Telehandlers, like Bobcat® VersaHANDLER telescopic tool carriers, are popular hay-moving equipment in agriculture because of their versatility, exceptional reach and lift capacity. For these same reasons, telehandlers are also becoming popular in construction, landscaping and snow removal applications.While telehandlers deliver many of the same functions as wheel loaders, attachment carriers and rough-terrain forklifts, they also have a number of advantages that can’t be matched by other machines.
Telehandler Benefit No.1: Compact Size
Telehandlers have a compact size and low profile, allowing for easier cab access. Their compact size is ideal for tight situations, such as turning around in a driveway for residential roofing projects or traversing a crowded jobsite.
A low profile allows these machines to fit into smaller entryways, such as barns, sheds or garage doors, while the telescopic extension makes it possible to lift and reach upper levels of racks and stacks.
Telehandler Benefit No. 2: Lift Height, Reach and Capacity
Farmers find small telehandlers ideal for stacking hay bales six to eight rows high inside a hay shed. Their reach is greater than that of a tractor, and the lift capacity means 2,000-pound bales can be stacked two at a time. The lifting capacity of the telehandler is also helpful for lifting and stacking shingles, pallets of sod and bundles of pipe.
On construction and landscaping jobsites, the extended reach of telehandlers makes it possible to safely unload delivery trucks from one side. This eliminates the need to enter the street and block traffic while unloading pallets of sod or bundles of pipe from the other side of the trailer bed.
Telehandler Benefit No. 3: Maneuverability
While telehandlers aren’t the only machines designed to lift and reach, they are more agile on rough terrain than other options. Forklifts, for instance, are limited primarily to level concrete surfaces. Telehandlers are capable of unloading and moving materials – mulch, rip rap, gravel – around landscaping supply yards and construction sites with ease. Their wide tires also allow for greater floatation across wet surfaces, while four-wheel drive delivers additional off-road traction.
In addition, you can choose from three modes of steering – all-wheel steer for tight turning, crab steer for maneuvering from side to side or front-wheel steer for road travel. The steering mode can be selected from inside the cab with the flip of a dash panel switch.
Bobcat telehandlers have operator-friendly joysticks. In addition to controlling the boom height and bucket/fork tilt, you and your equipment operators can use joystick controls for several other functions. The travel direction switch allows changing between forward, reverse and neutral gears, and the two variable switches control the extension and auxiliary hydraulic flow. After pressing a button on the control panel, use the plus and minus buttons on the telehandler’s joystick to adjust the auxiliary hydraulic flow or the speed of your other hydraulic circuits – lift, tilt and extend.
Telehandler Benefit No. 4: Versatility
The ability to interchange attachments adds to the versatility of telehandlers. For instance, a Bobcat V519 telehandler (rated lift capacity 5,500 lbs) is approved to carry most of the same attachments as a Bobcat T870 compact track loader. This includes a soil conditioner, flail cutter, angle broom and even a snow blade.
Attachments simply enable telehandlers to do more than a dedicated lifting machine. The snow blade is one of the most popular attachments for telescopic tool carriers after the bucket and pallet fork. The machine’s travel speed and low profile allow it to quickly crisscross parking lots, clearing the snow and piling it high.
By adding an angle broom, the telehandler can clear driveways, streets and parking lots of dirt and other construction debris. Lifting pallets of building material to a one- or two-story building can be simplified with a pallet fork attachment for the telehandler. And an auger attachment can help you dig holes for fence posts quickly and efficiently.
Bobcat V723 telehandlers (rated lift capacity 7,700 lbs) and V923 telehandlers (rated lift capacity 9,000 lbs) come standard with a hydraulic quick-tach mounting system. This is similar to the attachment mounting system found on skid-steer loaders. With the hydraulic quick-tach, you or your equipment operators never have to leave the cab when hooking up, changing or disconnecting non-hydraulic attachments, such as buckets or pallet forks.
With their compact size, lift capacity, maneuverability and attachment versatility, there’s little that telehandlers can’t do. Adding one to your fleet can help you take your business to new heights.