Why Owning Your Forklifts Is Sometimes Better Than Renting

Mar 26, 2021
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should you buy or rent a forklift?

While renting or leasing your forklifts can make a lot of sense financially, there are many situations where it is simply more beneficial to own them outright.

While renting or leasing your forklifts can make a lot of sense financially, there are many situations where it is simply more beneficial to own them outright. 

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.

Forklift rental programs have become increasingly popular in recent years, and with good reason: they offer tremendous flexibility along with some attractive financial benefits. However, renting doesn’t make sense every organization. While all businesses must balance capital expenditures and operating expenses based on their individual business requirements, some may inherently be better of with a purchase.  Here are some situations where it’s usually better to buy vs rent:

  1. Sometimes rentals just aren’t an option. If your lift trucks are highly specialized or unique to your situation, it may be difficult to find rental options.
  1. If your warehouse or the racking within it has unusual doorways or tunnel openings your lift trucks may require a customized intermediate mast. If that’s the case, that custom configuration must be specified when your trucks are ordered from the factory, and that requires several months of lead time.  In these types of scenarios, you’re generally better of purchasing versus renting. 
  2. Some operations use in-house forklift technicians, particularly if they are in a remote location that is not easily serviced by outside maintenance options. If you have your own technicians that tend to your forklift fleet, then you will get a much lower return on renting forklifts since they are generally bundled with maintenance. 
  3. If your throughput is steady and predictable, without large seasonal spikes or frequent changes in product demand, it may be beneficial to own your trucks and put them on a scheduled maintenance program.  You’ll know exactly what your costs will be, and if they are less than renting you are obviously better off with a purchase.
  4. Most lift trucks have a relatively predictable life cycle with service and repair costs increasing after 10,000 hours. If a truck sits unused most of the time, 10,000 hours could take a decade or more to accumulate. If you don’t plan to use your lift truck very often, you’re probably better off purchasing.

Should I Rent or Purchase Forklifts?

Call us today to get a better understanding of our rental, lease and purchase options.  We’ll put you in touch with one of our financing experts that can help you decide the best option for your specific situation.