6 Questions To Ponder When Renting A Forklift

13 December 2016
 Categories: Business, Articles


Renting a forklift for lifting and moving heavy loads in warehouses, construction sites, and manufacturing facilities is an essential part of business for many. If this is your first time renting a forklift, the selection process may seem confusing. There are various models to choose from, each with their own functionalities. In order to achieve the right results for the job, you must consider several aspects. Factors such as power, load capacity, and working conditions should be considered, and you should also have the rental company deliver the machine if they offer that service. Don't forget about insurance for your workers or company. Here are several questions to ponder when renting a forklift.

1. What Are Your Working Conditions and Environment?

The type of surface you'll be working on may influence the type of machinery to be used. Warehouses, factories, and construction sites all differ in terms of ground or floor surface. If you will be working on rough terrain, you'll need to rent a rough-terrain forklift. Additionally, depending upon the size of the working area, you will need a forklift that can easily maneuver around tight corners. The environment will also influence the type of tires your forklift will need.

What about lighting conditions? Will you be working indoors in a dimly lit area? If so, consider a forklift with adequate lighting. Your area may require a forklift to be fitted with a strobe light that meets specifications set by the Occupational Health & Safety board. You might want to contact your township to be sure of their local laws.

2. How Should the Forklift Be Powered?

Consider the fuel your rental forklift will use. Electric powered machines may cost less to operate, as you won't need to supply gasoline or diesel. Typically, they are also easier to maneuver. Electric forklifts are also less noisy to run. Diesel and gas powered forklifts are quite powerful for heavy duty jobs, although they should be used outdoors due to the emissions.

3. What Weight Capacity and Lift Height Will You Require?

Consider the work you'll be doing. What load capacity will you require? This takes you back to the fuel option. While the typical forklift offers a weight capacity of about 5,000 pounds, the diesel powered forklifts will generally be able to lift a heavier load than electric powered machines. You need a forklift that can handle the load, or you risk the possibility of the machine tipping over when in operation. You should also ask yourself how much overhead or lift height you will require.

4. Read the Small Print: What Does Your Rental Contract State?

The agreement may offer delivery service of the forklift, or this may be your own responsibility. In addition, an equipment rental agency may offer on-site service, should you need it. If your rental forklift needs repair, how long will it take for the crew to get to your site and repair or replace the machine? Do they offer daily, weekly or monthly rates? How about flexible renewal rates? What are the overtime, late or overdue charges?

5. Does the Rental Company Offer Insurance Protection?

You'll want full liability coverage when you rent machinery. Also, you need insurance to cover you or your workers in the event of injury on the job. If your rental agency does not provide this coverage, it is your responsibility to provide the insurance. Don't overlook this crucial detail when renting a forklift.

6. Does the Rental Agency Offer a Rent-to-Own Policy?

You may find this option very convenient. Many construction equipment rental companies offer the option to purchase a rental forklift after a specified period of time. For instance, after a year you may be entitled to purchase the machine outright and receive a special rate or even a rebate. Inquire about this before you rent.