Forklift Hire Vs Forklift Purchase: Which Is Right For Your Business?

Forklift trucks are an essential tool for many business owners all over the world. Both major and modest-sized companies rely on them daily to operate safely and efficiently, so whether you’re in the market for a brand new fleet or perhaps require your first ever model for a new and growing business, a forklift truck is certainly one of the best tools at your disposal.

As with any much-needed business tool, however, forklifts can also be pretty expensive, so it’s important to know how cost-effective they will be for your individual business needs. Every business strives for an increase in productivity, but cutting costs wherever you can is also a no-brainer, and depending on your company preference, it may turn out to be more beneficial to either hire or purchase your forklift trucks outright.

Unsure about whether a forklift rental or purchase is best for your business requirements? Take a look at our brief guide below to see if we can help you in your consideration. We’ve done the heavy lifting – so to speak – and outlined some of the benefits and downsides to both renting and buying your forklift trucks outright, so you can make the choice that’s right for you.

 

Why Hire A Forklift Truck?

Hiring rather than buying your forklift trucks upfront can be a great solution for many business owners, as it provides greater flexibility. Perhaps your company is in need of a forklift for a specific period such as a seasonal peak or whilst working on a short-term basis with a particular client. After all, why have an expensive piece of equipment sitting idle if you know you won’t need it regularly?

If you’re prepared to pay the maintenance and insurance costs that come with a rental agreement, a hired forklift can also have the added bonus of letting you experiment with the latest technology – perfect for small businesses looking to try and test new productivity measures. Read on to see whether hiring a forklift truck (or a fleet of them) may or may not be the right choice for your business:

 

Benefits Of Hiring:

  • Having lower (initial) costs: Perhaps the most attractive benefit of hiring (especially to small businesses) is the fact that you can make use of expensive equipment without paying the full costs upfront. Companies pay for what they use, so whether you enter into a 3 or 5-year rental agreement with your forklift dealer, you’ll have a clear view as to what you’re spending from the word go.
  • A boost in productivity: Choosing a contract hire agreement to supply your business with forklifts will mean greater productivity since regular replacement machines will reduce the risk of downtime due to ageing equipment. An efficient labour workforce is only as good as the tools they’re provided with, and up to date models will give them (and your business) the best chance of success.
  • Fixed costs help with budgeting: The last thing any company needs (particularly small and first-time businesses) is to be hit with surprise fees. Thankfully, renting a forklift prevents this as you’ll be provided with a fixed costing schedule – allowing you to budget confidently.
  • You can try out the latest tech: Renting from a forklift dealer gives you the opportunity to experiment with the newest technology on the market, giving you the advantage over your competitors who could be using outdated, less efficient forklift models.
  • Option to upgrade while hiring: Unlike sticking with a bought and paid for model of forklift, being under a rental contract with a forklift dealer allows you to upgrade or switch to a different truck as and when your needs change.
  • Temporary solution to breakdowns/busy periods: When your business is experiencing an unforeseen high demand or you’re faced with a broken or faulty forklift in your fleet, a rental replacement can be a great short-term rescue, ensuring you meet your deadlines (and possibly with greater productivity too)

 

Downsides Of Hiring:

 

  • Higher long-term costs: As flexible as a rental option may be at first, the hard facts are that it will cost your business more in the long run. Deciding to purchase your rented model at the end of a lease agreement, for instance, will run up greater costs than if you had simply purchased one from the start.
  • Can incur penalties for over-use: Most rental agreements will typically include a clause that covers the hours you are contracted for on each vehicle, and if you exceed those, you are liable to pay a penalty. The over-use of forklifts can happen more easily than you might expect too, especially during peak business periods.
  • Unable to make personal modifications: While you’ll have the option to fully upgrade, not owning the forklift outright will mean being unable to make adjustments or add/remove certain parts as needed.
  • You won’t have an asset: Owning your own forklift gives you the freedom to resell or rent out to someone if you please. With no asset of your own to borrow against, a rented forklift provides no such financial security and breathing room.
  • You are liable for damages: The cost of the equipment being stolen, lost or damaged comes straight out of the company pocket. As a result, extra care and maintenance need to be taken on your part to protect the truck (or fleet of trucks) from things like frost damage in winter etc.
  • Chance of poor maintenance service: Unless you can be sure that the hire company has a good reputation, there could be a chance of average or possibly even poor maintenance. Since the service is provided by the dealer themselves, repairs may not be carried out at the speed or quality you’d appreciate. Be sure to investigate leasing companies thoroughly beforehand.

 

Why Buy A Forklift Truck?

Having a forklift truck your company owns outright can be a great investment. In spite of the initial high cost, having a fleet of forklifts or even a single, reliable model is a worthwhile piece of machinery to have in your corner.

If it makes sense for your business, forklift ownership can eliminate a lot of the headaches associated with leases and terms set by outsider contracts – allowing you to focus on making the best use of the trucks, as and when you please. To give you a better idea of the commitment behind purchasing a forklift, we’ve highlighted some of the key pros and cons below:

 

Benefits Of Buying:

 

  • An added asset to your company: Owning a forklift outright counts as another asset to the company name. It also grants you added security should you need to offset a large one-off payment towards a tax debt.
  • Freedom of use: As the rightful owner of your forklift or fleet of trucks, you are not tied down by any clauses or penalties and can use the vehicles as and when you please, avoiding the hassle of hiring for short-term work.
  • Reduced costs for light business operations: If your business requires light lifting duties and boasts a clean work area, purchasing a forklift may be a better choice in the long run when you consider the lower repair costs and high residual value if used in a clean, simple working environment.
  • Can benefit staff training: If your business is using the same model of forklift, training your staff to operate them becomes a breeze as they all become familiar and confident with it, and a workforce singing from the same hymn sheet can only mean greater productivity for your business.
  • Buying pre-owned can aid short-term cash flow: Not every small or medium sized business can spare the upfront capital for a brand new fleet of trucks, so if this is the case for your company, purchasing a reliable pre-owned forklift can be a great way to spare much-needed start-up funds.

 

Downsides Of Buying:

 

  • Large upfront capital investment: There’s no two ways about it, buying your forklift (or fleet of forklifts) outright means parting with a lot of capital in one fell swoop. Assuming your business is stable and you anticipate using the forklifts for more than 10 years, then this can be a risk worth taking.
  • The risks with refurbished models: Buying pre-owned and refurbished forklifts is a common practice by businesses to save money, but buying a revamped model is not without its risks. Some vehicles may be fixed with low-quality parts or may even be outdated, hazardous model passed off as fully refurbished.
  • End of warranty costs: Once your fleet of forklifts has reached the end of their warranty period, any unresolved repairs will be waiting to sting you in the company pocket.
  • Can’t adapt to all working environments: Owning a specific type of forklift (i.e. a specific weight or lift capacity) will be restrictive if your operating environment should change. Unless you’re confident that your forklift needs won’t change for your business, this can be an issue.
  • Being stuck with obsolete equipment: A major disadvantage in terms of productivity is the fact that a brand new forklift you own outright today will soon be outdated and inefficient by current market standards.

Ultimately, the choice to buy or hire forklift trucks will come down to your unique business needs, your budget and your personal preference. Hopefully, our above guide to the hows and whys of hiring or buying a forklift have helped shed light on which will be the right choice for your company.

Have any further questions about buying or renting forklifts? Our expert team is happy to answer any queries you might have about everything from the hiring and purchasing process to the forklift equipment itself. Get in touch with us today for further advice.

Which Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility?

Outdoor work comes with its own set of challenges.

Indoor facilities have the benefit of protecting employees, stock and equipment from the elements. They often are heated, have good light and excellent storage.

When you have a yard or primarily work outside there are a number of concerns. These include: what equipment can best deal with varying temperatures and what equipment can help keep employees safe? Outdoor projects and exposed facilities require hardy and reliable equipment.

Hitec Lift Trucks have put together a list of the equipment we believe is best suited to exterior work. We hope you find this information useful. If you’d like to find out more, why not get in touch with our expert team? You can call on 01933 228127 or email at info@askhitec.co.uk

 

Cleaning

Keeping an outdoor facility clean or preparing it for use can be a difficult task. Often it can take time, especially if left to an employee and a broom. This can be arduous and even dangerous if it means dealing with snow and other hazards. Thankfully, there’s a number of useful options available.

If you don’t have the budget for brand new equipment, but already have a capable forklift, there’s also a number of additional add-ons which could help keep your outdoor facility safe and tidy.

 

Ride On Sweepers

Ride on sweepers offer excellent manoeuvrability along with powerful cleaning capability. Some models are capable of having cabs installed for extra operator comfort. This enables these machines to be used both indoor and out.

With front mounted sweepers, these machines can be customised to better suit their application. Options include an additional sweeper (if a single sweeper model is originally chosen) overhead guards, road legal lighting kits and in cab heating.

Thanks to a simple and easily accessible design, sweepers are easy to maintain and have low maintenance costs. With only short training sessions required, these sweepers are an easy to integrate sweeping solution.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Outdoor Cleaners

If you need a piece of equipment that’s multi-functional, then outdoor cleaners may be more suited to your needs. Each model features a fully enclosed cabin for operator comfort and safety. Because of their size, these cleaners are better suited to larger areas and can often be seen on town and city streets.

Perfect for winter and grounds maintenance, outdoor cleaners can be equipped with additional add-ons. This allows for maximum flexibility, and options include: ploughs, lawnmowers and other cleaning attachments.

Most models of outdoor cleaner feature all-wheel drive, and, despite their large size, they’re operator friendly and allow for impressive manoeuvrability.

Hardy, reliable and with easy access for daily maintenance and care, outdoor cleaners are a genuine investment. They’re not the cheapest of machines, but if they’re being used daily and their interchangeable tools are utilised, one of these machines could be a brilliant addition to your business.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Forklifts

Forklifts are perfect for all your lifting and moving needs. Whilst many may consider forklifts a warehouse mainstay, there are many models suited to outdoor use.

If your business requires frequent loading and unloading of lorries, movement of goods in an outdoor storage area or to move massive loads, there’s a forklift that can handle the workload. With a broad variety of capacities and models available, no application is too challenging.

All forklifts require operators to undergo training for certification before they can be used.

 

LPG Counterbalance

If you’re in need of a machine that you need to use both indoor and outdoor, an LPG counterbalance forklift could be the equipment for you. A familiar sight in warehouses up and down the country, LPG (liquid propane gas) counterbalance forklifts are known for their competitive pricing and their ability to be used around the clock.

Whilst more expensive than alternative counterparts when it comes to fuel consumption, the nature of LPG allows for indoor to outdoor use, a feat unmatched by electric or diesel powered forklifts.

Although small, they have the power behind them to operate well in the hands of skilled drivers. Available in a variety of models, from 1 tonne through to 9 tonne, the inner workings of LPG forklifts are similar to that of a car engine – this results in lower maintenance costs.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Diesel Counterbalance

The heavy hitters of the counterbalance forklift world, diesel forklifts are outdoor champions. Able to perform in all weathers, these forklifts are capable of 24/7 use with minimum downtime for refuelling. A hardy solution, diesel counterbalances may have high initial costs, but their fuel prices are less than those of LPGs, making them a cost effective investment.

Whilst LPG forklifts struggle with unstable ground and gradients, diesel forklifts are unaffected and can traverse difficult terrain with ease thanks to their tremendous power.

Diesel forklifts are large machines and they require additional space for storage and unfortunately don’t operate well in small spaces so are better suited to medium to large outdoor facilities. The noise and fumes they emit make them unsuitable for indoor use so they’re generally used as an outdoor solution.

If you primarily operate out of a yard or require constant activity in an outdoor space, these could be the forklifts for you.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

High Capacity

If you require equipment that can withstand the most demanding of applications and extreme operating conditions, high capacity forklifts could be the answer. The epitome of flexible working, these forklifts can operate with a variety of attachments; these can be switched quickly and efficiently for maximum usage.

Dependent and designed, developed and tested to provide outstanding performance, high capacity forklifts are regularly found in operation in cargo handling, lumber, steel, concrete and other industries. Perfect for outdoor use and all weather application, these forklifts can provide 24/7 operation so that your business never has to stop.

With lifting capacities ranging from 5 – 50 tonne, these machines have the power you need for any job. Not only have these been designed with strength in mind, but also for optimal visibility and also for easy maintenance access.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Scissor Lifts

Scissor Lifts are handy pieces of equipment. Need to frequently manage trees, change bulbs or clean at height? With some models able to reach heights of 62 feet, hard to reach areas are a thing of the past.

Scissor lifts can typically be used both indoor and outdoor and can either be electric or engine powered. There are benefits to both of these options. Electric scissor lifts are quiet and have the added bonus of being more eco-friendly as they produce zero emissions. Engine powered scissor lifts on the other hand can provide a higher load capabilities.

Despite the impressive heights that they can reach, scissor lifts are compact pieces of equipment and take up minimal storage space. Unfortunately, they aren’t suitable for all weather types as some models can struggle with high winds and rain.

To use a scissor lift, operators must undergo IPAF training.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Telehandlers

Telehandlers are perfect for the construction and agricultural industries. Another flexible piece of machinery on this list, telehandlers can have their forks swapped out for a variety of attachments. This makes them a fantastic piece of equipment for businesses who require them for more than one application.

Built to handle rough terrain and harsh weather, telehandlers are hardy and reliable pieces of equipment. With some models able to lift up to heights of 20m, telehandlers can provide the additional movement that traditional forklifts can’t. Able to carry goods up and over, telehandlers are fantastic for shifting goods from ground to roof and over or under hurdles.

Although their impressive power could lead some to believe that telehandlers are all massive in size, there are some more compact models available. This can make them perfect for accessing sites with awkward or smaller entrances.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Boom Lifts

Another piece of access equipment, boom lifts are highly recognisable. Used to safely allow operators to access awkward areas, boom lifts extend out and up. They can be driven at height for maximum accessibility.

Mobile boom lifts, commonly known as ‘cherry pickers’, are small but powerful. Tracked boom lifts (spider lifts) are capable of operating on uneven ground. Most models of boom lift are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They’re also usually compact enough that they can fit through a standard door.

Some boom lifts also have the benefit of caterpillar tracks. This allows them to better traverse difficult ground, as well as spreading the weight of the equipment. With lifting heights between 11m and 50m, boom lifts can reach the awkward places that traditional lifts can’t.

What Equipment Would Best Suit My Outdoor Project Or Facility

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our blog, we hope that you’ve found it useful. If you’re interested in purchasing or hiring any of the equipment mentioned, require training or you’re still unsure about what would best suit your outdoor facility or project, why not get in touch? Our expert team will be more than happy to help. You can call us on 01933 228127 or email us at info@askhitec.co.uk

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