The best offers in the field are manufactured by Manitou, JCB, Merlo, Caterpillar. The multifunctional telescopic handlers from the time-proved brands boast such advantages as a wide model range, a good choice of attachments and comfy cabs with top safety measures.
The French MANITOU Group is known for powerful versions of telescopic machinery. It all started in 1957 with a usual agricultural tractor, equipped with a lifting mechanism and hydraulic power control.
Nowadays the telescopic vehicles MANITOU feature all-wheel drive system, complemented by pneumatic suspension and electrofluidic control. Moreover, additional hydraulic circuits and hydraulic actuators are available in the attachments. Such structure, particularly, boosts efficiency of jaw-like buckets, hooks, silage cutters and bundle clamps. Other technical data include the maximal speed of 30 km/h, automatic transmission and a differential lock. The electronics monitor the operational loads and adjust the engine power. Hydraulic outriggers, as well as digital monitoring of the suspension system functionality, are used to increase the firmness of a handler.
The cab comforts are significant for dust-proofing, spring-mounted seat suspension and noise insulation. Safety is ensured by a solid framework. All these measures provide operator’s protection even in case of an overturn.
Key features of the best models
- oad capacity identification system;
- independent cab mount;
- all-round visibility;
- thought-out counterbalance system (with outriggers and additional accessories).
When choosing a telescopic handler pay special attention to:
- required load capacity and lifting height (both depend on the practical applications);
- weight and nature of the loads.
The availability and diversity of attachments are great benefits. There are up to 40 possible tools (different types of forks, hooks, buckets, clamps, etc.).
The dimensions of a handler are crucial if operated in space-limited conditions (e.g., while unloading maritime containers). The boom height plays the decisive role for the high-rise erection works. In case of a confined space within urban areas (e.g., during the repairs of power lines), maneuverability is of primary importance.
And if it is intended to use a vehicle for multiple works not on a regular basis, then the best choice is to acquire used machinery. The basic check-up of used telescopic handlers entails the examination of remaining engine life and operational abilities of attachments.
Advantages and pitfalls
The advantageous properties are:
- operation in hard-to-reach areas;
- working tools are easily exchanged;
- high maneuverability;
- transportation of the loads around manufacturing or construction sites.
The majority of handlers are powered by diesel engines. On the one hand, its harmful emissions and noisiness make their application indoors impossible. But on the other hand, they are profitable regarding fuel costs.
Taking into account the instability of vehicles when loaded to the max, it’s necessary to do thorough calculations of the weight, the slope angle and the permissible boom height. The computer installed in the up-to-date models provides safety during complex operations. It warns the driver and blocks the directions, which involve the excessive load. Note that the full boom extension reduces the initially possible load capacity by half.
The subjective pitfalls include the necessity of training courses for the drivers (as they must be properly qualified for this kind of operation), engine deterioration caused by low-quality fuel, the difficulties with electronic units reparation and the possible shortage of spare parts.