The Difference Between Forklifts and Telehandlers

A forklift is a standard industrial vehicle found in factories and warehouses. It has two prongs sticking out of the front that can grab hold of crates and heavy items. The prongs can be raised in the air while carrying heavy items on them. If you need to store those heavy items on a higher surface, the forklift can place them a few feet above it.


People often confuse forklifts with telehandlers because they both have two prongs in front of them. However, they are two different types of industrial vehicles which provide different results. Sometimes a telehandler might be more appropriate for certain workplace circumstances.


Let’s take a look at the top 3 things that make telehandlers different from forklifts.


1) Higher Reach


Telehandlers are much bigger machines than forklifts. They are like a combination of a forklift and crane. Their prongs can be raised over 30 feet high in the air. That is much higher compared to the mere few feet that forklifts can reach.


2) Versatile Angle Reach


Forklift prongs move straight up and down in a vertical manner. Telehandler prongs can be manoeuvred up to a 70-degree angle to lift abnormally shaped objects. The versatility of the telehandler’s reach is far superior.


3) Bulkiness


Sometimes you need to lift heavy items in a narrow area. A forklift would be the better choice in these situations because it is a compact machine compared to a telehandler. The small size allows forklifts to move faster and fit into tighter spaces.




Bison Plant Hire recommends using forklifts inside and telehandlers outside. Both vehicles can handle specialty attachments if necessary.