Forklift managers are being warned that signing up for cheap weekly hire contracts could end up costing them a small fortune.

In a difficult economic climate, some forklift suppliers are offering cut-price deals but businesses need to read the small print to spot the hidden costs.

That’s the view of Allan Parsons, short-term rental manager for forklift truck firm Briggs Equipment, who says that companies offering deals ‘too good to be true’ often make their money back through inflated delivery charges.

“We recently conducted a spot-check survey which revealed staggering differences between initial hire prices and delivery charges. In addition, the equipment supplied could also be as old as 10 years which increases the risk of high maintenance and repair costs,” he said.

“During seasonal periods where uptime is vital, the most important aspect to consider is the age of the equipment. An old machine will be less reliable and could let you down at the worst possible time. Ensure the equipment has done less than 5,000 hours and your supplier provides full maintenance and repair cover.”

Briggs’ short-term hire department has grown into a multi-million pound operation with the investment of £20 million to ensure the supply of the latest hire equipment, with an average age of 48 months, to customers across the UK.

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