Should I Buy, Rent or Lease my next forklift?


So, you’re thinking about getting another forklift. You need another one because either your other forklift is old and outdated and you need a new one to keep up with the demands of business or you need to add another one to your fleet because one forklift is never enough. You’ve got the tough part figured out and I’m about to help you with the next part. You know you need a new forklift but you’re not sure whether you need to rent one, lease one or buy one. I’m going to explain the pros and cons to each. Read about each and use that to figure out your next move!

Buy A Forklift

Hydrostatic Forklifts from Linde, 396 SeriesLift Atlanta offers new and used buying opportunities. We work with multiple banks and figure out what the best financing option for your business is. There are advantages to buying a forklift rather than leasing or renting. For one, if you decide to buy a forklift to add to your fleet or to just upgrade from your old forklift, you are able to make special orders and changes to your forklift such as different tires, different fork sizes, adding a load backrest (LBR) or an overhead guard. This is great because it specifies it to your business and makes it ideal for working in your environment which you can’t do if you decide to lease or rent. Also, if you decide to buy, you can use the lift however you want (so long as it’s done in a safe manner) meaning you can add certain attachments to the lift that will better serve you to do the job you need your lift to do. Some different attachments you can add are a clamp, a jib, a degree rotator, extension slippers and many more that we’ll talk about in a later post. Also, when you buy a forklift, your operators can learn to master the lift since they’ll be using it long-term verses short term when you rent or lease.

Buy A Forklift Today

Buying is a great option for the seasoned forklift user. It’s also an excellent option for the new buyer who needs a forklift for day-to-day operation. However, there are some disadvantages to buying a forklift rather than leasing or renting. For instance, if you buy a forklift, it ties up your capital. You have to make monthly payments on the forklift in order to ever fully own it and since most multi-million dollar companies don’t use forklifts, there’s a good chance you can’t pay for the forklift up front. Also, if you decide to buy a forklift rather than lease or rent one it depreciates over time. Forklifts and their value are just like cars on car lots. As soon as you drive the car off the car lot, the value decreases and the same is true for forklifts. While the value of a forklift doesn’t depreciate as fast as a car, the more hours you rack up on your forklift and the more you use your mast, engine and motor, the more the value depreciates. Since the lifetime of most forklifts is 5-10 years, if you decide to sell your forklift as used inventory, you won’t be able to get near as much as what you bought it for or what you will buy your next forklift for.

Leasing a Forklift

The same goes for leasing as buying, there are pros and cons to leasing your next forklift. One of the advantages of leasing versus buying or renting is that you can get the newest, latest and greatest forklift on the market without the huge price of buying.Also, if you decide to lease, the prices are far less than if you were to decide to rent because renting by the day can turn into renting by the month which runs up the bill. Leasing is perfect for non-permanent but still long-term use. This option lets you rent a lift for 6 months or more without the commitment of buying and having to fill out all that paperwork. Leasing also lets you see how well the lift works in your business and can make the decision for you when trying to decide if you need a permanent lift in your fleet and what kind versus renting for a week or so.

However, with leasing, there are also disadvantages to leasing. One of the main ones being money. You have a to pay a hefty sum to lease a lift since you’ll have it for a year or more. You end up having to make payments on a leased forklift and in the end, it will never be apart of your fleet. Basically, you’ll be throwing away your money because you will have nothing to show for it after it’s all said and done. Also, with leasing forklifts, you can’t modify the trucks. Whenever you decide to lease a forklift, you tell the dealer what capacity you need and what you are going to be using the lift for and they supply you with whatever inventory they might have. If you pick out your forklift and it has 48″ forks on it and you decide when you get it out to the job site that you actually need 60″ forks, you can’t change it because the forklift is still the dealer’s property. Same goes for attachments and tires. The lift stays as is when it arrives at your location. While leasing might work for a company who has a big job and needs to have a forklift for a while to get it caught up such as construction, if you need something that you can modify or that you need for a week or a month, leasing is not for you.

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Forklift Rentals

clark-osx-seriesLift Atlanta also offers great rental packages. We do short-term rentals (days or weeks) and we also do long-term rentals (months or years). There are plenty of advantages to renting a forklift. For instance, if you rent a forklift and something brings or tears up, then it’s the dealer’s responsibility to take care of the repairs as long as it’s not classified as abuse by the renter. Renting also allows for more flexibility for the buyer. If you rent the lift for a week and get the job done in 3 or 4 days, you can always bring it back early or if you need it for longer, you can always keep it longer. This is not the case when you buy or lease a forklift. Another advantage to renting a forklift is the costs. When you rent or lease, you pay big bills monthly… however, when you rent, you pay a low upfront cost. This means that there are no surprise charges and it eliminates having to pay out of your budget. Also with renting, there is a fast turnaround time. Most dealers carry a variety of lifts in their rental fleets because not one job is the same and different businesses require different lifts so that means that whenever you need a lift to rent, there is usually always one available to you.

While renting a forklift might sound like the best option, there are also disadvantages to renting just like there was for buying and leasing. One disadvantage to renting is there are absolutely no special orders. If you rent a lift, it’s as-is. The dealer wants the lift to look the same when it comes back to them as it did when it left and that means no modifications. When renting a lift, it’s also very important to remember to inspect the lift before you decide to rent. While your renting, any damage that is done to the lift will be charged back to your company so make sure to inspect the lift thoroughly before selecting and taking back to the job site.

Rent a Forklift Today
  • Forks – inspect the forks for any bends, cracks or other irregularities
  • Cylinders and lift chains – run your eyes through the chain and check for any missing or damaged links or pins
  • Overhead guard & frame – inspect the OHG for any signs of damage and welding is important
  • Operator controls – check for the seat belt, secure seat, working brakes and smooth movement in all directions
  • Engine compartment – check the air filters, fluids, battery and the general condition of the engine
  • Exhaust guard – located at the back should be in place and operational
  • Counterweight – bolts should be in place
  • Tires – check for wear and tear and any punctures
  • Electric – if the lift is electric, check for operating batteries and charging plugs

Lift Atlanta offers buying, renting and leasing and we have a variety of lifts available to choose from. Call us today for hassle free buying and we’ll help you find the lift that is right for you!           770-808-2753