Should You Buy or Rent a Rough Terrain Forklift?


Smaller construction companies often need a forklift for moving materials around new housing projects. What kind should you get? Should you rent? Should you buy? There are many varieties of forklifts designed for material handling and storage in warehouses. However, those are primarily indoor forklifts operating on flat surfaces. Outdoor, on-site construction use, however, demands more succinct consideration before renting or buying as they are used outdoors, often on uneven terrain.

Basic Forklift Differences and Use

Your key indoor forklift types are the electric rider and narrow aisle forklifts, Internal Combustion (IC) engine forklifts, and pallet jacks. These are meant to move heavy or awkward materials short distances. Every forklift operates with a forked lift lever and a counterbalance to lift materials up to several tons. How much weight can be lifted is dependent on the forklift's forward center of gravity. Electric powered and IC riding forklifts have a cab that operates rear-wheel steering for maneuverability, which is great for narrow and pallet-packed spaces. Manual forklifts, like pallet jacks, maneuver through tight places by an operator who physically powers the motion of the lift. OSHA approved, outdoor forklifts require a basic construction that can handle tough, uneven terrain and that can travel at higher speeds than indoor forklifts. These forklifts often share construction sites with heavy construction equipment like excavators and cranes. Warehouse forklifts get regular use, which warrants buying them. Residential construction use, for example, may be limited to project parameters--when the house is built, you won't need the forklift any longer--making renting a viable option.

Other Considerations

Rough terrain forklifts require two other considerations that warehouse forklifts don't: lifting height and off-terrain speed. Building sites often need forklifts to lift non-palleted materials several stories in the air (like roofing materials) and travel around construction sites at speeds up to 20 miles per hour or faster. In the level, confined space of a warehouse, you do not need that extra speed or heights over 100 feet. Most warehouse forklifts are designed to move materials laterally, from place to place. Construction forklifts require operators to haul and raise materials vertically as well as laterally over longer distances.

Renting Heavy Construction Forklifts

Every building site has its own logistics. It doesn't make sense to shell out several thousand dollars for rough terrain forklifts, unless the contractor has a large storage facility available. Renting makes the best sense as one project may need a specific type of forklift for a specific period of time. Talk to a contractor equipment rental company like Ever-Joy Rent All Co to discuss your heavy machinery needs.


17 November 2017

Operating Rented Equipment Safely

After one of your buddies mentioned that land grading is "easy" with the help of a backhoe, you might have been more than willing to run to your local tool rental shop and rent one for the afternoon. After all, how hard could they be to use? Unfortunately, heavy machinery rentals can be tricky to operate, which is why going through a little training beforehand is so important. I have been working on my yard for years, and I have learned a thing or two about heavy machinery. Check out my blog to discover how to stay safe when you work with heavy machinery.