ROUGH AND TUMBLE: In industry sectors where robust and versatile equipment is required, two materials handling options – telehandlers and rough-terrain forklifts – stand out. Construction, heavy industry and mining continue to take advantage of rough- and all-terrain forklifts, while construction and agriculture have discovered the versatility of telehandlers.

The global forklift market has had a resurgence in the last two years. Since 2009, construction sites have changed, says Paul Murray, general manager for JCB Teletruk. There is more redevelopment than new sites, with materials handling being done more on hard ground than mud in many cases. Underground and high-rise construction are also growing, with challenges around reduced space, noise and having to work in closer proximity to people. “In construction and construction materials distribution, space is one of the key constraints. Construction projects are typically in urban environments where space is at a premium, so the compact telehandler is JCB’s fastest-growing segment,” says Murray. Workplace health and safety are always a challenge for rough-terrain forklifts.

Combilift RT rough-terrain forklift poultry mover
Rough-terrain forklifts offer great versatility and are often called to fill a niche application. In 2011, Ireland’s Combilift was asked to design a rough-terrain forklift for the UK poultry processing company, Keyo Agricultural Services. The Combi-RT was developed as a purpose-built forklift to make the process of handling and transporting live poultry faster, quieter and less stressful to the animals. The Combi-RT’s low profile allows it to work under the low-level eaves inside the poultry house, and the 300 mm clearance enables the machine to minimise ground litter disturbance. A compact turning radius is achieved by way of large tyres on a three-wheel chassis with all-wheel traction and differential lock.

Canadian rough-terrain forklift manufacturer Liftking recently signed a 10-year contract with the van Santen Group to supply the Netherlands military. The multi-million-Euro contract covers over 100 optional units, for delivery and maintenance. “Their decision to go with a Liftking product was in part due to the versatility of Liftking’s robust rough-terrain forklift,” says Mark Aldrovandi, sales manager at Liftking. The main duties of the LK30P-NL will be to handle 20 ft ISO containers using forks or a top handler, at multiple locations worldwide. With a capacity of 10,000 kg at 1.5m load centre, it will be the backbone of the Netherland Military’s rough-terrain materials handling solution for its transportation fleet of 2,000 trucks it recently purchased with a container system.

Future trends

“Industry and customer needs continue to evolve to handle a range of materials in different sites. The compact telehandler is the fastest growing segment. These machines are replacing traditional forklifts and rough-terrain forklifts due to their increased versatility, safety and capacity; also, the ability to work better with delivery vehicles, lorries and containers. These specialist segments will continue to grow,” says Murray.

Thank you – Melissa Barnett and Forklift Action.

You’ll find a JCB machine in every corner of the world, including the warehouse at Forklift Finder Services.  We have a range of quality well-priced rough terrain forklifts and telehandlers available for you to inspect now. 

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