What are Telescopic Handler Forklifts?

Telescopic handler forklifts, also known as telehandlers, teleporters, or boom lifts, are most commonly used in agriculture and industries that require high lifting of loads.

There are various steering modes that can be selected for telehandlers, such as four-wheel, front-wheel, and crab steering. The front-wheel drive system is where the entire drive package, such as the engine and transmission, are all in the front of the vehicle. Front wheel drive eliminates production cost as well as weight. On the other hand, all the wheels turn at the same time when the operator steers for the four-wheel steering system. Crab steering is a type of active four-wheel steering. This kind of steering is used when the vehicle needs to operate in a straight line but under a particular angle or when the wheels at the back are not supposed to follow the tracks of the front wheels.

Telehandlers vary in size and applications. There are brands which specialize in compact telehandlers, meeting the needs of construction, farming, masonry, and landscape applications. High-reach telescopic handlers, on the other hand, are more suitable for construction of multi-storey buildings and structures. This variation of telehandler is used for moving or placing materials and cleaning up job sites.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Telehandlers?

One of the advantages of this type of forklift is that it has a single telescopic boom which allows the truck to become more strong, heavy-duty, and adjustable. The hollow boom consists of several tubes that are fitted one side the other. This mechanism allows the beam to elongate and retract. Because of its physical features, telescopic handler forklifts are often mistaken as small cranes rather than forklift trucks.

However, extra care must be done when operating the telescopic handler since the boom can also cause the machine to become unstable despite the presence of counterweights at the back. This occurrence happens because the machine’s lifting capacity decreases as the working radius increases. The working radius is defined as the distance between the front wheels of the forklift and the load center.

What are their Features?

Other features of telescopic handler forklifts include a multifunction joystick control for more accurate positioning, retractable seat belt, illuminated switch panels, and a reversible, continuous hydraulic flow.  Rear proximity alarms are also available for some telescopic handler models. These sensors are designated for machines and vehicles that alert the driver when there are near obstacles or objects while parking.

Options and accessories include attachments such as a bucket, pallet forks, a lift table, and a muck grabber. These attachments and the presence of front outriggers allow the telescopic handler forklift to extend its lifting capabilities and complete work more efficiently as it can reach heights that normal forklifts can’t. Other telehandler specs will be discussed in the next section.

For industrial applications, pallet forks are the most common attachments. These pallet forks are used to move loads to places that usually cannot be reached by standard forklifts. An example of using pallet forks is moving loads on rooftops of buildings and other high places. For agricultural applications, the bucket grab is usually used. The telescopic handler can also work with a crane jib when lifting loads.

Manufacturers of Telescopic Handler Forklifts


Compact Telehandler GTH-5519

Genie Telescopic Handler Forklift GTH-5519

Max Lift Height (ft) 19
Max Forward Reach (ft) 11
Max Lift Capacity (lbs) 5500
Power Source Perkins 804D-33 4 cylinder diesel 63 hp (47.0 kW)
Deutz D 2011 4 cylinder diesel 68 hp (50.0 kW)
Travel Speed (mph) 15
Weight (lbs) 9800


High-Reach Telehandlers


GTH-636 Genie

Max Lift Height (ft) 36
Max Forward Reach (ft) 21ft 11in
Max Lift Capacity (lbs) 6000
Power Source Deutz TD 2.9 L4 turbo charged diesel, Tier 4f 74 hp (55.2 kW)
Travel Speed (mph) 18
Weight (lbs) 17600



Max Lift Height (ft) 43ft 10in
Max Forward Reach (ft) 28ft 2in
Max Lift Capacity (lbs) 8000
Power Source Deutz 3.6TCD turbo charged diesel, Tier 4f 74 hp (55.2 kW)
Deutz 3.6TCD turbo charged diesel, Tier 4f 99 hp (74 kW)
Perkins 854E turbo charged diesel, Tier 4 99 hp (74 kW)
Deutz 3.6TCD turbo charged diesel, Tier 3 99 hp (74 kW)
Perkins 1104D turbo charged diesel, Tier 3 99 hp (74 kW)
Travel Speed (mph) 15
Weight (lbs) 22600


GTH-1056 Telehandler

Max Lift Height (ft) 56ft 10in
Max Forward Reach (ft) 42ft
Max Lift Capacity (lbs) 10000
Power Source Perkins 1204E T4i 124 HP (92.47 kW)
Deutz TCD 3.6 L T4i 121 HP (90.23 kW)
Travel Speed (mph) 17
Weight (lbs) 30000



Genie GTH-1256

Max Lift Height (ft) 56ft
Max Forward Reach (ft) 42ft
Max Lift Capacity (lbs) 12000
Power Source Deutz 4.1TCD turbo charged diesel, Tier 4i 154 hp (115 kW)
Perkins 1204E-E44TA turbo charged diesel, Tier 4i 147 hp (110 kW)
Travel Speed (mph) 18
Weight (lbs) 36600



GTH-1544 Telescopic Handler Forklift

Max Lift Height (ft) 44ft
Max Forward Reach (ft) 27ft 3in
Max Lift Capacity (lbs) 15000
Power Source Deutz 4.1TCD turbo charged diesel, Tier 4 interim 154 hp (115 kW)*
Perkins 1204E-E44TA turbo charged diesel, Tier 4 interim 147 hp (110 kW)
Travel Speed (mph) 18
Weight (lbs) 33686



Model 525-60 Hi Viz 516-40 516-40 Agri
Max Engine Power 55 kW 35 kW 47hp
Max Lift Capacity (kg) 2500 1600 1600
Max Lift Height (m) 6 4 4
Image 525-60 JCB 516-40 JCB 516-40 Agri JCB
Model 520-40 Agri 525-60 Agri/ Agri Plus 526-56 Agri/ Agri Plus
Max Engine Power 49 hp 74 hp 109 hp
Max Lift Capacity (kg) 2000 2500 2600
Max Lift Height (m) 4 6 5.6
Image 520-40 Agri JCB Telehandler 525-60 Agri JCB 526-56 Agri JCB


Model of Telehandlers 527-58 Agri/ Agri Plus 527-58 Wastemaster 531-70
Max Engine Power 109 hp 81 kW 55 kW
Max Lift Capacity (kg) 2700 2700 kg 3100 kg
Max Lift Height (m) 5.8 5.8 7
Image 527-58 Agri JCB 527-58 JCB 531-70 Loadall JCB