Telehandler firms strengthen presence in growing market
By Euan Youdale04 August 2021
Access International enthuses about the key telehandler markets of North America and Europe, where the focus has been on the rapid introduction of new products and technologies.
Variations in standards for telehandlers in North America and Europe, along with their distinct design differences, creates challenges for manufacturers wishing to supply products to both continents.
This is equally true for access equipment manufacturers, which also offer telehandlers as part of their ranges. North America-based access specialists Genie, JLG and Skyjack are finding a large majority of their telehandler sales in the continent.
Genie has its telehandler production facility in Italy, however JLG has moved much of its telehandler production out of Europe and Skyjack only manufactures telehandlers for the North American market.
Josh Taylor, product manager at Genie, explained, “Because North America and the EMEAR market have different regulatory standards that must be met, the machines for each market are purpose-built to deliver what our customers in each of those market’s needs.”
Kurt Atchison, director of product management with Skyjack, said, “While there is growing demand for alternate fuel and power sources for telehandlers in Europe, primarily being driven by changing emission requirements, the same factors are not really driving changes in North America.”
He added that the versatility of smaller compact machines and their related applications is creating a market for hybrid and electric models, as well as different tyre options.
New products designed for North America
Canadian manufacturer Skyjack made a number of changes to its TH Series earlier this year to better suit typical jobsites from a maintenance and operator standpoint. Hardware in the cab, along with the seat, has been upgraded to improve the operator experience.
While Skyjack has made one-off changes to its TH Series over the years, these are the first significant design updates since the series was launched in 2015.
The TH Series has lifting capacities from 5,500lbs (2,495kg) to 12,000lbs (5,443kg). They continue to use the company’s SMARTORQUE that requires no diesel particulate filter (DPF), diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) or active exhaust aftertreatment, the Flexcab easy transition from open to enclosed cab; the Readyhook Rear Axle Stabilisation (RAS) system and the Elevate telematics system.
Key design to the 6,000lb to 12,000lb capacity TH Series telehandlers include a tilt compensation cylinder configuration that utilises a dual cylinder setup to better distribute the load and improve reliability, as well as a high-pressure filter added to the hydraulic system to complement the oil return filter, further reducing the risk of contamination.
The main boom pivot bearings were updated to greaseless bearings, removing the need for end users to grease and maintain on jobsites. A highly durable steel engine cowling was added, which provides better on-site protection and requires less repairs.
Genie has also been in update mode, with the redesign of its GTH-1056 telehandler, which it claims will lower total cost of ownership by 10 per cent while delivering 20% more lift capacity at maximum and offer a 30% stronger design.
The 5,000lb (2,268kg) capacity model has a maximum height of 56ft 7in (17.25m), and 3,000lb (1,361kg) at a maximum reach of 42ft (12.8m). The boom with mid-pivot point uses a single lift cylinder.
Owners can choose from three powertrain options to spec the GTH-1056 to their particular needs. In addition to the 120 HP Deutz engine with four-speed powershift transmission, Genie also offers a 74 HP Deutz Tier 4f engine with three-speed powershift transmission or with Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
For rental applications, the 74 HP, DEF-free engine option is a low-maintenance solution. CVT delivers performance on par with the 120 HP engine, but with a lower purchase cost and better fuel efficiency. The 120 HP powershift, which delivers 23,110lb of drawbar and 18mph drive speed, is suitable for customers where maximum power and speed is needed every day.
JLG unveils SkyTrak models
JLG has introduced several new telehandler models into the North American market, namely the SkyTrak 3013 and 12054 as well as the 1075 and 2733 models. The SkyTrak models were introduced at the ARA Show 2019, while the 1075 was introduced at ConExpo 2020 and the 2733 was introduced the in April 2021.
The ultra-compact SkyTrak 3013 was built for use in small spaces requiring up-and-over reach. The SkyTrak 12054 is ideal for use in industrial and commercial construction applications. With a 12,000lb capacity it is now the largest model in the SkyTrak line and comes with single joystick, an integrated hitch and boom-mounted lifting lug and tight turning radius.
Resulting from requests for a 10,000lb class telehandler with greater height and reach, the 1075 features a 75ft boom that can lift up to eight storeys and offers a 60ft reach. With its longer boom length the 1075 can achieve precision placement further into a building, effectively doubling the reach of a telehandler with a 55ft boom.
Boasting a 26,600lb capacity the 2733 is highest capacity telehandler that JLG offers. The 33ft lifting height and 8,000lb capacity at maximum reach complements a two-speed hydrostatic transmission with optional ride control and boom float to improve load stability and smoother operation on uneven terrain.
Snorkel introduce their largest-ever telehandler
Snorkel launched its largest telehandler model to date, the new SR1065 diesel-powered model, at ConExpo 2020 in Las Vegas.
Snorkel CEO Matthew Elvin explained, “Telehandler operators can spend many hours of their working day inside the cab, so the design and ergonomics are important factors.
“Earlier this year, Snorkel expanded its cab options to include an open cab design for use in certain climates and environments that are now available on all Snorkel telehandler models.”
Pettibone has also focused on the 10,000lb market, with its new T1056X the company’s first 10,000lb capacity Traverse model in its X-Series line-up.
The T1056X has a lift height of 56ft 6in with a matching landing height, while its traversing boom provides up to 70 inches of horizontal boom transfer, extending its maximum forward reach to 45ft 10in.
According to Pettibone its drivetrain and axles have been re-engineered to provide greater tractive effort with minimal trade-off on top end speed. The unit offers full-time, four-wheel drive with limited-slip front axle differential. Turning radius comes in at 14ft 4in.
The model also features a four-section boom, upon which overlap has been nearly doubled from previous models to provide smoother operation and reduce contact forces on wear pads, thereby extending service life.
While the move to electrification seems some way off in North America, the conversation is at least relatively advanced in Europe. However, there is also a debate over whether electrification is the best way forward for heavy equipment, with hydrogen a potentially more suitable solution.
For example, Bobcat has promised an electric telehandler in the near future. But the company adds that it is evaluating other opportunities for zero emission, “as moving a piece of equipment of more than five tonnes in weight and with sufficient autonomy may be more efficient with other technologies.”
Manitou promises to offer its entire range with an electric option as part of its New Horizons 2025 roadmap and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. The company has also said it will launch a hydrogen-powered telehandler next year.
Innovative products launched across Europe
Europe has seen numerous telehandlers unveiled recently. Rental giant Loxam launched its range of LoxSafe telehandlers, co-designed with the Manitou Group, in July.
Loxam declared that the focus on making telehandlers safer comes in the context of the machines’ typically high annual accident rates. Jointly designed by Loxam and Manitou Group, the vehicles were tested for six months by Bouygues Construction Matériaux, which observed up to 66% reduction in behavioural errors.
The new 14m and 18m telehandlers feature connected safety devices, safety alerts to support driving and operation as well as telematics for reporting. They also include new equipment including a side safety bar, a rear reversing radar with audible warning, an open door alert, sensors and alerts for tilting risk and a safety belt.
Telematics connectivity through Internet of Things (IoT) technology generates alert notifications in high-risk situations, which can be sent via text alert (SMS) to the site foreman for immediate information or emailed to the work supervisor.
Manitou showcase Vision and Vision+
Manitou introduced a range of new telehandlers in its own right in April. This included a pair of compact MT units, the new Vision and Vision+ versions of its MRT rotating telehandlers and the ultra lightweight ULM series.
Manitou’s new MRT Vision and Vision+ range provides a new look machine with a number of updated features. The Vision range completely replaces the previous MRT models to meet Stage V emission standards. The Vision series offers 14 models with heights ranging from 16m to 25m, for a load capacity of up to 4.5 tonnes. It expands the previous MRT offering in this working height area by two models, naymel the MRT 1645 and MRT 1845.
The highest capacities are grouped together in the Vision+ range, which features 12 new models, including six more models than the MRT range’s previous offering. These offer lifting heights from 22m to 35m as well as a greatly improved capacity of up to seven tonnes.
The cab provides full access on both sides and direct access to the ladder. There are no roof bars on the Vision+ versions, adding to the improved visibility. The models also add a larger dashboard with a larger touchscreen.
According to Manitou the uprated models offer up to 100% more capacity at full height than the pre-existing MRT range, and 20% more capacity at maximum outreach. The weight of the MRTs have been reduced by up to 5%, while increasing lift capabilities by up to 15%.
Bobcat and Magni join forces for new rotating telehanders
Bobcat announced in early 2021 that it had collaborated with Italian rotating telehandler specialist Magni to launch a new range of products. The new rotating telehandler range, sold by Bobcat under its brand name, is designed for markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Russia and CIS nations.
It includes 10 Stage V compliant models for the European market, with lifting heights from 18m to 39m and lifting capacities from four to seven tonnes. These are complemented by another four Stage IIIA engine-powered models aimed at the Middle East, Africa and Russia/CIS regions, with lifting heights from 18m to 25m and lifting capacities from four tonnes to six tonnes.
The rotating telehandler market continues to grow worldwide according to Bobcat. In Europe, for example, the market has increased by 23% over the past five years, and reached more than 3,000 units in 2019. Some 85% of the global market volume is in the EMEA region. The company claimed that it was the ideal time to expand its range, which now includes 23 fixed and rotating models.
Magni then went on to launch its own range of fixed boom telehandlers, complementing its existing range of rotating telehandlers. The new TH range comprises seven models, which are being built at the Italian manufacturer’s 35,000m2 facility. With the recent completion of a new 35,000m2 headquarters, on a 200,000m2 site, where Magni’s existing RTH rotating telehandler range will now be produced, the company has the capacity to manufacture 3,000 rotating and 1,500 fixed boom units a year.
With rotating units from 8m to 24m lifting height, the TH range comes with five tonne to six tonne capacities. Magni stated that these machines have compact dimensions in relation to their lifting capacity, which include multi-disc brakes, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer. The self-levelling system comes as standard, allowing the equipment to work on a range of irregular terrain.
Latest fixed boom telehandlers focus on versatility
Bobcat has also unveiled a new generation of fixed boom telehandlers, with the R-Series launched this year. The 12-model range offers Stage V engines, lifting heights from 6m to 18m and lifting capacities between 2.6 tonnes and 4.1 tonnes.
The new R-series provides a newly-configured transmission system, features the company’s Boom Positioning System, an updated ultra-accurate joystick, the inching function and improved visibility from the cab.
The enhanced inching pedal is designed for easier use and reduces fatigue, while a higher engine brake provides a shorter stop distance. Turtle and rabbit speeds are standard on all. There is also a new Dynamic mode for applications requiring rapid transmission response and a new optional hand throttle, with Flex Drive function, for control of travel speed independent from engine rpm.
AUSA launched the new T204H and T235H telescopic handlers in late 2020. Although they still have the same name as their previous models, they have been redesigned to offer a better user experience.
The T204H has a 2,000kg payload and a maximum lift of 4.2m. In turn, the T235H can carry up to 2,300kg and has a maximum lift of 5m. Both models have the same platform and features. These include the Kubota engine with 32.5kW of power.
It is a versatile machine that can easily adapt to any terrain thanks to its four-wheel drive and the three steering modes of front-wheel, all-wheel and crab mode. The combination makes machine movements and approaches easier, especially on terrains with little room for manoeuvre.
With its hydraulic functions and quick connect couplings for accessories and implements, the user is able to increase its possibilities and applications exponentially. The design of the cab and the placement of the boom give the operator a 360° view, making the work environment safe for all involved.
Majors deliver electrification trend for compact telehandlers
With electrification for telehandlers in the compact segment growing, the major companies have unveiled their latest creations.
Snorkel showcased the first fully electric lithium-ion battery powered compact rough terrain telehandler, the 1.89m wide SR626E, at ConExpo 2020. This machine delivers a maximum capacity of 2,600kg, a maximum lift height of up to 5.79m and a forward reach of up to 3.1m.
The model is equipped with an ergonomic fully enclosed cab, with adjustable steering column and suspension seat. It can perform continuously between charges for up to six hours as it is powered by 80V 32kWh lithium-ion batteries. The on-board single-phase charger provides a full charge overnight, while off-board charger options are available for fast-charging capabilities, up to 2.5 hours for a complete charge.
Snorkel’s Elvin said, “Following the initial success of the SR626E, we hope to introduce additional electric-powered models in the future to meet growing demand for zero emission rough terrain equipment.”
The Faresin 6.26 full electric telehandler was launched in 2019. A regular 110 volt on-board charger is included when larger power supplies are not available, meaning that it can be used for an overnight charge. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, the all-wheel drive model has a maximum lift capacity of 2.6 tonnes and a working height of 5.9m.
The standard 300Ah battery will last up to six hours of typical use with a rapid recharge time of 1.5 hours from zero with the external fast charger. An optional 400Ah battery holds for eight hours of standard usage and has a two-hour recharge time. The lithium-ion battery provides up to six hours of use.
Manitou presented at Bauma 2019 the 6m working height MT 625 e Oxygen prototype unit as part of its new low emission Oxygen range, which was also launched at the show. The cab was redesigned with new intuitive operator aids. Natural, contemporary and sustainable materials have been used in the cab. A production version of this model is expected to arrive in 2022.
Manitou have this year added the Ultra Light Manitou (ULM) range of very compact telehandlers, which can be towed on a standard trailer behind a car.
The 27,000kg machines are 1.4m wide and 1.9m high, which according to Manitou makes them the world’s smallest telehandlers. The ULMs will offer four-wheel drive and oscillating rear axles, and be compatible with all Manitou attachments once testing has been completed.
JCB introduced the 505-20E electric compact telehandler at the end of 2020. The 505-20E is a fully electric version of the popular 505-20 JCB telehandler.
Designed to deliver the same performance as the conventional diesel-powered machine, the 505-20E offers a zero-emissions material handling solution to construction, industrial and agricultural customers. The 505-20E is expected to be available in North America in mid-2021.
The ultra-compact JLG SkyTrak 3013 was purpose-built for use in small spaces requiring up-and-over reach such as agriculture, hardscape, landscape and light construction work. The 3,000-pound class model is well-suited for loading and unloading pallets from flatbed trucks, as well as lifting and placing materials at heights up to 13ft.
It weighs 5,300lbs with a load capacity of 2,700lb and is available with a variety of options that includes open and fully enclosed cabs, a cold weather package, work lights, universal skid steer coupler and a variety of tires.
US-based Xtreme Manufacturing marked its return to in-person trade shows in June 2021, with the debut of the world’s tallest fixed boom telehandler at World of Concrete 2021 in Las Vegas.
The company is also presenting its latest load positioning device for extreme heights. The new XR1585-C delivers a maximum lift height of 85ft (25.9m) and is the first Xtreme telehandler to utilise a five-section boom design.
Capable of lifting loads weighing up to 15,000lbs (5,443kg), the model benefits from a 67ft (20.4m) maximum forward reach and is available with a choice of fixed, fork positioning, swing or side tilt C-class carriages.
Weighing 65,500lbs (29,710kg), the XR1585-C is powered by a 4.5L Cummins 173hp Tier 4 Final diesel engine for optimum rough terrain capabilities, and features a large capacity 100-gallon (272.5L) fuel tank.
Utilising a newly-designed chassis, specific to this model, the XR1585-C is 102in (2.6m) wide, has a stowed height of 10ft 1in (2.7m), and a turning radius of 16ft 8in (4.8m), and has wide stance outriggers as standard for maximum stability.