For equipment working routinely in deep mud or concrete, or in very wet environments, you will want to focus extra attention on the drivetrain. "Make sure you're washing out any dirt, concrete or debris that accumulates in the steering joints," advises Blower.
"Also check to ensure that mud and/or water isn't washing out the grease from the drivetrain components," adds Wheeler.
In very dusty environments, take into consideration extremely fine particles that can work their way through worn seals, ripped boots and other protective devices and into components, notes Wheeler. "This can lead to an excessively abrasive situation that can cause early component wear," he says. "Dust or sand can also stick to grease. Also, never used compressed air to clean an air filter as this can cause small tears in the paper element, allowing dust into the engine."
If you're working on a site with a lot of debris, be sure to check the radiator frequently. "The radiator may need more frequent cleaning on these jobsites," says Boeckman. "Sand, grit or other abrasive particles can also impact boom pad wear. And if dirt or water gets into the fuel system, it can cause damage to the injection pump and injection nozzles."
In cold climates, frigid temperatures can cause the telehandler to slow down. Be sure to give the equipment adequate time to warm up so you don't cause any damage, and use fluids designed to work in colder temperatures.
"Also, in northern climates you will have to think about cold and corrosion from road treatments," Peacock adds. "There has to be a degree of localization, typically based on climate, that can change maintenance considerations."
The manner in which a telehandler is operated can influence the maintenance schedule, and whether additional types of maintenance will be required. "Operators can minimize wear and tear on a machine by following the routine maintenance and inspection schedules, and by using the machine within the parameters for which it is intended," says Boeckman.
If the machine is continually overloaded, it puts extra stress onto the structures, which may cause premature wear. "Always read the load charts to see what the machine can handle in any given point in its cycle to ensure you don't overload it," Blower emphasizes.
Smooth movements are also better for the machine. "Drive and operate the unit in a smooth manner with consideration of terrain, jobsite conditions and the load," says Wheeler.
"When you're traveling, the boom should be retracted and the arm fully retracted to minimize shock," adds Peacock. "Although the machine is designed to work with the boom out, you should only do so when needed."
Use the right tools
With models designed as lift and place machines, tool carriers or ground-engaging units, it's important to pick the right telehandler for the job.
"Ground-engaging machines have high bucket breakout forces and high turbo engines to push into the ground and dig," Blower notes. "The geometry on the front of the machine is also designed for bucket power. It's similar to a wheel loader leverage system to give more bucket breakout force when you use a bucket.
"If you want to ground engage, you have to make sure you have the right machine for the job," he continues. "If you put a bucket on a lift and place machine, you could damage it. You could stretch some chains, twist booms, etc., because they're not designed for that. You really need to get the right telescopic for the job."
For tool carrier designs, make sure you use the right attachments. "Using OEM attachments is critical," says Boeckman. "Using unapproved attachments can accelerate wear on the boom, and they're unsafe since the equipment manufacturer cannot assure performance or establish range and capacity limitations. You also want to use all attachments for their intended purpose and within load capacity limits."