Not all telehandlers are the same. The basic model for construction and agriculture is the standard fixed-boom telehandler. Next up is the rotational telehandler. These rotate around the chassis, meaning that the vehicle can be stationary on its outriggers, significantly increasing flexibility and accessibility. At the top of the pile is the heavy-lift telehandler, which has proved popular with the mining industry in particular.
The only limit to a telehandler’s versatility is the availability of a suitable attachment, and there is a long list of these, including elevated work platform (EWP), winch, hook, jib crane, bucket and forks. Switching from one attachment to another is quick and easy. Some machines come equipped with hydraulic functions that allow attachments to be hooked up with a touch of a button. Swapping from an EWP to a winch or forks shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. Alternatively, removal of a single pin enables such a switch.
Putting in a drainage is easy and fast using a Drainage Telehandler.
Heavy weights can be lifted with a Drainage Samson 75.10 Telehandler - time efficient and safe.
Loading a fertiliser aircraft above Lake Wakatipu
The versatility of a telehandler is a huge benefit, bringing the time and cost savings they bring to a construction site. They have the functionality of a forklift and the reach and strength of a crane – with many models having a reach of up to 30m and a lifting capacity of up to 21 tonnes.
Because they are so compact and versatile, telehandlers are capable of taking over the role of forklifts, cranes and scaffolding, allowing savings on plant expenses. They also allow work to be done more efficiently, saving time and therefore money, especially if using one means avoiding penalty payments for time over-runs. Rental options further expand their cost-saving capabilities.
One of the strongest arguments for using a telehandler on a construction site is health and safety. A key part of the push for safer workplaces in New Zealand is to use the right gear for the job. As an employer, a construction contractor’s legal responsibility to supply staff with the right gear means there is significant financial and reputational risk in failing to do so. A telehandler fitted with the appropriate attachment will satisfy those legal requirements and show staff that you take safety seriously. With each attachment comes the peace of mind that this is a proven product available “off the shelf”, rather than an untested one-off product from the local engineering workshop.
To ensure the highest level of on-site safety, telehandlers must only be used by properly trained, qualified operators. Planning and preparation for using the telehandler on site can also increase safety; in particular, it is important that there is a clear, pre-determined travel path for the machine to guide its operation.