When you enter into a busy period or need a job doing that entails a plethora of equipment – especially forklift trucks – you may find yourself weighing up the investment against the reward. In a busy warehouse environment, forklift trucks are going to be one of your most vital productivity tools. But what if you have periods where you don’t need a forklift and it just sits in a corner gathering dust? What if you need a forklift for a job but cannot purchase one without it taking a huge chunk out of your budget? What if your forklift which has served you faithfully for many years is nearing the end of its life? Maybe long-term hire or outright purchase is not right for your needs? Perhaps you would be better suited to a short-term hire? These are the many ways in which hiring a forklift truck on a short-term contract can enrich your business.
The lead up to the Christmas period can be a good time for warehouses. Most people are going to be flocking to buy their shopping online, which means that Winter will be a more turbulent time than most. If you already have a fleet of forklifts at your disposal, you may want to hire some more on a temporary contract to help with the workload. Packing and stacking can only go so far with permanent resources, and you will find yourself being stretched thin if you decide to stick with existing resources. Once the New Year starts and the Christmas rush is over, with short term hire contracts you can return the forklifts without any penalty costs.
Part of this will come down to how in-tune you are with the day-to-day running of your business. But if you have a solid idea of what your busiest periods throughout the year are, then you can arrange for short-term hire based on those periods. Busy periods are often tied into seasonal holidays like Christmas and Black Friday, meaning you can time your forklift hire around them. In November 2018, UK consumers were reported as having spent £1.4 billion online, a demand that will only increase with each year. With figures such as these in mind, you can structure your budgets so that they are not seeping into the slower periods.
For the most part, you will have a solid idea of how long you’re going to need a vehicle. But schedules can be subject to change, especially in the winter period which can make things quite unpredictable. Thankfully, ‘short-term hire’ can range from as little as one week to as long as twelve months. If you hire a forklift truck for a month’s worth of work, you may find the work takes longer than expected. A short-term forklift hire enables you to stay flexible, extending your contract for as long as you need to, at the same hire rate.
If you’re acquiring your forklifts from an external client, then they will be expected to ensure the forklift is in good working condition without any health hazards, meaning the responsibility stays with the rental company. Thus, it is important to make sure whatever company you select will have a reputable background regarding making safety checks and will allow you to test the forklift’s capabilities before handing it over to you. There’s also the inclusion of maintenance cover. Despite all the steps taken, there is always the risk of accidents and breakdowns. A short-term supplier can provide the right maintenance cover to keep the uptime at a maximum.
Short-term hire works well from a cost perspective, in that, you will be aware from the start of incurred costs, both on paper as well as anticipated costs. Business owners will have the option of a fixed pricing period for every month they know they will need the vehicle for. If schedules are subject to change, then this option would be best suited to them. There is another option for companies fully aware of how much time they require in which costs are diminished based on how long they require the forklift for. The longer the rental period, the lower the overall cost.
You may not be interested in the short-term hire and you may have a fleet of forklifts permanently at your disposal. But there is always the risk of a breakdown. And unfortunately, the world of work does not stop just because your equipment does. You would be better to hire a temporary forklift that matches your model while the long-term forklift is in the workshop. It would help if you had an awareness of available suppliers who could match your model so you can act quickly should your forklift break down in the middle of an incoming deadline.
Some businesses – especially SMEs or those in the early stages of development – cannot afford to invest so much money into permanent purchases. What’s more, vehicles are constantly upgrading and improving, but up and coming businesses may not have the financial means to benefit from them. With short term hire there is no expensive initial outlay and all of the costs are known with certainty and many forklift companies use the latest models in their hire fleets.
Despite all the effort that may go into maintenance, all forklift trucks have a life expectancy. And, as mentioned earlier, maintenance costs will grow with time and you may find yourself paying more in maintenance than for the actual forklift. If you hire a forklift truck from a supplier who is liable for all repairs and servicing, you will reap the benefit of a truck that is at the peak of its operating capacity with none of the hassle or worry. Plus, any depreciation in value won’t be your problem.
The type of work that you undertake will determine which forklift trucks you will hire. If you’re running a company that already makes extensive use of forklifts then you may have a solid idea of what to look for. But if you’re branching out into forklifts for the first time, then these are some of the most popular models you should consider.
The most common forklift used for indoor work is the industrial counterbalance forklift (they are also a great outdoor option providing the surface is stable). The dense weight reserved for the rear of the engine provides the necessary balance when managing heavy loads. A popular side-model for this forklift is the three-wheel variety, which offers greater manoeuvrability and is ideal for navigating narrow spaces.
If you’ve got deliveries coming in by the thousands, you’re going to need plenty of space when it comes to stacking. An ideal model to make use of would be the reach forklift truck, which lives up to its name by handling multiple heavy loads from heights or in narrow spaces. The mast works to stabilise the forklift, allowing a perfect balance.
Forklift trucks are a vital resource to your warehouse but that doesn’t mean you need to pay through the roof for them. By understanding the benefit of short-term hire as well as longer-term hire, you’ll be able to meet your business’ periods of demand in a way that suits your budget too. If you’re not sure which is the right forklift investment for you, try a model today on a short-term contract and discover the pros and cons for yourself. Contact us now to chat about your short-term hire needs.