Telehandlers Are Becoming the MVPs of Harvest Season

by New member BarnCat on ‎05-23-2017 05:24 PM

Telehandler_Harvest_Blog.jpgWith great flexibility and performance, telehandlers can handle heavy loads, reach impressive lift heights and maneuver through congested areas on the operation. They can even tow a trailer, quickly moving it from one location to another. That said, these machines are especially useful during harvest season to transport, store and prepare bails for shipping.

 

How Telehandlers Can Benefit Your Operation

When harvest season approaches, we understand it’s “go” time! You and your farm hands are working around the clock to satisfy the demands of the season. This is when telehandlers can serve as one of your most versatile pieces of equipment. More and more operations are beginning to use these machines in a variety of ways, including:

  • Transferring bales from the chaser at the edge of the field, and loading them onto a truck to be transported to a hay compressing facility;
  • Transferring bales from a truck and placing them into storage;
  • Transferring bales from storage, and loading a truck to be sent to the end customer; and
  • Collecting bales in the field and loading trailers.

Spec’ing a Telehandler for Your Needs

Telehandlers come in a variety of size classes, from compact machines that handle around 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) up to larger versions with lifting capacities of 12,000 pounds (5,443 kg) or more. Depending on the size of the bales you harvest, it’s important to consider the machine’s lifting capacity in order to safely and efficiently carry loads.

Due to the nature of production-type environments, and the stress that type of consistent lifting can cause on the machine, it is crucial to operate a telehandler with a reinforced framework. A stronger framework will help distribute the stress so it’s not always concentrated on one area, ultimately preserving the life of the machine. 

 

It is also important to assess how the boom is extended and retracted—whether it is cylinder-driven or chain-driven. Cylinder-driven booms are recommended for work in agricultural applications, as they are more durable in bucket loading applications. In the same applications, chain-driven booms can be sensitive to stretching and/or damage. Additionally, booms with a low-pin design are ideal for agricultural applications. A low-pin boom provides optimal all-around visibility even when the boom is lowered, a common feature on most compact telehandlers.

Horsepower becomes an important consideration if you plan on operating your telehandler in fields. Look for a machine with upwards of 140 HP in order to achieve optimal torque and traction when lifting and transporting bales from the field to the trailer.

 

During harvest season, machine downtime is your worst enemy. Fortunately, some of today’s advanced telehandlers are engineered with advancements to significantly increase uptime, including:

  • Passive engine regeneration – These systems utilize a clean emissions module designed to require no operator intervention or disruption of work cycles. Regeneration of the diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) occurs passively at a low temperature, while the machine continues to operate. Comparatively, in order for the engine to regenerate, some telehandlers have to stop working and be parked in a safe zone to allow the system to complete this process.
  • Quick-attach couplers – A design that incorporates a quick-attach coupler will make changing attachments easy with the push of a few buttons from inside the cab. Swapping attachments from a bucket to a shear or a fork shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.
  • Reversing fan – Working in dusty, and often hot environments, it is important to keep debris out of the engine and make sure it remains cool. Reversing fans help avoid potential engine damage or shut-down by constantly blowing out debris and keeping the engine cool while operating.

As you can see, telehandlers offer a lot of value to agricultural applications, especially hay production operations. If you are considering purchasing or renting one to help with your harvesting and storage tasks, it’s always important to research your options and configure the machine to best suit your needs. To learn more about telehandlers and the value they can bring to your operation, contact your local Cat® dealer or visit the Cat® Resource Center

               

We’d like to hear about how you are gearing up for harvesting season and your thoughts on adding a telehandler to your fleet of equipment.  

  • Tell us about the machines, attachments and implements you rely on the most during harvest season.
  • What are the toughest challenges you face during harvest season?
  • Do you currently own and/or operate a telehandler on your operation? If so, what does it do?
  • Have you recently considered purchasing or renting a telehandler to help out on your operation? If so, why?
  • Aside from the tasks listed in this blog, what other jobs do you think a telehandler could be utilized for on a farm or ranch operation?

About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am a Pre-Field Agriculture/Product Application Representative for Caterpillar. I recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
  • I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
  • I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.
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