When you know that you need a truck or a forklift, chances are you need it soon. There might be a big warehouse project that needs to happen and can’t happen without the help of a forklift, or some serious amounts of supplies that need to moved or delivered around the country.

Whatever your large scale need is, deciding how you’re going to move it or transport it is a really big decision. Some larger companies who are used to moving and transporting large goods may have their own machinery to do so, but if you’re just getting into the business, or your company is starting to offer goods that require machinery to move it, you’re going to have to make the decision on whether you want to lease or purchase that forklift or truck.

Leasing

Pros:

  • Forklifts for rent and trucks rentals are fantastic for companies that have smaller projects every so often. Forklift prices are incredibly expensive, but are a worthwhile investment only if you’ll be using it quite often. But, for the simple project here and there, leasing may be your best option.

First, assess your needs. Find out how long the project would take with or without a forklift or truck, and if it’s even possible to move by hand. You might have workers who are willing to carry, lift, and transport some items but this type of heavy and manual labour could lead to some bigger issues. Try using something like these guidelines for the heaviest lifting an employee should do, and see if your project will fit within the guidelines. Next, assess your risks. If you are considering moving heavy items around manually, it could run a big risk on the safety of those moving it. Back injuries are incredibly common when having to deal with heavy items, so make sure you’re taking proper precautions.

  • If you lease either a forklift or a truck, the responsibility of the property goes back to the owners. This means that things like insurance, maintenance, and warranties fall on the owner instead of you. If something goes wrong and it’s not something you can quickly fix yourself, you can simply rely on the leasing contract you signed, and the responsibility to diagnose and fix the issue is not your problem.  

This is especially handy for borrowers who are on a tight budget and couldn’t afford the costs of repairs, general maintenance, or even the insurance payments. Take a look at this guide for leasing equipment to help you understand what you’re getting into.  

  • Leasing means that you have access to the most upgraded forklifts and trucks. Once you purchase one, you will be stuck with that model for quite some time. Leasing will allow you to hire the best fit and the newest models for your business.   
  • If you have a lot of varied needs for your business, you will be able to hire a specific truck or forklift that fits that need at the time. For example, if you’ll be moving a lot of things in a warehouse setting for one part of the year, but then hauling things in an outside yard, requiring more of a heavy duty truck for a week or two during another part of the year, it makes more sense to hire those specific types of machinery to fit your varied need.

Cons:

  • Essentially, the cons of leasing or hiring forklifts and trucks is mainly the cost. You’ll need to do some careful analysis to find out if you’ll be using the machinery enough to justify the long term cost investment.

Purchasing

Pros:

  • The biggest pro of purchasing your own truck or forklift is the cost aspect. While they cost an impressive amount of money, if you need either on a regular basis, you’ll end up spending quite a bit more money on truck rentals.
  • If your cash flow is inconsistent for your business and you aren’t sure when money typically comes in and out over the year, leasing can be difficult because you don’t know if you’ll be able to afford it when the need is the greatest. Having the machinery on hand at all times instead means that during rough income times, you’ll still have the ability to do the work needed for the business.  
  • One of the big costs and problems with purchasing your own heavy machinery is the costs of repair, specifically the parts needed to complete the repair. However, if you own your own forklift or truck, you can keep spare parts on hand and find them much cheaper. For example, forklift parts online can help you save money versus buying parts from a repair shop.

Cons:

  • Having to do the repair work for your machinery is a big con for purchasing. As mentioned above in the pros for leasing and hiring, insurance and automatic maintenance are a really great part of leasing. The worry of something breaking down is taken off of you. When you purchase, you are now the responsible party.

One way to combat this is to have a forklift or heavy truck mechanic on staff to help with repairs. This will not only simplify your repair process, but also make it a lot cheaper for you then hiring an outside mechanic. Keep someone on hand who is licensed and knowledgeable in forklifts. You’ll also need to make sure you are implementing proper safety protocols now that the responsibility is on your company.  

Regardless of the pros and cons of leasing versus purchasing, you as a business will need to carefully assess your needs presently and for the future as well, and determine if either is the right option for you right now. For example, leasing may make more sense right now, as you don’t quite have the funding to purchase one, but may cost you more over the long run if you will be needing the machinery quite a bit in the future as well. Try to make decisions based on your situation now and your situation in the future, and you will be better prepared to make the right decision for you.

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