Rent a Forklift
Before renting a forklift the best thing you can do for yourself 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. Following is a Step-by-Step Guide that will walk you through the information you need to ensure you rent the proper forklift for the job.
- Determine Weight Capacity. How much weight is the forklift required to lift and carry? An average forklift has a weight capacity of around 5,000 lbs(2268KG). Weight capacity is an important detail when planning your forklift rental because you do not want to pay for a rental only to find that it cannot safely lift the loads you need to handle. Also, how is the product packaged? Is it on pallets or sitting on the floor? Is it uniform in size or irregular? Is the product secured i.e. shrink wrapped or strapped? Make note of this information because you may require special attachments, some examples being: Drum "beak and jaw" attachment for handling drums, Fork tine extensions ("slippers") for handling long loads such as plasterboard, etc.
- Determine Lift Height. The next factor to consider is lift height. Similar to weight, measurement must be as accurate as possible. Not only do the forks need to reach a certain height (as determined by your facility needs), but it must have the ability to lift the weight of your load to that height. A forklift that cannot tolerate the amount of weight or lift that weight to the proper height is not only a waste of time and money, but it is very dangerous. A forklift that is overloaded while lifting a load at height can very easily tip over forwards, with potential of causing serious damage to property, equipment, and people.
- Identify the environment and ground surface(s) 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 what type of forklift you will need - Internal combustion forklifts such as Propane, Gas and Diesel Forklifts are very versatile in large open indoor spaces and outdoors on concrete, tarmac or gravel, however for confined spaces or food manufacturing, an electric forklift will need to be used to eliminate the exhaust gasses. Additionally, what is the required turning radius and what is the minimum aisle widths you need to maneuver the forklift through? If you are short on space, a 3 wheeled counterbalance forklift allows for more maneuverability (though at the expense of stability), as for aisles, there are many different types of forklift to suit your aisle needs - Reach forklifts, "Turret trucks", and Articulated forklifts are among the most common types.
- 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 (LPG, Gasoline, or Diesel). Refer to the "Tips Section" for Estimated Rental Costs.
- 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? Do not make the mistake of walking into or contacting a dealership to rent a forklift the very day you need one. 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 then overtime charges will usually apply.
- 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.
- 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 or attach a separate sheet of paper 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.
- 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 own documentation purposes.
- 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.
- Transport to the job site. How will the forklift be transported to the job site? It is best to let the dealership do it if they have delivery service available. (Another cost to add to your budget). This machinery must be loaded and unloaded carefully, so it really is worth the extra cost to let the professionals do it.
- An outdoor, pneumatic tire forklift capable of lifting and moving 5,000 lbs has estimated rental costs of $130 per day, $330 per week, and $990 per month.
- Solid pneumatic tires are ideal for rough and varied terrain such as dirt, rocks, hills, and more.
- Cushion tires are solid rubber and used for indoor settings or fairly smooth ground surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.
- An indoor, cushion tire forklift capable of lifting and moving 3,000 lbs has estimated rental costs of $100 per day, $250 per week, and $750 per month.
- Pneumatic tires filled with air work best in outdoor environments.
- An outdoor forklift with pneumatic tires capable of lifting and moving 25,000 pounds has estimated rental costs of $650 per day, $1,500 per week, and $4,500 per month.