Telehandler courses are often designed for individuals who have some experience using a standard forklift, though classes are also offered to those with no former experience. These types of programs are designed to provide real training that can be used to ensure the safe and proper use of these machines. Telehandler courses are often provided at the location of a manufacturer or training facility, to offer a controlled environment. There are some training programs, however, that send a trainer to a job site, teaching individuals to use the equipment in a real-world application and ensuring an operator is prepared for the demands of a particular environment.
Named as a combination of "telescopic handler," a telehandler is a piece of machinery that is similar to a forklift, but has an extending or telescoping arm that supports the fork. This allows such a machine to be used to lift and transfer heavy loads up and away from the vehicle itself. Due to the potentially dangerous accidents that can occur through improper operation of this equipment, telehandler courses are often provided to ensure operators know how to use them. These classes focus on control over the machine itself, as well as an understanding of load limits to prevent tipping due to excess weight on the lift.
Many telehandler courses are designed and provided for individuals who have no prior experience using this type of equipment. These classes begin with basic use and operation of the machine, including various traits and controls similar to the use of a forklift. There are also telehandler courses developed for individuals who have a license to use a fork lift. These are often called "conversion" classes and focus on the differences between these pieces of equipment, without repeating information that forklift operators already know. Refresher courses may also be provided by some organizations, to give additional practice to someone who has already completed training in the past.
One way in which telehandler courses can be offered is at a training facility. The manufacturer of this equipment, for example, can work with a licensing agency to bring people to their location for training. These programs are fairly common and provide students with a controlled environment in which they can learn to use the machinery. Completion of these classes provides a student with a license or certification to operate this type of equipment.
There are also telehandler courses in which an instructor goes to a worksite to provide on-location training in the use of this equipment. This type of instruction can be quite effective, as it allows students to see some of the potentially unpredictable situations that can arise in operation of these machines. The instruction also focuses on any conditions that are specific to the work site, allowing operators to be prepared to handle these elements more safely.