Selecting a Dealer for Your Forklift Rental or Purchase
Whether you’re adding to your fleet of material handling equipment permanently or you simply need to meet some specialty equipment needs on a project, forklift rentals and purchases require research and educated decision-making. First, it’s important to find a qualified forklift dealer with solid customer service and a wide range of quality products. Next, you should work with your dealer to choose the equipment that best meets your needs.
Locating Forklift Dealers in Your Area
Regional forklift distributors often have web pages, so you can begin with an online search. Look for dealers that provide easy-to-access contact information and are transparent about their service, sales and warranty processes.
You might also start with the type of forklift you plan to purchase or rent. Equipment manufacturers often provide listings for reputable, certified or partnered dealerships; working with a distributor that has manufacturer support is always a benefit when it comes to service and repairs.
Once you find a forklift dealer in your area, make sure some critical questions are answered before you sign any paperwork.
- How many service technicians are available, and what is their experience and certification?
- Are name-brand parts accessible?
- What is the response time on service calls?
- Is there a maintenance plan you can purchase?
- How are warranties honored?
- What are the financing details? How much is the forklift going to cost you in the long run?
Top Tips for Renting or Buying Forklifts
Once you find a forklift dealer to work with, it’s time to make a purchasing or renting decision.
- Know exactly how you plan to use the forklift, as not all material handling equipment is the same. The ability to accurately describe your needs to a salesperson helps you find the right equipment.
- Before you contact or visit a dealership, set a budget. Know exactly how much the company can afford to spend on a purchase or lease so you won’t be pressured to go above that amount.
- Refresh your knowledge about company safety and compliance policies prior to purchasing a forklift. Doing so ensures you purchase equipment that helps employees meet those requirements.
- When buying forklifts, look for equipment with the correct type of power source. With proper maintenance of your forklift battery and regular battery regeneration, you may never have to replace the battery for the life of the lift truck..
Should You Rent or Buy a Forklift?
While buying forklifts can be a great idea for companies that plan to put them into regular, long-term use, forklift rentals can be a better investment for many businesses. Leasing a forklift reduces your capital investment and might come with some tax benefits. Renting a forklift from a professional dealership also has other advantages:
- Minimal or no down time for major repairs (equipment is replaced)
- Flexibility to change models/specs if your needs change
- Ability to rent short term to replace owned equipment being serviced.
Owning your own forklift has benefits too, especially if you will use it for years. You have complete control over the ongoing costs associated with it, and with the right dealer relationship, you can take advantage of service departments and technicians for maintenance.