How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Forklift?

Do you have a long-term need for forklifts but does not have the financial capacity to buy one? If the answer is yes, look no further than the possibility of renting them from your local contractors.

Forklifts come in varying names – lift truck, fork truck, fork hoist, and a forklift truck. Despite its many names, it’s still the forklift you see slowly getting around a warehouse carrying extremely heavy stuff. Apparently, it would not just be the carrying of stuff that the forklift can do. It also puts things in their proper places – regardless of how high up it is.

A forklift can cost you to as much as $30,000; and since it’s that expensive, most would resort to renting forklifts from a local rental company.

Renting a Forklift Average Cost

Forklift rental prices vary depending on a lot of factors; but, on the average, it would cost you about $225 to $7,325. Main factor that affects is the number of days for which you are renting the machine.

For example, DiscountLift Nationwide Rentals would charge you $225 for a forklift rental for one day. If you rent the forklift for five days, it would only cost you $700. This price is specific for a forklift with a 5000lb-capacity. But, if you prefer a forklift that can move up to 15,000lbs, it could cost you $725 for one day or $7,325 for a month.

If you don’t want to rent the forklift for a day, some companies can rent it to you for a few hours. For Tates Rents, a company with most of its locations in Boise, Idaho, the cost to rent a forklift for a minimum of two hours is $124.

If you will have it for four hours, it would cost you $211. This, again, is for a forklift with a 5,500lb-capacity. If you need a forklift that has a capacity of up to 8,000lbs, a 2-hour rental fees would be $163.


When the equipment is already in your hands, damages to the forklift during or after use will be charged to you. 

Forklift on work space

Other Costs to Consider

Forklifts are run by any of the following: LPG, gasoline, or diesel. Depending on your usage, prepare to pay an extra $3 per gallon for fuel.

If you are renting the forklift from a contractor far away from you, prepare to pay for the trucking expenses as the forklift needs to be transported from the company site to your location.

In Cromer Material Handling, a company based in California, trucking costs would usually be at $115 for the transport. Upon agreement of the rental, you can ask if trucking is already included in your forklift rental cost, or if it is something that you have to pay extra for.

Forklifts come with an operator that mans the controls and gets the job done. The operator’s salary is already included in the forklift rental prices.

Overtime hours, however, are a different story. When the working hours go way beyond the operator’s shift schedule, prepare to pay anywhere from $5 to $30 for overtime work, depending on the number of hours the operator stayed extra.

If the company is not able to provide an operator to man the forklift that you rented, a forklift operator would normally charge around $15 per hour. For a forklift operator that has lots of experience, it would be around $20 per hour.

Renting Tips

When renting forklifts, one of the very first things you do is to determine the weight capacity. As you may already know, the weight capacity of a forklift is one of the major rate influencer. 

You shouldn’t choose to rent a forklift that can carry 15,000lbs when your materials only weigh 3,000lbs. This would also be the same with the height. You have to determine how high up you would be putting those boxes before you decide on the specifications of the forklift you’re renting.

Check the ground and surface of where the forklift is going to be used. If you are going to use it on large, open spaces, choose forklifts that run on propane, gasoline, or diesel. If you are working in a warehouse or other enclosed spaces, choose a forklift that runs on electric. This ensures that you eliminate exhaust gases.

Will your area be big enough for the forklift to comfortably maneuver? If you have limited spaces, you may opt for a three-wheel counterbalance type of forklift.

As with all projects, calculate first as to the total amount of time to get it done. As you may already know, the length of time you rent the forklift also determines the cost of rentals you pay to the rental company. If you are only using the forklift for a day, it would not be advisable to rent it for a week. It would cost you more.

Make sure to close the deal with the rental company at least a week in advance. This would give the company some time to prepare for the project. And when the forklift is delivered to you, check for signs of damage or scratches. Remember, you will be charged for the damages to the forklift, so it is good to check the forklift first before you use it.

Read the rental agreement thoroughly. If you have questions, ask.

There are also companies that would offer discounts for rentals for a set period of time. One such example is a company named Forklifts of Minnesota Incorporated that offers discounts for forklift rentals of at least three months. You can ask the rental company of your choice if they provide discounts.

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