of heavy machinery, it is important to not only use vehicles that carry a good track record, but to also have operators that have the appropriate training and are aware of the best safety practices.

As an example, let’s picture this scenario: you need to move multiple heavy loads off of and onto a truck that is situated on rocky terrain. A forklift will not be adequate for the job, as it cannot perform the horizontal movement required of it, and it does not make sense financially to use a crane. What tool would be the right fit for such a job? You would need something that fulfills the roles of both a forklift and a crane, while also allowing a trained operator to do the task safely. In this situation you might want to look into a telehandler, also known as a telescopic handler.

The Telehandler: One Tool for All Jobs

 

What is a telehandler?

A telehandler is a vehicle that hosts an extendable boom, allowing it to lift loads weighing as much as 70,000 pounds, and extending as much as 150 feet, depending on the model being used. The boom can also usually reach as much as a 70-degree angle from the ground. The telehandler in its current form was first created in 1977, and was an amalgamation of a backhoe, crane and forklift. Originally it was used in two-wheel drive, but with the vehicle’s quick rise in popularity, a four-wheel version was soon released. Telehandlers were predominantly used for agricultural purposes, such as moving hay bales. Nowadays, telehandlers are also used on construction and mining worksites, and are appreciated for their multifunctionality.

Telehandlers are the swiss army knife of the heavy machinery world, as they offer a large amount of utility during any season of the year. Whereas something like a forklift can only perform a single type of job, a telehandler can be outfitted to complete a wide range of tasks. Many of these tasks are determined by any of the various attachments that can be equipped to the machine.

Some of these attachments include:

  • Buckets
  • Carriages
  • Forks
  • Hoppers
  • Jibs
  • Plows
  • Work platforms

The most common attachments tend to be the pallet fork and the bucket. The pallet fork is used because it is quite common for a telehandler to be used instead of a forklift, when moving loads to places that a typical forklift would be unable to reach. Similarly, a telehandler equipped with a bucket is meant to accomplish a difficult task that a loader would normally perform.

Based on the attachment, a telehandler can perform actions like:

  • Moving earth or debris in order to clear a space
  • Hoisting workers to perform repairs
  • Lifting heavy loads that are too high for a forklift
  • Plowing snow
  • Loading salt gritters

Telehandlers are also excellent for use in areas with uneven ground, as this can be difficult to deal with when using a crane. A telehandler would be handy to have in the situation with the truck surrounded by rocky terrain, mentioned earlier! The type of telehandler you choose, should be decided by the type of job it needs to do.

 

What types of telehandlers are there?

telehandler types

There are two main categories of telehandler, each with variations that perform well in different aspects.

They are:

Non-rotating

  • Standard Fixed Boom – agriculture and construction
    • Average reach and carrying capacity

Rotating (Roto Telehandler)

  • Standard Rotational – focus on construction
    • Great reach
  • Heavy Lift – focus on mining
    • Great carrying capacity

Telehandlers consume diesel, and are typically controlled using one of three steering options.

These are:

  • Crab – around hills and walls
  • Four-wheel – for tight/difficult areas
  • Front-wheel – for roads

Although originally pioneered by the company JCB, which is well known for their iconic telehandlers, there are several brands of telehandler that are well respected.

These include brands such as:

Telehandlers are often referred to as “Lulls”, based on a declining variation that came into being in 1959. Lull telehandlers were eventually acquired by JLG, but have been discontinued as of 2015.

 

What else should I be aware of?

While there are many reasons to use this machine, telehandlers do have a few nuances that you should be aware of. Firstly, the maximum load that a telehandler can safely manage is largely determined by the extension of the boom. Heavier loads are safest at smaller extensions, and lighter loads are best at longer extensions. The type of attachment being used and the wind speed in the surrounding area can also both affect how far the boom should be extended. There are some telehandlers that come equipped with stabilizers that can be used when the machine is not moving, and most vehicles will have sensors and a computer that can inform an operator of danger. However, it is of utmost importance that anyone operating this machine has the appropriate telehandler training.

 

Are telehandlers safe?

As with any piece of heavy machinery, safety is largely determined by people’s knowledge and actions around the machine. Telehandler training is imperative to becoming a responsible and effective operator, so that everyone remains safe, and precious time and resources are not wasted. In the case of telehandlers, there are several precautions that trained operators should take.

Operators should:

  • Completely understand what the machine is capable of by looking at manuals, understanding signage, and analyzing the controls
  • Reference the appropriate regulations for the location
  • Always inspect the machine before operation begins, so that machines that are not working properly are not used
  • Be aware of all potential hazards on a worksite, such as weather, etc.
  • Adjust mirrors to help in being aware of other nearby workers
  • Pay close attention to carrying capacity, by referencing the specific vehicle’s load chart
  • Wear a seatbelt, and never jump from a tilting machine

Due to the nature of the telehandler, tilting can become an issue if the proper load to extension ratio is not adhered to. Operators should also be aware of inclines at all times and ensure that anyone on a work platform attachment is properly secured. An operator should never attempt to drive a telehandler while the boom is raised. By ensuring that the boom is lowered, the centre of gravity of the vehicle will also be lowered, allowing for more stability. If there ever comes a point where moving the telehandler becomes difficult without raising the boom, then the use of a telehandler for that specific job should be completely re-evaluated. It is also important to note that travelling with a load that is suspended should be avoided. There are many incidents that occur due to this. Any instance that requires a telehandler to travel with a load in suspension must be carefully planned and documented in a “lift plan”. The appropriate procedures to follow when operating a telehandler can easily be learned in an online course.

 

Looking for a telehandler course?

When working with potentially dangerous machinery it is important to have the right training. Any operator should learn to maintain full control of their equipment while complying with the regulations and laws governing its operation. With training, an operator will understand the legislated responsibilities and learn how to identify the components of the equipment and their functions.  The operator will also know how to travel with, and handle loads safely. It can be difficult finding good telehandler training online, but this telescopic handler operation course should do the trick. This telescopic handler training will provide you with a telehandler certification, that will demonstrate that you have the knowledge to safely operate one of these powerful machines!

Contact

SOS First Aid and Safety Training services the following Southern Ontario communities: Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Guelph, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, Brampton, Acton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Ancaster, Brantford, Stoney Creek, St. Catherines, and Welland.

Customer Reviews

Vanisha Sara
Vanisha Sara
Great and convenient place to take the course. Instructor was amazing and great mix of learning with fun and laughter . Ready to give first aid and CPR .Highly recommend 😊
Pooja Ghori
Pooja Ghori
Prakash Nagar is the best first aid instructor I have had the pleasure of learning from. His knowledge and intelligence is obvious, his passion to teach is inspiring. I'll be coming back every year for my recertification, and I'm sure I'll learn something new every time
Timothy Votruba
Timothy Votruba
Completed my CPR/BLS blended course with Prakash. He is an amazing instructor. Enjoyed every aspect of the class!
Hafsa Haneef
Hafsa Haneef
The course (BLS / SFA Blended) was well taught and the instructor was charismatic and knowledgeable. Still learned a few things although this is my second recertification of standard first aid!
Alfred Mikhael
Alfred Mikhael
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Vera Ikanone
Vera Ikanone
The instructor is patient and knowledgeable.
Pearl Lin
Pearl Lin
Rachelle Ho
Rachelle Ho
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Lena Skibicki
Ray Chang
Ray Chang
it’s good the course
Eunice Kwon
Eunice Kwon
Great experience and presentation skills that allow for in-depth understanding.
Saifallah Ayyad
Saifallah Ayyad
Before coming to my training, I was very anxious but Michelle & Jessica made the training very personal & interesting! They talk about real life situations with their real life experiences! They also care for your experience during your training and make sure that you are comfortable! Definitely will come back here again and recommend them to my friends who needs First Aid Trainings.
Macy S
Macy S
digna George Antoine
digna George Antoine
Chehal Bangotra
Chehal Bangotra
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Von Immanuel Yagong
Daniel Tyrrell
Daniel Tyrrell
Janai Menzies
Janai Menzies
Had a great time learning my standard first Aid with CFR-C and AED. The instructor,A.T Summer was very great with her teachings and practicals.
olumide bezi
olumide bezi
Loubna
Loubna
Very knowledgeable and informative instructor!
Nor Farion
Nor Farion
Rhiannon Dawe
Rhiannon Dawe
Vishwa Bhatt
Vishwa Bhatt
Arizo Hasanzadah
Arizo Hasanzadah
Amandeep Kaur
Amandeep Kaur
Really nice. Provided a temporary certificate needed for my clinical as the real certificate would not arrive in 5-7 business days. :)
Chelsea Cano
Chelsea Cano
Anthony Beilin
Anthony Beilin
Olivia Conway
Olivia Conway
Class was interesting and knowledgeable. Thank you
Ichchha GC
Ichchha GC
Irma VB
Irma VB
Dennis was a great instructor with great humor to help pass the long time😂Definitely recommend this course for anyone who’s been wanting to get their First Aid Certification.
Kime Hurrichuran
Kime Hurrichuran
Anish Shirodker
Anish Shirodker
BS bagotrash
BS bagotrash
bella pico
bella pico
Tara Gill
Tara Gill
Domingo Jr. Gonzales
Domingo Jr. Gonzales
Teacher was nice and funny, made class easy to understand
Michiyou Kurokawa
Michiyou Kurokawa
Abid was an amazing instructor and very informative. Probably the best CPR course I have taken! Will definitely be coming back next time I need a recertification.
Sarah W
Sarah W
Eli Becerra
Eli Becerra
Allyson is an amazing instructor, she made the class very interactive and entertaining. I’ve heard from my friends that their first aid classes were boring, but I would love to say that this class was not boring what so ever. I would recommend friends or family that need to take first aid classes from SOS. Thank you Allyson for such a fun and knowledgeable experience😊
Angelika Reyes
Angelika Reyes
Melissa White
Melissa White
Some details weren’t covered, like how fast do you administer compressions.
Andrea Cristini
Andrea Cristini
Great speaker, well paced classes.
Justin S. JR Writes
Justin S. JR Writes
L C
L C
Sachi Chan
Sachi Chan
Louna Aboud
Louna Aboud
Steve McKnight
Steve McKnight
Chris Froud
Chris Froud
Great Basic Life Support Instructor Recert class with Jen Ngo. Very interactive and stress-free!
Kim West-Acernese
Kim West-Acernese
Great BLS instructor revert with Jennifer. Thank you!
WickhamKatie
WickhamKatie
Reilly ODwyer
Reilly ODwyer
Rosa Baby
Rosa Baby
Payal Sharma
Payal Sharma
Thank you Michelle for making class exciting, engaging and most importantly informative.
You Don
You Don
Nadia Hammoodi
Nadia Hammoodi
Hark Marquez
Hark Marquez
Natasha Gilchrist
Natasha Gilchrist
Michelle is really amazing. I learn quiet a bit with her lessons cannot wit to re-take the course every year and hopefully I get to be in her class!!
Diane Ho
Diane Ho
Joseph Melo
Joseph Melo
Michelle was knowledgeable and super engaging with many experiences to share. I feel confident to provide emergency first aid if needed. Thank you!
Natasha Cappadocia
Natasha Cappadocia
Michelle was lovely! Her personal anecdotes made the material memorable and made what could have been a very long boring day, fun. Thank you!
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Tyana Mohamed
Anthony Man
Anthony Man
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Siddhartha Datta
briar hutchison
briar hutchison
JEERAYAPA ZHANG
JEERAYAPA ZHANG
Olivia Ture
Olivia Ture
Shreya Joshi
Shreya Joshi
Ioana Popescu
Ioana Popescu
manvi gambhir
manvi gambhir
Mr. Pounall made the experience extremely educating, while entertaining with his jokes every now and then. For the future he should work on enhancing his stand up comedy career and making a few global tours to make this 5 stars a 6 star.
Patrick L
Patrick L
Leonard Dsouza
Leonard Dsouza
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Noman jamal
Thalia
Thalia
Kiran Sandhu
Kiran Sandhu
Jessamyn Bickle
Jessamyn Bickle
Wonderful experience! Allyson , the instructor was very resourceful & up to date. Enjoyed thoroughly. A great learning experience.
Dipalee Vajaria
Dipalee Vajaria
sanja c
sanja c
Prakash Nagar is a great program host/teacher. 10/10 recommended 🙌🏻
Mae Suliguin
Mae Suliguin
The mask fit certification was professional and very thorough. I really liked Patrick, the mask fit specialist. He's very knowledgeable, really personable and fun. The Kingbridge Garden Circle location is also very accessible, clean and ample free parking. I was really pleased with the session.
Rita Ganassini
Rita Ganassini
purna desar
purna desar
Amazing teacher so well done
Samantha Kazanczuk
Samantha Kazanczuk
Mariel Mendoza
Mariel Mendoza
Lisa Pim (Lcp)
Lisa Pim (Lcp)
Tyler Pimentel
Tyler Pimentel
Johnny pimentel
Johnny pimentel
melanie cianci
melanie cianci
Moe Rafid
Moe Rafid
Pamela A
Pamela A
Laurie Gallant
Laurie Gallant
SOS First Aid and Safety Training is a wonderful organization! 🙏Speaking to Velma in many occasions, and meeting the instructor, Peggy, was enlightening as they assured me that my daughter, Mariella would receive accommodations achieving her First Aid and CPR Level C certification with support. 🥰 Being a parent who advocates for their child when in need is so important. ✅ Being heard and supported is truly amazing! 🦋 Every child, teenager, or adult learns is his or her own way. 💕Hopefully, people continue to see, acknowledge, and remember that everyone is special and there must be patience, empathy, and compassion for each person in any life situation! 👏🏼 Being able to obtain this certificate is a milestone for a 14 Year Old who said, “Mom, I could have had a day off on Saturday, and it is a class with adults! —-and we had to study an entire manual full of too many modules!!!” ☺️ Again, much gratitude and thanks to Velma and Peggy at SOS First Aid for the extra time and support given to my daughter. 🦋 Not only did the girls learn how to save lives, they learned how to adapt and persevere! Dream Big! 🙏
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Mary Jane Guibao Wheeler
Purvi Desai
Purvi Desai
Very informative session. Patrick did a good job at making it fun.
Maria Jaramillo
Maria Jaramillo
Rebecca Keane
Rebecca Keane
Kacy Knight
Kacy Knight
Patrick was a great instructor!
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Alifiya Al-Harazi
Courtney Priest-Brown
Courtney Priest-Brown
Blood Orange Beauty
Blood Orange Beauty
Jon
Jon
Michelle k was amazing learned alot of good things, I found she was verry thorough and to the point, realy enjoyed and would recommend the class to my peers
Tevin Taylor
Tevin Taylor
Youngwon Kim
Youngwon Kim
Great course! Loved the instructor Mr.Nagar (I think) he was funny and provided great real life instructions and examples.
Divya Sharma
Divya Sharma
Patrick was a great instructor for N95 mask fitting test. Thanks for the great experience.
ahmad kd
ahmad kd
Patrick was great. Class was easy to understand and they were well prepared with copies of sheets and allowed e transfer payments for those who needed a mask provided which was very helpful.
Marina Naalband
Marina Naalband
Arielle U
Arielle U
It was amazing experience and Patrick was helpful .
Alia Mohamed
Alia Mohamed
Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox
The instructor Patrick was very pleasant and engaging. He explained the content clearly and was very knowledgeable about the topic.
Georgianna Kelly
Georgianna Kelly
Mary Jane Gambito
Mary Jane Gambito
Excellent session. Patrick explained everything clearly.
Rohini Telang
Rohini Telang
Patrick Sacco completed my N95 mask fit test and was very kind and knowledgeable. He explained the procedure and was very informative.
Conida Halley
Conida Halley
Oneisha Donaldson
Oneisha Donaldson
George El Khal
George El Khal
Eubelyn Pagayon
Eubelyn Pagayon
Ai T
Ai T
Instructor Michelle is lovely, knowledgeable, had a wealth of personal experiences to share to make the first aid material relatable and accessible. Velma always has a great team and I'm always happy to update my trainings with SOS every time.
Kim FB
Kim FB
Paul McNeil
Paul McNeil
Good place to do Mask fit test and pcr.Kind and generous instructor specially patrick
harshil patel
harshil patel
Fantastic instructor. Clear, easy to understand instructions. Very friendly.
Lisa Hickey
Lisa Hickey
SHREYA PATEL
SHREYA PATEL
Patrick Sacco was very thorough with the N95 testing!
Krystal Goulbourne
Krystal Goulbourne
Kaleigh Redel
Kaleigh Redel
Instructor is very energetic and have a good energy through out the training. Recommended.
Anthea Katon
Anthea Katon
Great way of educating, clear, good
maggie abrahem
maggie abrahem
Rodica Suciu
Rodica Suciu
Jahnvi patel
Jahnvi patel
Brianna Zuniga
Brianna Zuniga
KHUSHALI PATEL
KHUSHALI PATEL
Patrick was awesome! Great demonstration! He was fun, funny and made the test enjoyable. Totally recommend!!
Gaurav A
Gaurav A
levent sevim
levent sevim
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
Paul and Elizabeth Gilbert
The instructor Patrick was super friendly
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Dr. Harsh Parikh
Jackie
Jackie
Dorothy Murray
Dorothy Murray
E Aquino
E Aquino
Abbey Garant
Abbey Garant
The instructor (Mitchell)was amazing.
vennah tondoya
vennah tondoya
A fast and friendly fit test experience. Patrick Sacco was nice and very informative. Thanks!
Arianna Mailloux
Arianna Mailloux
HARPREET KAUR
HARPREET KAUR
WASIM SASSILA
WASIM SASSILA
Jyoti Syroop
Jyoti Syroop
Dazzel Roco
Dazzel Roco
Jasdeep Bains
Jasdeep Bains
Patrick was great!
Abena Agyeman
Abena Agyeman
Juliana De Oliveira
Juliana De Oliveira
Awesome instructors, the class was so enjoyable and easy to understand!
Arthi Siva
Arthi Siva
De Muffin
De Muffin
Mobs_ Nishikino
Mobs_ Nishikino
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers
9th Oakville Trafalgar Beavers

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