The first four-wheel drive rough terrain forklift was introduced in the late ‘50s by Manitou in France. This was quickly followed by the first telescoping-boom rough terrain forklift in the ‘60s. The telescoping boom changed the way materials were handled on rough construction or agriculture sites, particularly where traditional industrial forklifts could not be used. The telehandler, also called a telescopic handler or boom lift, has the forks fitted at the end of a telescopic boom rather than a mast which gives the truck increased versatility. The telescopic boom can extend forward and upward. Over the past 30 years, numerous improvements have been made on the telescoping boom and the automatic hydraulic frame to improve stability and load capacity, while enhancements of safety features have made this materials handling option an important tool.

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