Forklifts are incredibly powerful and versatile machines that make them necessary for a variety of jobs. Due to the high cost of purchasing and maintaining a forklift, many opt to rent forklifts. Typically, forklift rental prices might start at around $150 per day. However, that price doesn’t take into account the type of forklift, only warehouse forklifts of a certain lifting capacity.
There are different types of forklifts that can do specialized jobs and have a higher weight lifting capacity, such as the extendable counterweight forklifts. Because of the differences, the rental price of the forklifts will differ depending on the type you rent.
Here is a breakdown of the rental prices for the different types of forklifts:
1. Warehouse Forklift ≈ $140 – $3400/day*
The warehouse forklift is one of the most recognizable forklifts. As the name implies, they’re used to transport items across short distances in warehouses. In fact, one of the steps in setting up a warehouse layout is making sure the aisles are at least 12 feet wide to fit the forklift.
For warehouse forklifts with cushion tires, the average daily rental price is between:
- $140 – $450 for a lifting capacity between 5,000 – 6,000 lbs
- $260 – $800 for a lifting capacity between 8,000 – 10,000 lbs
- $260 – $1300 for a lifting capacity between 15,000 – 25,000 lbs
For quad mast warehouse forklifts with cushion tires, which have a higher reach, prices range from:
- $150 – $420 for a lifting capacity of 5,000 lbs
- $220 – $480 for a lifting capacity of 6,000 lbs
For warehouse forklifts with pneumatic tires, the average rental price is between:
- $140 – $550 per day for a lifting capacity between 5,000 – 8,000 lbs
- $200 – $850 per day for a lifting capacity between 10,000 – 15,000 lbs
- $480 – $3400 per day for a lifting capacity between 20,000 – 25,000 lbs
For quad mast warehouse forklifts with pneumatic tires, which have a higher reach, prices range from:
- $230 – $380 for a lifting capacity of 5,000 lbs
- $275 – $290 for a lifting capacity of 6,000 lbs
For certain companies, like BigRentz, a contractors equipment insurance is typically required to rent the warehouse forklifts with a lifting capacity of 15,000 pounds or over. Lifting capacities of 12,000 or under aren’t required to have insurance, but it is recommended to have to protect yourself financially in the case of an accident.
2. Telehandler/Telescopic Forklift ≈ $210 – $4200/day*
A telehandler forklift — also referred to as a telescopic or reach forklift — is a mixture of a crane and forklift. It uses an extendable arm with twin forks attached to move items off the ground. These forklifts are useful for moving and reaching into tight spaces and awkward angles.
Telescopic forklift rentals are priced based on their weight lifting capacity and reach. Here’s a breakdown of daily rental prices:
- $200 – $830 for lifting capacity of 5,000 lbs – 6,000 lbs and 19 ft – 36 ft reach
- $260 – $930 for lifting capacity of 6,000 lbs – 8,000 lbs and 42 ft reach
- $350 – $1370 for lifting capacity of 9,000 lbs – 10,000 lbds and 42 – 45 ft reach
- $410 – $1860 for lifting capacity of 10,000 lbs – 12,000 lbs and 55 ft
- $800 – $4,200 for lifting capacity of 15,000 lbs – 20,000 lbds and 44 ft reach
For BigRentz, you don’t need contractors equipment insurance for lifting capacities of 5,000 to 6,000 pounds. Weight limits over 6,000, however, will require insurance before renting.
3. Rough Terrain Forklift ≈ $250 – $600/day*
Rough terrain forklifts are like tougher warehouse forklifts. They consist of a reinforced cage, pneumatic tires and a compact design to navigate uneven terrains. Due to the sturdy design, these forklifts are perfect for work on outdoor construction sites.
Rough terrain forklift rentals are priced based on their lifting capabilities. Average daily rental prices are:
- $250 – $550 for a lifting capacity of 6,000 lbs
- $275 – $600 for a lifting capacity of 8,000 lbs
For BigRentz, no insurance is needed to rent a rough terrain forklift, but other companies may require you to have it.
4. Heavy Duty Forklift ≈ $1500 – $3300/day*
Heavy duty forklifts use the best aspects of warehouse forklifts and telehandlers. This type of forklift utilizes hydraulic levers to reach high places while lifting heavy loads. Although they’re perfect for specialized jobs, they can’t reach awkward angles the way a telehandler can.
For heavy duty forklifts with cushion tires, the average daily rental price is:
- $1500 – $2900 for lifting capacity of 50,000 lbs – 70,000 lbs
- $2500 – $3000 for lifting capacity of 80,000 lbs – 100,000 lbs
For heavy duty forklifts with pneumatic tires, the average daily rental price is between:
- $500 – $3900 for lifting capacity of 30,000 lbs – 36,000 lbs
- $730 – $2900 for lifting capacity of 40,000 lbs – 60,000 lbs
- $1000 – $3300 for lifting capacity of 80,000 lbs – 100,000 lbs
For some companies like BigRentz, it’s required to have a contractors equipment insurance when renting a heavy duty forklift.
5. Pallet Jacks ≈ $45 – $230/day*
Pallet jacks can lift large loads and fit in tight spaces. Sometimes known as pump trucks, the manual pallet jacks require you to pump the jack to lift it, whereas electric pallet jacks use a button.
There are two types of pallet jacks: manual and electric and the rental prices of each can range from:
- $45 – $150 for manual pallet jacks
- $90 – $230 for electric pallet jacks
For some companies, insurance isn’t needed to rent a pallet jack but always double-check to make sure it isn’t. Likewise, some training will also need to be required to learn how to use a pallet jack properly.
6. Walkie Stacker Forklift ≈ $130 – $360/day*
Walkie stackers are a different type of forklift, designed so that the operator walks and steers behind the truck. It forgoes cabs in favor of reaching ability and accessibility in narrow aisles. As they aren’t as specialized as other forklifts, you may not need insurance or a license to operate one, but always ask who you’re renting from if one is needed.
4 Factors Affecting Forklift Rental Cost
As it stands, there is no uniform price to rent a forklift. The different prices reflect the various aspects that go into a forklift’s rental cost. The five factors affecting the rental price of a forklift include:
- Equipment Type – The different types of forklifts cost different amounts to rent. For instance, pallet jacks will be less expensive to rent than telehandler forklifts. Depending on the type you get will also affect other fees, like hauling and environmental fees.
- Rental Duration – The longer the amount of time the heavy equipment is needed on a project, the more it will cost.
- Rental Company – The company you’ll be renting from can impact the rental price of the forklift. There are different companies all around the country, and they all have different methods of calculating the cost. For example, in order to provide you with the highest quality equipment at the best rates, BigRentz sources their rental equipment from different locations.
- Jobsite Location – The address of your project will largely affect the price. Your location can also affect the company that you’ll be working with. Not all companies operate in the same areas. In rural places, there may even only be one company that you’ll be able to rent from. If you’re looking for the best deal to rent a forklift, you will have to do a little research.
There are other fees that will occur when renting out a forklift, such as delivery, pick up and environmental fees. However, these will be affected by the type of equipment you’re getting and the jobsite location.
How to Rent a Forklift
When you know your job requires a forklift, the steps to rent are relatively straightforward:
- Pick the right type of forklift – Make sure you know which forklift can do what. A pallet jack isn’t going to do the same job as a high capacity forklift. To find out which one you need, here are the things you need to figure out:
- Determine weight capacity – Figure out the total weight of the objects that need to be lifted. Be as accurate as possible; if you get the wrong one, you can compromise everyone’s safety and/or damage the forklift.
- Determine lift height – The forks on the forklift need to be able to reach the required height. Just like the weight capacity, be as accurate as possible.
- Determine the ground surface – Is your forklift going to operate on a lumberyard or a warehouse? As versatile as a forklift is, they’re not all going to work the same. Be sure to choose one that will work in your work area.
- Shop around – Different companies have different prices for your equipment. Don’t be afraid to shop around and find the company with the forklift you need to fit your budget.
- Negotiate the price – Not all companies have their prices locked and set in. See if you’re able to negotiate a deal for your rental. And don’t be afraid to ask for a discounted rate if you’re renting for a longer time.
- Sign the papers – Once you’ve found the right company with the right forklift, and all parties have negotiated the price, it’s time to sign the papers.
If you happen to have any questions about the rental agreement or any other rental process aspect, don’t be afraid to ask. Any company would want to make the process as smooth as can be.
Benefits of Renting vs. Buying
People who operate a construction company are often faced with whether they should rent or buy. Although it may seem beneficial to purchase heavy construction equipment, there are many benefits to renting instead.
The initial cost of buying heavy equipment will take a large chunk out of a project’s budget. When you factor in maintenance, repair, storage and transportation, the price increases.
If you purchase one, you’re stuck with it until it breaks down or you sell it. But if you’re renting, you will always be guaranteed the newer models. Likewise, not all forklifts do the same job. Renting a forklift will always guarantee you have the specific equipment you need.
It’s also more convenient and cheaper to rent a forklift than to purchase one outright. Forklift rental prices may vary, but the decision to rent or buying shouldn’t be based on the price. And if you are in the market for a forklift, check out our selection and prices that will fit any need.
*Prices may vary