Forklifts - Hire or Buy?

If you work in a factory, warehouse or storeroom you have probably operated a forklift or seen one in action. It's one of the most useful pieces of equipment in many work sites. 

When Was the Forklift Invented?

The forklift has been around since the early 20th century, when it was invented to make moving items in small paces safer and easier. The first hydraulic powered lifting machinery was developed a few years later, and over the years the simple design has been improved, although the basic concept remains the same. The name stuck because the original design resembled a fork; the two pieces sticking out could easily slide under a pallet or other container, lift it up and move it even in a confined space. The wooden pallet that slots easily onto the forklift prongs was also invented about the same time, helping to make it easy and cost effective to stack even heavy items on top of each other. Today's forklifts are still operated by hydraulics and powered by petrol, diesel or electricity. Around a million forklifts are sold all over the world each year.

Benefits Of a Forklift

The main advantage of a forklift is its ability to maneuver in extremely cramped spaces, making it ideal for use in a warehouse or factory. Because it can operate in a small space, it allows items to be stacked up more closely together, and items can also be stacked on top of one another. The forklift is able to easily retrieve items form higher up, or stack items on top of other items, meaning that a facility has more floor space for other uses. And operating a forklift is relatively inexpensive too, when compared to operating other vehicles. Most forklifts don't travel a great distance during a typical workday, as they are typically used in a small space, meaning that companies can save money on petrol and other operating costs.

Hiring vs. Buying a Forklift

forklift hire rather than buying one outright makes more financial sense for any company that doesn't use a forklift all the time. If you only use one occasionally, perhaps when new stock arrives or old stock is being replaced, hiring one as and when needed is probably the answer. Temporary forklift hire means a low and affordable payment for the cost of the rental, rather than monthly payments spread over several years, along with interest. If your company hires a forklift, it also means you can be assured the forklift is in perfect working condition, and has had its recommended routine maintenance carried out. Buying a forklift can end up being even more costly if you have expensive repairs or need to replace one or more parts. And hiring a forklift as needed also means you can hire the model that will do the job at that particular time; buying one means that you may not have the lifting power or capacity you need and you may have to replace the forklift before it's even fully paid for.

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