Forklift Off-Lease Evaluation

forklift rentals

When choosing a forklift lease, the length of the lease must be determined. For most businesses the leasing period is 3-5 years and is based on several factors, including forklift utilization and lease payment. Prior to the lease expiration a forklift off-lease evaluation is performed.


The purpose of the evaluation is to provide the business with an overview of the forklift and purchase options. Ideally, it takes place 6 months prior to the end of the lease.

Forklift Working Condition

Upon entering a forklift lease, a business agrees to return provisions outlined by the financing entity. If a forklift is returned off-lease and does not meet those requirements, the business will be invoiced for needed repairs. To be proactive, an equipment specialist will schedule an on-site visit to operate the forklift, evaluate its current working condition and answer key questions such as:

  • Does the forklift have missing or broken components or accessories?
  • Can the forklift start and idle?
  • Is the forklift leaking oil, coolant, or other fluids?
  • Can the forklift maintain travel speed and steer normally in all directions?
  • Does the forklift stop at a safe distance?
  • Is the forklift able to lift, lower and tilt normally?
  • Are the forklift tires usable with remaining tread?
  • Does the forklift have an operational horn, parking brake and lights?
  • Has the overhead guard been modified?
  • How many hours has the forklift operated, and is this higher than the lease term?

Forklift Repair Options

If it’s determined forklift repairs are needed, the business can work directly with the equipment specialist to schedule service, which spreads out the cost of the repairs. If the business prefers to wait until the end of the lease term, the financial entity will send an invoice for the repairs that fulfill the return provisions.

Forklift Purchase Options

While a business can turn in the forklift, it often requires the equipment for daily production. Lead time for a new forklift is 90+ days so this decision needs to be made in advance of the lease expiration. The equipment specialist can provide purchase options, including:

  • Purchase of the current forklift off-lease, based on the fair market value set by the financial entity
  • Lease a new forklift, returning the current unit

Is your forklift lease close to expiration? Thompson & Johnson is your material handling partner for new and used Forklifts.  Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! 

Got Questions?

If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.