A forklift truck is an essential piece of industrial equipment. Ever since they were invented back in 1923, they’ve been used in warehouses, factories, and logistics depots around the world. 

Yet for many people, buying a forklift isn’t an ideal solution. If you only need it for a short while or if buying just isn’t cost-effective, renting a forklift is a much better option.

Renting a forklift isn’t to be taken lightly. There is a significant gulf in quality between certain equipment rental companies, and you should do some serious research before you choose your forklift rental company.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the key points that you need to consider when it comes to deciding on a rental company so that you can make an informed choice that’ll serve you well. Are you ready to learn more? Then read on!

1. What’s Your Budget?

The first thing that you need to consider is how much you can comfortably afford to spend on renting a forklift. Prices are far from standardized across the equipment rental industry. 

Think about what percentage of your budget you can afford to spend on renting a forklift or forklifts, then if an option is over your budget, discount it immediately. Provided that your budget isn’t absurdly low, you’ll probably be able to find something that will fit your budget.

If you’re moving from owning a forklift to renting one, you may want to consider the month-on-month savings and decide how much you’re aiming to save. 

2. Is the Contract Flexible?

Equipment needs can change rapidly over time. While you may only need one forklift today, it’s possible that you’ll need two or three in the future, and vice-versa. You may also need access to specialized forklifts on occasion.

Many companies offer flexible contracts that allow you to tweak the equipment that you’re renting from month to month, so that as your needs change, so can your contract and outgoings.

If a company tries to shoehorn you into a certain contract that doesn’t work for you, then you should start looking elsewhere. Otherwise, you could end up with equipment that you don’t need or, perhaps even worse, not enough equipment to get your job done.

3. What Kinds of Forklift Do You Need?

There’s more than one kind of forklift. While we all recognize the standard warehousing forklift, called a narrow-aisle forklift, there are other kinds that are designed with a specialized purpose in mind.

For instance, you have the Piggyback forklift, which is designed to fit onto the back of delivery trucks, sit-down forklifts that use combustion engines, rough terrain forklifts that are designed to operate off-road, or on uneven surfaces.

You may only need one specific kind of forklift or you may need a selection of different trucks. Whichever particular types of trucks that you need access to, you’ll need to find a supplier that offers them all.

While you can mix and match between different companies to create the rental fleet that you want, this can get complicated fast, and you’re generally better off working with one company.

4. Do Their Trucks Meet Your Physical Requirements?

Your trucks likely need to meet certain physical requirements. You may need them to be able to lift a certain weight or reach a certain height, or both. When you’re picking a forklift rental, you need to make sure that it can actually do the job, so take a look at each forklift’s specifications before you go anywhere near a contract.

5. Can You Inspect the Forklift?

If the rental company wants you to rent a forklift sight-unseen, then this should set off alarm bells. It’s reasonable for you to want to take a look at the forklift before you rent it and start using it in your workplace.

You should take a close look at it and see whether there are any signs of damage. If there are any bits of damage, take photos and write this information down.

Otherwise, when you return your forklift to the company, you may be charged for the damage. 

6. Do They Have Technicians On-Call?

You should have a reasonable expectation for your forklift: it should be clean, run perfectly, and not have any obvious issues. However, breakdowns and accidents happen. If this happens, you need to be able to rely on the rental company to help you out.

They should have a team of technicians on-call for any repairs that their clients need. If they don’t have these technicians, then you’ll be stuck should the forklift break down, and will need to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket.

7. Are They Insured?

In most cases, the rental company will insure their equipment. However, some less-reputable companies may not be covered. If this is the case, then you’re in a whole lot of trouble if anything goes wrong.

You may end up liable for any damage, which could cost you a heap of cash. Always make sure that the forklifts are insured, and get this in writing if possible.

Make Renting a Forklift Easy

If you follow the tips that we’ve laid out, you won’t have any problems with renting a forklift. So long as the forklift is what you need, it’s insured, and the contract is flexible, you’ll mostly be good to go. 

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