Telehandler technology has evolved over the years
Over the years, people have started understanding the versatility of telehandlers and therefore the demand has grown across sectors. Souma Ray, Director, Haulotte India, shares more on the market opportunities for telehandlers.

What is the importance of telehandlers as multi-utility equipment? 
Telehandlers are versatile and multifarious equipment which can cater to various applications using the same machine. These machines are available with various attachments like forks (standard fitment), bucket, crane jib, winch, manlift platform, bale clamp, tyre handler, rib catcher etc. Merely by changing the relevant attachment, the same machine can be used for different applications. 

What are your efforts in improving the popularity of telehandlers among the customers?
It’s true that the awareness on the usage of telehandlers is still very limited in India. But for sure, over the years people have started understanding the versatility of the product and its multifarious applications, and therefore the demand for telehandlers has grown across sectors. We at Haulotte, being one of the main manufacturers of telehandlers, have contributed to 
spread the awareness on the usage of telehandlers. As you are aware, we have regularly taken part in major international exhibitions in the country and we have physically showcased our telehandlers for our customers to get a hands-on experience of the product. We also meet the potential users across sectors and appraise them about the advantages of using telehandlers in their respective projects which not only enhances productivity but also ensures safety in lifting and moving loads. 

What are the emerging technology trends in telehandlers? 
The telehandler technology has evolved over the years to make the equipment easy to operate and maintain. Being a load lifting machine, it requires calibration at times. At Haulotte, we use a technology that allows recalibration of a machine with a simple operation of raising and lowering of the boom.

What is the scenario of trained operators for telehandlers in India?
Any heavy-duty vehicle licence holder (considering that telehandlers can be driven on road) can be trained to operate the machine. The operations are very user-friendly and with proper training, one can use the machine. Forklift and crane operators can easily be trained to operate a telehandler.

How are you gearing up to move ahead in the challenging COVID-19 scenario?  
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected all sectors, industries and businesses. The construction equipment sector including telehandler market thus has been hugely affected with projects getting stalled, work getting suspended, financial challenges and cost cutting measures affecting Capex being curtailed or postponed. We being a part of the industry recognise the fact that this pandemic is unprecedented and no knee-jerk reaction to counter would be helpful. The only way we can deal with the situation is to strategise on the next steps and plan our course of action as things start opening up.

What is your market outlook on telehandlers? 
For sure, there would be resurgence of demand in the new normal since projects would need to be completed and new ones would be launched. Hence, we hope that the recovery process will start soon.    
I assess that tt would take at least six months for the market to recover, provided we are able to contain the virus spread and across industries develop the good practice of social distancing and taking precautions by means of wearing masks, gloves as required whilst performing our work. With respect to telehandler market, like it is for any capital equipment industry, 2020 would be a year that none of us in these businesses would like to remember. Rather we are all working on our plans to restructure ourselves to be more effective, efficient and profitable when the pandemic passes.