Sample Forklift Rental Agreement – Terms & Conditions

Any forklift rental agreement tends to be long and full of complicated legal language. In this post, we would like to include all of the forklift rental agreement terms we are aware of.

You will do a lot of signing and initialing. Therefore, this guide will prepare you for what the agreement looks like and what you should be watching out for.

We are hoping that by doing so every business owner may be able to rent a forklift in a smarter way. This holds true for forklift leasing as well.

Sample Forklift Rental Agreement

Legal Liability

First and foremost, you will have to sign that the renter is of legal age and has authority to rent on behalf of the business.  Additionally, the rental must present a valid photo ID.

Second, the rental agreement will state that you will not hold the company (lessor) responsible for any harm.

Third, The company will also include a clause that states they cannot be held responsible or liable for any injuries that occur during use.  In layman’s terms: you have insurance; you will use it if there is an injury.

Finally, This clause protects the lessor against any lawsuits, wrongful death, or other damages and liabilities that may occur as a result of the equipment rented.

Class Action Waiver

You as the customer must agree that you will not pursue court proceedings in a class-action lawsuit.  If you pursue a lawsuit, you must pursue it as an individual plaintiff.

Trial by Jury

Most equipment rental companies ask for you to waive your right to trial by jury

Inspecting The Forklift Before Renting 

A clause about inspecting the equipment before you rent it and when it is returned.  In addition, you will need to sign saying that you understand that you are responsible for any damage incurred during use.

Pro Tip:  Always walk around the entire piece of equipment and sweep your eyes in a side to side fashion while moving from the bottom of the equipment to the top.

Mark defects as you find them. Your rental company should give you a piece of paper with a picture of the equipment on it.

The Deposit

A deposit will be necessary to confirm your rental. Ask in advance how much the deposit for a forklift rental will be.

Know that your deposit will be used in case any damage is sustained by the rental equipment.  The deposit amount will depend on the type of forklift you are going to rent. The deposit amount on forklift rental is $500 - $2,000

Allowable Use 

This section explains that the renter (the customer) will use the equipment appropriately. Following are the specifics of what allowable use is or is not. 

The equipment rented will not be used illegally meaning cannot be used in any crime.

The unit can only be used by a properly licensed forklift operator.

The renting business will only allow qualified people named on the document to use the rental equipment.  This means it will use properly certified employees to complete any task, no matter how small.

The forklift renter will comply with all federal laws, state laws, and local laws while renting the equipment.

The unit must be fueled with the proper fuel for the particular type of forklift the company rented.  Check before your rental about which type of fuel your forklift will use.

NO Subleasing
Unless you can obtain the written consent of the equipment rental company, subleasing any rental equipment is NOT allowed.

Forklift Maintenance During Rental

Check all filters before using rental equipment.

Check the oil before using rental equipment.

Check tire pressure on all tires before using the rental equipment.

Clean the rental equipment daily before use.  Make sure there is no concrete, excessive mud, or paint leftover from use.

Consistently inspect the rental equipment before using it.  Do you notice anything different from the last time you used the forklift?

Forklift Rental Laws & Reporting 

If you see it, report it.

This clause also states that the lessor (the rental company) has the right to inspect the rental equipment at any point in time during the lease or rental agreement.

Some states have specific regional laws for rental equipment and rental agreements.  The best way to find out what the laws are in your area is by logging onto your computer and browsing the Secretary of State’s website.


The renter understands that the forklift rental company is not responsible for verifying that the type of equipment you rent is suitable for a particular job.  This means you must do your due diligence in research and preparation for your upcoming rental.

You will verify that the rental company does not guarantee that the equipment is free of flaws.  All rental companies have many forklifts for rent; there is a chance that you will be renting a flawed forklift.

If this happens, call customer service and your rental company should replace the machinery quickly.

Equipment Malfunctions

Malfunctions clauses explain that if the piece of equipment you rent has a flaw or it is involved in some type of accident or is noticeably unsafe; you must call the company and let them know right away.

The forklift rental company will then replace the piece of equipment if it is available. However, you as the customer are expected to understand that the company will not replace the equipment if it was misused, neglected, or abused during your rental period.

Additionally, it explains that if you fail to report flaws in machinery, you will be held liable.  

In addition, many companies include a clause about returning defective or faulty equipment to the store must happen within 24 hours from contract start time if you choose to terminate the rental agreement.  

Returning Forklift Equipment

    1. You are expected to return any rental equipment in good condition.
    2. If the rental equipment is being picked up, the company will pick it up in a reasonable amount of time.  
    3. You are responsible for any wear and tear that may occur to the rental equipment during your rental agreement.
    4. There is always a clause about loss and/or destruction of rental equipment and you will be held responsible for replacement value and the full rate of rental if this occurs.  
    5. If the rental equipment is returned to the store in bad condition, the customer must pay for repair in addition to the rental charge.  

You will sign that you understand that the rental company has the right to charge your account for the total due or for the damaged and/or lost equipment.

Wear and Tear

In your contract, you will promise to use the equipment responsibly and reasonably.  This section will outline what is NOT considered reasonable wear and tear that equipment may incur.

  1. Damage from no lubrication
  2. Damage due to use of improper fuel
  3. Damage due to misalignment.
  4. Damage due to no water or air pressure
  5. Damage due to no maintenance or care
  6. Damage from collision
  7. Damage to the body of equipment from improper operation.
  8. Damage from excessive use.
  9. Damage incurred which is not reasonable by industry standards.
  10. Excessive cleaning needed will be the customer’s responsibility.

Replacement of Tires & Tubes

You must repair and replace tires and tubes if they are faulty.  You need to note that this is NOT included in your rental charges.  

Late Fee Charges & Defaults 

This clause explains that you must return any rental equipment and pay for your rental period promptly. If you are late, you will continue to pay for the rental daily and the company may your rental rates or add interest to your bill.

A clause will also be included which explains that your account can be charged for late returns.  

The period you are liable for:  from when the equipment leaves a store until it is returned to the same store.


Basically, if you fail to pay at any point in time, you will be in default and your rental will be terminated, your rental invoice will be due immediately, and the company is able to pursue you and your personal property in order to regain their property or money back.  

In this section, you consent to any means the company needs to pursue in order to gain access to their rental equipment including bankruptcy and seizing assets.  

What is NOT included In Forklift Rental 

Refueling charges

If you return a forklift without a full fuel tank, you will be charged for fuel to fill the tank.


Taxes are NOT part of the base cost of renting a forklift.  Keep this in mind when signing your contract.

Cost of delivery & Cost of pickup

Each equipment rental company charges for delivery and pickup.  This cost varies by forklift rental company. Be sure to check this cost ahead of time.

Time Logging on Rented Forklifts

Keep a log of the shifts or times the rental equipment was used.  Often, equipment rental companies check to see how much time the equipment was used.  Our recommendation is that you keep a clipboard with a sign in/sign out sheet for each certified employee.


Each customer must pay for the rental equipment when they receive a company invoice.  Accounts that are not paid on time can be charged, and interest can be accrued.


For all equipment rentals, you will see a clause which verifies that this transaction between you and the company is a rental. This means that you have no option to purchase the equipment.  

Insurance Coverage

In this clause, you state that you are insured to the company’s liking.  Insurance coverage for a forklift rental usually includes up to $2 million in insurance. Often, commercial general liability insurance is needed to rent a forklift.

Any deductibles for insurance are your (the customer’s) responsibility to your insurance company.  You can purchase the rental protection plan suggested by the company.

By opting to purchase the rental protection plan, you automatically ensure that your insurance policy meets all of the criteria that the rental company requires.  If you waive the rental protection plan, make absolutely sure that your insurance is sufficient and meets all the requirements of the forklift rental company.

Optional Plans for Rental Protection

You can waive any protection plans if you have proof of insurance that the rental company requires.

Rental Protection Plans are NOT the equivalent of insurance.  

Read this section very carefully before signing your rental agreement and be sure to include the date.

Additional Terms & Conditions

The equipment rental company can repossess the equipment at any point in time if a store closes or if there is an emergency.

Damage waiver

The company reserves the right to pursue losses that are due to physical damage and/or theft of any rental equipment. 


You sign that you are you, the customer and that you will use the equipment responsibly and will not violate the terms of the agreement or the law.


Read this section carefully.  Each equipment rental company has different exclusions.


This section explains any other miscellaneous fees that were not explained before. You will be responsible for all costs including collections, fees, expenses, or charges due to the company having to enforce its own terms listed in the rental agreement.

For example, if you lose the keys for any equipment rental, you will be charged.

You will pay the charges when they are due.  If you do not, you agree that the equipment rental company can pursue collections and other information in order to obtain payment.



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