6 products that overcome the common challenges of telehandler booms
A telescopic handler (telehandler) is a widely used and hugely versatile piece of equipment on a job-site.
But just like any other piece of substantial construction equipment, how well a telehandler can do its job is dependent upon the quality of its component parts.
In this blog post we describe six key industrial leaf chain product solutions that each play a role in ensuring the safe operation, consistent performance and long service life of a telehandler boom.
1. Sheer face blocks
Sheer face blocks are designed to fit inside the limited space that is available inside the boom.
It is important that they are manufactured from high-grade alloy steel that is at least as strong as, or stronger than, the leaf chain. They are fitted to a telehandler boom and take the load on the step heel.
2. Load equalisation
When using multiple lengths of leaf chain on retraction or extension booms the leaf chain load must be distributed equally.
Specialised load equalisation solutions can range from simple balancing bars to more complicated pivoting leaf chain adjusters.
A pivot anchor can also help with preventing misalignment as the boom extends and retracts.
3. Sealed for life pulleys
Access to the boom’s pulley can often be very limited. Sealed-for-life leaf chain rollers require no greasing which extends the intervals between services and minimises machine downtime due to maintenance.
Specific designs can also eliminate the need for costly cross-drilled pivot pins with grease nipples which are a feature of standard pulleys.
4. Leaf chain anchor plates
Leaf chain anchor plates are designed to hold multiple chain lengths within the limited space of a telescopic boom.
They should be manufactured from high-grade alloy steel that is equal to, or greater than, the chains they are fitted to.
It is also important to pay careful attention to the relationship between the slots and the fixing holes to ensure there is an even distribution of load.
5. Female leaf chain anchors
When width is a problem, leaf chain can be terminated on the outer – which results on a termination which is only as wide as the leaf chain.
6. Corrosion resistant leaf chain
Leaf chain that operates externally along the boom is more prone to rust, an issue that can be made worse by machines being washed down with pressure cleaners.
Corrosion resistant leaf chain such as SuperShield can extend the life of the leaf chain by hundreds of hours.
In addition to selecting the right components, leaf chain guide assemblies will need be properly maintained to ensure smooth operation, minimise internal wear and reduce machine downtime.
Leaf chain failure is more often than not a gradual process in which the leaf chain elongates over time. The cumulative effect of chain wear will be a significant increase in the actual pitch (or distance between each pin) of the leaf chain.
A professional chain wear gauge will provide a means of accurately measuring the extent of leaf chain wear by indicating the percentage of elongation.
To ensure the lift span of your machine, a boom maintenance programme should also be followed in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.