Reaching New Heights

Sept. 1, 2002
Telehandlers are quickly becoming one of the most popular profit generators for rental houses across the country. Since several new compact models have

Telehandlers are quickly becoming one of the most popular profit generators for rental houses across the country. Since several new compact models have arrived on the scene, interest has surged among business owners trying to increase the return on their equipment investments.

Their compact size, lower weight, maneuverability, attachment versatility and lower rental rates make compact telehandlers the perfect solution for many contractors looking to rent equipment for jobs. Many material handling tasks are possible with telehandlers of all sizes, but the compact units are stealing the spotlight. Contractors are finding that a compact telehandler can work in areas never before reached by a rough-terrain forklift. They are also easier to transport from job site to job site, as most compact telehandlers can be hauled behind any one-ton truck.

Compact telehandlers provide such a tremendous return on investment because the rental rates represent a much higher percentage of the acquisition cost than those of most other machines provided to rental customers. However, in order to take advantage of the potentially high ROI these units can provide, equipment owners must keep them in tip-top shape, ready to rent at a moment's notice.

The life expectancy of a telehandler, like that of any other piece of construction equipment, is heavily dependent on operator care and owner maintenance. Owners who rent their telehandler units are presented with a unique challenge. Once that piece of equipment leaves the rental house, the care the unit receives is completely out of the owner's hands. Aside from providing introductory training and informing the renter of the proper maintenance, the equipment owner can do little to assure proper handling of the unit. This makes preventive maintenance all the more important for telehandler owners who will eventually place their units for sale in the used equipment market.

A reliable telehandler unit will strengthen an owner's ROI immediately. Major telehandler components, such as hydraulic systems, engines and transmissions, will require much less maintenance and fewer replacement parts with proper preventive maintenance, providing owners with less expense and a much higher ROI. Keeping on top of maintenance will also prevent costly downtime for rental customers who will continue to rent from a company that consistently provides reliable equipment. Likewise, a used equipment buyer will pay a premium price for a unit that has been well serviced, as they will likely experience less downtime in the future.

While it may be tempting to apply the same maintenance schedule to all brands of telehandler equipment, sticking closely to the individual manufacturer's recommendations is a must for the proper maintenance of telescopic handlers. Whenever possible, filters should be serviced with quality OEM replacements. This practice minimizes the effects of internal wear — fine particles of debris wearing away parts as they rotate and slide internally at high pressures. Also, fluids should be checked and replaced on a schedule that complies with the manufacturer's schedule to decrease extended downtime.

Contamination clogs

Hydraulic systems and engines are extremely vulnerable to contamination. Dirt usually enters the components through failing breathers or cylinder seals. However, contamination can also occur from the improper handling of components when changing filters and checking fluids.

Equipment owners should be sure that all maintenance workers are informed of the proper procedures before they begin working on the telehandler units. The best way to ensure all workers are taking the same precautions is to set up working training sessions run by the same trainer each time, thereby guaranteeing all of the mechanics are operating under the same instruction.

Oil analysis is an extremely important — but often overlooked — step in the preventive maintenance process. This procedure involves periodically submitting oil samples from telehandler engines, hydraulic systems, axles and transmissions to a lab for analysis. Because internal wear generates contaminants that can be measured in material type, quantity and size, labs are able to determine when higher-than-normal levels of contaminants are present. These early warnings can have a significant effect on the ability of owners to anticipate and avoid more costly component failure.

Higher up on the machine, separate procedures exist for proper maintenance of telehandler boom sections. Boom slide wear pads and chain guide assemblies must be well maintained to keep telehandler units operating smoothly when lifting and handling material. A consistent and reliable boom maintenance program compliant with the manufacturer's recommendations will greatly enhance the life span of the machine and encourage safe operation of the unit when raising and lowering objects.

Encouraging telehandler renters to also rent OEM-approved attachments for their machines is one way to prevent costly operator misuse. Non-approved attachments can accelerate wear on the boom structure.

The decision to replace an older telehandler unit can be made easier if the owner has kept a record of the maintenance cycles and repair costs a unit has experienced. Analyzing this record can reveal, for example, that the cost per year to repair the unit has surpassed the cost to buy a new machine. If this is the case, owners will want to consider replacement. An important thing to remember when tracking maintenance costs is to maintain separate records for reactive versus preventive maintenance because preventive costs will apply to both old and new machines.

While equipment owners may not be able to control what happens to their machines outside their care, they can still have a significant impact on their units' life spans. Paying special attention to preventive maintenance can increase rentable hours and customer satisfaction — greatly improving profitability, both for the equipment owner and their telehandler customers.

Mark Hennessey is product specialist for Mustang Mfg. Co., Owatonna, Minn.

Mustang Mfg.

Expanding the company's telehandler product line, Mustang Mfg. announces production on a new telescopic handler — the 634 telehandler. The model adds a compact option to the product line, allowing customers an even greater array of options to choose from when selecting a rough-terrain extendable forklift. With an overall length of 16 feet, a width of less than 8 feet and a height of 94 inches, the telehandler is among the most compact telescopic handler models available today. The model also boasts a maximum lift height of 34 feet and a maximum forward reach of 23 feet.
Circle 182 on reply card.


JCB reaches greater heights in its telescopic material handler range with the introduction of the new 5508 Loadall telehandler, providing a lift height of 55 feet. It handles an 8,000-pound load and is suited to the emerging construction market for telehandlers with long reach and high lift capabilities. Powered by a turbo-charged 102-hp engine and equipped with a 4-speed powershift transmission for high productivity, the product has an off-set engine, low boom design that ensures all-around visibility. It is compatible with a comprehensive range of attachments including a variety of carriages, buckets, forks and brooms.
Circle 183 on reply card.


Ingersoll-Rand expands its line of telescopic handlers with the introduction of the VR-530. The 3-section boom design allows better visibility and also provides easier servicing without boom disassembly. The composite wear pads on this unit require less greasing and feature a long wear life. In addition, all chains, cylinders and wear pads are all well protected inside the boom.
Circle 184 on reply card.

New Holland Construction

New Holland Construction LM series telehandlers (LM640, LM840, LM850 and LM860) range from 78 to 106 net horsepower and offer maximum lift heights of 28 feet, 11 inches to 51 feet, 10 inches and lift capacities of 6,000 to 10,000 pounds. LM telehandlers are equipped with hydraulically extended tool-carrier style booms that have greater strength and reliability, and require less maintenance. The low boom design offers all-around cab visibility and balance, which makes for efficient, comfortable operation. A quick coupler system makes changing attachments quick and easy.
Circle 185 on reply card.


OmniQuip Textron announces a fifth new model in its Legacy Series of high pivot telehandlers. The 6042 Legacy combines the best of the 6036 and 8042 Legacy models with a lift capacity of 6,000 pounds and a maximum lift height of 42 feet. Features include ZF drivetrain featuring axles with heavy-duty inboard wet brakes, weatherproof controls and functions in the redesigned cab, no hydraulic valves under the cab, the patented Stabil-TRAK load placement system and auxiliary hydraulics for added versatility with the use of Sky Trak attachments.
Circle 186 on reply card.


The 4-section roll-and-fold MXR 34/38 boom from Putzmeister offers a 111-foot horizontal reach and a boom weighing only 13,128 pounds. Combined, this provides greater effective reach and lighter crane picks. Like the MXR 34/38, all Putzmeister placing boom models can easily pin-connect to the same pedestal and tower, adding to overall versatility. The compact 4.25-foot square tower allows for simple bracing by using only hardwood wedges or steel corner details for lateral bracing.
Circle 187 on reply card.


Komatsu introduces the new BX Series, 4,000- to 6,000-pound cushion and pneumatic tire lift trucks. The BX Series is quick, sure-footed, comfortable and refined. Conveniently located hydraulic levers eliminate excess movement thereby increasing operator productivity. Features include tilt steering column and small diameter wheel, helical gear transmission, ergonomically designed floor-mounted pedals and sound insulation. Standard on FG20 and FG25, the Series II H20 engine delivers 49 hp. Additional characteristics include high-mounted engine air intake, high efficiency radiator, heavy-duty cyclone type air filter, dual filter system and self-adjusting, Bendix-type brakes.
Circle 188 on reply card.


Stone Construction Equipment introduces an all-new block lifter — the Stone Lift Jockey LJ100. The Lift Jockey has a load capacity of 1,500 pounds. Features three interchangeable heavy-duty masts that lift loads to heights of 7 feet, 6 inches, 8 feet, 6 inches or 9 feet, 6 inches. The Lift is a straddle-type fork truck that is designed to pick up 36-inch wide pallets utilizing either pallet or block forks. It is powered by an electric start 8-hp Honda engine and has a fully enclosed hydrostatic drive system with a removable 6-gallon hydraulic tank.
Circle 189 on reply card.


The G6-42P Gradall model has a functional high boom design, but maintains a low 94-inch working profile. The G6-42P material handler, features industry leading advances in operator comfort and efficiency. Featuring an entirely new operator compartment design, the G6-42P has 22 percent more cab room for extra comfort and reduced fatigue. From the redesigned seating module, an operator also is afforded an view of the jobsite in all directions while using ergonomically designed joysticks to easily control the precise movements of the machine and its boom-end attachments. The G6-42P is designed for simplified operation and a short training cycle, capable of lifting loads of 6,600 pounds, and it has a maximum 42-foot lift height. The rugged three-section boom can be equipped with a variety of attachments.
Circle 190 on reply card.