Telescopic handlers, also known as telehandlers, zoom booms or reach forklifts, are an incredibly effective piece of machinery for moving heavy loads around building sites or other locations.
If you need one for your project but do not have the budget or workload to warrant purchasing one outright, hiring a telescopic handler is a great way of having this useful equipment at your disposal. When it comes to hiring a telehandler, you should first take into account the following points to ensure you get the right size and model for your needs:
- The ground conditions on which the telehandler will be working. These must be suitably strong and stable to take the weight of the telehandler.
- The reach and loads the telehandler will need to handle. The telescopic handler you select will need to be able to safely manage the reach requirements and weight of the loads you are hiring it for.
- Access to the site. You will need to know the width, and height (if there are overhead barriers) of the access point(s) to your site and choose a telehandler that will be able to get through them.
- The site itself. You need to ensure that there is sufficient space for the telehandler to manoeuvre safely and perform the tasks you want it to undertake without risk to the driver, other site workers, members of the public, and the equipment itself.
- A health and safety risk assessment. This must be conducted to ensure the safety of all personnel on your project site.
- Trained operator(s). Your workforce must be suitably trained to operate a telescopic handler.
- The full costs of hiring a telescopic handler. These include the hire itself, plus additional costs, such as delivery and collection (if separate from the hire cost), fuel and insurance. By choosing a plant hire company that is local to you you could well reduce both delivery/collection costs, as well as your carbon footprint.
Safety Considerations When Hiring a Telehandler
The risk of a telescopic handler overturning and causing serious injury or damage if not
used correctly is a very real one, even if you have faithfully followed all the key considerations listed above before selecting a machine for hire. Once the telehandler is on site you and your workforce should take all necessary safety precautions and carry out the following checks and steps as prescribed:
- Double check that all loads are secure, stable and have not become attached to anything, such as nearby trees or other fixed points.
- Avoid overloading the telehandler, as moving with a raised load is potentially very dangerous.
- Enforce strict site speed limits, as driving a telehandler at excessive speed around corners can cause it to overturn.
- Prior to every use, carry out full risk assessments to ensure the safe use of a telescopic handler, including identifying any potential hazards and how they will be assessed and controlled.
- The operator(s) should make daily visual checks to ensure there is no damage to the telescopic handler and that everything is working as it should.
- Ensure anyone operating the machinery has been provided with and is wearing the correct safety equipment and clothing, which fits correctly.
- Ensure only properly trained personnel operate the equipment and are completely aware of the site surroundings where they are operating. You can help achieve this awareness by hiring a telehandler that offers the driver all-round visibility. Otherwise they should be aware of any potential blindspots, and try to avoid working on sloping, uneven or unstable ground.
- Ensure there is clear signage and instructions for site workers and pedestrians passing the site, communicating where they can or cannot go, for their own safety.
How To Assess Which Telescopic Handler To Hire
Rabbit Plant Hire has a wide range of telescopic handlers for hire, ranging from 4m to 17m.
For details of the load capacity and other information, take a look at the different spec sheets for each telescopic handler available for hire. Or refer to our useful guide to telescopic handler hire for more detailed information.
If you are still unsure about which piece of machinery you need, get in touch with a member of our team for help and advice – or we can also offer a free site visit to assess your requirements.