What To Know Before You Rent a Forklift for a Day

When businesses have to lift or store pallets of materials, there is no question—they need a forklift or lift truck, to do it. Forklifts have become essential tools for many businesses, farmers, and even some individual property owners today. However, buying a forklift is expensive and something that not every business or property owner can afford. For many seasonal and startup businesses, for instance, renting a forklift might be the more economical option. Luckily, here at Sam’s Mechanical, we offer our customers the ability to rent a forklift for a day, week, month, or even longer.

Before you call us to rent a forklift or other piece of equipment, though, there are several things to consider. Today’s blog post highlights some of the biggest things to think about when weighing your options for forklift rental versus purchasing.

Your Forklift Usage Assessment

First things first—you need to understand how you plan to use a forklift. If you’re working with pallets, that involves identifying the maximum pallet weight you receive and the maximum height any pallet would need to be lifted onto pallet racking.

Business owners should also identify where the forklift would be used: indoors only, indoors and outdoors, or exclusively outdoors. If a forklift is needed outdoors, knowing the type of terrain is essential, as well. A more rugged forklift will be required for gravel and dirt terrain than would be for pavement.

You should also identify how you will need the forklift, of course. If your project is a once and done thing, buying a forklift probably does not make sense.

Forklift Rental Benefits

Renting a forklift is a great way to save money because the cost to purchase a new drivable forklift that can handle an average load is typically about $50,000. When businesses own a forklift, they also own the expense of maintenance and repair. Renting, on the other hand, frees business owners from that type of financial commitment.

Renting also allows businesses to try out different types of forklifts to see which styles and formats of equipment meet their needs. This is especially beneficial to businesses whose material handling needs are growing or changing over time. For them, before buying a forklift, it may be better to rent until they know what their needs will be.

Understand the Types of Forklifts You Need

There are many different types of forklifts, covering an impressive range of material handling and lifting capacities—from simple pallet jacks that can only lift 4,000 lbs. to a height of 7 inches to heavy-duty drivable models that can lift 36,000 lbs. to a height of 20 ft.

In general, the more weight a forklift can raise, the higher the rental cost will be for that piece of equipment. With that in mind, business owners should rent a machine that meets their needs but doesn’t exceed them, or you could be wasting your budget. Why pay more for excess power?

Learn more about just a few of the types of forklifts we offer for rental here at Sam’s Mechanical.

Pallet Jacks

These basic pieces of lift equipment can handle a maximum of about 4,000 lbs. and can either be human-powered or electric. Pallet jacks are ideal for moving pallets from one floor or low shelf location to another in indoor warehouse settings. A few pallet jack models can raise pallets 31 inches off the ground, but their maximum capacity is under 3,000 lbs.

Sit-Down Rider Forklifts

Also sometimes referred to as tow motors, these drivable forklifts can handle heavier loads and reach impressive heights. They may be powered by electricity, dual-fuel, or diesel. Of course, only electric models should be used indoors. The least powerful of these forklifts can lift a 3,000-pound load up to 15 ft. The most powerful can lift a 36,000-pound load up to 20 feet.

Drivable forklifts can have open or enclosed cabs. The enclosed cabs can even be heated and air-conditioned. Also, forklifts for outdoor use come in two-wheel or four-wheel drive. The four-wheel-drive models are great for rough terrain.

Shooting Boom Forklifts

Perhaps the most impressive of the drivable forklift types, shooting boom forklifts—or telehandlers—can raise a 17,000-pound load up to 56 feet. And, because they have a telescoping arm—or boom—they can reach out to pick up or place a pallet or other load.

Don’t Forget About Attachments

Depending upon the type of business you are in and the material handling projects you need to complete, specific forklift attachments might be necessary. For example, carpet stores will need to attach a carpet pole to a forklift. Construction sites might need a trash hopper. For all-electric forklifts, you will need to consider chargers. Luckily, these attachments and many more are available as rental extras, making it possible for any industry to use a rented forklift.

Not sure what attachments you may need for your equipment rental or purchase? Just let us know—the forklift experts at Sam’s Mechanical are ready to advise you!

Forklift Rental Contract Considerations

Before you sign on the dotted line to rent a forklift, business owners should always review the rental contract carefully.

In addition to the rental rate per day, week, or month, most rental companies must charge tax. There may also be fees for pickup and delivery. Additionally, it is common for rental companies to charge an equipment damage waiver fee and an environment fee. Finally, business owners should know what fees would be charged if they exceed the rental timeframe.

At Sam’s Mechanical, we make renting a forklift or other skid loaders, scissor lifts, mini-excavators, telehandlers, and more an easy, straightforwand experience. We are upfront with our pricing and rental terms, and we are happy to work with you to design a flexible renting experience that doesn’t break your budget.

Need to Rent a Forklift Today? Call Sam’s Mechanical!

When any business or property owner needs to rent a forklift, has questions about how to assess their forklift needs, or wants to know about forklift rental rates, they should contact Sam’s Mechanical, the One-Stop Forklift Shop. Our staff is ready to help you select the right piece of equipment for the job!