The common question we heard from first-timers is who is responsible for any damage that may occur on the rental forklift.
Let us give you enlightenment on this matter and how to go about it.
First, to briefly give an answer to that - I bet you had rented a car before, you signed on an agreement, and one of the terms is that you can be held liable for any damage to it. That particular term or provision also applies when renting a forklift. You, the customer, are responsible for any damage to the equipment while it is under your possession.
However, you are not liable for the normal wear and tear of the equipment as long as you did not use it beyond the agreed operating hours. You will pay an additional charge for it.
Always make sure that you thoroughly read the rental agreement so that you know the things you are liable for before signing.
How to Prevent Forklift from Getting Damaged
Forklift damage can be severe enough that it makes a headline, or at other circumstances, it can be negligible that no one cares. Whatever it may be, damage can cause a serious accident and you don’t want to wait for it to happen. Here are some ways to prevent forklift damage:
- Only assign a properly trained operator to operate the machine. If your operator is not trained yet, you can enroll then in an in-person training or in an online certification course. If your choice is the latter, here’s an online course we recommend, click here. The forklift training can be done in as fast as a few hours.
- Do not use the forklift to lift loads that exceed its maximum lifting capacity. If you’re unsure how much weight the forklift can lift, refer to the data plate, there you can find the lifting capacity.
- Do not use the rental forklift beyond the operating hours. If the rental company sees that you exceed the allowed operating hours, you’ll be liable for any damage that may happen; you will also pay the additional charge for the exceeded hours.
- Do not use the forklift for anything other than its intended purpose. Do not use it to tow a truck, as a lifting platform, or anything the forklift is not supposed to do. Using the truck for anything other than its use can cause damage.
- The capacity and stability will be significantly reduced if it is to be fitted with attachment, refer to the manufacturer manual. If the forklift has an attachment (aka extension), please refer to the user’s manual or get advice from the manufacturer before putting it to work.
- The forks take all the stress, they work in tandem. Never use one fork when lifting, using just one could cause it to bend or fracture.
Here’s a Video Explaining Rules to Avoid Accident
Will You Report the Damage to the Company?
The first thing that could cross your mind is not to report the damage to the rental company because you’re nervous or worried about paying for costly repairs.
But rather do this – make a report detailing what happened, gather as much information as you can about the incident, ask the operator himself and other employees involved about the series of events, so that you can compile everything to come up with a conclusion. That way, you have something to communicate with the rental company.
Call the rental company right away and tell them what happened and to have the forklift fixed. You don’t want to have a truck that sits idle for a long period of time, of course, you want to have it fixed or replaced immediately so that the breakdown won’t impact your business operation.
Ways to Protect Yourself from
Just like a car, running a forklift is not without its risk. No matter how compliant you are with safety protocols, sometimes accidents do happen because of human error. Having protection from such an accident will give you peace of mind, here are the two ways you can do:
Apply an Insurance for the Rental Forklift
We all know that forklifts are indispensable to run the business, without them, everything could be put on standstill – and having these machines onsite is not without its risk. Doing regular operator training and placing safety protocols can help reduce the risk of a workplace accident.
But accidents involving forklifts do happen whether you like it or not and could considerably affect the business. That’s why having insurance coverage is a must.
If you rent a forklift especially in the long-period term, you need to have the proper insurance to cover the forklift itself for damages and the workers themselves in the event of an accident. It is extremely vital that everything is covered by insurance before putting the equipment to work.
Whether you plan to own or rent in a short or long period, having proper insurance will keep you protected.
Get a Rental Damage Waiver
If you just want to rent the forklift and you have no plan of insuring it because of the high cost involved, why not get a rental damage waiver instead.
This waiver, as its name implies, waives or limits your financial liability for loss or damage that may occur to the rented forklift during the term in exchange for an agreed amount.
You could stumble upon a rental company that requires customers to have proof insurance for the equipment. But what if you don’t have? The solution is the rental damage waiver. It is one of the good points of getting this waiver - you don’t need to have proof insurance for the equipment you want to rent, but instead have a rental damage waiver with the company for your rental application to get approved.
The rental damage waiver is not an insurance policy but rather a document that both of you and the rental company agreed upon certain terms and conditions.
If you want to have this option, you can ask this to the rental company for inclusion in the rental agreement. Talk to the company representative for more details if you want to avail.
Whatever protection you choose – would it be an insurance or a rental damage waiver, the bottom line is that you want to have a peace of mind when something goes wrong.
To Finalize This
As a customer, you have the obligation to keep the rental forklift from getting damaged, since you are liable for anything that happens to it while it is under your care.
Damage can be costly and you are the one who will shoulder it. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from unnecessary expenses – either apply for insurance or get rental damage waiver.
Renting forklift should not discourage you, it is the same as owning this equipment. But you have to know that you are liable for any damage to the rental forklift.