How to choose the best telehandler attachment
JCB Construction Equipment Australia Parts and Attachments Manager JAYDEN BORMANN explains how choosing the right telehandler attachment for the task at hand can increase your productivity while making the job a lot easier.
Telehandlers are among the most versatile pieces of machinery on worksites today.
Designed to tackle almost every job with a simple switch of attachment, they can replace a full shed of equipment.
Top three tips
- Use an attachment specifically created for the material or job at hand.
- Match your attachment to the machine’s load chart
- Check with your manufacturer – they can perform calculations to determine the exact size and type of attachment you’ll need.
Common attachments and their use
If it’s loose material you’re moving, there are many purpose-designed buckets from which to choose. Matching the bucket size and design to the materials you’re moving is essential, so be sure to check the machine’s load chart.
- Larger buckets are generally reserved for lighter materials.
- General purpose buckets usually come standard on telehandlers, and are good for dry soil digging.
- Some buckets are equipped with grapples for secure movement of material wider than the unit width.
- From simple loading to precision grading and even grabbing, dozing, backblading and digging, a multipurpose bucket can save you time if you often switch between materials or environments.
The fork is the most common attachment, as telehandlers are ideal for lifting pallets, cotton bales, concrete blocks, masonry or timber. Forks generally come in a variety of sizes to match the materials you’re working with.
When choosing between fork types, consider both the width and the weight of the materials.
- Pallet Fork: Designed specifically to pick up and move palletised materials of differing weights.
- Adjustable Carriage: Allows adjustment of fork width, enabling you to handle variable width materials such as timber or sheet metal.
- Tilting Carriage: These make delivering materials onto an uneven surface such as a roof or hill much easier and safer, as they tilt the load from side-to-side.
- Side-Shift Carriage: The operator can shift the carriage left or right without having to move the entire machine, allowing for easy pick-up or placement in tight quarters.
Whether drilling small holes for irrigation or large holes for telegraph poles, a telehandler auger attachment can get the job done fast. Be sure to consider the right combination of drive unit, swing control coupling and drill head to best suit your application. When choosing a drill head consider:
- Size: The auger drill size should match the machine’s hydraulic pressure. An auger that’s too large will reduce power, while one that’s too small will reduce torque — both will cause slower digging.
- Teeth: The tooth configuration of your auger drill bit must be well suited to the ground type. For soft ground, use a lightweight, smaller bit with teeth set in a straight line. For hard or highly abrasive ground, the bit should be tungsten reinforced with an offset tooth pattern.
With a quick switch to a blade attachment, your telehandler is now a dozer — but be warned, one blade doesn’t fit all. Matching the blade attachment to the application and material will maximise efficiency.
- Dozer Blade: A dozer blade will have an angled tilt on the lip for maximum grading.
- Box Scraper: This is used for moving loose material and will have a sturdy backblade with the sides built up to prevent the material from spilling over.
Chances are, if you have a job to be done, there’s an attachment created especially for it. New attachments are being developed all the time to match very specific industry needs. In councils and waste handling facilities, for example, waste-specific attachments such as a waste skips, street sweepers and buckets with adjustable top grabs for uneven or bulky materials are common.
Regardless of your need, a good place to start is with your manufacturer. They can offer advice on everything from matching your attachment to the hydraulic output of your machine, to selecting the right size and design, through to order and delivery.
JAYDEN BORMANN is Parts and Attachments Manager at JCB Construction Equipment Australia.
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