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A telescopic handler, or telehandler, is a machine widely used in agriculture and industry. It is similar in appearance and function to a forklift, with the increased versatility of a single telescopic boom that can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle. On the end of the boom the operator can attach one of several attachments, such as a bucket, pallet forks, muck grab, or lift table.
 
The most common attachment for a tele-handler is pallet forks and the most common application is to move loads to and from places out of reach for a conventional forklift. For example, telehandlers have the ability to remove palletized cargo from within a trailer and to place loads on rooftops and other high places. The latter application would otherwise require a crane, which is not always practical or time-efficient.
 
The advantage of the telehandler is also its biggest limitation: as the boom extends or raises while bearing a load, it acts as a lever and causes the vehicle to become increasingly unstable, despite counterweights in the rear. This means that the lifting capacity quickly decreases as the height and/or length of the boom increase. A vehicle with a 2300kg capacity with the boom retracted may be able to safely lift as little as 180kg with it fully extended. The operator is equipped with a load chart which helps him determine whether a given task is possible, taking into account weight, boom angle and height. Failing this, most telehandlers utilize a computer which uses sensors to monitor the vehicle and will warn the operator and/or cut off further control input if the limits of the vehicle are exceeded. Some machines are also equipped with front outriggers similar to those installed on mobile cranes, which extend the lifting capability of the equipment while stationary.