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2005 JCB 540-170 Telescopic Forklift

The telescopic forklift, also known as a telescopic handler, telehandler, or extendable reach forklift[1], is similar to a conventional forklift. However, instead of using a vertical mast to lift and raise a load—like a conventional forklift—a telescopic forklift uses a telescopic boom, which generally has a further reach both forwards and upwards.

The telescopic forklift is essentially a heavy-duty, or off-road version of a standard forklift, customized to work in rough terrain applications such as construction, mining, agriculture and warehouse operations. It is commonly seen using a fork or pallet attachments, but can also work with other attachments such as fixed and rotating carriages, buckets, truss jibs, winches, grapples, a muck grab, lift table and many more[2].

Contents

[edit] History

The telescopic forklift or handler is derived from the conventional forklift. The predecessor to the modern day forklift was the lift truck. Quite rudimentary in function and design, the first lift trucks lacked hydraulics or forks and were produced with the capacity to lift a load only a few inches.[3] Manual labor and perhaps some pulling with chains were still required to actually move a load laterally just a few feet. Eventually, the forklift evolved from a tractor with an attachment to a machine with a vertically lifting mast more common with today’s conventional forklift. The 1920s witnessed the proliferation of manufacturers producing lift trucks.

[edit] Clark’s Lift Truck

The very first version of a modern day forklift was captured in a lift truck called the "Trucktractor" produced by the Clark Equipment Co. in 1917. The original Trucktractor was a gas-powered shop buggy with a box fixed to three wheels. The buggy was more or less designed to assist foundry workers in carting supplies around the plant but soon was demanded by visitors. Eventually the Trucktractor was modified to include brakes, better steering, and a dump box that could be released mechanically or via gravity. Taking the concept of the buggy into production led to the later development of a platform truck that picked up and lifted materials from one location to another.[4]

[edit] Yale’s Electric Truck

The invention of the very first version of the modern day forklift can be attributed to Yale when, in 1923, in it introduced its line of Model K 20 to 24 trucks. These trucks included a narrow high platform truck, a wide high platform truck, an elevating platform truck, and three wheel tractor truck.[5] Within the line, one of the trucks had a raising fork and an elevating mast and worked by way of a ratchet and pinion system. In 1929, the company developed the first forklift with a clamp attachment.[6] Though the forklift truck did not catch on immediately, it became more widely accepted with the development of a more standardized pallet in the late 1930s.[7]

2001 Gradall 534D945 9,000 lb. 4x4 Telescopic Forlift

[edit] World War II Developments

World War II had a huge influence on the evolution of the forklift. Troops during the war were seeking a more reliable way of moving and transporting materials and goods to the front lines. The forklift was the perfect and most logical choice. As wooden pallets were already in use, cargo could be more efficiently transported from U.S. factories to outbound ports via forklifts. There was also a greater demand for electric forklifts or trucks that could last longer and as a result, models were being designed that could work an eight-hour shift without having to be recharged.[8]

[edit] The Narrow Aisle Forklift

After the war was over, forklift development shifted to producing forklifts that could efficiently facilitate the changes being made in warehouse operations. During this period, warehouses were increasing in size and storage parameters were beginning to expand both upward and outward. This led to a need for forklifts with a greater range of maneuverability, reach and lifting capacity such as the narrow aisle reach truck produced by the Raymond Corp.[9] These narrow aisle forklifts would drastically transform warehousing because more storage could be acquired in the same amount space than previously possible.

[edit] New Technology and Forklift Safety

New technological ingenuity further advanced forklift development through the 1960s and 1970s. In the late 1960s, electronic controls for electric forklifts were becoming increasingly sophisticated. The 1970s witnessed upgrades to motor and engine controls.[10]

As forklifts were being designed with greater lift and reach capacities, legitimate safety concerns arose, as there was a greater risk for objects to fall on the operator. Forklift manufacturers began to take note and produced forklifts with operator cabs and load backrests that eventually became the norm in forklift design. Equally significant were new developments in truck and loading balancing technology that prevented forklifts from tipping over.[11] In the 1980s the emergence of automated and wire guidance system trucks were steering forklift manufacturing into new territory.[12]

[edit] Telescopic Forklifts

The Giraffe produced by Liner was the first telescopic handler to be manufactured in the U.K.[13] Now JCB is the top manufacturer of telescopic handlers within the U.K. JCB introduced the its first telescopic handler, the Loadall 520, in 1977, producing 300 units within the first year. By 2006, JCB had manufactured over 10,000 units.[14]

Since 2006, JCB has introduced its latest version of a telescopic forklift, the Teletruk. Models range from a 2.5- to 3.5-ton lift capacity.[15] The Teletruk is available in two or four-wheel drive and utilizes an engine that features hydrostatic transmissions with a torque converter response system. Another unique feature of the Teletruk is a light material bucket that converts the forklift into small loader.[16]

[edit] Features/How it Works

Telescopic forklifts come in various models and are therefore configured quite differently according to weight capacities to handle both light and heavy loads. In fact, the overall functionality of the extendable arm or boom on a telescopic forklift is what gives it dual functionality to operate both as a forklift that can remove pallets from narrow, tight spaces and as a crane that can place loads on rooftops or other high places.[17]
Lifting capacities can range anywhere from 3,000 to 35,0000 pounds (1,361 to 15,876 kg) with a lifting height of up to 70 feet (21 m),[18] or five to six stories.[19]

1998 Gehl DL6L 6,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
One disadvantage of the telescopic forklift that has to be taken into consideration as a safety precaution is instability. Even though counterweights on the lift afford some level of stabilization, the further out a boom is raised and extended, the less weight it is able to lift. With the boom arm fully extended, a telescopic forklift should not lift in excess of 400 pounds (181 kg), [20] but this is contingent on the telescopic forklift's maximum lifting capacity when the boom is fully extended.

Telescopic forklifts do come equipped with computers that have built-in sensors to monitor lift and reach capacities to the point the operator will be notified and the forklift’s controls disengaged. Sometime outriggers are also used to provide additional stability support, particularly when loading at heights.

[edit] The “Double Deep” Concept

Telescopic forklifts have often been referred to as deep reach trucks in that they can ultimately reach double-deep.[21] This translates into their capacity to place and retrieve pallets that are set one behind the other from a single aisle position. As the first pallet is removed, the second pallet becomes available. In essence, the truck is equipped to pick up and deposit two pallets into the racking, while conventional forklifts are only capable of moving one pallet off the rack.

[edit] Steering

Telescopic forklifts generally feature either two or four-wheel drive or crab steering.[22] The four-wheeled “power train” drive telescopic forklifts are ideal for more rough terrain applications.

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Different Names For The Same Thing

This is a list of alternate names for telescopic forklift.

  • Telescopic forklift
  • Telescopic handler
  • Telehandler
  • Extendable reach forklift

[edit] Additional Photos

2000 Teres SS1056C 10,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
Hyster Z90B 9,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
1985 Champ CRL60G 6,000 lb. Lo Pro Telescopic Forklift
1985 Koehring 9038 9,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
1999 Terex SS1048 10,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
2000 SkyTrak 5028 5,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
2001 Case 686GXR 7,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
2005 JCB 533-105 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
2005 JLG 9,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
1998 Ingersoll-Rand VR60B 6,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
2000 New Holland LM850 8,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forklift
2005 Caterpillar TH580B 11,000 lb. 4x4x4 Telescopic Forlift

[edit] References

  1. Telehandlers. Masonry Magazine. 2008-09-09.
  2. Leavitt Machinery. 2008-09-09.
  3. Lift trucks. Datakey.org. 2008-09-09.
  4. Clark Equipment Company. Reference for Business. 2008-09-09.
  5. History. Yale. 2008-09-09.
  6. History. Yale. 2008-09-09.
  7. Lift Trucks. Datakey.org. 2008-09-09.
  8. Lift Trucks. Datakey.org. 2008-09-09.
  9. Forklift History. LiftsRUs. 2008-09-09.
  10. Forklift History. LiftsRUs. 2008-09-09.
  11. Lift Trucks. Datakey.org. 2008-09-09.
  12. Forklift History. LifstRUs. 2008-09-09.
  13. Edwards, David J. and Harris, Frank. McCaffer, Ronald. Management of Off-highway Plant and Equipment. Taylor and Francis: 2003.
  14. JCB Construction Equipment. Infolink. 2008-09-09.
  15. JCB Equipment. 2008-09-09.
  16. Teletruk. JCB. 2008-09-09.
  17. Telescopic Handler. Wapedia. 2008-09-09.
  18. Leavitt Machinery. 2008-09-09.
  19. Telehandlers. Masonry Magazine. 2008-09-09.
  20. Telescopic Forklift. Mike's Forklift Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  21. Ezine Articles. 2008-09-09.
  22. Leavitt Machinery. 2008-09-09.