forklift rental

what to expect when you rent

A need for a forklift can be immediate or planned. Immediate needs can occur due to broken equipment, seasonal needs, or unexpected demand while planned needs are usually a result of bidding, contractual projects. For immediate needs, short-term projects and specialty lifts, the solution is renting. Forklifts can be rented daily, weekly, or monthly to meet your specific circumstance. So, what should you expect when planning to rent?


The requirements to rent from a forklift dealership, who typically rents for the purposes of industrial or commercial use, include having a one-million-dollar liability insurance policy and completing the credit application process. Once approved, the rate of the rental will depend upon the rented timeframe of the lift. General maintenance is included in this rate; however, you may incur variable maintenance and damage costs while the rental is in your possession. Variable maintenance costs are expected costs including: fuel or the need of a specialized attachment.

If operator abuse or unexpected incidents happen to the forklift while in your possession, you may be held liable and obligated to cover the cost of the damages to the forklift. Scratches on forklifts, torn seats, knocked off lights and cut tires are the most common damage cost incurred but can be avoided with cautious and trained operators and pedestrians.


Availability is being able to get what you need when you need it. Availability of forklifts will differ from dealership to dealership, but typically the machinery can be received within an hour to a week of the request. Many will carry brand specific forklifts and much of a company’s rent fleet will be shared among various branch locations.

A significant portion of availability will depend largely on utilization – the percentage of available lifts versus what is currently being rented. It is not uncommon for a dealership to have 80% of its rental fleet rented at any given time. If the piece of equipment you need is in the 80% that is currently on rental, it can take up to a week to locate that piece of equipment from another branch location and deliver it to you.


When considering renting from a forklift dealership or a rental company, know that all forklift equipment is not maintained the same. The age of the equipment, the maintenance of the fleet, and whether the rental forklift is “rent ready” will contribute to the overall rental experience. As a forklift ages, it becomes less ergonomic for the operator, reducing productivity.

A well-maintained forklift will be “rent ready”, ensuring an unlikely probability that issues will occur and the forklift will be in optimal operating condition for the entire stint of your rental agreement.

Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! We also have a variety of industrial cleaning equipment in stock, and can also supply rentals for attachments and special applications.

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.