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Telehandlers on the Farm

telehandler on the farmTelehandlers can be used for a surprising number of farming tasks. Ask any farmer who owns one, and they will probably agree that the telehandler is a great investment. The most common size telehandler for the farmer is 6-7 metre reach and lift capacity of 3-4 ton.

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Looking for the right Telehandler options

When you’re looking for a Telehandler don’t just buy the cheapest you can find, check first.

A cheap Telehandler may have fewer features and not be at all suitable. Higher spec’d machines will have more options and features like, more horse power, higher road speeds, bigger hydraulic pumps for faster loading cycles, different driving modes for better fuel economy, boom suspension or soft ride travel modes, Joystick control instead of levers, rear hydraulic remotes, Automatic trailer hitch, air conditioning, the list goes on…

Agricultural or construction? Don’t get them mixed up… construction models will mostly have slower hydraulic pumps for precision lifting and low transmission speeds for work around building sites.

Using Telehandlers on the Farm for everyday tasks

Being able to turn in extremely tight circles is a huge bonus especially when maneuvering in farm sheds or confined yards. Stacking bales of hay up to 6 or 7 metres high can make efficient use of space.

When fitted with a big 2.2 or 2.7metre wide bucket the Telehandler can make short work of any loading job, and makes loading the new high sided feed-out wagons quick and simple. Less Mess!… the 4 wheel steering mode doesn’t cut up the ground the same as a 4wd drive tractor of the same size so the loading pad stays cleaner. Once finished loading, the Telehandler can be hooked up to the trailer and sent off to feed out!

A 3.5 ton Telehandler with the boom extended 3-4 metres forward can still lift over a ton; this can be extremely helpful to lift a stuck cow out of the bog or drain or fallen tree branch out of the creek.

Telehandler attachments

Make sure you are using the correct attachment for the job! You can buy a Euro-Hitch adapter so you can fit all your existing tractor attachments on to your telehandler but beware! Because telehandlers are built for loading and lifting they have considerably more power than a tractor and may bend or destroy most standard tractor attachments or buckets. For any longer term loading work you would be best to invest in purpose built telehandler attachments.

Safety Considerations to Bear in Mind When Using a Telescopic Handler on a Farm

In a recent edition of Farmers Weekly in the UK, a warning was issued against using a telescopic handler bucket to drive fence posts. [National Farmers’ Union] Telehandlers are designed for handling materials fast, including lifting and stacking, but should never be used for a purpose for which they were not designed.

Another important point is to remember is that elevated loads decrease machine stability, particularly on uneven ground. When transporting loads always ensure that the load is carried as close to ground as safely possible, and pay particular care when turning.

Finally, before you use a telehandler on a farm, always ensure you have received sufficient training. Like all heavy machinery, telehandlers are safe and easy to use in the hands of a properly trained operator.

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