The TL642 is one of four machines in Caterpillar’s TL Series of telehandlers. The 6,500-pound capacity TL642 features a high-pivot boom that can take 700 pounds to its maximum forward reach of 30 feet. This is comparatively low, due in part to the Integrated Tool Carrier quick coupler. This system was designed to interface with a wide range of Caterpillar work tools, many of which can be used on telehandlers, backhoe loaders, and small wheel loaders. Although it is available with a hydraulic version, the machine at the Equipment Showcase was shown with a manual release system. The standard manual attachment coupler has one solid pin running through it. To change attachments, simply pull the pin out, change the tools, and replace the pin.

The Cat-produced 99-hp 3054 engine is located in a side-mounted engine compartment and powers a ZF transmission. Under the hood you will also find all Cat hoses and filters. “This machine does have Cat DNA in it,” says Greg Bennett of Caterpillar. The cooling package is located in the back of the machine, which is sectional, meaning engine cooling and oil and hydraulic cooling are separate. Everything is accessible from the ground, including adding and monitoring fluids, changing filters, and checking the engine for whatever is needed before starting operation.

The shock-mounted suspension seat and floor mats are no different than those found in any other piece of Cat equipment. The ZF transmission offers four forward and four reverse speeds; it provides a maximum speed is 20 mph and powers Dana axles. The parking brake is located on the dash beside the steering wheel. Joystick control is an all-in-one design. A separate control operates the 10° frame leveling. Note that this unit does not have a rear axle stabilization system. To allow simultaneous boom and auxiliary hydraulic operation, the auxiliary controller is located on the left-hand side of the steering column. The parking brake is located on the front axle, and it is spring-applied, hydraulically released. If power is lost, the parking brake can still be engaged.
On the 38-gallon fuel tank, the green-capped filler is clearly identified and lockable. Fuel consumption was represented to be about 2.8 gallons per hour, and Cat projects that the TL642 can typically run a day and a half without refueling. The engine’s filter canister is set high over the top of the cab to breathe cleaner air. The internal boom extension cylinder can be easily removed out the front for service.

The unit features a standard 50-inch carriage with 40-inch forks. Availability of a work platform varies widely from dealers, but it is approved for use.

Cat has high standards for its fit and finish, and Bennett pointed out the extra details on the TL642, such as covers over all the wiring in the cab and extra trim and added protection for items like the muffler. Options include fenders, work lights, an enclosed cab with AC, and flashing amber beacon. Pneumatic tires are standard, with rock lug tires and foam filling available as options.
--Lift & Access