What is the Right Attachment for a Telehandler Job?

For a wide variety of industries and applications, telehandlers are a popular choice on job sites because of the variety of attachments they come with.  The versatility of telehandlers allows operators to perform a wide variety of job tasks.

In comparison to forklifts that rely on a vertical mast to move loads, telehandlers have telescoping booms, allowing these machines to deliver materials to heights of 75 ft or higher and carry loads up to 75,000 pounds or more.

telehandler attachments for the job

In order to choose the right attachments that will fit with the project tasks is vital for safe and efficient use.  Understanding whether a load needs to be picked or placed is vital.  Does your job require loose material to be scooped or a load suspended?  Does the task require a grapple for loose material or pipes?  The answers to these questions will help companies select the right size and type of attachment.

Attachments generally fall into four categories: buckets, carriages, truss booms/lift hooks and specialty attachments.

4 General Categories

Buckets Collect and Move Loose Material

Buckets are a great selection when the job requires loose material to be loaded and moved.  As an example, a general-purpose non-powered bucket can be used to load dirt, gravel, and other heavy bulk material, while a powered grapple bucket is useful for non-uniform loads that are awkard to capture in the bucket without grapple arms.  These arms help to maintain the load bucket during the transportation and disposal of the contents.

Multi-purpose buckets are suited for a variety of applications.  Split buckets can be used for loading, carrying, and dumping, while also having the capability to be used as a grapple for handling odd-shaped objects or for dozing, leveling, and spreading materail with the clamshell open.  It's important to understand that all telehandler buckets are intended for non-excavating tasks.  

Carriage Attachments Are Popular Choice on Job Sites

Carriage attachments are used in a wide variety of tasks and and come in various widths and functionalities, making them the most popular choice for telehandlers.  Contractors and operators that need to transport or place a load that requires no special features typically choose a standard carriage.

With other features, the carriage can provide positioning of the load to meet the end user's needs.  As an example, the side tilt carriage is able to position a load properly to be moved across uneven terrain and pick place loads that are on an uneven surface.  Another great option is the side swing carriage, which provides offset placement of a load at angles from 50-90 degrees each side of the center point.  This is particularly useful when the machine can't provide a direct path to a load due to a work environment that has limited space to operate.

A fork positioning carriage provides a powered means to situate the forks at the right spread for pallet loads without the operator having to leave the cab.  Side shifting carriages are also available, providing the ability to shift the carriage and fork in either direction.  This is very useful when positioning the machine side-to-side isn't possible when picking up a load or if lateral placement of a load is required.

Truss Booms and Lift Hooks Provide Increased Reach

The truss boom is another type of attachment that increases telehandler versatility, providing a variety of solutions to job site challenges.  The truss boom can improve the capabilities of a telehandler by providing increased reach and sometimes increased height of the suspended load.  The boom is available in various lengths, from a boom mounted lift hook to a 15 foot truss boom.  Most truss booms come in fixed lengths, but adjustable truss booms are available to vary the load reach.  Variations of coupler or fork-mounted truss booms and hooks increase the options available to contractors.  In these industries where up and down movement of a boom isn't possible, a truss boom equipped with a winch offers the perfect solution, allowing the operator to raise and lower the suspended load in a linear direction and tight spaces.

Specialty Attachments Equip Telehandler for Specific Tasks

Contractors also use a wide variety of attachments to meet specific job site tasks.  The most popular attachments available today include fork-mounted work platforms, pipe grapples, sweepers, augers, sheet material handlers, and trash hoppers.

The fork-mounted work platform can be used on a carriage to lift personnel for jobs that require hands-on work at levels of height.  Pipe grapples are primarily used in the oil and gas industry, where they are used to grapple and move pipes and poles that are at long lengths.  Contractors also use sweeper attachments for job site cleanup and collecting debris into a hopper for disposal.  If a task requires an operator to "punch" holes for posts or poles, an auger can accomplish these tasks and are available in diameters ranging from 6-36 inches.

Fork-mounted trash hoppers are also a specialty attachment commonly used on telehandlers.  They come with a feature that allows the operator to empty the contents without leaving the telehandler cab, which is a valuable addition to a telehandler that helps keep job sites clean.

Sheet material handler attachments are great for building construction projects, giving operators the ability to lift and place a variety of materials.  This particular attachment can be used for picking and placing drywall, plywood, and sheetrock. 

The quick coupler-mounted sheet material attachments can lift up to 3,200 pounds and offers a 72 inch maximum fork spread, allowing for heavy and wide materials to be delivered at levels of height.  To reduce worker fatigue, a sheet material handler attachment will have 100 degree fore and aft fork tilt and 180 degree side swing, which provides for accurate placement at the required location.

Attachment Knowledge Key to Their Effective Use

Telehandlers are often the "go-to" piece of equipment when materials need to be moved around a job site or through a facility.  Telehandler attachements give contractors flexbility on job sites, from picking and placing pallets, to bucket work and suspending loads.  For effective use, it requires that the operator become familiar with the attachment options available.  By findinging the right attachment to the tasks at hand, they will maximize the benefits of the telehandler and provide a safe and efficient job site.

About All Access Services

Serving construction projects throughout Southern California with heavy equipment rentals, we have 3 locations in San Diego, Orange County, and Riverside to serve our clients. Each location carries a fleet of scissor liftstelehandlersboom lifts, and forklifts available for rent at affordable rates. We strive to provide the best customer service in the industry and hope to earn your trust and business!