Base questions to ask customer to match the right machine to the need
Compact telehandlers are ideal tools to have on jobsites because they offer operators the ability to maneuver and place loads over construction obstacles with precision and ease. Telehandlers also allow contractors to do more jobs with only one machine, so they offer high rental potential for rental yard.
However, the very nature of what telehandlers allow contractors to do — lift, move, reach and place materials — makes them a bit more of a challenge to rent than, say, a plate compactor or trowel. To make sure you rent the right size of compact telehandler for the customer’s job, there are some essential base questions that you must ask the contractor about the need.
Asking these five questions can eliminate return rentals, frustrated customers and headaches for you:
- What materials will be lifted and how much do they weigh?
- Work with the customer to review all the anticipated and unanticipated potential loads that will be lifted, moved and placed. Then consult the load charts of machines in your inventory to compare machine lift capacity to the size and weight of the loads.
- How high does the load need to be lifted?
- The compact telehandler’s spec sheet will give you the machine’s lifting height capabilities. It is crucial to verify with your customer the maximum height he/she will be lifting materials, so the machine is able to properly place them into position.
- How far forward do I need to place the load?
- Forward reach is another critical measurement to discuss with your customer. As height and reach increase, the compact telehandler’s capacity will decrease. Carefully compare the customers lifting/reaching needs with that of the machine’s load chart to ensure the selected telehandler will be able to place the load into position.
- Where/when will the machine be working?
- How big is the jobsite where the telehandler will be working? Will the ground be paved, unpaved or both? How steep is the terrain? Will the telehandler be working in confined areas? What time of the year does the customer need the machine?
- All of these important questions help to ensure the right fit for the customer. A larger jobsite may dictate a larger compact telehandler, but only if it will fit in the spaces where it’s needed. Paved vs. unpaved jobsites and terrain will dictate the possible need of 4-wheel drive. And working during the summer/winter months may dictate the need for a fully enclosed cab vs. ROPS only for operator comfort and productivity.
- What attachments will the customer need?
- Since compact telehandlers offer a variety of attachment options to add job flexibility and improve efficiency, make sure you work closely with the customer to ensure he/she has the right set of attachments. Also make sure the hydraulic system is plumbed to handle attachment operation and the machine is outfitted with a quick-attach system to allow operators to easily change out attachments in seconds without leaving the cab.
At the end of the day, what is most important for you to remember when renting a compact telehandler is to work closely with your customer to set the right expectations for the rental and to guarantee that it will be a good return on the contractor’s, and your, investment.