Forklift Rentals

So you need to rent a forklift. Do you need an electric or a diesel forklift? What about the capacity? How do know which forklift is right for your project?

When it comes to choosing a forklift to rent, there are many issues to consider, however, there is no need to worry. There are lots of great options when it comes to rental companies with large selections of equipment that can also help guide you with the selection process.

Carry on reading to learn all about the 5 best forklift rental companies and things you need to consider before renting.

Forklift Rental Rates & Pricing

There are a number of factors that will affect forklift rentals rates and pricing. These include the model and lifting capacity of the rental lift truck, the length of the rental period, and your location in the US. Other factors also include whether other equipment is also being rented with the forklift, if you need delivery, your delivery location and if a forklift operator is required.

Prices for forklift rentals start at about $150 per day and can reach a maximum price of around $4200 per day. To rent a cushion-tired warehouse lift truck with 5,000 lbs to 6,000 lbs lifting capacity, it can cost between $150 to $450 per day.

To rent a larger 8,000 lbs to 10,000 lbs lift capacity forklift, it can cost $250 to $800 per day, with prices increasing to about $1300 per day for lift trucks with a 25,000 lbs lifting capacity. For high-capacity lift trucks with pneumatic tires, pricing goes up to $3400 per day.

High capacity, long reach telehandler forklifts are the most expensive to rent with rates reaching $4200 per day. All-terrain forklifts are more reasonable in price to rent, ranging from $250 to $600 per day, again depending on the lift capacity.

Generally, the equivalent cost per day to rent in the long-term will usually be lower compared to short-term rentals. It is best for the customer to contact the forklift truck rental company to request a quote as there are so many options to consider.

The 5 Best Forklift Rental Companies


United Rentals- Largest Inventory of Rental Equipment

United Rentals is the biggest equipment rental company worldwide with almost 1200 locations in the US alone.

They are the specialists when it comes to renting tools and equipment including forklift rentals.

Whatever your equipment rental needs, this company has many great options available with its huge and varied inventory and large forklift rental fleet.

To rent a forklift, they have very reasonable pricing rates for both short and long-term rentals.

Their pricing is based on daily, weekly, or monthly rentals. 

Their rental fleet includes a wide range of different capacity of lift trucks including electric and internal combustion engine models for indoor and outdoor use. They also have aerial work platforms such as boom lifts and scissor lifts as well as other lifting equipment such as pallet jacks.

With great support offered by their customer service teams, United Rentals also offer a variety of industrial solutions, forklift fleet management, and forklift operator safety training courses. Request a quote from your local branch today.

Big Rentz - Biggest Number of Rental Locations

Big Rentz boasts to be the largest equipment rental network in the nation, with over 10,000 rental locations, it shouldn't be too difficult to find one in your local area if you are looking to rent a forklift.

They offer short and long-term rentals, for example by the day, week, and month, and have various different options available in their rental fleet, including warehouse forklifts, heavy industrial lift trucks, all-terrain forklifts, and pallet jacks.

All their pricing is visible on their website and you can request your rental forklift online.

They also have a great forklift rental guide that can support you with selecting the right forklift for your need.

Big Rentz have a vast array of industrial, construction, and material handling equipment for rent and many additional services available including warehouse and industry solutions.

Papé Material Handling - Best in the West for Forklift Rentals

The Papé Group Inc has branches in over 90 locations in the US and has been in the material handling business for more than 80 years.

With one of the largest forklift rental fleets in the Western US, they offer short and long-term rentals.

With varying lift capacity, they offer electric lift trucks, cushion and pneumatic tired internal combustion engine lift trucks, heavy-duty forklifts, Combilifts, narrow aisle forklifts, pallet jacks, and more.

The customer service teams at any of their local branches can offer support with renting the most suitable forklift for your project. 

There also offer a variety of warehouse solutions and industrial solutions, fleet management services, forklift service and maintenance center, automation, financing, and sales of material handling equipment. 

This business really is a one-stop-shop when it comes to material handling equipment in the West of the US.

Crown Lift Trucks - Best Forklift Specialist

Crown are one of the largest manufacturers of forklift trucks in the world and this business has branches all over the US.

Their comprehensive inventory of material handling equipment includes a wide variety of forklifts available to rent short and long-term, even up to years at a time, whatever fits the need of the customer.

They will deliver your rental to your location and collect it when you have finished with it.

Their forklift rental fleet is large and varied, including pallet trucks, stackers, counterbalance forklifts to tow trucks, reach trucks, and specialty forklifts such as narrow-aisle lifts and lift trucks of varying height. 

Crown are very much forklift specialists, offering sales, parts, maintenance, and service, as well as forklift rentals. If you need to rent a forklift truck don't hesitate to contact your local branch to request a quote, you will be sure to find the right forklift for your need.

Crown offer a large array of services in addition to renting out forklifts, such as financing, forklift sales, warehouse solutions, industrial solutions, automation, and fleet management.

Sunstate Equipment Company- Best for Forklift Accessories

With branches nationwide, Sunstate Equipment Company has been in the equipment rental business for over 40 years. They have a wide range of tools and equipment for rent and purchase, including a large fleet of rental forklifts.

 They have internal combustion engine forklifts and electric forklifts with a wide range of lifting capacities, reach, and height ranges, including telescoping and straight mast forklifts.

They stock a great range of forklift accessories such as telehandler work hooks and lift baskets, pallet puller chains, hoppers, and fork positioners.

Additionally, they have small material handling equipment including pallet jacks.

With excellent customer support at all their local branches, this business also offers safety training courses and certification for forklift operators and sales of material handling equipment including popular brands like Bobcat and Genie.

Forklift Rental Near Me

Factors To Consider When Renting

Rental Period

Both short and long-term rentals are offered by all rental businesses. Rentals are usually charged by the hour, day, week, or month. Longer leases are also sometimes available, by the year for example, and some forklift rental companies have rent-to-buy options available. You can keep that pallet jack and forklift you really like as many rental companies have the option of buying the rental equipment, should you wish.

For long-term forklift renting, it is definitely worth checking to see if buying a used forklift would work out cheaper than renting. You must take into account that the company will handle any repair and maintenance issues with the forklift rental however you will be responsible for this if you decide to buy so it could potentially be more of a costly inconvenience. Contact your local forklift company branch as they should be able to give you advice and support you on what would be best for your situation.

Additional Charges

Regardless of the length of your rental period, make sure to read the terms and conditions of your rental agreement very carefully. Take note of the small print to ensure you are not hit with any unexpected charges such as late fees. Late fees vary company to company but are usually charged by the hour at around $20-30 for each extra hour the forklift is kept.

Cancellation fees are another charge to watch out for. Some companies don't charge a cancellation fee with adequate notice, usually, a minimum of 24 hours and some will charge a set percentage of the overall cost of the rental.

Forklift Operator

Have you given much thought to who exactly will be operating your forklift rental? The OSHA has strict safety regulations that must be adhered to when it comes to operating forklifts.

Forklift operators must undertake safety training and certification to the required OSHA standards. Make sure you take the intended forklift operator's driving license and OSHA license number to the rental company, to avoid any delays. You can also contact the rental company to check exactly what paperwork they require from you.

Many forklift companies have a training center and run forklift operator safety training courses. Should you or your employees wish to undertake the training, contact the forklift company branch in your local area to arrange this or book online.

In the situation of a short-term rental, often forklift rental companies can provide a certified forklift operator. This is an extra charge on top of the rental pricing. Usually, the cost increases for the higher capacity forklift operators.

Extra Services

The majority of rental companies have a delivery service to the local area. They will drop your forklift rental at your location and collect it when your job is finished, adding an extra layer of convenience to the whole process. If you would like this service, contact the company to check they can deliver to your location and also if there is an additional charge for this.

A lot of the forklift rental companies also offer various other types of material handling equipment and tools for rent. If you are likely to need to rent a selection of equipment for your project, pick a business with a good inventory and see if they can offer a discounted price on a rental bundle.

Forklift rental companies often have various other support services such as online fleet management, and also forklift sales, warehouse solutions, and forklift operator training courses.

Choosing The Right Forklift Rental For the Job

It is imperative to pick the right type of forklift for your project. For example, the forklift model, engine type and performance, height, maximum reach, capacity, and tire requirements will vary depending on the location and nature of the work being undertaken. There are 7 classes of forklifts with distinct features and performance in different conditions.

Class I, II & III: Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts are a great choice for indoor work or enclosed spaces, such as a warehouse. They have no emissions so there is no concern about needing adequate ventilation in the workspace. For certain types of material handling, for example, if you require a lift truck to move food, beverages, medicines, and pharmaceuticals then the forklift must be electric. 

Class I II & III Electric Forklifts

Class I electric forklifts are suitable for such uses.

Class II electric forklifts include narrow aisle models. They have great performance when it comes to maneuverability, and as suggested by their name, are designed for use in narrow spaces, such as in a warehouse. Class III electric forklifts include tow tractors and pallet jacks, and they are a good choice for the unloading and moving of deliveries.

Regardless of the class of the electric forklift, the battery will need charging at regular intervals or swapping out for a fully charged battery once the original one has discharged.

Class VI & V: Internal Combustion Engine Forklifts

Class VI & V Internal Combustion Engine Forklifts

Forklifts with internal combustion engines can be powered by a variety of fuels, such as diesel and propane (LPG). These engine types produce emissions so are most suitable for outdoor work or use in well-ventilated spaces. 

Class IV forklifts have cushion tires, so are suitable for use indoors on even surfaces. Class V forklifts have pneumatic tires and are primarily designed for use outside.

Diesel-powered forklifts are a good choice for heavy-duty outdoor lifting work such as on a construction site as they have high power performance and capacity.

Whatever fuel your forklift runs on, it is straightforward to fuel up, for diesel lifts you just top up the fuel tank, and for propane lifts, you swap in a full cylinder.

Class VI: Tow Tractors

Class VI equipment comprises of internal combustion engine and electric tow tractors.

Most commonly, these pieces of equipment are used for towing as opposed to lifting.

Class I II & III Electric Forklifts

Class VII: All-Terrain Forklifts

Class VII All-Terrain Forklifts

Class VII, all-terrain forklifts are also known as rough terrain forklifts.

They can drive over every type of surface and climb gravel-coated or muddy ground with ease as they feature big, tractor tires. 

They are tough, efficient, and have excellent performance in extreme conditions.

All-terrain forklifts are a great choice for an industrial or construction site. They can move and support all types of loads, have a large capacity, and are usually diesel-powered.

Additional Recourses

If you are thinking that buying might me the better option, see our forklifts near me and forklift price guides for more insights into buying. 

Tim Postlethwaite

Tim Postlethwaite // Staff Writer