What Is a Telehandler?

JCB Loadall | Telescopic Handlers | JCB.com

A telescopic handler, also known as a telehandler, is a hydraulic lifting machine used to carry and place heavy materials. This machine has a boom that extends forwards and upwards from the vehicle. At the end of the boom, the operator can fix one of several attachments, like forks, a bucket, a basket or a winch. You will likely find these machines on a building site, farm, waste management area, mining and at festivals.

What is the Difference Between a Telehandler and a Forklift?

Forklifts and telehandlers both lift heavy loads, but there are key differences between them…

  • Forklifts only use forks, which allows the operator to lift loads up and down. With telescopic handlers, you have the choice of telescopic booms, which allows you to fit many different attachments.
  • While the telehandler can act as a forklift, it can also carry a broader range of materials, and place them in areas that are not accessible by a standard forklift. Telehandlers can act as a mini crane.
  • Telehandlers are better utilised outdoors and on large construction sites, while forklifts are at their most efficient in warehouse and factory environments.
  • On construction sites, telescopic handlers can help to minimise equipment volumes that need to be transported, providing an all-in-one solution.

History of the Telehandler

 Joseph Cyril Bamford created the first ever telehandler. That name may seem familiar, or more so the initials. That’s because Mr Bamford was the founder of JCB. He began JCB in 1945 and then in 1977 they created the two-wheeled, JCB 520 Loadall Telehandler and then a year later they introduced a four-wheel version of the machine with several other attachment types. Since then, JCB has become one of the top manufacturers of these products and heavy-duty construction equipment. From then a number of other brands began manufacturing their own telehandler machines such as CAT, JLG and Bobcat.

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