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Deciding on whether to buy or rent forklifts depends on how often you intend to use them, how long you will need them, and finances.
Here are some advantages to buying forklifts.
· You control how long you use the lifts. You are not restricted to the length of time or other limitations of a rental agreement.
· No waiting for a third party. If you rent forklifts from a dealer, then you have to depend on him having one available to exchange if one you are renting needs to be repaired or serviced.
· No worrying about damage to the exterior of a rented forklift. Keep in mind that dealers who rend this equipment want them returned in decent condition when the contract runs out.
· No restrictions on use. Dealers who rent may limit the amount of time you can use the lifts.
There are also a number of disadvantages to buying a forklift that you need to consider.
· It’s a large investment. You will have to commit a considerable amount of capital and/or have good, established credit.
· The equipment can become obsolete over time. You won’t be able to keep up with technological innovations and as your fleet ages it may not meet OSHA standards for safety and emissions.
· Cost of upkeep. A lot of use may mean more costs for maintenance and repairs.
· Cost of ownership. If you rent forklifts, then the dealer is responsible for maintenance and repair costs. If you buy, you will be responsible for these costs as well as taxes and depreciation.
· Safety. As the equipment ages it becomes less safe to operate. Moreover, you are inclined to use the forklifts longer than their recommended life cycle because of the cost of buying or renting a new fleet. Allowing the use of the lifts beyond their life cycle can invite additional safety issues.
Let’s say that after evaluating your needs and finances you decide to purchase the forklifts. Your options don’t end there. You can choose between used and new lifts.
In this case, you will need to know how many hours you intend to use each lift to decide whether to go new or used. If you use one between a half to two hours a day then you are probably safe choosing a used forklift. However, if you expect to run it for more than two and a half hours a day, then you should probably select a new lift.
Have you decided to go for used forklifts? If so, then you need to consider this.
· How many hours have the used lifts you are considering been used?
· Under what circumstances were the lifts used? Were they operated under harsh conditions? If so, inspect all parts for wear.
· Is the person assigned to service the forklifts trained to work on the brand of used lifts you are considering?
· Are there any documents that will verify the reading on the hour meter?
· Ask for a condition report and visually check out the unit.
· Does the dealer from whom you intend to buy the lifts have a good reputation? Ask for references of people who have bought used lifts from him.
· Call the customers and ask them about their experiences with the dealer. Ask if the maintenance of the machines has been smooth and find out if the customer has any problems finding parts and accessories for the particular model.
· If the used forklift you are considering is electric, then make sure that the condition of the battery is good.