Are your forklift needs highly specialized? Consider purchasing your forklift fleet - Part 2

By Scott Thurston, Raymond Handling Concepts Corp., an authorized Raymond Sales & Service Center

In Part 1 of this two-part series last month, we addressed the benefits of renting a forklift. But when is it better to own a forklift rather than rent one from an authorized distributor? In this post, the benefits of owning a forklift rather than renting one are considered and expanded upon to help you make an informed decision.

There are many businesses that prefer to own a forklift fleet rather than rent one, but the choice comes down to your specific business needs. Here are five reasons why some businesses choose to purchase forklifts rather than rent them:

  1. If the powered industrial equipment you need is specialized, it might be difficult to find the lift truck with the correct height or capacity in nearby available rental fleets.
  2. If the building or pallet racking in which the forklift is operating has unique doorways and tunnel openings — for which a lift truck requires a custom intermediate mast — purchasing the lift truck makes better sense. Many times, intermediate masts must be specified at the time of the order at the factory and therefore are ordered many months in advance.
  3. If you are far from a major metropolitan center, you might elect to have in-house technicians perform regularly scheduled maintenance and repair. If the in-house technician department is going to perform the service work, then it would not make sense to rent a forklift that is bundled with a maintenance package.
  4. If you have a very predictable workflow without seasonal fluctuations, it could make sense to purchase a lift truck. Buying a truck on a scheduled maintenance program is more beneficial if the work is consistent.
  5. Many forklifts have a predictable life cycle with service and repair costs increasing after 10,000 deadman hours. If a truck isn’t used often, 10,000 deadman hours could take nearly 20 years to accumulate. In this case, a purchased forklift on a scheduled maintenance program would make the most financial sense.

Consider purchasing a forklift if it would be used for predictable jobs and not too often. Purchasing a forklift is beneficial if a business has highly specialized needs in which the required equipment specs are not readily available in rental fleets. Finally, in-house maintenance makes forklift rentals less than ideal, so owning your own fleet would make more financial sense in this case.

This two-part series addressed the benefits of both renting and owning a forklift fleet. There are benefits to both, but a business’s needs ultimately determine whether renting or owning a forklift fleet is the best option.