rental vs. purchase

When to choose a forklift

When production at your company begins to gradually increase or a short-term project is announced, whether or not to invest in additional forklifts is a key question. Use these questions to determine if you should choose a forklift rental versus purchase.


Has the increase of business been caused by a particular event?

Almost every company has been touched by the economy and experienced a decrease in operation, so it is exciting to have an increase of business. However, it is important to research the reason for this increase and understand why it is happening. If you cannot determine with certainty the increase is permanent, renting forklifts is your better option. Forklift rental allows a short-term commitment, obligating your company to only a monthly, weekly or daily expense. Use a forklift rental to maintain peak levels of productivity to ensure your customer orders are met.

What is the length of the short-term project?

Short-term projects may be internal or brought on by a customer request. It is important to determine the length of the project and obstacles that can lengthen or shorten it. If your project is planned to be 6 months or longer, you may find a benefit to purchasing a forklift. Dollars used for the monthly forklift rental can be invested into a purchase of a new or used forklift.

Do you need a specialty forklift?

While some companies have a need for a mixed forklift fleet, your equipment may be standard for your operation. If a specialty forklift is needed for a project, a forklift rental allows flexibility to have access to equipment you would not normally purchase. Only consider a forklift purchase if the equipment can be used with long-term, daily operations.

Did your company set aside budget dollars for a forklift purchase?

Most of us are being cautious about budgeting and setting aside dollars only for immediate needs. If business has been unpredictable, more than likely your company did not set aside budget dollars for a purchase. Keeping a forklift rental as your option decreases the risk of not having the cash flow you need for other projects or emergencies.

Are you concerned the need for a forklift will become long-term?

If the increase to your business appears to be stable and long-term, paying for a forklift rental may seem like a waste of money. In this case, select a Rental Purchase Option (RPO) for a new or used forklift. The RPO allows you to put a portion of your monthly forklift rental payment toward the purchase of the selected forklift, but doesn’t commit you to the acquisition.

Need to reserve a forklift rental? Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak with a rental 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.