Rotary and frontal telescopic loaders - differences and application

Forklifts are machines with a very wide range of applications. They can be found at construction sites or in warehouses, but also, for example, in gardening and when installing billboards. They have their place in every work where access to a high place is needed. Additionally, unlike scaffolding, they provide quick and easy access to high-lying spaces.

Beyond the Standard Forklift Trucks There are still many types of specialized forklifts. These are trucks that, thanks to their construction, are adapted to work where a standard forklift would not be able to. One of them are trolleys equipped with telescopic loaders.

A telehandler is a forklift with a variable reach. The telescopic arm of the loader provides the truck with a very high load capacity, additionally allowing the load to be transferred. Telehandlers are capable of lifting up to 22 tons, which makes them a very efficient and frequently used type of device.

Telescopic loaders are also divided into two subcategories, depending on the range of movement of the forklift's arm. These are:

  • Rotary telescopic loaders.
  • Simple telescopic loaders.

What are these differences and what is each type of telehandler suitable for?

Rotary telescopic loaders

Swing loaders are a type of forklift in which the cab and the telescopic frame also rotate horizontally, thus allowing greater freedom of movement.

The rotary loader is constructed on the basis of a turntable - a module that allows the arm to move horizontally. Thanks to this, the trolley cabin to which the telescopic frame is mounted can move in the range of 360 degrees. This is the main feature that distinguishes this type of machine from a front loader. Apart from that, the rotary loader also has different supports. In a telescopic handler, the swivel supports are located both at the front and at the rear. This type of support is needed due to the fact that the arm of the rotary telehandler along with the load loads the device unevenly. The method of controlling the device is also different, due to the possibility of turning the cabin together with the operator and the arm.

Rotary telehandlers are a very universal machine, therefore the number of industries in which they are used is really impressive. Many different devices can be attached to the telescopic mast of such a forklift, which makes it truly multi-purpose.

The rotary telehandler can be used for example:

  • For maintenance of airplanes at the airport.
  • On construction sites, when transporting heavy loads.
  • In works in the city space, installation and maintenance of billboards.
  • In gardening, when maintaining hard-to-reach places.
  • In rescue, e.g. in fire engines.

These are, of course, just a few of the situations where a rotary telehandler would be great. Telescopic, rotary, stationary cranes, not attached to a moving chassis, are also often used. However, their use is much wider - it is used wherever you need to move and place a load or a crew at a height.

The advantage of a rotary telehandler is its range of motion. Thanks to its design, it can carry the load within 360 degrees. It is useful where you need access to hard-to-reach places. Unfortunately, due to its construction, the rotary telehandler is not able to lift a load as heavy as the front one.

Front telescopic loader

The front telehandler is built and works on a similar principle to a rotary loader. The main difference, however, is that the telescopic arm in this case only moves vertically.

In the case of a telescopic front loader, the cabin and the telescopic arm are rigidly connected to the chassis of the machine. The telescopic arm cannot move horizontally, therefore front telescopic handlers only have one pair of front supports. In the case of small loaders with low lifting capacity, supports are often not used at all.

Due to their design, front telehandlers have a much smaller range of motion than rotary loaders. Their advantage, however, is a much greater load capacity, reaching even several dozen tons. Therefore, they are used for other types of work, especially those where a heavy load has to be moved between two places. You can find a front telehandler for example:

  • On the construction site, when transporting heavy loads.
  • On farms.
  • In the mines and the mining industry.
  • In sawmills when transporting material.

These telescopic handlers are also used at airports, they are used for towing airplanes. The smaller range of motion compensate for the much higher payload. They can be found in work where a heavy load has to be transported, rather than in workers.

Permits for telescopic loaders

In Poland, forklift trucks of any kind are among the equipment subject to technical supervision. This means that in order to operate them, you need a licence issued by the UDT - Office of Technical Inspection. Regardless of whether you are operating a rotary or front telescopic loader, you need the same type of authorisation, i.e. for specialised forklift trucks. There are three types of forklift permits in Poland:

  • III WJO:
    • 10 years of qualifications,
    • Allows you to drive forklifts in front of the operator,
  • II WJO:
    • 10 years of qualifications,
    • Allows you to drive forklifts,
  • I WJO:
    • 5 years of qualifications;
    • The most popular category allows you to drive all forklifts, including specialized forklifts, which include frontal and rotary telescopic loaders.

To obtain qualifications for telescopic loaders, you must complete the course and pass the exam before the UDT commission.

Forklift course it consists of two parts: theoretical and practical. In the theoretical part, students receive information on the safe and efficient operation of forklifts in the category of their choice. Then, in the practical part of the forklift truck course, they have the opportunity to practice the knowledge given to them in the theoretical part and prepare for the final exam.

The exam, just like the course, consists of two parts: theoretical and practical. In the theoretical part, students answer a set of open and closed questions to check their knowledge of the safe operation of forklifts, including telescopic rotary and front loaders. Then, in the practical part, they must correctly perform a number of activities related to the operation of forklifts before the commission. A positive result in both parts of the exam provides students with appropriate permits to use rotating and frontal telescopic loaders.

The course on telescopic handlers can be done by practically anyone who is interested in expanding their professional competences. It is enough to meet a few basic conditions:

  • 18 years or older.
  • Education at least basic.
  • There are no medical contraindications.

The length of the course depends on the level of the students. For people who are just learning how to use telescopic handlers, such training can take up to several dozen hours. In the case of people who only refresh their permits, it lasts one day and ends with an examination taken the same day.

The price of a telescopic loader

Both rotary and frontal telehandlers are expensive machines. Their prices start from around 100,000,000 for small-sized devices. They belong to the devices in the higher price category, so you should carefully consider whether the work requires the use of a telehandler.

For shorter jobs, renting a telehandler is a good choice. There are currently many companies in Poland that rent machines under technical supervision, including telescopic and front loaders.

People willing to acquire the license to operate telescopic loaders feel free to contact us with our company. We offer courses conducted by high-class trainers who will prepare you or your employees to pass the UDT exam.

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