Telehandlers are like supercharged 4WD forklifts with crane skills. While they’re often seen as being most at home in an agricultural setting, their hybrid abilities make them the perfect, efficient, cost saving machine for construction sites.
While they’re a multi-purpose machine with more than one useful attachment, the most common implement they’re equipped with in construction is pallet forks. This gives the telehandler, with its long-reaching boom, the ability to get loads up where traditional forklifts just can’t reach; all in a much more practical and time-efficient procedure than could be achieved with a crane.
Construction Manager, Renee Bell, has a fleet of Merlo telehandlers for just this purpose. Reporting back to Merlo, she explained:
“We like the versatility of having the forklift tine and the crane jib. They give us so much flexibility in what we can do, whether it be loading and unloading trucks with reinforcing steel, formwork and plant; or performing construction duties, such as lifting formwork and reinforcement into position.”
In addition to their crane-forklift-combo capabilities, Merlo’s P40.7 telescopic forklifts and P30.8 telehandlers can tackle even the most uneven surfaces you’re likely to find on site.
“In construction, we find the ground can be quite unstable underneath the machine, which makes it difficult for cranes and front end loaders; whereas these Merlo machines can pretty much go anywhere. It provides an accessibility advantage.”
RightQuip sales manager, Tom Raptis, shares Renee’s sentiments about telehandlers in general and the Merlo range specifically. Tom and the RightQuip team specialise in the sale, servicing and support of new, and refurbished telescopic handlers, access equipment and parts.
RightQuip stock a range of telehandler models to suit different needs but, at the 2017 Diesel Dirt and Turf Expo, they were showcasing their Merlo range. Tom explained the P30.8 telehandler was specifically designed for the construction market. With an overall height and width of just two metres, it’s a master at navigating tight spots and can easily get into basements and work in confined spaces.
“It has the advantage of an 8 metre lift and capacity of 3 tonne, enabling products to be easily lifted onto second and third levels of buildings.”
As a bonus, compared to the machines they are capable of replacing, telehandlers are often far more comfortable for the operator. The Merlo range, for example, sport an enclosed cabin design with air conditioning, ergonomic features and a rear camera to keep the operator safe and comfortable. The setup is far more plush than what you’ll find in the average skidsteer or forklift.
With their compact nature and versatility, telehandlers are capable of taking over the role of forklifts, cranes and scaffolding, allowing you to save on plant expenses while also saving time (read: more money savings) by working more efficiently. And the rental options offered by companies like RightQuip further expand the cost saving capabilities of the humble yet powerful telehandler.