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5 Pro Tips for Scoring Quality Rental Forklifts at Awesome Prices

Rental Forklifs

Renting a forklift is a no-brainer move when you need some heavy-duty lifting muscle for an upcoming job or seasonal warehouse crunch. But with so many rental companies and options out there, how do you ensure you’re getting a safe, reliable unit at a fair price? Follow these five savvy tips to get the high-quality forklifts for rent at great rates.

Tip #1: Get Specific About Your Needs

Before you even start browsing rental listings, take a step back and get crystal clear on the exact forklift capabilities required for your particular job. Elements like:

  • Lifting Capacity: How much weight will you need to haul at maximum?
  • Lift Height: What’s the highest racking or stacking height involved?
  • Surface Conditions: Will it be operating on smooth concrete or uneven outdoor terrain?
  • Spatial Constraints: How tight are the spaces and aisles it will navigate?

Nailing down the must-have specs from the get-go prevents you from overpaying for more forklift than you truly need. Don’t go renting a huge 10,000 lb outdoor forklift if you’re just moving standard pallets in your warehouse!

Tip #2: Mind Those Lift Hours

Just because a forklift may have relatively low age in years, that doesn’t mean the hours aren’t through the roof. Like any machinery, the actual hours of operation matter way more than the model year.

Forklifts with higher hour meters often come with greater wear, tear, and a shortened remaining lifespan – even if they’ve been recently refurbished. They’ll also likely require more frequent (and expensive) maintenance, repairs, and parts replacements during your rental period.

Savvy renters make sure to inquire about current hour meters and set a maximum threshold they’re comfortable with. Maybe 5,000 hours if it’s from a reputable fleet, or under 3,000 for a lesser-known provider.

Tip #3: Inquire About Rental Availability

Here’s a frustrating scenario – you find the “perfect” used rental forklift listed on a website, but by the time you call to book it…someone else already rented that exact unit for the long haul. Ugh.

Many rental listings can be out of date or based on models they may not even have in their physical fleet anymore. Before getting your heart set on a specific used rental lift, double-check if:

  1. A) That exact unit will definitely be available for your required dates B) They have suitable backups in the highly likely case that forklift is already rented

Having that upfront availability clarity is key for not getting your hopes up unnecessarily when booking.

Tip #4: Compare Total Rental Rates & Fees

Of course rental rates themselves are important, but they aren’t the only fees to consider. Things like charges for delivery/pickup, environmental fees, damage protection plans, and hourly vs weekly/monthly can dramatically impact the total bottom line.

Get clear, transparent fee schedules for the full rental period you need, inclusive of any required add-ons. Then compare that true all-in rate between a few reputable rental houses. You may be surprised to find lower advertised daily rates undercut by all the extra charges.

Tip #5: Don’t Skimp on Brand Safety & Reputation

At the end of the day, the safety of your crew and job site should be the top priority. That means renting certified forklifts from established operations with verifiable maintenance histories and safety track records.

While off-brand equipment from no-name companies may be inexpensive upfront, you’re taking a big risk. It may not meet proper compliance standards – and if it breaks or causes an accident, you could be looking at crippling liabilities and downtime losses.

Stick to trusted rental houses like United Rentals, Home Depot Rental, Sunbelt Rentals, etc. The premium you pay for reliable brand-name forklifts could literally save lives.

Follow the Tips, Avoid Regrettable Rentals

A rental forklift is all about providing reliable, short-term lifting power without the huge capital expenditures of buying outright. But rent the wrong one from the wrong place, and you’ll quickly see how painful and expensive regrettable rentals can be.

Do your homework, focus on needs over wants, and prioritize rental companies that put safety and transparency first. With the right rental forklift for the job (at rates that won’t shatter your budget), you’ll absolutely crush whatever heavy-duty tasks come your way. Lift with confidence!

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