Photo by Tony Illia for ENR
With a 65,000-lb lift capacity, the Xtreme XR6538 is said to be the largest telehandler in North America.

Xtreme Manufacturing LLC is unveiling its most extreme machine yet at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2014.

With a 65,000-lb lift capacity and 38-ft maximum lift height, the Las Vegas company's model XR6538 now leads its machine lineup and is said to be the largest telehandler in North America. This year, France-based rival Manitou is introducing an 80,000-lb-capacity telehandler, thought to be the world's largest, for the South African mining market.

The Xtreme XR6538 weighs nearly 100,000 lbs unloaded and comes equipped with 6-ft-tall tires, a 300-hp Cummins QSL9 Tier IV Final engine and a 150-gallon fuel tank. The telehandler has 2,000-lb forks and a 22-ft forward reach, making it ideal for mining, bridge-building and pipe-handling work.

The heavy-duty forklift was originally designed to be a cheaper, easier alternative for changing mining haul-truck tires, says Xtreme President Don F. Ahern. The machine’s $700,000 retail price and 24.6-ft turning radius also make it an attractive substitute for truck-mounted cranes, which require certified operators to run them in the U.S.

The XR6538 follows an industry trend of larger, more multifunctional machines that reduce overhead costs. Xtreme’s decision to build bigger follows last year’s successful launch of the XR4030—a 40,000-lb capacity, 30-ft reach machine that saw “quite a few sales,” including purchases by Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., San Leandro, Calif., and Acme Lift. Co., Mesa, Ariz., says Ahern.

“Most rental companies aren't interested this niche business,” Ahern adds. “We think these are a better solution—quicker, faster, and more nimble—requiring less labor and capital.”

Turning 15 years old this year, Xtreme experienced early success by designing robust construction-specific machines marketed through Ahern’s eponymous 75-location, 22-state rental network. Xtreme’s roller boom technology, beefy tubular steel frames and 360° cabin visibility give its machines a rugged flexibility, experts say.

“Don has a pretty good nose for things like this,” says Charles Snyder, a Charlotte, N.C.-based industry consultant and ex-equipment rental executive. “I see this machine more as being sold to end users who have specific applications as opposed to rental companies due to its size and complexity.”