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Sat March 06 2021

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Chapter added to telehandler guidance

8 Jul 14 An industry guide on the safe use of telescopic handlers has been expanded to include lifting and carrying suspended loads.

A telehandler that toppled while travelling with suspended load
A telehandler that toppled while travelling with suspended load

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) published its Safe Use of Telehandlers in Construction last year. This mostly focused on the use of these machines in forklift mode. The new chapter covers their use as pick & carry cranes.

This new chapter can be downloaded as a four-page stand-alone document and will be incorporated in the main guidance document at its next published revision.

It advises that telehandlers should not be used for lifting and travelling with suspended loads if other equipment is more suitable. The problem is that since the end of the Jones Iron Fairy era, pick & carry cranes are not common inventory in UK plant fleets, unlike in the USA. Excavators are often used for this in the UK but they are not designed for lifting duties.

The CPA’s solution is to avoid suspending loads wherever possible and instead put the load on top of the forks. This is because it is more likely to manoeuvrable without the boom being extended. If the load is suspended, it is likely that the boom will have to be out, making the machine inherently less stable.

The revised version of Safe Use of Telehandlers in Construction is published by the CPA on behalf of the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group and is available to download from the CPA website at

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