Important Questions to Ask When You’re Considering Renting a Forklift

Renting a forklift can ensure your company has the equipment it needs for proper materials handling, but without having to invest in the cost of new forklifts and their long-term maintenance, storage, and the like. You can also rent a forklift when your company is expecting a large, one-time shipment of certain products, when you want to clean out a warehouse or other area and for any other temporary needs. When you're ready to rent a forklift for any reason, note some questions you might ask the rental agency, so you can determine the best choice of equipment.

Always ask the best forklift for your materials handling needs

Don't assume that all forklifts are alike, or that they can all handle the same types of shipments and materials. For example, the items you want to move may be on a pallet, but may be especially heavy, so you may need a larger forklift with a wider and heavier base. This will allow it to disperse that added weight, and reduce the risk of tipping. If you will be moving items to a very tall shelf, you may also need a forklift with a wider base that won't tip when the forks are fully raised. Shipping containers may also need special heavy-duty forklifts, whereas lighter boxes may not need a true forklift but what is called a stock picker. Discuss your options with the rental agency, as they can often give you the best recommendations, based on your needs.

Ask about attachments

As with types of forklifts, there may be more attachments available for this equipment than you realize, and which can also make your materials handling job much easier overall. These attachments might include clamps, which are good for picking up items like paper rolls or appliances, rotators that allow a forklift operator to actually turn the forks upside down, and poles, which are used to transport large rolls of items, such as carpeting. Don't assume that forklifts only come with forks, but ask about the attachments available for your equipment.

Ask about licensing needed for different equipment

You typically need a forklift license to legally operate a forklift, and there are different types of licensing for certain equipment, such as stock pickers versus motorized, driven forklifts. There may also be certain training needed, or just recommended, for handling larger materials, such as containers, industrial-sized pipes or hazardous materials. Ask the rental agency what licensing your staff will need, or if they would recommend certain training for anyone using the forklift for various materials.