Don't make the mistake of using a telehandler to dig like a wheel loader, warns Mike Popovich, training director at JLG.
"You should never use the boom in opposition to the telehandler's ground drive," he says. "Any time you use the joystick by itself, you're OK — the boom is designed to withstand the force of the crowd cylinder. So it's OK, although not recommended, to boom-in while pushing down on material," Popovich continues. "But when you have the boom retracted to its limit, don't put the machine in reverse and drag the bucket with the ground drive."
There is typically only one hydraulic cylinder in a boom. Cables or chains operate the third and fourth boom sections, and those sections never come to rest against a firm stop. Cables and chains are no match for the telehandler's drive train.
"It's always the third and fourth section that breaks," says Popovich. "The buckets sold for telehandlers don't usually have any teeth, and they're made of relatively light-gauge metal. They're not made for actual digging."