New Telehandler Choices Reaching for the Market

Aug. 26, 2014

New choices abound for managers in the form of new models and significant updates, as well as the requisite Tier 4-Final engine installations, since Construction Equipment last looked at telehandlers prior to ICUEE and Conexpo 2014.

There’s also the looming disappearance of a brand, a reconditioning program, and changes in tires.

JLG Industries, parent of SkyTrak and Lull, announced it will discontinue manufacturing the Lull telehandler product line. Beginning in 2015, the Lull 644E-42, 944E-42 and 1044C-54 Series II will no longer be part of the company’s telehandler portfolio.

Tire tidbits

Genie’s Hislop mentions an item managers may not think of. “One of the most expensive items on a telehandler are the tires,” he says. “Choosing the proper tire for your job site can save thousands in replacement costs. Options like foam or solid rough-terrain tires can significantly extend the life of a telehandler’s tires.”

Genie is completing testing on a new brand of tires, according to Hislop. “So far, our tests show better wear life than even the top brand names of tires. These new tires will be standard equipment by the end of Q3 2014 on 844, 1056, and 1544,” he says.

SkyTrak, as part of its 2015 upgrade, is making a tire change, as well. “Operators can expect enhanced durability and reliability from the telehandlers, thanks in part to Firestone DuraForce MH tires, which are less susceptible to sidewall damage and last up to three times longer than previous Firestone SGT tires,” Boeckman says.

“The market for Lull telehandler models has been in decline for the last several years, which combined with increased cost to comply with new EPA engine standards, led us to the decision to discontinue the product line,” says Brian Boeckman, JLG global product director for telehandlers. “Our comprehensive telehandler portfolio remains solid, however, and we believe there are significant models across our JLG line of equipment that will support the shift for our customers beyond 2015.” JLG will continue to provide support for Lull machines in the field with parts and service.

This leaves six telehandlers under the JLG name, and five under the SkyTrak brand. JLG has concentrated its most recent product changes on the SkyTrak side of the house, with upgrades that will be effective in early 2015, including single joystick operation, improved boom speeds, a Cummins 3.8L Tier 4-Final engine, and improved axles, drive shafts, and braking.

The SkyTrak units will also have redesigned cabs with an added integrated armrest, redesigned dash panel, and optional air conditioning, as well as a redesigned rear counterweight, which now includes a retrieval hitch as standard. The Stabil-Trak system, available on most models, provides fully automatic rear-axle stabilization by transferring from a 3-point to a 4-point stance.

Reconditioning option

JLG did announce an enhanced telehandler reconditioning program at Conexpo, likely a reflection of fleets keeping units longer. The program is an extension of JLG’s current reconditioning program for combustion booms ranging from the 40-foot class to the JLG Ultra Booms. The G10 telehandler is the first JLG telehandler available for reconditioning.

Cost of Ownership
Size Class (MTons)Avg. PriceHourly Rate*
To 2.1$62,502$31.33
5.0 & over$213,418$91.02

*Hourly rate represents the monthly ownership costs divided by 176, plus operating cost. Unit prices used in this calculation: diesel fuel, $3.98 per gallon; mechanic’s wage at $51.24 per hour; and money costs at 1.75 percent.

JLG is extending its reconditioning program to meet customer demand for stock equipment and customer-owned equipment,” says Todd Earley, JLG Industries sales manager for used equipment. “Over the past 12-18 months, we’ve seen an increase in demand for reconditioned assets, whether that be customer-owned or stock recons. A lot of that is being driven by customers’ need to balance out fleets. Now they have a better price point in the market, with a quality they would expect from JLG,” Earley says.

In the program, each machine is blasted, removing the existing layer of paint to take it down to the bare metal and then is primed and repainted.  The result is a better quality paint job.  For the customer, that means the paint will last longer—and the machine will look better —in the field, according to JLG.

In addition to blasting and repainting, the company inspects, replaces and rebuilds components, such as the engine, boom pads, hoses, and chains, as well as the cab, according to Boeckman. The company operates three reconditioning centers in the U.S.

Machines defined by task

JCB has redefined its Loadall line of telehandlers according to job site tasks, offering a tool carrier line (531-70, 535-140 HiViz, 550-140, 550-170); ground engaging (531-70T, 541-70T); lift-and-place (506-36, 507-42, 509-42, 510-56, 512-56, 514-56); and compact (525-60 HiViz).

The company’s most recent changes have come in its lift-and-place and compact categories.

“The 514-56 became JCB’s highest lift capacity telehandler, with a maximum capacity of 14,000 pounds,” says Stuart Fox, JCB’s telehandler product manager. “The compact 525-60 HiViz, with a 5,500-pound maximum lift capacity, has gone to a Tier 4-Final solution that requires no after treatment. It’s also the first compact Loadall to offer a factory-fit solid-tire option, and a choice of compact tool carrier, skid steer carriage or our patented Q-Fit carriage.”

Another unit, the 540-200, launched at Conexpo, is notable for its five-section telescopic boom and a 66-foot lift height.

Genie, which offers four telehandler models, redesigned its GTH-5519 in time for a launch at ICUEE. “A Deutz 2.9 L4 Tier 4-Final engine replaces the Deutz D 2011 L4 Tier 4-Interim engine. The engine is designed in such a way that it doesn’t require a DPF, only a DOC muffler,” says Chad Hislop, telehandler product manager, Terex Aerial Work Platforms.

The GTH-5519’s horsepower has gone from 67 at 2,600 rpm to 74 horsepower at 2,600 rpm. In addition, the unit’s overall length has been reduced by 5 inches. The wheelbase has expanded by 2 inches, yet the turning radius has decreased by 3 inches. Overall weight has been boosted by 540 pounds to 10,360 pounds.

The chassis includes an additional housing to allow access to the hydraulic connections and air bleeding valves. A redesign of the combined engine and hydraulic system radiator offers better cooling capability to the new engine and to the new hydrostatic transmission, according to Hislop. 

Manitou and its Gehl and Musting brands have been busy in the last year, together introducing 11 new models. Changes made by Manitou include a new Kubota 74-horsepower Tier 4 engine for its MLT 625 “Multi-Purpose” unit, and new Perkins 102-horsepower Tier 4-Interim engines for its MT 1440, MT 1840, MT 1840H, and MT 1840 A “MT Series Premiere” construction units. Manitou’s MLT 960 is a completely new model with a 13,200-pound capacity and a 29.5-foot lift height. It features a John Deere 141-horsepower Tier 4-Interim engine.

Gehl also announced its RS5-19 and RS6-34 now have Tier 4 Yanmar and Deutz engines, respectively, and single-key start, standard transmission declutch, a diagnostic display, and a power port in the cab.

Caterpillar has given its TH255C compact telehandler, one of eight models it offers, a 2.9L engine rated at 74 horsepower. Available as both a Tier 4-Final for the U.S. and a Tier 3 version for less regulated regions, it has a new cooling package with a variable-speed, hydraulically driven fan with an available variable-speed reversing feature.

“The engine pod has been redesigned to accommodate the new engine, including a new exhaust mounting system and low-profile hood that provides enhanced visibility to the right side of the machine,” says Caterpillar sales support consultant Kim Bain.

Also new to the Cat model is a more powerful hydrostatic drive system for added tractive effort in difficult terrain. The hydrostatic transmission incorporates a variable-displacement piston pump and a variable-displacement piston motor, which combine to provide power at the wheels with no need for the operator to change gears, according to Bain. New axles, and a new instrument cluster and dash panel complete the package.