Aerial Equipment 101: What Is a Telehandler?


by Josh Taylor - Product Manager On Feb 13, 2020, 03:00 AM

Genie Telehandlers: multi-purpose machines that lift, move and place material.

Telehandler is short for “telescopic handler.” Also referred to as “telehandler lifts” and “rough terrain forklifts,” these multi-purpose, Class 7 machines have a variable reach. It’s important to understand how to use a telehandler so you can make the best recommendation to meet customers’ worksite needs.

What are telehandlers used for? A wide variety of jobs! Because they accept different attachments, telehandler uses include lifting, moving and placing materials ranging from bricks and gravel to lumber. These jobsite workhorses are often the first machines on the job and the last to leave because they can be used for many different applications.

Telehandler vs. Forklift

Forklifts are limited to smooth surfaces — like warehouse floors — and can only move loads up and down. Telehandlers can work on smooth or rough terrain and can move loads in almost any direction. By attaching different accessories to these versatile machines, operators can adapt them to a variety of worksite tasks, including staging initial materials at the start of job, lifting palletized and suspended loads and cleaning up jobsites.

Telehandler vs. Crane

Unless you have a load that exceeds a telehandler’s maximum weight capacity or lift height, using a telehandler on your jobsite will be more cost-effective than using a crane. Cranes also require certified crane operators, while multiple operators can be trained to run a telehandler. Finally, telehandlers are more versatile than cranes, so they can be used for other tasks on your jobsite. 

Genie telehandlers are used to work in any terrain conditions

Why choose a Telescopic Handler?

  • You want a cost-effective solution.
    One telehandler can perform a wide variety of material handling tasks with simple changes of attachments.
  • You need to “pick and carry” materials.
    Telehandlers offer an efficient way to move materials around the jobsite quickly.
  • You need access over obstacles.
    Telehandlers combine excellent lift capacity with height and forward reach to place material where it’s needed.
  • You’re working in outdoor, rough-terrain conditions.
    These machines climb hills and power through rough terrain with four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.

With a wide range models, Genie® telehandlers have a maximum load capacity of 5,500 to 15,000 lb (2,495 kg to 6,804 kg), a working height of up to 56 ft 10 in (17.32 m) and horizontal reach of up to 42 ft (12.8 m) (model dependent).

Get more facts about the wide variety of Genie telehandlers, and learn how they can be the most versatile machines on your jobsite!

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