Back To Blog Home
Forklifts are an essential piece of equipment for many businesses. Whether your business involves logistics, distribution, warehousing, deliveries, and much more besides, a forklift is going to be an invaluable addition to the way your business operates. The problem is that buying a new forklift is expensive – very expensive. So much so that it’s prohibitive for many businesses to simply buy a forklift outright when they need one.
This is why Solution MHE is proud to offer a range of forklift hire options for our customers – allowing them affordable and tailored access to the right forklift for the job. Our long-term forklift hire packages offer a lot of benefits to a business looking for a forklift they can use reliably and affordably.
Before discussing the benefits, let’s define our terms. What is long-term forklift hire? As the name implies, it’s a hire term for a forklift that typically spans years rather than months or days.
The joy of hiring any piece of equipment is that the length of time you have it for is entirely up to you. If you only need a forklift for a few days, you can hire one and then send it back when you’re done with it. If you need it again, you can hire it again – simple.
But long-term forklift hire involves hiring a forklift for a much longer spell. It’s more of a commitment, usually anywhere from three to five years, and many businesses still choose this as their primary way to get a forklift rather than outright purchasing one.
Why? Well, there are several reasons long-term forklift hire makes a lot of sense.
The primary concern for most business is finances – any avenue for them to be able to get a forklift without spending too much money is naturally going to be popular. That’s exactly what forklift hire offers. It takes the sting out of the initial purchase, meaning a business can get a reliable forklift without struggling to find the capital to invest in it.
There’s no “one size fits all” approach to forklifts – there are all sorts of forklifts available depending on what you need them to do. If you only need a very basic forklift that will only ever need to lift light loads, then purchasing new might not be so difficult. If you require a more complex forklift that offers more features and can comfortably carry a higher payload, however, you’re going to be looking at a significant investment.
This means that purchasing a forklift outright is often cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses, and not economically viable for larger businesses.
Hiring a forklift allows you to define the terms you want the forklift for, which can make the payments much cheaper compared to purchasing one. When you choose to hire a forklift long term, i.e. over a period of years, the payments can often fall even further, making it even more affordable for all sized businesses.
Remember, also, that a forklift is a constantly depreciating asset. As time passes and you actually use the forklift, it will be consistently losing value. When you purchase a forklift, your business is shouldering that depreciation – which can ultimately cost you thousands. Hiring allows you to sidestep the depreciation, as at the end of the hire term you can simply send the old forklift back and hire a brand new one.
As with any machine, servicing and ongoing maintenance are key elements of reliable forklift operation. Every minute of working time that your forklift isn’t in operation is going to be costing your business money. This means that it pays to make sure it’s in perfect working order, and consistently maintained to a high standard.
This, again, is where hiring comes into its own – particularly long-term hire. Any good hire contract will have ongoing maintenance as a part of it. You can choose, if you want, to take this option out to reduce your monthly hire fee, but remember that’s money you’re going to be spending anyway maintaining the forklift yourself.
Forklift maintenance can be an inexact science when it comes to cost. There are ongoing servicing items and minor repairs that may not be very costly in themselves – which might make servicing as a part of your hire package seem quite trivial.
There are times, however, when a forklift can be subject to a mechanical issue that requires considerable repairs. This can quickly become expensive, and it’s when you’re really going to feel the benefit of the long-term hire. It’s highly possible you’ll never encounter a serious issue like this, but the peace of mind alone is enough for it to be a considerable benefit of hiring.
The exact nature of the ongoing servicing will vary from contract to contract. It’s important to make sure you read and thoroughly understand what is covered as a part of your contract and what isn’t. There may be certain clauses and exceptions. For example, routine maintenance and servicing will usually be covered, but accidental damage or operator error won’t be.
If you’re not sure what is and isn’t covered, ask. At Solution MHE we’re specialists in all aspects of forklift hire and we’d be more than happy to tailor your contract to your needs and your budget.
As with all pieces of equipment, forklifts develop and continue to improve over time. Each new model brings with it new features and new improvements that you as a business owner are going to want to make the most of.
When you buy a forklift, however, you’re stuck with it. It’ll probably take you several years to pay off, and then several more to make it a worthwhile investment, by which time the machine itself will be considerably outdated.
When you hire a forklift, you’re able to use the best forklift for the job, then when the hire term ends you can send it back and hire a newer model in its place.
Long-term hire specifically is the best option for this as it allows you to both maximise the usability you get out of the current generation of forklift, and be able to get a new one when the time is right. Forklift models aren’t updated annually – updates usually come every few years, which means long-term forklift hire will be perfectly timed to let you make the most of that.
This is tied to the issue of maintenance, but is a point worth exploring on its own. Sometimes your forklift may encounter an issue, or you may need some help, guidance, or assistance with it. This is where hiring comes into its own, because you always have an extra resource at the end of the phone ready to help you with any issues that may arise.
At Solution MHE, for example, we’re specialists in all the forklift brands that we provide to our customers, which means we’re on hand to provide the right assistance if it’s required.
This ties into maintenance because it’s important that you have qualified and experienced mechanics working on your forklift. In some cases, poor mechanics can actually cause more damage than they fix. When you deal with longterm hire, your hire company will already have intimate product knowledge of the forklifts they supply. This guarantees experienced technicians work on your forklift when it comes in for servicing.
In many cases, a hire company might have a more direct line of communication to the manufacturer themselves. This could be invaluable should an issue arise or the need for certain specialised spare parts presents itself. Ultimately, it saves you time and trouble.
So long-term forklift hire is a good idea, and offers many benefits. But what should you be looking out for when you’re faced with a long-term hire contract?
The first thing to look for is the forklift itself. Is it right for you? It might be tempting to save money by choosing a model that just about satisfies your needs. But, remember, with long-term forklift hire you need to account for the growth of your business. So you’re going to need a forklift that will be able to meet that developing demand comfortably. Choose a forklift that can handle a higher payload than you necessarily need – it’s better to have the capability and not need it than need it and not have it.
The second thing is the term itself – make sure it’s right for you. Long-term forklift hire can span anything from three to five years, and depending on your requirements the right term may change. If you’re satisfied with the forklift or are content that it will be enough for your needs, consider choosing the longest possible term to make the repayments more manageable. If you see yourself wanting to upgrade or change the forklift in time, consider a three year term to give you that bit more flexibility.
The third thing is to make sure you understand the servicing and maintenance provisions of your contract. What are you actually covered for? Are there any additional options or packages you can invest in? Make sure you understand how regularly your forklift will be serviced and what sort of maintenance items will be provided. It’s highly important you understand this, and get the right deal for you, before you sign – otherwise you could end up with an inoperable forklift and liability for repairs.
For more information about long-term forklift hire, or to enquire about the right forklift hire package for you, get in touch with the friendly and experienced professionals at Solution MHE.