When To Buy Instead Of Rent A Forklift

When to Buy Instead of Rent a Forklift


When To Buy Instead Of Rent A Forklift

Choosing whether to buy or rent equipment is a tough decision. Below are some of the most common reasons a business may choose to rent vs buy a forklift, aerial lift, utility vehicle, etc.

Top 7 Reasons to Buy, Not Rent a Forklift

You’re going to need the forklift for a long period  – If your business has a steady, predictable workflow and no seasonal fluctuations, buying a forklift with a scheduled maintenance program may give you a better ROI. 

The equipment has a tough job to do – Rugged applications take their toll on forklifts. A rental should be returned in the same condition in which you received it, and you’ll be liable for any damage. 

For businesses in remote areas – All service and maintenance costs are covered by Total Industries on our rentals. And with locations in Sacramento, Fresno, Hayward, Salinas and The North Bay, a Total Industries service professional is never far.

That said: A business with an in-house maintenance team may choose to perform regularly scheduled maintenance and repair. In this instance, it doesn’t make sense to rent a forklift bundled with a maintenance package.

Uncertain job length or cost – At a certain point, buying is more cost-effective than renting, but what if you’ve got a job with no clear end date? In this instance, buying may be the smart choice. If the job ends sooner than expected, you can try to sell the equipment.

Operators must familiarize themselves with new machines – Your forklift operators are certified to use certain lift trucks. Each time you bring in new equipment, you may also need to schedule training and prepare for a brief drop in productivity. Even an experienced, certified operator experiences a learning curve as s/he adjusts to a new machine.

Think of the last time you drove a rental car. After you figure out how to adjust the seat you have to mess with the radio, climate controls, mirrors, etc. Then, surprise! There’s a special button for the gas tank door, now where the heck is that? 

Avoid attachment issues – Some companies may not want you to add an attachment to their rental equipment. At Total Industries we also rent attachments, so if your business is in northern or central California, we’ve got you covered.

Customized equipment  – If you have a special requirement for your truck such as a custom intermediate mast to fit through a doorway or tunnel, this is a good reason to buy instead of rent.

Still undecided?

Here’s an article from Toyota’s website: 5 Reasons to Buy Instead of Rent.
Or read our article, 7 Reasons to Rent Instead of Buy a Forklift

When in Doubt: Do the Math

One way to decide if it’s better to rent or buy your next forklift is a simple cost comparison. Calculate the weekly or monthly cost of renting the equipment over weeks or months. Then do the same for the amortization of a purchase. There will be a break even point where buying is more cost-effective than renting. It’s a rough estimate to be sure. Use the factors listed above to further refine your number. Here’s an online calculator you may find useful.

Whether you choose to buy or rent, we hope you’ll give us the opportunity to earn your business. Please contact us online with any questions, or by phone:

East Bay – Livermore  (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091