Telehandlers over the past decade, is also referred to as variable reach rough terrain lift truck, has gained great popularity in the material handling industry. With good reason, these particular equipment have become the gem of the construction industry. These machines are very strong, practical and versatile. Because the number of manufacturers and models has exploded over the past 5 years or so, there are currently a few of these machines readily offered on the market.
In technical terms, a telehandler is considered to be an ITA* Class 7 Powered Industrial Truck. This description means it is a rough terrain forklift, but just in name only. Any of the similarities between a telehandler and a vertical mast type forklift literally ends on operation and on sight. There are some other major differences between the two equipment discussed below.
Compared to a vertical mast, a telehandler has an entirely different appearance because it is designed with a horizontal boom. A telehandler with a jib attachment from a distance could look more like a crane than a forklift. The boom could telescope or retract and extend to lengths of 30 feet and beyond which depends on the particular unit. The boom is also able to elevate to an angle from horizontal to roughly 70 degrees. Telehandlers have earned the nickname of "zoom booms" due to their ability to telescope. This name has become rather popular with the operators.
One more optional boom related function is referred to as a "Transaction". The telehandler equipped with this option mounted on the chassis. When the operator activates it, the boom will move back and forward for distances up to 8 feet or more. Amongst the key benefits of this function is that it enables the forks to be withdrawn from a cargo with no snags or cleanly and the forks can be inserted underneath cleanly, regardless of the boom angle.
Zoom booms have changed the construction business. They could perform many types of jobs which used to take a lot more time and man-power to complete.