Everything you need to know about short term forklift hire

What is short term forklift hire?

In this blog we look at Everything you need to know about short term forklift hire. Forklifts are an expensive purchase for any business, especially if it is only used from time to time. So it makes good business sense to opt for a short term forklift rental, and hire one only when it’s needed. That way, there is no significant financial investment on an asset that’s used very little. It is also an ideal option for businesses during busy periods that need more equipment, for start-up businesses with limited capital, and for expanding businesses that don’t want to make a large financial commitment on more vehicles straightaway. Short term forklift hire is convenient and cost effective.

How do businesses use short term hire?

For businesses that use forklifts on a daily basis, busy seasonal periods, like Black Friday, Christmas and the January sales are inevitably going to increase the need for the equipment. If you already own a forklift or have several, a short term forklift hire is a great asset to help increase your productivity during those really busy times.

With short term forklift hire you have the ability to book ahead without commitment, so you can comfortably plan out your year, safe in the knowledge that you have arranged for additional equipment to support you. Booking short term forklift hire for the busiest times of your business year will always keep you one step ahead.

We can also never predict when a vehicle might breakdown, there is always the possibility that this might happen, and even if you own a forklift, you may need a forklift in an emergency. A short term hire is ideal whilst your own truck is repaired.

What are the benefits of short term forklift hire?

1. Forklifts are available at short notice and can serve as an excellent stop gap or interim fix. This ensures that your business does not incur any downtime in productivity. It is also a great option if you are considering investing in more equipment, but not sure exactly what forklift you really need.

2. Flexibility is a prime benefit for short term forklift hire. You are quite likely to have a very good idea of exactly how long you will need one for, but very often situations can change and you may need to extend your hire. Short term hire is great in this respect, because you can arrange hire from as little as one week, or as long as twelve months. If your needs change you have the option to extend your contract for as long as you need to, and at the same rate of hire. You can also choose exactly what forklift you need for the job without any long term obligation.

3. With short term forklift hire you always know exactly how much you need to budget for right from the start, without any worries about the hire costs increasing. You can often agree a fixed price for the duration of the vehicle hire up front. However, it is useful to know that fixed prices are often considerably lower, the longer the rental period is going to be. Agreeing a fixed price is particularly helpful for small businesses, who may not necessarily have the cash flow for lengthy hire arrangements.

What kind of business would benefit from this kind of hire?

Forklifts are needed for any business that uses machinery for project work on a daily basis. The construction industry uses forklifts to move materials from one part of a construction site to the other. Waste management and recycling centres, as well as countless warehouses, also benefit from the use of forklifts every day. They are very heavy, robust pieces of equipment that can comfortably achieve what would take many men to do, and do it in a much quicker time. However, even though they are an essential business tool, they can also be very expensive. Whilst every business aims for increased productivity, if cost savings can be made it can be more beneficial to hire a forklift rather than purchase one or several outright.

How does short term hire compare to long term hire / buying a new forklift / buying a used forklift?

Buying a forklift or perhaps a fleet of them requires a significant upfront capital investment. However, if you are confident that your business is stable and you know that you will need to use forklifts for at least 10 years, the investment is a risk worth considering.

Often it is far cheaper to buy refurbished models because it will save a business a lot of money but this decision is not without risk. It is important to ensure that if this is your chosen route to take, that the purchase you make is made from a reputable dealer. Some refurbished vehicles might be fitted with low quality parts, not safety checked, and may even be outdated.

When your own forklift reaches the end of its warranty period any unresolved repairs, or future breakdowns are going to be costly.

Owning a certain type of forklift can be restrictive should your operating needs change. So a business must feel confident that the forklift will continue to meet the needs of the business in the foreseeable future.

Some small businesses, especially start-ups cannot really afford to invest a lot of money into permanent, expensive purchases like forklift trucks.

Forklift trucks are constantly being upgraded and improved, so a permanent asset of this kind, soon becomes outdated. It has to be a carefully considered purchase. This is where short term hire is an ideal solution, because there is no expensive initial outlay, you know what the hire cost is, and a business can budget for it appropriately whilst also taking advantage of using the very latest technology.

Short term forklift hire vs long term

If you only need a forklift for seasonal periods then a short term hire is very cost effective. There is no long term commitment, and you usually rent them on a week by week basis and are only required to give one weeks’ notice to offer hire. It also offers you the advantage of swapping very easily for a different model should your needs change.

There’s usually no financing required, and the maintenance is built into the rental contract. So should the forklift develop a problem, a technician will come out to repair it at no additional cost.

A long term arrangement allows you to set a fixed term fee based on your business needs. You’ll often have lower monthly rental fees which will give your business a better cashflow every month. Long term hire enables you to custom build your forklift to suit the needs of your business which can be advantageous. You also get increased flexibility, so once your long term arrangement comes to an end, very often you can make adjustments and change the product mix and negotiate new terms.

How does short term hire work and what to look out for when deciding to choose it?

Short term forklift hire gives you the opportunity to try out different models, which you may go on to consider for long term use, or possibly even purchase in the future. The kind of work you do will determine which forklift you should hire. If you’re already an established business making extensive use of forklifts, then you’ll have the knowledge and experience to know what to look for. However, if you’re unsure about a make or model of forklift, and whether it’s right for you and your business, short term hire is very advantageous. It’s a great way to try different models before you buy.

Here are three really popular Forklift choices.

Industrial counterbalance forklift – This is by far the most common forklift used for both indoor and outdoor work. The industrial counterbalance forklift, has a heavy weight at the rear of the engine which provides a safe balance when managing heavy loads. This forklift also has a three-wheeled version that has greater manoeuvrability, perfect for navigating narrow spaces.

Reach forklift- If you are a well established business that has a multitude of deliveries coming into your warehouse every day that gets stacked, you’re going to need a reach forklift. This vehicle can handle multiple heavy loads at height, and in confined spaces. Stabilisation is gained from the mast and provides a safe and perfect balance.

Four directional forklift – This is often used in the construction industry and perfect for lifting and transfer long loads like PVC extensions, timber or steel.

Forklift trucks are an essential resource for a variety of businesses, and with hire options available you don’t need to make a heavy investment. However, it is really important that you select a reputable company when hiring a forklift, regardless of the duration of the contract. You need to ensure that the company follows and practices all the stringent safety regulations, and that they will have provided a safety check, and completed a full test of the forklift before handing it over to you. As a business owner you need to make sure that all the correct health and safety steps have been fulfilled, and that a plan is in place for the supplier to carry out a regular maintenance check for the duration of the hire period. There is always the risk of accidents and breakdowns, and a short term supplier should be able to provide you with the right cover to keep your uptime at a maximum level and ensure the equipment is safe at all times.

There are many advantages in opting for short term forklift hire, but primarily it is an ideal solution for any business who does not want, or need to make a long term commitment or make a heavy financial investment.

To find out more about our short term forklift hire options, contact us and speak to one of our friendly team today.