Should You Borrow or Lend a Forklift?

Toyota Forklift IC cushion forklift

Borrowing or lending a forklift can put your company at financial risk. Should you do it?

When you don’t need a forklift on a regular basis, it can be tempting to save money for a rental by borrowing a forklift. If you own a forklift, it’s also understandable that you would want to help a neighbor with their quick lifting need. But, using a forklift owned by another business puts both companies at risk for a financial liability.

Training & Experience
Federal law requires every forklift operator to be trained by a credible trainer with knowledge and experience on the equipment and hazards of the job. If you are the lender, it’s important you learn if the other company has trained operators with up-to-date certification. If not, you may consider also providing the assistance of a trained operator; however, your employee will not typically be as familiar with the borrower’s facility and product.

Maintenance & Repair History
Not being familiar with the forklift, the borrowing company has no awareness of the forklift’s maintenance and repair history. It is beneficial to both companies for the lender to familiarize an operator with the forklift and confirm a pre-shift inspection is performed and recorded. Accidents resulting in the malfunction of the forklift can lead to more than tension – it can also mean damaged property, injured employees and OSHA involvement or a lawsuit.

Insurance Coverage
Although your business’s insurance may cover damage and expenses for owned, leased and rented equipment, it may not cover costs when a borrowed forklift is involved. Both the borrower and lender should review their policies for clarification. Companies lending their forklift should also consider establishing a formal agreement to outline usage and liability expectations.

Are you looking for a reliable forklift rental partner? ProLift rents forklifts by the day, week or month. Contact ProLift to speak to a Rental Specialist!

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