Forklift Rental – Pricing, Options & Free Forklift Rental Quotes

forklift rentalForklift rental is part of the global construction rental market which is valued at 159 Billion dollars (source).

In this guide we will dive into forklift rental prices, listings of forklift rental companies, compare forklift rental vs forklift purchase and much more.

Forklifts are a vital part of the economy because they are used in every warehouse and logistic center around the country. 

Forklifts come in different shapes and sizes. Moreover, there are different types of forklifts, that are used for different applications.

Types of Forklifts (By Application)

Forklift Type
Power Type
Telehandler ForkliftsDieselN/AConstruction/ Agriculture
Warehouse ForkliftElectricStandard Capacity (2K-5K LBS)Mid Capacity(6K-10K LBS)High Capacity(11K + LBS)Warehouse
Rough Terrain ForkliftGas/Diesel6,000 LBS8,000 LBS10,000 LBSPallets Bulk Items
Narrow Aisle forkliftsBattery1K-4.5K LBSStacking / Light Industrial
Shooting Boom ForkliftDiesel5,000 LBS6,000-7,000 LBS8,000-9,000 LBS10,000 LBS12,000 LBS14,000 LBS15,000-17,000 LBSRough Terrain ConstructionIndustrial Sites

Popular Models of Forklifts and Popular Manufacturers

The most popular manufacturers of forklifts include these company brands: Hyster, Toyota, CAT, Komatsu, and Nissan.

The most popular fuel types for forklifts are electric forklifts, diesel, and gasoline forklifts.

Electric forklifts generally are great for storage facilities and warehouses that are small in size.

Remember that electric forklifts need to be charged on a consistent basis for up to six or eight hours at a time.  Diesel and gasoline forklifts are great for use in large warehouses, rough terrain, and outdoor use.

Renting Versus Owning a Forklift - Further Review

Forklifts have long been used by many types of businesses to move heavy items and large amounts of materials within their daily business operations.

 While a forklift is often necessary to move inventory items, very few organizations decide to buy forklifts.

However, the truth is that some businesses should rent a forklift, some businesses should rent to own a forklift, and some businesses should buy a forklift.

Short term rentals are fantastic for businesses that have to deal with spikes in their business for a short period of time, people who have to complete short-term projects, and for moving purposes.  

Ongoing Long Term Use 

In fact, ownership of a forklift is important when a company will need to use a forklift on an ongoing basis or for long-term projects.

Buying a forklift means that you are the owner of the machine.  Therefore, you can use it as needed, wherever and whenever you choose.

Added Value Vs. Depreciating Asset

Purchasing a forklift also means that you as the owner can sell the forklift if you would like to at any given point in time. Finally, you should consider that purchasing a forklift adds value to your business.

Why? In part, they choose to rent or lease a forklift because they prefer to have maintenance and upkeep completed by the rental company.  In the end, it saves each company time, labor, and money.

There are many benefits to renting and owning a forklift. Before deciding your approach to forklift use, consider the different types of wheels, tires, and forklift handle along with conditions of use, models, and varying capabilities.  

Before you get started, take a look at the manufacturers and most popular models of forklifts here:

 Major Question To Ask Before Buying A Forklift 

  1. What is the cost of ownership?
  2. Do I need the flexibility of owning a forklift for my business?
  3. Can I manage the forklift at my business?
  4. Can I handle the service and repairs needed on my forklift?

Costs of Forklift Rental

The costs of renting a forklift varies with carrying capacity, rate type, and length of use.

Forklifts that have a carrying ability of 3,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds should cost between $100 & $150 a day, between $250 and $350 a week, and a monthly rental should cost between $750 and $1,000.00.

Forklifts that have a carrying ability of 6,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds should cost between $150 and $300 a day, between $350 and $700 weekly, and a monthly rental should cost between $1,000 and $2,000.00.  

Forklifts that have a carrying ability of 10,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds should cost between $200 and $700 a day, between $500 and $2,000 weekly, and a monthly rental should cost between $1,500 and $4,500.00.

Basically, the algorithm for forklift rental cost is this:

Carrying capacity + rate type + length of use = forklift rental cost

Types of Fees & Additional Fees

Base Price: this is the base cost of equipment rental.

Delivery Price:  Unless you pick up the equipment yourself, you will need to have it delivered.  Delivery prices and charges vary according to where it is being delivered.

Environmental Fees:  these are the fees that are charged per rental to help pay for environmental cleanup.

Refuel Charge:  this refers to if you return a piece of machinery with less fuel than when you rented it, you will need to pay a charge to have the vehicle refueled upon return.

Rental Protection Fees:  this is not the same as insurance.  Damage protection plans are used to offset charges if the equipment rented is damaged.

Types of Forklifts Available To Rent

Before you rent a forklift, ask yourself these straightforward questions:

  1. Do you need to stack any items?  Will you use pallets for stacking?
  2. Will you use your forklift rental inside or outside?
  3. Where will you store your forklift when not in use?
  4. How much does your forklift need to be able to lift in pounds (capacity range)?
  5. What type of fuel does your forklift need to use (Battery powered, diesel, propane, electric)?  Do you have access to this type of fuel?
  6. Do you have a specific aisle width in which your forklift needs to fit?  Measure beforehand.

Short Term Rental Versus Long Term Rent

Most forklift rental establishments offer to rent their forklifts for days, weeks, or months at a time.

Forklifts are usually rented by days instead of hours. Therefore, it is essential to use the forklift as much as possible because you can shorten your rental and save money.

In fact, if you contact the forklift rental company the second you are finished using your forklift, you will avoid being charged for more days than you need your rental.

Most Popular Cities For Forklift Rentals

The most popular cities for forklifts may surprise you.  Here is our list!

  1. Irvine, California
  2. Yuba City, CA
  3. Ontario, CA
  4. Panorama City, CA
  5. Panama City, FL.
  6. Miami, FL.
  7. Carson City, NV.
  8. Iowa City, Iowa

Forklift Renting Versus Leasing

There are several advantages to renting a forklift.  These advantages include no down payment or substantial purchase costs, no maintenance costs, no unexpected breakdown budget needed, no safety issues, and access to a wide range of models for specific jobs.

Rental terms are entirely different from leasing terms.  Here is why:

A lease is written and gives you, the lessee the right to use the equipment for a set period of time.  Via a lease, you are considered a tenant and must not violate the agreement because it has been arrived at as a mutually beneficial contract.

A lease will often revert at the close of the lease to the lessee.  Often times, the equipment you leased will be available for you to purchase for less than it is worth.  

Rentals are often used for shorter time spans than leases.  Rentals are often more casual than formal lease agreements.

Forklift Safety

Forklift Safety is a great concern for many equipment rental companies. Some companies will not rent the equipment without verifying the proper licensing to operate the equipment. Other companies will leave it up to the renter.

In any case, it would be a wise decision to only use qualified forklift operators and full safety tips for using the forklift in the workplace.

Forklift Insurance

Do you have rental insurance which guards you or your company against damage, personal liability damages, or physical injury?

If you are looking to use the general business insurance for forklift rental equipment, make sure that it will be covered by your insurance carrier.

Most businesses carry a commercial auto, general liability, inland marine, property and worker’s compensation insurance.

Typically the forklift rental should be covered the commercial auto liability. However, some times it will be restricted from coverage. In that case, the renters should seek coverage under the general liability or the umrella coverage.

Forklift Insurance vs. Rental Protection Policies vs. Limited Damage Waivers.

Insurance is a policy that provides complete protection. This policy is usually Issued by a state agent licensed to sell policies. On the other hand, Rental Protection Plans are a blanket plan that reduces the amount a client will pay to a company if something such as an accident or theft occurs.

The Third option is Limited Damage Waivers (LDW):  If a catastrophic event occurs while you are renting a piece of equipment, an LDW prevents you from being responsible for damage or loss.

Make sure you do not need to add a subcontractor to a policy (any person other than yourself who may operate the machine).  If an undocumented person damages the vehicle and is not on your policy, you will be charged by the rental company.

Cross your T’s and dot your I’s.  Know your contract and insurance policy forwards and backward and know the lingo.


Logistical Questions To Ask Before Renting A Forklift?

  1. Do you have any limitations presented by your job site?  (space, natural limitations, etc.)
  2. What lift height do I need?  (What is the height of the highest object you need to be able to reach during your job?)
  3. What type of surface will I drive my forklift on?  (pavement, asphalt, rocks, dirt, concrete)
  4. How much time do I need to finish the job with my forklift?  (Do not underestimate. You can always return a rental earlier and save money.)

Forklift Rental Terms You Should Keep An Eye On

When renting a forklift, the renter must be aware of the different rental terms. For example, security deposit, insurance requirements , any additional fees and the renewal/deadline times.

Furthermore, Is there a clause about escalating prices? Is there a clause about missed deadlines? For a complete review check our sample rental agreement.

Inspect The Forklift Before Leaving The Lot

Inspect the forklift and check for damage.  If any damage is found, make sure both you and the rental company document it so you do not end up charged for the previous renter's damages.

Check your company’s or your personal insurance to make sure that they cover damage and injury during your use of your forklift rental.

Check to make sure you have a forklift license if you will be operating the forklift.  Certification courses are available online and in person. Some states and regions do require an in-person multiple choice test and an in-person driving test.

Deciding On The Right Forklift Rental Company

  1. Check that your forklift rental company has a comprehensive maintenance program.
  2. Check to see if your forklift rental company is able to offer maintenance 24/7.
  3. Check that your forklift is energy efficient.
  4. Ask if your forklift rental company has access to financing options
  5. Check to see if your forklift rental company offers great customer service.
  6. Check to see if your forklift rental company offers free price quotes and inventory lists.
  7. Check to see if your forklift rental company is recommended and rated by the Better Business Bureau.
  8. Check to see what payment types your forklift rental company accepts.

Forklift Rental: Our Final Take

Renting a forklift can be a daunting task filled with legal jargon, insurance language, and foreboding paperwork, but it does not have to be!  By reading this article, you now know the ins and outs of any forklift rental experience. The basic guideline for any equipment rental is to know the type of forklift or equipment you need along with base prices and added fees.  

After that, pursue the major equipment rental companies available in your area. Use customer reviews on search engines such as Bing!, Google, and Yelp to determine the best equipment rental company with the best reputation.

Next, use every resource at your disposal to make an educated decision about how, when, and where to rent your forklift. Research and gain knowledge about if the rental company you choose supports businesses solves problems, and gives you the best coverage for your rental equipment.

Next, go to that company’s website and read through your rental agreement or lease agreement BEFORE you decide to rent from them; be aware of all terms and conditions stated in each contract.   Next, call your insurance company and investigate your insurance plan.

Do you need a rental protection plan to rent a forklift? Should you waive the rental protection plan that the rental company offers you? Why? Why not? When you are ready to rent or lease a forklift, you should have all of your paperwork including insurance identification cards, driver’s license, and any other necessary documentation together before entering the store.  

If you notice a sale, coupon code, or a promotion, be sure to bring in evidence so that you receive a full discount.

Finally, rent your equipment, use it correctly, and return it on time. Ask about the estimated time for the return of your deposit when you return your forklift to the rental company.