A telescopic handler is like a forklift. It possesses a single telescopic boom that extends both upwards and forwards from the truck, and a counterweight in the back. It functions more like a crane than a forklift. The boom can be equipped with various types of attachments. The most common attachment is pallet forks, but the operator can also attach a lift table, bucket or muck grab. Also referred to as a telehandler, this type of machine is usually utilized in agriculture and industry.
A telehandler is commonly employed to move loads to and from areas that will be hard for a conventional forklift to access. Telehandlers are usually used to unload pallets from within a trailer. They are also more handy than a crane for lifting loads onto other high areas and rooftops.
There is only one major limitation in using telehandlers. Even with rear counterweights, the weight-bearing boom could cause the machine to destabilize as it extends. Thus, the lifting capacity lessens when the distance between the front of the wheels and the centre of the load increases.
Telehandlers were developed in England by the Matbro company. Their design was based mostly on articulated cross country forklifts used in forestry. Initial models had a driver's cab on the rear section and a centrally mounted boom on the front, but these days the design that is most popular has a rigid chassis together with a side cab and rear mounted boom.