The telehandler is a machine widely used in the marine industry. It is similar in appearance and function to a forklift, however, it is more a crane than forklift, with the increased versatility that has a telescopic boom that can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle. On the end of the boom the operator can fit one of several attachments, such as a work cage, bucket, pallet forks, muck grab, or winch.


The telehandler can also work with a crane jib along with lifting loads, out of or into hard to get at spaces. This assists many work practices in the shipyard such as stepping masts for yachts or carrying out maintenance safely on large vessels in the shipyard.


Telehandlers were pioneered by the Matbro company at Horley in Surrey, England, UK who developed them from their articulated cross country forestry forklifts. At first they had a centrally mounted boom on the front section, with the driver’s cab on the rear section, but the rigid chassis design with a rear mounted boom and cab to the side has become more popular. Fenwicks telehandler was manufactured by Caterpiller (CAT) USA.


• Stepping masts
• Moving vessels around the yard
• Teaming with the Hydraulic trailer
• Accessing difficult places