There’s no doubting the telehandler market remains one of the most active sectors in North America. From oil and gas work picking back up to general construction ticking along, the need for four wheels and forks continues to grow. JCB, for instance, has seen a 30 percent increase in the compact telehandler market this year, according to Rebecca Yates, product manager for JCB North America.

“We’ve experienced a strong growth in demand for telehandlers of all sizes, which is largely attributable to the buoyant construction and building industry and a growing awareness among operators in all industries of telehandler versatility,” Yates says. “And while telehandlers have long been used on larger construction jobsites, in recent years we’ve seen increasing demand for telehandler material handling capability on smaller jobsites and within confined work spaces that has led to increased demand for compact telehandler products.”

The company debuted the 504-13 Loadall subcompact telescopic handler in response to growing demand in North America for telehandlers in the sub-6,000-pound category. With a 4,000-pound lift capacity and maximum lift height of 13 feet, 3 inches, the new JCB 504-13 telehandler is suited for maintenance applications, jobsite clean-up and material handling within confined worksites.

The 504-13 telehandler builds on the design and capability characteristics of the company’s earlier JCB 520-40 Loadall, with the addition of a new 39 hp Perkins Tier 4 Final-compliant diesel engine. The engine requires no aftertreatment and produces 120 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 RPM.

Other features include: All-steel bodywork; Permanent 4-wheel steering for enhanced maneuverability; Low boom profile for exceptional visibility, enabling improved productivity and safety; Compact tool carrier or skid steer coupler for attachments to accommodate a wide array of attachments and applications; Two-speed hydrostatic transmission and; 2-year/2,000-hour warranty.

The 504-13 Loadall features JCB’s unique, U-pressed steel boom with fewer welds and stress points than competing brands. Also unique to JCB Loadall telehandlers are 500-hour extended service intervals and simplified maintenance procedures, with all daily checks performed at ground level.

“The JCB 504-13 telescopic handler has a large, spacious cab with a wide access door,” the company says. “The cab glass is tinted all round and the windshield and roof are laminated.”

Also available is a limited-slip differential for maximum traction on slippery surfaces by transferring drive from the spinning wheel to the stationary wheel.

The unit features a low height of 6 feet, 6 inches and a narrow width of 5 feet, 1 inch.

More debut telehandler models 2019

Also new is the XR619 from Xtreme Manufacturing.

The XR619 replaces the Xtreme XR5919 compact telehandler and becomes the smallest model in the Xtreme telehandler family.

Delivering a capacity upgrade over the XR5919, the compact A-Class telehandler has a lift capacity of 6,000 pounds, a maximum lift height of 19 feet and a forward reach of 11 feet.

It comes equipped as standard with long-life boom rollers, for smooth, chatter-free operation and minimal maintenance, the company says, as well as 360-degree visibility from the cab, intuitive operator controls and a boom lift point.

Offered with a choice of three cab configurations – open; enclosed; or enclosed with heat and air conditioning – the XR619 can be ordered with either a fixed or a fork positioning carriage and can be further customized with individual options including LED work lights, a backup camera and synthetic oil for cold environments.

Designed to handle rough terrain, the XR619 is powered by a Deutz 2.9L 74hp Tier 4 Final engine. High grip pneumatic 12.00 x 16.5 tires and a ground clearance of 10.8 inches make easy work of travelling around an uneven jobsite, Xtreme notes.

The unit weighs 10,300 pounds and is constructed of all steel. A new cast adapter helps to reduce overall weight, Xtreme says, while enabling the increase in lift capacity to 6,000 pounds, and new fiberglass engine covers provide improved fit and finish and better accessibility for servicing. For increased familiarity with other Xtreme models, the XR619 shares the same control system as the XR742, XR944, XR1055 and XR1147 units.

The XR619 has a turning radius of 11 feet and stowed dimensions of 71-inches-wide and 6.5-feet-high. It was shown at World of Concrete 2019 as a prototype and is expected to commence production soon.

Keep the new compact telehandlers coming

Another 2019 debut comes from Gehl, which showcased its littlest telehandler at World of Concrete 2019, as well.

The super-compact Gehl RS4-14 telehandler is just under 60-inches-wide and 75-inches-tall and is the most compact model in the Gehl lineup. It has a maximum lift capacity of 4,400 pounds, lift height of 14 feet, 3 inches and outreach of 9 feet. The Gehl RS4-14 telescopic handler has 4-wheel-drive, three steering modes and a 10-foot, 1-inch turning radius, so it can work on uneven terrain and in confined spaces.

Although compact, the Gehl RS4-14 telescopic handler has a full-size operator’s cab for ultimate comfort, the company says.

“The machine is easy to operate, and the two-speed hydrostatic transmission with gear change on the Joystick Switch and Move (JSM) provides flexibility and precision. The JSM joysticks allows the operator to control all hydraulic and directional functions with one hand, so the other hand can remain on the steering wheel at all times for added safety. A wide selection of attachments is available for maximum versatility and customers have the option to select the universal skid attach system or Manitou quick attach system,” the company adds.

Manitou sees a growing opportunity for sub-compact telehandlers, says Steve Kiskunas, product manager - telescopic handlers at Manitou Americas.

“The sub-compact units are smaller in overall size than the current compact-sized telescopic handlers,” Kiskunas explains. “While they have a smaller overall size, they still are able to perform most material tasks with palletized loads. These units open up a new opportunity to use labor saving equipment in confined spaces that have low overhead or narrow width requirements.”

Last year’s launches

Skyjack says it has also experienced an increased demand for compact units.

“Operators are continuing to utilize the compact telehandler for a wide range of applications as a result of its versatility through the use of attachments and its ability to maneuver easily around jobsite debris and tight corners,” says Braden Spence, junior product manager with Skyjack. “To address the high demand for the compact telehandler, Skyjack launched the SJ519 TH.”

The SJ519 TH offers a 5,500-pound lift capacity and a maximum lift height of 19.1 feet. With a fully opening door, operators can access their cab with ease. At its maximum reach of 11.25 feet, the SJ519 TH can still lift a rated load of 4,400 pounds, Skyjack says. Also, all major service points are easily accessible.

“Many compact telehandlers currently on jobsites in North America were designed with European industries, and European operators in mind,” Spence says. “The SJ519 TH was designed specifically for the North American market and features a class-leading cab size for ease of access for operators. For Skyjack, the launch of this product means that we now have the capability to compete in a whole new class of telehandlers.”

Skyjack says when designing the SJ519 TH, it was imperative for that the term “compact” didn’t play a role in decreasing operator comfort. The cab on the SJ519 TH features a fully opening door, which enables operators to access the cab with ease, increasing total operator space that is virtually identical in cab size to the rest of our TH series.

“When we started the design phase for this product we knew we wanted to maintain similar features with our existing telehandlers. It’s Skyjack’s consistency across products that adds to simplicity of service, and decreased downtime for our customers,” says Barry Greenaway, product manager at Skyjack.

Skyjack is a fairly new player to the telehandler market as the company just launched its telehandler TH series in 2015. Despite being a “new kid on the block,” the company feels successful in the telehandler arena.

“We’ve seen strong growth within our first few years and have surpassed our initial three-year sales targets within the first 12-months of our launch,” Spence says. “Looking forward, we’re optimistic that we will continue to see strong demand for Skyjack’s telehandler lineup and are excited that we are now able to offer a product in a whole new class with the launch of our compact SJ519 TH.”

Skyjack’s SJ519 TH offers a skid steer attachment adaptor plate option which allows the operator to use a wide range of skid steer attachments with an auxiliary flow of up to 18GPM. Additionally, the small stature of the compact telehandler means operators have increased maneuverability onsite and can contribute to various tasks that traditional telehandlers cannot, Spence notes.

For the U.S. market

Also in 2018, Snorkel debuted its SR5719 compact rough terrain telehandler that delivers top performance in a compact design, according to the company. Featuring full-time, 4-wheel drive, power assisted steering and proportional joystick, the telehandler is packed with power and precision to lift materials in any application.

Capable of lifting up to 5,732 pounds with a maximum lift height of 19 feet and a maximum forward reach of 10 feet, 4 inches, the telehandler is an ideal lift for contractors and rental companies, as it can be easily transported and delivers high levels of operator comfort. The compact unit features a Tier 4 Final Yanmar engine and weighs 10,360 pounds.

“Compact telehandler sales volumes are expected to continue to rise, based on increasing demand from the construction and agricultural sectors,” says Matthew Elvin, CEO of Snorkel. “With many new large-scale residential projects, such as apartment and condo blocks planned for city downtown areas, we expect to see increased demand for compact telehandlers, as these jobsites are limited in space.”

Compact telehandlers continue to fill a gap created by larger pieces of construction equipment that are no longer versatile in smaller working environments.

“With regards to the compact telehandlers, many improvements have been made to the hydraulic functions for attachments, enabling a wider range of attachments to be used with compact telehandlers, increasing their usefulness on the jobsite,” Elvin concludes.

The Snorkel SR5719 compact rough terrain telehandler is now available to order.

Genie’s most popular Genie telehandler model by volume has always been the Genie GTH-5519 model, which is a 5,500-pound, 19-foot lift height compact telehandler.

“Compacts are growing stronger than the larger telehandler sector, but that’s just my personal opinion,” says Simon Meester, VP of global sales and marketing at Genie. “But the reason I’m leaning towards being more bullish about compacts is because it’s such a great rental spec and it’s such a utility machine and we see that diversity creeping into what customers are looking for in their rental fleet. Our compact line is very popular at the moment and we don’t have any reason to see it slow down anytime soon.”

JLG’s most-compact unit is its G5-18A, which features a maximum lift capacity of 5,512 pounds, maximum lift height of 18 feet and maximum reach of 11 feet.

The unit has a tight turning radius and Tier 4 final Deutz engine to power it. A variety of attachments are available and a universal skid steer adapter makes the G5-18A able to use existing skid steer attachments.

The JLG G5-18A super compact telehandler features a tight 127-inch turning radius, enabling movement through crowded jobsites and a stowed height of less than 76 inches. The G5-18A features a maximum lift height up to 18 feet, an extended outreach of 11 feet, and a 5,500-pound maximum lifting capacity.

The machine also offers a variety of attachments for versatility in handling jobsite challenges. The G5-18A features a Tier 4 final Deutz engine, designed to provide greater fuel efficiency and to reduce the impact on the environment. It also offers an optional reversing fan primarily intended for dusty environments.

There’s also Merlo’s P27.6 Plus which has a maximum load capacity of 5,900 pounds and a maximum lift height of 20 feet. Outreach hits 11 feet, 5 inches and maximum load capacity at maximum lift height is 3,900 pounds.

So, from 4,000 pounds to just under 6,000 pounds, the compact telehandler market remains buoyant with many OEMs launching products over the last two years. Think it can go smaller? We’ll have to wait and see.

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