Aerial Lift Basics: Telehandlers

The Basics

The telehandler is an outdoor lifting machine that is incredibly versatile because of its ability to be fitted with different attachments. The telehandler is also referred to as a boom lift or telescopic handler. Telehandlers can have a lifting capacity of up to 12,000 lbs. and lift loads up to 50 feet in the air using its extendable boom. The extendable boom makes these machines more capable than a traditional forklift in most outdoor applications. 

Rough terrain telehandler

Where Are Telehandlers Used?

Telehandlers are used at many different job sites due to their versatility. The extendable boom and attachments let the telehandler handle a multitude of jobs. These machines are commonly seen on construction job sites to lift material when working at higher elevations or to pick heavy load off of trucks. They are also seen in the agricultural industry to lift bails of hay or level dirt/gravel.  

Telehandlers Attachments

The ability to swap telehandler attachments is what makes this machine so versatile. The most popular attachments used on telehandlers are Pallet Forks, which Lumber Forks, Side-Shift Carriage, and Material Buckets. Check out the list of telehandler attachments and their purpose below.
  • Buckets – allows operators to clean up, spread, or load material (not designed for digging)
  • Carriages – dual positioning, side-shift, swing, and side-tilt carriages provide you a better ability to move material
  • Forks – cubing, extensions, lumber, and pallet forks are going to help operators gain more stability and safety when moving material
  • Work Platforms – allows owners to get more done by lifting materials and persons to working heights

Telehandler Safety

Telehandlers require proper training to operate. It is extremely important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and know the lifting capacity of the machine before operating. It is important to understand the terrain of a job site before operating a telehandler. Steep slopes and inclines can tip a machine since the center of gravity can be skewed. Wind can also be dangerous when operating a telehandler, as it increases the possibility of tipping.

Need a Telehandler?

We sell telehandlers made by the best manufacturers such as JLG and Genie. Shop for telehandlers today. We also have very competitive rent rates as well, so if you need to rent a telehandler we can help you out!


Read our article about the basics of scissor lifts


Read our article about the basics of boom lifts