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Tips and Advice

4 tips for working with telehandlers

Telehandlers are great. Here at Mainline we can provide a whole range of them to help you load and unload, move site equipment or carry out general maintenance. But they’re complex pieces of machinery and need to be used correctly to ensure a safe and productive working environment. Here are 4 tips for getting the most out of your telehandler.

Training is important to ensuring a safe working environment

  1. Ensure your drivers are correctly trained

Many employers wrongly assume that because a driver has a Construction Plant Competence Scheme card, they are correctly trained to operate a telehandler with a suspended load. However, their training probably won’t have included this. As such, drivers will require the CPCS Red Trained Operator Card. They might even need additional training on safe lifting operations.

Planning your route to avoid overhead cables is a must

  1. Plot your route to avoid overhead cables.

Overhead cables are one of the major dangers of operating telehandlers. They’re designed to be ignored – just high enough to be out of your vision and thin enough that you don’t really see them. However, they pose a major risk to safe telehandler operating. When looking at your route, both to and from the site and onsite, ensure that you avoid overhead cables, either by finding a route around them, or using adequate signage to warn drivers about the danger.

Lower the boom to improve your centre of gravity

  1. Lower the boom

The higher your boom, the higher your centre of gravity, and the more likely you are to topple over. Make sure you travel with the boom lowered as much as possible, whilst ensuring peak visibility, to keep the vehicle stable.

Sudden braking risks accidents

  1. Avoid sudden braking

When travelling with a load, it is important to avoid heavy braking, as doing so may cause the vehicle to tip forwards. Coupled with this, it is important that staff on site are trained not to walk in front of vehicles in such a manner that would cause them to brake suddenly. There have been incidents in the past caused by sudden breaking that have resulted in injury.


Remember, safety is paramount on a work site and it is not guaranteed. The only way we can ensure it is through thorough training and strict operating guidelines. Always make sure that workers are properly trained and that everyone is clear on what they should, and should not, be doing. If in doubt, don’t risk it.