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Forklift Rental Cost: 2021 Daily Rates & Monthly Prices

Renting a forklift truck, also called a fork truck or lift truck, will help your company lift, move and stack many industrial materials in crates or on pallets that otherwise you couldn’t manage.

Typically, the cost to rent a lift truck able to carry up to 5,000lbs might set you back from $110-$160/day, $250-$360/week, or $750-$1,100/month. However, the actual price you pay depends on the machine’s size, fuel type, how much it can carry, how far it can lift, and how high it can reach. Furthermore, you must also include in your budget the cost of delivery and pick-up, which might cost anything up to $100 for local deliveries.

Generally, it’s much better to rent a fork truck if your need is short-term or temporary. Moreover, there’s no point in spending many tens of thousands of dollars on a company vehicle that sits unused in the warehouse most of the time. It makes far more economic sense to rent a forklift, especially as you don’t have to bother with maintenance and repairs. Moreover, you only use the machine when you need it and send it back to the depot when you don’t.

This guide intends to tell you about the benefits of renting a forklift truck and how it can benefit your business.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Forklift?

The first thing to do is decide which type of forklift you need to rent. If you don’t know, then continue reading for some valuable information to help you decide.

There are two types of fork-truck, with the type of fuel they use determining the difference.

Electric fork trucks

These use electricity stored in a charged battery. You use these trucks indoors on smooth surfaces like asphalt and concrete because they usually have solid rubber tires. Generally, their lifting capacities range from 3,000 to 5,000lbs, although some can lift to 15,000lbs.

Internal combustion fork trucks

Internal combustion (IC) forklifts use fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, or LPG (propane). Typically, they have much higher capacities than electric forklifts, usually able to lift 5,000 to 35,000lbs. Furthermore, they mostly have pneumatic tires, and therefore, are used outside for much more heavy-duty jobs. Although, in theory, you could use IC forklifts indoors, you would then have the safety problem of toxic exhaust gases produced by their fossil fuel engines.

Other features

Although we’ve already mentioned solid and pneumatic tires, you can choose whichever tire you want, depending on how and where you use the trucks. Other options include the reach height and whether you want fork attachments or hydraulic jacks, both of which are readily available. Remember that any configuration over and above the basic model will always cost extra.

Generally, one more thing to consider is whether you rent fork trucks by the hour, day, week, or month. Therefore, always be sure of the expected duration as rental rates will always be cheaper per day if you hire for more extended periods. Likewise, renting a forklift a day at a time with continual daily extensions will work out very expensive.

Also, you’ll find that the cost per hour can be prohibitive if you want to rent for less than a day. Therefore, it’s better to choose a daily rental if you only need a few hours.

Below, we look in more detail at the rental prices for various types of machines. Remember, the prices shown are generalized and exact prices will depend on many factors, including your intended usage.  You should use this data only as a starting point for your research and consider all the additional features when deciding on your budget.

Electric Fork Truck Rental

Electric fork trucks should be kept and used indoors only. Usually, this is because of the exposed battery. Remember, electricity and rain don’t mix well. Therefore, if you intend to use your machine outdoors, choose an IC fork truck. Also, you’ll find that you have a choice between three and four-wheel options.

Let’s look at the electric forklift rental pricing for various lift capacities.

  • Renting a forklift with a capacity of 3,000-4,000lbs costs $150-$300/day, $350-$700/week or $1,200-$1,600/month.
  • Alternatively, rental rates for a lifting capacity of 5,000-6,000lbs costs $200-$350/day, $450-$800/week, or $1,300-$1850/month.
  • Finally, to rent an electric fork truck with a lifting capacity of 7,000-10,000lbs, you’ll pay $250-$400/day, $650-$900/week, or $1,600-$2,500/month.

Internal Combustion Engine Forklift Truck Rental

You can use internal combustion (IC) fork trucks indoors or outside. But remember, fossil fuels produce toxic exhaust gases, so ensure plenty of ventilation or preferably use an electric fork truck instead.

Generally, an IC machine is an all-terrain forklift owing to its more powerful engine and pneumatic tires.

Let’s look at average IC forklift rental costs for various lifting capacities.

  • For a small forklift with a lifting capacity of 3,000-5,000lbs, you pay $250-$300/day, $400-$750/week, or $1,150-$1,450/month.
  • For a mid-range IC forklift, having a load capacity of 6,000-8,000lbs, the forklift rental cost per day is $250-$400. In comparison, the weekly rate is $450-$700, and the monthly rate ranges from $1,200-$1,750.
  • A larger machine with load capaity of 12,000-15,500lbs costs $300-$500/day, $800-$1,000/week, or $2,300-$2,500/month.
  • The next larger load capacity is 16,000-21,500lbs. This fork truck costs $350-$600/day, $850-$1,100/week, or $2,500-$2,850/month.

Some machines have larger load capacities, but you should contact your rental company for prices. Alternatively, for a more accessible option, complete the form on this page.

Order Picker Rental Prices

Order pickers, also known as stock pickers, lift a pallet and a person to reach stock from higher shelves. Typically, companies trading in e-commerce, food distribution, and pharmaceuticals use these machines.

Generally, this machine class has the same load capacity, so price variation usually depends on the maximum lifting height.

  • Renting an order picker with a lifting height of up to 276″ is $180-$230/day, $350-$450/week, or $1,150-$1,250/month.
  • If you choose one that can lift higher than 276″ you can pay $200-4230/day, $450-$550/week, or $1,300-$1,500/month.

Reach Truck Rental Prices

A Reach Truck is a specialized forklift truck designed for use in narrow aisles, such as you’d find in warehouses. Usually, they have two outer legs and a set of wheels below the driver. Therefore, helping to provide a tighter turning radius which is essential in narrow spaces.

Reach Trucks all have the same lifting capacity, so the rental prices vary depending on how high they can lift.

  • A reach truck rental able to lift up to 258” costs $200-$250/day, $450-$500/week, or $1,350-$1,500/month.
  • Choose one of these with a reach above 258,” and you will pay $230-$260/day, $500-$550/week, or $1,600-$1,700/month.

Turret Truck Rental

A Turret Truck, also known as a VNA (Very Narrow Aisle Truck), is used with limited space, with no room for a separate counterweight. Instead, the truck uses the engine, battery, and operator weight to counterbalance the load.

These are specialized machines and need custom pallet spacing. Therefore, it’s very unusual to hire these for less than a week.

  • To rent a turret truck with a lift height below 258″, you will pay $1,300-$1,600/week, or $3,200-$3,600/month.
  • Alternatively, a turret truck reaching above 258” costs $1,600-$2,000/week, or $4,000-$4,600/month.

Pallet Truck Rental Prices

Companies use Pallet Trucks for moving pallets from one position to another. They do not lift more than a couple of inches above ground level. Therefore, the manually powered version is very safe and doesn’t need special training.

The most popular (and cheapest) type has no motor. Instead, an operator lifts the forks clear of the floor using the steering handle to operate a hydraulic jack built into the truck.  The operator then pulls the truck and pallet until it’s in place. Then, the operator releases the jack to lower the forks. This truck is usually one of the most common rental lifting appliances.

  • Manual pallet truck rental rates are $40-$90/day, $100-$150/week, or $200-$270/month.

There are electrically powered versions.

  • An electric truck carrying 4,500lbs costs $70-$120/day, $170-$275/week, or $450-$750/month.
  • Alternatively, a truck with a load capacity of 6,000-8,000lbs costs $90-$150/day, $240-$350/week, or $700-$900/month.

Additional Costs

Additionally, there are other payments to budget for on top of the initial rental costs.

  • Fuel costs vary depending on which type of truck you use, fuel consumption, and how much you use the truck. You should ask the rental company for information on this.
  • Delivery and Pick-up Costs will vary depending on how heavy the fork truck is, its delivery charges, and whether the rental company offers free delivery within a particular area. Generally, you should always budget for delivery and pick-up charges. Usually, these cost between $50-$100.
  • Forklift Operator Training is something you cannot forget, and hope will go away. To comply with the OSHA regulations, only a trained operator can use a fork truck. And, each class of fork truck needs the operator to be certified as competent in that particular class. Therefore, the operator must have the training and a final assessment by a qualified instructor. Prices for training, assessment, and certification vary depending on the machine you intend to use. Furthermore, the total cost will also vary depending on the certification company.
  • Damage to the rented machine is something you must consider. No matter how skilled the operator, there is always the chance of an accident, especially if there are other vehicles around, excessive loads, or uneven ground. Usually, the rental company sets the damage costs, which might be much more than the repair cost. Sometimes you might be required to pay a deposit. Alternatively, and more usually, the rental company might insist you take out a small insurance policy to cover the damage. Include this in your budget.

Renting vs. Leasing a Forklift

If you’ve previously looked at how much a fork truck costs to buy, you’ll understand why almost all companies rent or lease. However, there are other reasons, and we’ll consider these now.

Leasing

Typically, companies lease fork trucks from a manufacturer or an equipment leasing company. Usually, your company will not make payment upfront, other than the regular monthly lease payment. After this, you will be expected to pay regular monthly payments for the remainder of the lease term. Usually, this will be from one to five years.

At the end of the term, you have a few choices:

  • You can buy the machine, usually at a reduced rate.
  • Exchange the old fork truck for a newer model or for one that better suits your requirements. In this case, you will set up a new lease contract.
  • Return the fork truck and end your relationship with the lease provider.

Typically, the cost of leasing depends on three factors:

  • The length of the lease.
  • The value of the fork truck.
  • Your credit rating.
  • Which buy-out option do you choose?

Typically, for a $25,000 forklift, you might pay a monthly lease payment of around $650/month over five years. Alternatively, for a $50,000 machine, you might end up paying $1,250/month.

At the end of the lease term, most lease companies offer a buy-out plan. This means that your monthly payments increase slightly over the term. However, you can buy the fork truck at the end of the term for an agreed nominal sum.

Renting

Unlike leasing, a rental contract is designed for short-term use. Moreover, there is no option to buy the machine at the end of the contract. You can choose to rent for as little as one day or for as long as a few months. Also, you can find rental agreements for one or more years. However, as rental charges are always higher than leasing, it would be better to decide whether, in this case, it would be more financially beneficial to have a short-term lease rather than a long-term rental agreement.

Benefits of Renting a Forklift

There are many benefits for those choosing to follow a rental option.

Short-term commitment

Those companies that mainly trade seasonally might need additional lifting equipment at certain times of the year. Furthermore, you can probably see that renting a fork truck makes a lot of sense if you have the following situations:

  • Renting additional equipment to help with an increased workload.
  • Temporarily replace existing fork trucks that need repair or are out of service.
  • If you need a machine that can lift heavier loads or reach higher for a particular task.
  • Also, you can try out various fork truck brands and models before choosing to invest in a capital purchase.

Money-saving option

Suppose you need a forklift for a short duration or to complete a particular task. In this case, it makes good financial sense to rent for the duration of the job rather than use your company’s capital to buy a fork truck that you won’t use regularly.

Fewer problems

Usually, a rental machine is relatively new and will have many new features to make it safe and efficient to use.

Furthermore, if anything goes wrong with the machine, the rental company usually sends a technician on-site as soon as possible to repair it, or you will receive a replacement. Also, they won’t charge you while the machine is out of use, and you won’t have to pay for repairs and maintenance.

Low maintenance costs

You don’t own the machine when you rent. Therefore you aren’t responsible for charges incurred due to a breakdown and repair. However, remember that the rental company will charge for damage caused by neglect or by a reckless operator.

Poor credit history

Suppose your company is a start-up and doesn’t have much capital available to purchase a forklift. Moreover, if your company has a poor credit history, you won’t have the credit points necessary to take out a lease. In these cases, rental is the best option. It’s straightforward, and you pay the bill by cheque, card, or cash, whichever is most convenient. A credit loan doesn’t come into it.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Forklift Rental

Many factors affect the rental cost of a forklift truck. Let’s look at a few of them.

Job-Specific Needs

The type of job will govern the fork truck’s type, size, and lift capacity. Also, you need to be aware of the type of materials, their weight, and how high you need to lift them. Therefore, you should also consider any attachments such as fork extensions, additional counterweights, and safety equipment.

Size / power

This factor comes down to the type of fuel the fork truck uses.

Internal combustion

Engines of this type use fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, or LPG. Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) engines are quieter than gasoline or diesel, and it’s easy to refuel; simply replace the onboard gas canister. The engine can also be two or four-stroke gasoline. Generally, IC engines have more power than electrically powered machines.

Electrical

These store electricity in lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries. Operators primarily use these indoors on even flat surfaces sheltered from the rain. They also have the advantage of no toxic emissions, so they are useful for food processing and healthcare facilities.

Duration of contract

Typically, you rent forklifts daily, weekly, or monthly. Knowing how long you want to rent is a way to strike a good deal with the rental company. Choosing an extended rental will often save your company money in the long run as you will be charged less per day overall.

You should also recognize that most rental contracts specify a maximum daily, weekly, or monthly operating time. If you go over this limit, you will be liable for penalties.

Insurance

Forklift rental companies offer service plans. These include preventative and complete maintenance packages. Furthermore, remember that your place of business, including your employees, will also need insurance if the rental forklift is involved in an accident.

Training staff & hiring operator

Companies renting a forklift truck must allow only qualified operators to use the machine. Operators must follow an OSHA-approved training course, and the qualified trainer must assess the operator as being competent using a particular vehicle class. The training course may be in the workplace but must include a formal lecture and video followed by a practical demonstration and practice exercises. Furthermore, each operator must be assessed separately for the different vehicle classes, if necessary, and renew their certification every three years.

However, suppose your company doesn’t need a fork truck more than occasionally or has an operator away sick or on vacation. In these cases, you can often agree to a contract to hire a forklift rental with operator from the rental company.

Any damages

We’ve already mentioned this factor previously. Generally, the rental company will charge an additional fee if the operator uses the fork truck recklessly or causes deliberate damage. This fee will cover the labor and parts necessary to repair the damage. However, usually, most rental companies will charge more than this amount to act as a deterrent.

Attachments

Various types of attachments will add to the rental cost of the fork truck. Usually, attachments are detachable and not part of the basic fork truck model. In which case, you will have an additional item added to the monthly bill. Alternatively, suppose you want additional features found on other models. In this case, you must rent a different machine at a higher price.

Typical attachments could be:

Dimensioning devices

These are mounted on the vehicle to support warehouse automation systems and help the operator assess the use of space.

Fork positioner

This accessory is a hydraulic attachment used to mechanically adjust the position of the forks closer together or further apart. Otherwise, the operator must dismount from the vehicle cab and adjust the forks manually.

Pole attachments

Some loads require the fork truck to use a pole rather than forks to lift the load. Typical applications include lifting carpet rolls or coils of wire.

Carton clamps

These hydraulic clamps allow the operator to grip a carton and lift it into place. Typically, these include products such as wooden boxes, hay, or straw bales.

Drum handler

This attachment slides onto the vehicle’s forks. It has a jaw that clips onto the rim of a metal oil drum or similar container. The spring-loaded jaw holds the top edge of the drum in place during lifting.

Man basket

Personnel cannot legally ride on lift truck forks without purpose-made carriers. The man basket (also called man platform or personnel cage) has a guardrail around the perimeter and fitted brackets for a safety harness. The platform will be clipped or otherwise locked onto the forks to prevent sliding. Also, a safety chain attached between the cage and the forklift carriage prevents any unsafe movement.

Telescopic forks

Some warehouses have extra-deep storage racks to hold two pallets, one behind the other. In this case, the fork truck has extension forks that slip over the original forks and are locked in place. Then, the truck can reach the pallet furthest from the aisle.

And more

There are many more attachments available to help make the operator’s job more efficient and safer. Moreover, you can safely assume that if you need a particular attachment for a specific task, it’s already been thought of and is widely available.

OSHA Forklift Regulations

Your operators and your company must comply with the OSHA regulations for the use of forklift trucks and other goods handling machines. Fork trucks are heavy machines and not easy to control unless you have proper training. The OSHA website provides a list of standards relevant to materials handling and storage equipment. Furthermore, the website also provides a webpage specific to forklift trucks and their use. Your company’s safety manager must be aware of the federal government’s requirements and ensure that your company complies with them.

Next Steps

Choosing the correct forklift truck for the circumstances and applications within your company can be a difficult job to get right, especially when constrained by a company budget and the OSHA laws on materials handling. In such situations, you need to have professional help.

Complete the form on this page, and you’ll receive up to four quotations from companies that can help you rent a fork truck to comply with the law and do the job at a price you can afford.