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All You Need to Know About Forklift Rental

If you’re looking to rent a forklift for a short term or long term project, you will need to know what type of forklift is the best choice for your required job, the cost of forklift rental, what is included in the forklift rental agreement as well as a few more pertinent aspects. We have broken this down into steps namely;

Forklift Rental

1. Decide on Type of Forklift needed

2. Decide on Capacity of Forklift needed

3. Look at Costs and rental duration

4. Ask any questions you may have

5. Agree on terms with your forklift rental company

6. Arrange for forklift delivery

We will now go into more detail on each step.

Step 1

Types of Forklifts

Forklift Rental companies will be able to advise you on which Forklift you need for your required job. However it’s beneficial to know what’s out there so that you can be sure to make the right decision and are not lumbered with renting the wrong forklift.

1. Standard Forklift Trucks

These come in two forms, IC (Internal Combustion) and electric. They are the most common type of forklift and are built with a weight that’s built in to the rear of the trucks body (counterbalance). Most can carry between 3-6 tons and have a reach of between 3 and 4 metres. Some can reach as high as 10 metres. Standard forklifts come in 3 and 4 wheel options depending on the space they have to manoeuvre. They are used in agriculture, oil refineries, construction, manufacturing, paper mills, and industrial yards. IC models run on a variety of fuels including petrol, diesel, liquid propane gas (LPG), or compressed natural gas (CNG). Petrol and diesel models cannot be used indoors, requiring these forklift needs to be filled by either an LPG-powered machine or an electric forklift model.

2. Reach Truck Forklifts

Reach or narrow-aisle forklifts are designed for warehouses and other areas that routinely stack palletized goods in racking or other storage areas. They are the most manoeuvrable, are battery powered and have a low clearance so best used indoors.

As the name suggests, reach trucks “reach” into racking with an extendable carriage and forks to grab pallets that range from 1.25 to 2.75 tons. Single-reach models extend the length of one pallet and double-reach trucks extend the length of two. Comparable to the height capacity of a standard forklift, the outrigger legs on the front of the machine can support the load up to more than 10 meters.

3. Pallet Forklift Trucks

These are very common in businesses and operations of all sizes and types as they allow an individual to move an entire pallet of goods from one location to another. As they are battery operated, they have a charger that enables them to be plugged straight into the mains without requiring a stand-alone charging unit. A renter is able to choose from a variety of enhanced versions that include standard or Euro pallet compliance, low profile, foldable, all-terrain, wide or narrow fork spread, and long or short forks.

4. Order Pickers

Order pickers are basically a platform that can be raised or lowered to reach stored items in racking or on shelves between 2.4 and 3.3 metres high. They are battery powered and designed for indoor use only. They are very popular in clothing and tile warehouses. There are also narrow aisle (NA) and very narrow aisle (VNA) order pickers that use a swing mast and turret truck for easy manoeuvrability.

Now that you know which type of forklift you need, let’s look at the type of capacity it will be lifting and which one is the best option for your need.

Step 2

Forklift Capacities

Forklift rental companies will often have a variety of forklift options available and you will need to decide which one is best suited to your project. Your choice of forklift is often dependent on the weight of the load that has to be moved.

1. Standard Forklifts

1.5 to 2.5 tons (indoor): This is best suited to a 3-Wheel Forklift. This forklift is used mainly for indoor, warehouse or other smooth surface use where space is fairly limited. It is primarily used for unloading trucks and moving pallets.

1.5 – 40 tons (indoor): The four-wheel forklift is best suited to this need. It is often used for unloading trucks and moving pallets and comes with electric, propane, diesel or gasoline engines as well as cushion or pneumatic tyres.

Max 17.5 tons, rough terrain (outdoor): For very heavy loads, rough terrain forklifts are ideal. They have pneumatic tyres, powered by gasoline, diesel, lpg or compressed natural gas and are used for the outdoors or on uneven ground. They are ideal for lumberyards, construction projects and landscaping.

2. Reach Forklift Truck

1.25 – 2.75 tons (indoor and narrow aisles): Reach or narrow-aisle forklift trucks are used to rack pallets on smooth surfaces and are electric-powered.

3. Order Pickers

1.75 tons (narrow aisle): Order-pickers, stock-pickers and man-up units are electric-powered and used in these instances. They are used to lift an individual so that loads can be selected.

1.5 – 2 tons (narrow aisle): Turret trucks are used in these instances and are electric-powered. The forks are mounted on a mast and carriage that operates on a turret, allowing it to rotate 90 degrees, for smooth picking and stocking.

3 – 6 tons (narrow aisle): Side loaders, typically electric, are used for narrow-aisle work with loading and unloading from one side only.

4. Motorised Pallet Jacks

1.5 – 4 tons (short distances): Motorised Pallet Jacks or stackers are best used for this scenario. They are electric-powered and there are both walk-behind or ride-on units available.

1.5 – 2.75 tons (indoor): Stand-up counter balance forklifts are used for quick loading and unloading of trucks where the rider often needs to mount and dismount.

Step 3

Forklift Rental Costs and Duration

Many forklift rental companies will offer the option to rent on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual term. The costs usually decrease, the longer you rent the forklift for. Some forklift rental companies also offer the options of “renting to buy”. You can enquire about all of these with your chosen forklift rental company.

Step 4

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s always important to ask your Forklift Rental company questions. However there are a few important ones that you should discuss with them such as:

• Do you have an Emergency Breakdown or repair service?

• Do you have a 24/7 Call out service?

• Do you have experienced forklift technicians that can assist should the forklift break down?

• How quickly can technicians be onsite?

• Do you offer a rent to buy option on your forklifts?

• Does your forklift rental agreement cover the cost of services and repairs?

• Do you offer a Full Maintenance Leasing (FML) contract as an option?

• Do you conduct safety checks on all your forklifts before renting them out?

• Do you offer forklift rentals throughout South Africa?

If you still need ideas, read Questions to ask when deciding to hire a forklift.

Step 5

Common Forklift Rental Terms

Your forklift rental terms will vary, depending on which supplier you use. Be sure to check however that there are no hidden costs that you were unaware of. What’s also important is to make sure that you are not liable for any costs should the forklift breakdown or need repairs.

Read more about forklift rental value adds that you can ask about.

Step 6

Forklift Delivery

The final step is to either have your forklift delivered or to collect it yourself from your forklift rental company. Be sure to include the cost of delivery into your budget. It is also important to have the 224/7 call centre number available and visible for warehouse managers should the forklift breakdown or if you need spare parts. Only licensed forklift drivers should be allowed to operate a forklift so be sure that the driver you have available has a license for the forklift type and tonnage that you have hired.

It is pertinent that you partner with a forklift rental company that understands your business and which type of Forklift you need.

Retrolex Forklifts is one such company and is a leading forklift hire company in Johannesburg. For the best service and prices contact Retrolex Forklifts today.

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