By Western Material Handling Admin - November 14, 2019


Write-off UP TO $25,000 of a qualified purchase and deduct it from your taxes for this year!

Easy Financing!

Rent a New Hyundai Forklift

By Western Material Handling Admin - July 19, 2019

Western Material Handling rents new Hyundai forklifts.  Why just rent, rent the best forklift and see how a new Hyundai will work in your facility!

How to Get the Most Out of Your Forklift Rental

Finding a forklift rental is not hard. However, finding the ideal equipment for the job at hand and then making sure you’re getting the most for your money requires a little bit of pre-planning.

Taking a little time to ask yourself these key questions about your forklift rental investment will pay big dividends. As you review them, keep in mind that these are the same types of questions that forklift rental providers will be asking you.

1. What type of equipment are you looking to rent?

Forklifts obviously come in many shapes, sizes and brand names. In addition to traditional-style forklifts, many dealers also offer material handling equipment designed for a wide range of specific needs. These include:

  • Rough-terrain forklift trucks
  • Outdoor pneumatic tire forklift
  • Warehouse Cushion tire forklifts
  • Narrow-aisle forklifts
  • Aerial lifts
  • Pallet trucks
  • Walkie stackers
  • Order-picking vehicles

2. How long will you need the rental? 

Most forklift rental operations offer their vehicles on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. And as you would expect, the per-day cost is reduced when you rent for a longer period.

Since forklift rentals usually come with restrictions on hours of usage, it makes sense to thoroughly plan and organize your work flow to keep the equipment moving for as many hours as you can, without going over the daily limit. Typically, 8 hours per day, 40 hours per month, and 176 hours per month are allowed. 

Also, don’t forget to call the rental company as soon as you are done using the equipment to avoid getting charged for more rental time than you actually need. It sounds like common sense, but it’s also a fairly common mistake. Generally speaking, the more organized you are, the better off you’ll be.

3. How large, how heavy, how high?

To rent a forklift with enough power and stability to accommodate your needs, you’ll want to provide detailed information about the weight and volume (length, width and height) of your biggest loads, as well as how high you need to lift them. Don’t make the mistake of renting a forklift that is rated at 5,000 pounds, only to realize that the lifting capability decreases the higher the machine needs to reach.

4. Does your warehouse or job site present any special limitations?

For example, narrow aisles may create a need for specialized equipment. The forklift dealer may also ask about the width and height of the smallest door or opening the machine will need to squeeze through or duck under. Certain manufacturers specialize in ultra-compact, sit-down lift trucks capable of fitting through a standard-sized doorway.

5. Indoor or outdoor?

Forklifts used in warehouses are generally outfitted with cushioned indoor tires that are best for hard, smooth surfaces. Forklifts operated primarily outdoors are commonly equipped with pneumatic tires that enable them to traverse a variety of more challenging surfaces and terrains.

6. What fuel source is best for you?

The indoor-outdoor question is also important when it comes to deciding between several fuel source options. Electric? Diesel? Propane?

Here are several rules of thumb to help you decide on the best fuel source for your particular applications or job-site conditions:

  • Battery-powered electric forklifts are best for indoor use because they produce zero emissions. They are also the quietest, most environmentally friendly and easiest to maintain.
  • Rugged diesel lift trucks are basically restricted to outdoor duty due to their exhaust, but they also deliver the most power for strenuous jobs.
  • Propane fork trucks are versatile indoor/outdoor performers whose features include easy refueling and more torque than their electric counterparts.

Electric forklifts also tend to be more compact and maneuverable since they are not powered by a bulky internal-combustion (IC) engine, while diesel and propane machines with IC engines generally possess greater weight capacity and better ability to handle rough terrain.

7. If you go electric, do you need a battery charger?

Electric forklifts, of course, require a battery charger for refueling (once fully charged, they can typically provide enough power for one eight-hour shift or about five to six hours of continuous use). This means your forklift rental dealer will likely ask whether you already have a suitable charger. If not, you’ll need to factor in acquiring this capability.

Most dealers can rent you a temporary, short-term solution. But for longer-term needs it is often recommended that you get an electrician to hard wire a charger on-site. For this, you’ll need to know your building’s voltage limitations.

Propane-powered machines, which run on easy-to-replace canisters of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and diesel forklifts are easier to refuel on the fly.

8. Do you need delivery?

Most forklift dealers will offer to deliver the machinery to your warehouse or job site, and many prefer to do so because they are experienced at handling these bulky, heavy machines without damage. But be sure to ask if they charge a fee for transporting, unloading and picking up the equipment. Another option comes into play if you are working with a rigging company, as they generally are also equipped to move heavy machinery.

9. What about service?

Top dealers offer to provide service for their forklift rentals. If you call with a problem, they will typically send out a technician to determine whether it can be repaired on-site and, if not, will (hopefully promptly) swap it out for a replacement vehicle. However, you need to make sure such details are clearly spelled out in your rental contract.

10. Who is responsible for any damage? Maintenance?

Just as when you rent a car, you can be held liable to cover repair costs for any damage that may occur while the vehicle is under your care. However, the customer is typically not responsible for normal wear and tear.

Most dealers are careful about maintaining records about the condition of their rental equipment, both going out and coming back in. So in addition to conducting a visual inspection of the forklift, it is important to discuss this with your dealer to make sure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities. The renter is also typically responsible for such minor maintenance tasks as regularly checking fluid levels to keep the machine running smoothly.

Forklift Crash Course

By Western Material Handling - April 29, 2019

    Part two of this series talks more about less common forklifts. These lifts are extremely useful when you have a nonconforming warehouse or situation. 

Here are some more information on some of those lifts: 

     Very Narrow Aisle Articulating
forklift can work in aisles as narrow as 6'6" and are 4,000 lb capacity and lift heights up to 374".  We are the dealer for Flexi electric that has a 3 year warranty on the articulating gear assembly.  This type of forklift will go into a trailer and work outside in parking lots.  Other manufacturers offer a LP gas version and capacities up to 10,000 lb.

Class 2 Very Narrow Articulating Walkie Stackers come in capacities up to 4,000 lb. and mast heights of over 200".  These lifts will work in a 8 to 9' aisle and are very popular with start up businesses or small operations.  Because of the outriggers on the straddle version they can get hung up if operated in rough parking lots and room has to be provided for the outriggers.  Some versions come with a reach mechanism so that you do not have to straddle the load.  We handle the Blue Giant line. 3 Electric Walkie Straddle Stacker

Walkie Stackers are almost as expensive as a new forklift and used ones bring a high price because of their popularity.

Class 3 Electric Walkie Stacker Reach
Counter balanced Walkie Stackers can move right up to the load so that you don't have to contend with outriggers.  Because there are no outriggers they require a counterweight and are longer so they require a wide aisle to operate in.

Class 3 Electric Walkie Counterbalanced Stacker Walkie pallet jacks will move a pallet with ease and come in capacities of 3,000 to 8,000 lbs. with special units up to 12,000 lbs.  They lift the load around 7-8" and move from a crawl up to a fast walk speed.  Some versions have a rider platform or a center compartment for the operator.  Only the type pictured will turn around inside of a truck which is what many customers desire.  We are the Blue Giant dealer.

Class 3 Electric Walkie Pallet Jack

Rough Terrain Forklift are used on rough terrain or soft surfaces.  These are known their wide floatation or tractor type tires.  These units come in 2 or 4 wheel drive.  They work best in soft lots but require quite a bit of room to turn around and are too large to use in the warehouse.  The cost is high compared to a regular pneumatic tire forklift.  Capacities from 5,000 to 30,000 lb. We are the Mastercraft dealer.
Class 7 Rough Terrain
A Telehandler
is used if the customer needs a lot of lift and forward reach.  These units are typically 4-wheel drive, have three way steering which allows them to maneuver in an area tighter than their size would indicate.  These units weight from 10,000 to 30,000 lbs. and are normally in 5,000 to 12,000 lb capacities but they can be built up to 30,000 lbs. or more.  Lift heights of 19' to 55' are common. Telehandlers are very versatile as you can install dirt buckets and other attachments on the quick change carriage.

Class 7 Telehandler

Truck Mounted forklifts allow a company to take a forklift along on the back of the truck when making a delivery.  Capacities up to 6,000 lbs. and lift heights of up to 15'.  Many models have a reach function that allow removing both pallets from one side of the truck.  2 and 3 wheel drive, diesel engine, and hydrostatic operation are the norm.  We are the Navigator dealer.  The lightest weight unit is the Donkey.

Class 7 Truck-Mounted Forklifts (sod loaders) and 4-way forklifts help move a long load through a narrow door.  LP gas, diesel, and electric power.  Capacities up to 30,000 lbs.  A reach mechanism allows the forks to extend to the load and then retract it to rest on the platform for travel.  Some electric versions can travel all 4-directions for versatility.

Class 2 Internal Combustion Sideloader

Class 2 Electric 4 Directional Sideloader lifts are very popular, especially used, and come in "slab grade" for interior use and 2 and 4-wheel drive "rough terrain" versions.  Most electric slab grades will fit through a 3' x 7' door and will lift from 12' to 26'.  Rough terrain models are electric, diesel, gasoline, LP gas, or dual fuel gas and LP.  350 lbs. to 1,000 lb. capacities.  We are the dealer for Genie, Skyjack, and Condor.
Scissor Lift or Boom lifts come in heights from 30' to 185' and are electric, diesel, gasoline, LP gas, or dual fuel gas and LP.  Capacities are usually around 500 lbs. in the basket.  We are the dealer for Genie, Skyjack, and Condor.


Forklift Crash Course

By Western Material Handling - March 28, 2019

Forklifts have been in existence since the 1920's and the imports, like Toyota have been made since the mid 1950's.  The first Toyota was brought into the US in the late 1960's.

Forklifts or Industrial Trucks are designed to lift and carry loads, not to push and pull.

Here are the most common types for forklifts: operations will usually want a cushion tire forklift.  A cushion tire forklift will work in a tight warehouse operation because of its compact size.  They will get stuck in soft dirt. They have a shorter wheel base and are narrower and shorter than the same size pneumatic tire forklift.  Cushion tire forklifts have a press-on tire that can be non-marking (white or gray) or regular black (will leave marks on the floor) and the tires can be smooth or traction tread.  The tires need to be replaced when they are worn down to the tops of the numbers on the sides of the tire.  Cushion tire forklifts will work in an aisle width of around 12'.  They come in a 3,000 to 8,000 lbs. capacity normally but are made up to 30,000 to 50,000 lbs.  All fuel types are available.  We are the Tailift dealer.
Class 4 Cushion Tire applications will usually need a pneumatic tire type forklift.  The actual tire may be air filled, foam filled, or be solid rubber but they all have a pneumatic tire appearance.  Pneumatic lifts will work best on softer ground, rough surfaces, or on slick surfaces.  They are wider, longer, and have a longer wheel base than a cushion tire forklift which is why they are better on rough or slick surfaces.  For the same reasons, they do not work as well inside a warehouse and will require additional aisle width to operate in. Diesel, LP gas, gasoline, dual fuel (LP and Gasoline), and even electric fuel types are available. Capacities range from 2,000 to 90,000 lbs. and higher.  We are the Tailift dealer.

Class 5 Pneumatic Tire Electric sit-down forklifts are more compact than their IC powered counterparts so you can sell a larger capacity electric to work in the same place as an IC powered lift giving you more flexibility in meeting the customer's space requirements.  They can work in an aisle width as narrow as 10-12'.  Cushion press-on tires are normal. Electrics are quieter than an IC truck, climb steeper ramps, and they leak less since they do not have an IC engine oiling system or a transmission. 
Class 1 Electric Sit-down 4 Wheel wheel Electric sit-down forklifts are very compact and work in a narrow aisle as they turn in
less than their own length due to their inside tire turning opposite in a tight turn due to their dual drive motors.  Capacities from 3,000 to 5,000 lbs. and they will work in an aisle width of just 10'.  Normally have cushion press-on tires.
We have the Tailift line.

Class 1 Electric Sit-down 3 Wheel tires come on Three wheel and Four wheel sit-down electrics as well as internal combustion (IC) powered trucks.  Tailift makes pneumatic 4 wheel sit-down electric with 48V-80V AC system and battery.  Pneumatic tires are an option on Tailift three wheel sit-down forklifts and most other brands as well.  24v, 36, and 48v battery and systems.

Class 1 Electric Pneumatic electric Counter-Balanced Stand-Up is one of the most versatile of all forklifts.  This forklift enjoys the tight turning radius of a three wheel electric sit-down with it's dual drive motors and three wheel design and will work in around a 10' aisle.  It has adequate ground clearance to allow it to go across a dock plate and into a trailer, and it will go out into a parking lot and traverse moderate height differences.  Capacities from 3,000 to 5,000 lbs. and lift heights over 200".
Class 1 Electric Stand Up End  Control (Docker)

Narrow Aisle Forklifts Order Picker forklifts are used to build loads in a warehouse.  The operator goes up with the pallet and moves items from the rack to a pallet or platform on his forks.  Some applications like a furniture warehouse may have a platform up to 3' x 8' to move furniture and other bulky items.  Typical units have a 3,000 lb. capacities and lift heights up to 400".  Operators must wear a body harness and tether themselves to the unit in case of a fall.  This type of lift works well in narrow aisles but this type of lift is limited as a regular forklift.
Class 2 Electric Order Picker electric Narrow Aisle Single and Double Reach stand-up forklifts are designed for smooth concrete floors and because they have outriggers they are shorter and will work in an aisle as small as 9'.  The outriggers move the fulcrum (tipping) point forward and eliminate the need for additional counter weight but it also limits where the forklift can travel as they have almost no ground clearance.  They cannot go outside unless it is very smooth and cannot go across dock plates.  Capacities of 3,000 to 4,500 lb. and up to 400" lift heights are available.

Class 2 Electric Narrow Aisle Single Reach single reach version will reach the carriage out to the end of the out riggers to pick up the load and then the load is retracted to the mast for travel.  The double reach version will extend into the middle of the pallet behind the first pallet so the pallets can be double stacked increasing the storage capacity of the warehouse.

Class 2 Electric Narrow Aisle Double Reach

Very Narrow Aisle Forklift Swing Mast forklifts will work in an aisle width around 4’6”.  They are limited to smooth floors and will not travel over a dock plate and into the back of a trailer and do not work well in parking lots.  They do allow the racking to be set very close together to increase the capacity of the warehouse.

Class 2 Electric Man Down Swing Reach Turret Man Up Swing Mast forklifts allow the operator to go up with the load to see what is being picked up which comes in handy when you are 30' or so off the ground.  These forklifts are expensive and very specialized and are usually guided by a wire buried in the concrete that the lift follows.