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  • Credit: Tim Uhler

Telehandlers resemble forklifts, but they have a telescoping boom for far more versatility.

Frequent JLC contributor Tim Uhler says that Pioneer Builders, the Port Orchard, Wash., company where he is a lead framer, bought its first machine—a ’70s Badger Dynamics model—years ago for $7,500 and instantly saved some hard labor by using it to lift an I-joist package to a second floor. Pioneer now owns two Ingersoll Rand models: a VR-90 that it bought used in 2003 for $28,000 and a bigger VR-1056 that it purchased used in 2005 for about $80,000. The latter has a maximum capacity of 10,000 pounds and a maximum lift of 56 feet, with two outriggers up front for added stability when extending heavy loads.

“We use the VR-1056 on site every day for moving materials, lifting beams, raising walls, and other muscular chores,” Uhler says. “Being able to grab 60 or 70 sheets of sheathing and move them in two minutes instead of lugging them manually is a godsend.”

Tap into an engaging discussion about telehandlers on the “Please help me buy a Lull” thread in the JLC Rough Carpentry forum at —B.G.