Telescopic Handlers: Your FAQs Answered

If you work in the world of construction or agriculture, you’re likely always looking for ways to modernise your working styles and automate long-winded manual tasks with new technologies. 

Telescopic handlers are one such tool. With construction projects on the up, the telescopic handler (also known as telehandler) market is growing – and for a good reason. 

In this guide, we’ll explore how telehandlers are used, what the benefits are, and where you can find these handy items of equipment. 

What is a Telescopic Handler?

A telehandler is a machine used to carry and place heavy materials in the construction and agricultural industries. Occasionally referred to as boom lifts, handlers move large loads with a boom, a crane-like tool that holds different materials. 

You can fix different attachments to the boom depending on what you plan on using your telehandler for – think forks for pallets or buckets for soil and dirt. 

Why Use a Telescopic Handler? 

Save labour costs

Telehandlers do the job of multiple team members, so you can significantly reduce staffing costs with just one piece of equipment. 

Enjoy a full range of motion

Telehandlers aren’t limited in their range of motion to the same extent as other lifting machinery, such as forklifts. With telehandlers, you can precisely move your materials to various floors and levels. 

Carry different materials

You might need different tools to carry different loads, such as a fork for pallets. That’s where telehandlers really shine, with the option to add a different attachment for each different material. 

Work on different terrains

Telehandlers can be used in various environments, including on rougher terrains. 

Is a Telehandler the Same as a Forklift?

At first glance, a telescopic handler can sound like the same thing as a forklift, and you might be wondering why you need both. In reality, though, forklifts offer a much narrower range of motion and manoeuvrability. 

Forklifts are ideal for lifting materials a short distance off the ground and moving them across flat surfaces, but they don’t work as well on rough terrains or when placing loads on higher elevated surfaces. 

If you want to lift cargo without moving a machine’s base, you’re working on rough terrain, or you’re placing materials on elevated surfaces more than a few feet off the ground, telehandlers should be your go-to. 

Where Can I Buy Telescopic Handlers? & How Do I Choose the Right One?

Whether you buy your telescopic handler online or in person, your best chance of finding an effective model is opting for a brand that’s well-known with a reputation for excellence, such as JCB – the main player in the telescopic market

You can buy direct from the manufacturer or save money (and do your bit for the planet!) by buying second-hand telescopic handlers. 

JCB telescopic handlers (see the offer here:, for example, is home to plenty of used JCB telescopic handlers for reasonable prices. If in doubt about a supplier or site, search online for reviews and testimonials, or use sites like TrustPilot to determine their legitimacy. 

Before opting for your telehandler of choice, consider factors such as type of handler, size, capacity, and turning radius. Bear in mind the context in which you’ll be using a telehandler and work backwards. If you’re using it for heavy loads, for example, you’ll need a handler that can support these loads. 

Smaller machines carry loads of up to 4400 pounds, while their larger counterparts are good for up to 16,000 pounds. 

If you’re buying second-hand and you have any questions about the capacity or condition of your telescopic handler, reach out to the seller with your queries, and don’t be afraid to ask for more pictures. 

Do I Need a Telehandler?

Naturally, whether or not you need a telehandler depends on your individual circumstances, but if you feel that they’ll play a part in your daily operations, they can be a seriously useful tool in your repertoire. 

They’re much more flexible and versatile than forklifts, and they’re especially good if your projects require navigating rough terrains and moving materials to higher elevations.