Top U.S. telehandler rental fleets

By Lindsey Anderson08 June 2023

Rental companies have struggled for quite some time now to secure new equipment. With aging fleets paired alongside market demand, manufacturers facing ongoing supply chain problems simply can’t deliver the new, necessary kit rental firms seek.

telehandler, telehandler fleet, forklift, genie A Genie GTH-1056 telehandler. (Photo: Genie)

But there was a slow trickle of new equipment hitting yards around the country, and for some firms with enough money in the bank, big acquisitions – and thousands of pieces of equipment included – were made.

One such example is United Rentals’ recent acquisition of Ahern Rentals. Speaking during its Q1 investors call, United Rentals’ President and CEO Matthew Flanner remarked, “When we think about the Ahern integration… this deal was all about capacity, and capacity in fleet, real estate and people.”

With its buy-outs of Ahern – and long-time Telehandler30 grower ABLE Equipment Rental – United saw a 16.77% increase in its telehandler fleet size, landing it at the number one spot on this year’s list with 35,000 units.

With all signs pointing to a healthy market moving forward through 2025, the T30 also reflects this positivity seeing a total of 86,486 telehandlers this year, a 9.98% percent increase over 2022.

2023 2022



2021 2020 2019 2018

Top 5

79,900 67,924 17.63%





Top 10
















Looking to the top five companies, however, the increase in telehandler fleet sizes is a different story. Behind United comes Sunbelt Rentals, Herc Rentals, H&E Equipment Services and Sunstate Equipment Co. taking the top five spots (in order,) with a total increase year-over-year of more than 17%. In 2022, our top five represented a total of 67,924 units, and this year we see them with 79,900 telehandlers.

Of the top five, H&E made the largest increase in its telehandler fleet size, growing its total count by more than 34% to 7,400 units. Speaking to ALH, the company said it will add even more units onto its total later this year following its Q1 results which saw the company’s total rental fleet grow by more than 28% to a total of $533.8 million compared to the same period in 2022. 

Telehandler manufacturers weigh in

“What’s happening is there’s a lot of new use cases being discovered for telehandlers, which is one of the reasons that we’re seeing all that growth,” said John Pfeifer, CEO and president of Oshkosh Corp. (JLG’s parent company.)

Pfeifer was commenting on JLG’s recent Q1 results, which saw telehandler sales soar to the tune of a nearly 49% increase over the same period last year.

To meet the demand, JLG said it will transition 500,000 square feet of its manufacturing facility in Jefferson City, TN to produce additional telehandlers, which will also open up additional manufacturing capacities at the OEM’s McConnellsburg, PA plant.

The industry has also seen Genie and Skyjack open plants globally in order to increase capacity and meet demand, with Genie shifting product lines and Skyjack opening new plants around the world.

As we start to feel the impact of the IIJA and IRA, as well as mega projects popping up across the U.S., the jack-of-all-trades telehandler is likely going to be in high demand for some time to come. We’ll have to wait and see if manufacturers have been able to pick up speed in the coming year, because if the market is saying anything, it’s saying, “We need more telehandlers.”

To read the full Telehandler30 report, download the May/June 2023 issue of Access, Lift & Handlers for free, here

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Lindsey Anderson Editor, Access, Lift & Handlers Tel: +1 312 929 4409 E-mail:
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