Crane Institute of America

Lifting with a Telehandler

Aerial_JCB_telehandler_3There has been discussion on LinkedIn for some time about the legality of using a choker (wire rope sling in a choker hitch) over the forks of a telehandler (rough-terrain forklift). Our training specialist Bill Schofield weighed in, explaining that the OSHA regulations and industry standards do not prohibit this, but  it’s important to keep in mind they typically would not address anything this specific because it could make them legally responsible.

There are better ways to lift a load with a telehandler, such as using a jib attachment with a hoist or an hook attachment that spans the forks. But it can be done, using standard rigging safety guidelines:

  • Protect the sling from the fork edges
  • Prevent the sling from sliding off the fork
  • Do not overload the sling, fork, or telehandler

But really better yet, use a crane! Different types of machinery are designed purposefully for different types of lifts and it’s always safest to remain within manufacturers’ guidelines.

April 22, 2016
In response to customer feedback, and for safety, we are adding this warning to the blog:
At no time should any load be suspended from the forks by use of chains, ropes, straps, etc. If a load must be suspended, the use of a truss (jib) boom is mandatory. Proper rigger procedures should always be followed.

2 thoughts on “Lifting with a Telehandler

  1. The Crane Safety Group

    Well, this discussion has been going on for too long but the sad truth, no one seems to care! We (my company) and many others do but the stark truth really is, NO One will do anything in a company using equipment incorrectly, until someone is hurt! Then all hell breaks loose to get people trained. The real issue, how to walk the talk. When we speak at events or at our training programs, I will say that the primary of our training is in the energy sector and for the most part, those companies we have worked with have been proactive vs. reacting to a situation.
    That said, what does the safety industry and industry in general need to do to propel safety training/implementation to the forefront, make it a part of the indoctrination to the company and part of the ‘culture’ we hear about? So…using a cable on a zoom-boom, its clearly a no given the lack of radius off the forks, but will it stop anytime soon? Not in the foreseeable future.

  2. stephen jadhav

    Nice Blog! Thanks for sharing these safety guidelines with us. A machines that plays an important role in various sectors. Heavy vehicles and machinery, such as forklifts, lift trucks, wheel loaders and telehandlers has changed the market and work for many industries.

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