What is a Telehandler

A telehandler, also known as a boom lift, telescopic handler or a forklift is a machine which has a boom that can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle.

At the end of the boom the user can fit one of several attachments, like forks, a bucket, basket or a winch.

You will spot these machines on a building site, farm, waste management area, mining and at festivals.  The most famous of all are the bright yellow JCB’s. But they all work the same way.

They are usually always 4-wheel drive and have 4-wheel steering, this is 4x4x4.

Machine sizes range from 4m up to 46m, the bigger the machine means the more it can lift. Modern machines are fitted with sensors to let an operator know if they are getting close to its capacity.

Along with JCB, there are many more manufacturers of telehandlers, from Terex, Genie, JLG, to Manitou, Wiedemann and Merlo.

There are two types of telehandler.

A fixed cab and rotating cab, a fixed cab is more suited when lifting heavier loads.

While the rotating cab can be good to as a crane on site.

Rotating Cab                                                                                           Fixed Cab


Three types of steering exist on telehandlers,

  1. Four-wheel steering: Four wheel steering is used on sites or when ground conditions need for wheel drive for traction.
  2. Front wheel steering: Front wheel drive is mainly used when travelling on the roads.
  3. ‘Crab’ steering: All four wheels move and rotate in the same direction, perfect in small spaces.


We have a huge fleet of machines ready for hire here.


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