Forklift Rentals – Short-term, Well-planned Strategies
There are very good reasons for choosing any one of four options when it comes to the acquisition of a forklift. The most common choice of companies that use forklifts on an almost daily basis is to purchase them. Within that category the decision to buy them new or used has to be made, and there are good reasons for either choice. The remaining two options are to lease or to rent the forklift. Here again, there are good and bad reasons for either choice. The purpose of this article is to focus on the rental option.
Perhaps the best term to pair up with the rental word is “short-term.” Unless a business can come up with some very extenuating circumstances, any long-term decision for renting forklifts is not recommended. Generally, only if a company obtains a contract that stretches its capacity significantly, should they consider renting their primary earth-moving or product-moving equipment for an extended period.
Ideally, a company that already has a fleet of forklifts, no matter how insignificant, should either own or lease them. They should only consider renting them if their business is cyclical or seasonal, or if they receive a short-term contract for a special project.
The more important decisions have to do with how to prepare for the rental, after they have made the decision that rental is the best option. Before renting a forklift the best thing the key decision-maker should do is take the time to create a plan of action. There are many questions you will need answers to before you begin. Planning ahead saves you money, time, and headaches.
The first step is to determine weight capacity. How much weight is the forklift required to lift and carry? An average forklift has a weight capacity of 5,000 lbs. This is an important detail when planning your forklift rental because you don’t want to pay for a rental only to find that it cannot do the job. Also, how is the product packaged? Is it sitting on the floor or on pallets? Is it uniform in size or irregular? Is the product secured i.e. shrink wrapped or strapped? Depending on the answer, you may require special fork attachments for the equipment you rent.
The second step is to determine lift and reach height. A forklift that cannot tolerate the weight at the height required. is a waste of time and money, and very dangerous.
Next, identify the ground surface the forklift will be driven on. Will the forklift operate in a warehouse, factory, construction site, lumberyard, ship’s dock? The environment makes a difference in determining the type of tires the forklift will need. Also, check the required turning radius and minimum aisle width, if any?
The fourth requirement (some might say it is the first requirement) is to set a budget. It is not inexpensive to rent a forklift, especially on a daily or weekly basis. Be prepared to spend at least $100 per day for a standard 5,000 lb forklift. In addition to rental rate, there are also operating costs such as fuel (LP or Diesel).
Fifth: calculate the amount of time the forklift is required to complete the job. Do you need the forklift rental for a day, week, month or more? Make your plans in advance once all your notes and measurements are complete. The per-day rate is less when you rent for longer periods of time. Ask about overtime charges, too. The costs for most forklift rentals are based on a regular 8-hour day/40-hour week/160-hour month. If you require more hours , overtime charges will usually apply.
Sixth: Rent the forklift from a reputable company. Most forklift dealerships rent their forklifts on daily, weekly and monthly contracts. Arrange for the rental at least one week in advance to ensure the type of forklift you need is available.
Seventh: Inspect the forklift. Renting from a dealership ensures reliable equipment and a qualified professional to help recommend the appropriate equipment for your situation. However, just like when you rent a car, it is your responsibility to examine the forklift for signs of damage before you rent it. Make notes on the contract before you leave. When you use the forklift, treat it as if it were your own. Dealerships will charge extra for forklifts that are damaged upon return.
Eighth. Read the rental agreement. The forklift rental agreement will provide all the particulars on the terms and conditions of the contract. Ensure you agree with all aspects of the rental agreement and keep a copy for your records.
Ninth: Check your personal or your company’s insurance policy to verify coverage. The dealer insures the equipment, but you or your company must cover the operator, other workers and the facility itself in case of an injury or property damage when using the rented forklift.
Tenth: How will the forklift be transported to the job site? It is best to let the dealership do it if they have the service available. This machinery must be loaded and unloaded carefully, so it really is worth the extra cost to let the professionals do it.
Renting a Forklift is a viable option for special projects, short-term contracts and cyclical productivity. Using these strategies to plan and implement your project will make your forklift rental a profit-generating exercise and an overall rewarding experience. Learn more about buying new and used equipment and renting or leasing forklifts on the ever-expanding U.S. Forklift Network.