This report updates our May 2014 Rough Terrain Lift Truck report. Telescopic handlers (also known as “telehandlers”) and vertical mast lift trucks are both considered rough-terrain lift trucks. Their sales, directly or indirectly, are reliant on the health of residential construction and construction spending in general. Both types of machines are primarily used to handle stacks of wood, concrete or other materials on jobs where there is no paved surface and are used in a wide range of industries including mining, farming, construction and military applications.
Telehandlers are the more popular type of rough terrain lift truck. They are found in construction, industrial and agricultural applications. They have jobsite flexibility, can move heavy loads, are smaller, faster and can lift objects higher than alternative machines. As a kind, they have telescopic booms that reach out, upward, and forward. Some models can rotate 360 degrees making it more like a small industrial crane than a lift truck. Compact telehandlers, with lift capacities under 6,000 pounds, can be fitted to use a variety of attachments that allow them to perform tasks of other machines. Larger telehandlers are found in wind farm, oil, derrick and refinery operation applications.
Vertical mast lift trucks are similar to large industrial forklifts; however, they can lift heavy loads and operate in off-road environments. A high percentage of vertical mast machines are produced in North America, although a limited portion of the sales of these machines are imported.