5 Forklift Rental Providers in Houston, TX: Where to Rent a Forklift Today

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Are you looking for forklift rentals in Houston, TX?

You’ve come to the right place.

Here, you’ll find information on trusted forklift rental providers in the Houston area. You’ll also get insights into rental rates for standard forklifts.

Plus, we’ll cover some critical forklift training rules and regulations.

Let’s begin!

5 Forklift Rental Providers in Houston, TX

Aztec Rental Center

Aztec Rental Center was established in 1966. It’s a family-owned and operated equipment rental company located in South Texas. 

The company claims it’s one of the largest independent rental companies in the area. 

Aztec Rental Center offers various types of forklift rentals. For example, you can rent sit-down counterbalance forklifts, gas and propane models, and rough terrain styles. 

Customers can also rent straight-mast and telehandler-style forklifts for unimproved terrains. Additionally, the company rents out manual and electric pallet jacks for indoor use.

Aztec Rental Center’s long history adds to its credibility. They also enjoy general customer satisfaction, as seen in their Google reviews.

Frontier Forklifts & Equipment

Frontier Forklifts & Equipment is located in Pearland, TX. The company has been in the material handling industry since 2002. They provide several services, including equipment rentals.

Regarding forklift rentals, Frontier Forklifts has trucks with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 pounds. Customers have the flexibility to choose rental terms by day or by week.

Reviews on Frontier Forklifts & Equipment’s Google Business page are generally positive.

Lonestar Forklift

Lonestar Forklift started in 1991. Its headquarters are in Garland, Texas. They also have a Houston, TX branch. 

The company operates as a full-service material-handling distributor and dealership. In addition to equipment sales, repair services, and parts, Lonestar also offers forklift rentals.

The company claims an extensive rental fleet with over 700 units available. Moreover, they say they maintain one of the youngest fleets in the industry. 

Lonestar has rental forklifts that can handle weights up to 65,000 pounds. Furthermore, customers can rent forklifts for short-term, seasonal, or long-term needs.

The company’s Google Business page has generally positive ratings.

HTX Material Handling

HTX Material Handling is in Houston, TX. This full-service material-handling dealership was established in 2019. They sell forklift brands like Linde and Baoli. 

Besides sales, the company also provides various options for renting forklifts. They can rent by the day, week, month, or longer. There are also rent-to-own options. 

Notably, HTX Material Handling promises same-day delivery for lift trucks. This ensures that customers can use the equipment without delay.

HTX Material Handling is relatively new to the industry. But they have generally positive reviews on their Google Business page.

Large Lift Trucks

Large Lift Trucks is a material handling company in Houston, Texas. It’s locally owned and operated. The company specializes in selling used forklifts and providing rental services. 

They have a diverse range of forklift rentals. These include top brands like Toyota, Hyster, and Caterpillar.

Customers have a choice of different forklift designs. These include sit-down and stand-up style warehouse forklifts. They also offer counterbalance forklifts and container handler forklifts.

Large Lift Trucks forklift rental program offers several features. They promise fast delivery times. They also promise well-maintained forklifts. Additionally, renters don’t pay for maintenance.

The company has generally positive reviews on its Google Business page.

How Much Forklift Rentals Cost in Houston, TX

Want to know how much it costs to rent a forklift in Houston, TX? The table below provides the answers. You’ll find rates for daily, weekly, and monthly rental periods.

We based this table on 144 price points we collected from online sources. The data covers the most common types of forklifts available for rent in Houston, TX.

Forklift TypeDurationAverageLowHigh
Walkie Pallet JacksDay$228$165$291
Week$530$514$545
Month$1,045$910$1,180
Warehouse StackersDay$300$173$430
Week$674$482$815
Month$1,694$1,418$2,015
Low-Capacity WarehouseDay$324$201$405
Week$810$522$1,060
Month$2,034$1,328$2,745
Mid-Capacity OutdoorDay$482$420$565
Week$1,236$1,000$1,530
Month$3,321$2,000$3,975
High-Capacity OutdoorDay$940$607$1,395
Week$2,506$1,553$3,700
Month$6,298$4,300$9,995
Straight Mast Rough TerrainDay$492$400$575
Week$1,137$824$1,495
Month$2,803$1,882$3,758
TelehandlerDay$656$472$930
Week$1,685$1,246$2,360
Month$3,961$2,748$5,410

Understanding Forklift Rental Costs in Houston, TX: 6 Factors to Consider

You’ve seen the rental rates for various forklift rentals in Houston, TX. However, there’s more to rental pricing than just these rates. 

Let’s examine all the potential costs related to forklift rentals. This will help you understand the total expenses and plan your budget more effectively.

Delivery and Pickup

Delivery and pickup fees are usually separate from forklift rental rates. 

Forklifts are heavy. Thus, they’re unsuitable for driving on public roads over long distances. Instead, you’ll need a truck or trailer to transport a rental forklift.

The cost of delivery and pickup fees depends on the distance. For local deliveries, expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for a one-way trip.

Fuel Costs

Forklift rental rates typically don’t include fuel expenses. As a renter, you’re responsible for both the cost and the logistics of refueling. 

For example, if you rent a propane forklift, you must arrange to refill propane tanks. How much this will cost depends on the local propane prices. But expect to pay $3.00 or more per gallon.

Electric forklifts are different. Often, rental providers include a charger with these forklifts. This means your only extra cost is the electricity used for charging. 

However, providers usually have higher daily or weekly rates for electric forklifts. This is to cover the use of the battery.

As a result, electric forklifts can save you on fuel costs compared to internal combustion trucks. But they’ll usually have higher overall rental rates, even in the same capacity class.

Operator Training

OSHA mandates that forklift operators must receive training and certification. If your employees aren’t trained, you must ensure they do before operating a forklift. Otherwise, you risk OSHA fines.

It’s important to remember that certification is specific to the type of forklift

Say your employees are certified on stand-up reach trucks. But they’ll use a different type of rental forklift, like a sit-down counterbalance. They’ll need specific training on the latter.

Various training options are available, including online and in-person group courses. These can cost you $50 to $200 or more per person.

Maintenance and Repairs

Usually, the rental provider handles routine maintenance. That includes things like oil and filter changes. This means you won’t have any extra charges beyond your rental fees.

But, you might be responsible for excessive wear and tear. For example, suppose the forklift is used heavily, and the wheels wear out quickly. The rental agency might charge you for this. 

Also, if the forklift is damaged due to misuse or abuse by the operator, you’ll be responsible for fixing it.

Overtime

Forklift rental agencies often set limits on how much a rental forklift can be used. Typical limits are eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, or 160 hours a month. 

Rental providers calculate overtime fees based on the forklift’s hour meter readings. They look at the reading when they deliver the truck and receive it back at the end of the rental period. 

If you use the forklift more than these limits, you may have to pay overtime fees. These fees are usually in proportion to the rental rates. That means pricier forklifts have higher overtime fees.

If you need to use the forklift for long hours, it’s a good idea to talk to the rental provider first. This way, you can look for ways to reduce costs.

For instance, the rental provider might offer a reduced rate if you rent two forklifts. This helps prevent too much wear and tear on their trucks. 

Incidentals

There are several types of “incidental costs.” For example, say you rent an electric forklift. But you don’t have the necessary charging infrastructure. In this case, you’ll have to pay to set that up. 

Most companies that rent out forklifts don’t provide services for setting up chargers. They may provide the charger, but you’ll need to hire an electrician to install it. This adds to your rental costs.

There are also other incidental costs to think about. These include attachments and accessories for the forklift. 

Examples are fork extensions, clamps, or extra-long forks. Typically, these attachments are separate from the forklift rental. So, you should expect an extra charge for renting them.

7 Types of Forklifts You Can Rent in Houston, TX

Forklift renters in Houston have a wide range of options. Let’s go over the main types of forklifts available. That way, you’ll better understand what will suit your needs.

Electric Rider Forklifts

Electric motor rider trucks run on batteries. This means they don’t produce the harmful emissions that internal combustion trucks do. 

They’re available in many different styles. These include sit-down counterbalance and stand-up counterbalance forklifts. 

Moreover, they can come with either pneumatic or cushion tires. Cushion tires are typically used indoors. On the other hand, pneumatic tires are mainly for outdoor use.

Electric motor trucks have a range of lifting capacities. They vary from 3,000 pounds to over 15,000 pounds for the highest-capacity trucks.

Narrow Aisle Forklifts

Electric motor narrow aisle trucks are specifically designed for indoor use. They’re ideal for aisles that are 10 feet wide or narrower. 

There are at least eight different subtypes of narrow aisle trucks. These include both stand-up and sit-down models.

Some of these trucks use the counterbalance principle to stay stable. Others rely on outrigger legs for support. 

Furthermore, some are designed to lift loads with forks. Meanwhile, others are meant only for horizontal transportation.

Electric Hand-Controlled Forklifts

Electric motor hand trucks are also known as hand rider trucks. These warehouse-use industrial trucks are manually controlled, typically through a lever. 

Operators can either walk behind these trucks or, in some models, stand on them. 

Some models can lift and stack. Others, like pallet trucks, are primarily for horizontally transporting goods.

Cushion-Tire Internal Combustion Forklifts

Internal combustion trucks with solid cushion tires are four-wheel, sit-down style forklifts. Their solid cushion tires are specially designed for indoor use.

Another key feature is their counterbalance design. This enables offsetting the load on the forklifts, much like a see-saw. 

Typically, these trucks run on gas or propane fuel. Propane is a clean-burning fuel that emits low emissions. This feature makes them suitable for indoor use.

Cushion tire engine forklift trucks are available in various capacities. They range from 3,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds or more for the biggest models. 

Pneumatic-Tire Internal Combustion Forklifts

Internal combustion trucks with pneumatic tires are like their cushion-tired relatives in some ways. 

Both have an engine-powered, sit-down style. They also have a counterbalance design with four wheels. 

The distinct feature of these trucks is their pneumatic tires. These tires can be either air-filled or filled with foam. 

Air-filled tires provide better grip outdoors. This is especially true on softer surfaces. They can slightly deform to enhance traction.

Solid pneumatic tires, on the other hand, are puncture-proof. This makes them resilient against sharp objects like nails, screws, and glass fragments.

Class 5 trucks can run on various fuels. These include gasoline, propane, diesel, and sometimes compressed natural gas. Some manufacturers are even introducing hydrogen-powered trucks.

Furthermore, pneumatic forklifts have a wide range of lifting capacities. They can lift from 3,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds or even more.

Straight Mast Rough Terrain Forklifts

In Houston, TX, forklift renters can rent straight mast rough terrain forklifts.

These trucks look like backward tractors. They have oversized air-filled tires at the front that straddle the vertical lifting mechanism.

Diesel engines power these forklifts. Their lifting capacities range from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds. These are often found on construction sites and agricultural farms.

Telehandler Forklifts

In Houston, renters may come across a second type of rough terrain forklift. This is the variable reach type, also known as a telehandler or boom forklift. 

Telehandler forklifts have an extendable boom arm with forklifts attached to the end. The essential advantage of this design is its versatility. 

The boom arm allows operators to lift loads vertically and extend them horizontally. This gives them significant reach capabilities that straight mast forklifts don’t have.

This versatility is instrumental in certain situations. For example, it’s helpful when reaching over ledges or placing construction materials on a rooftop.

Training Requirements for Forklift Renters in Houston, TX

If you want to operate a forklift in Houston, you must complete forklift operator training. It’s required by OSHA, which stands for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. 

Let’s look at some crucial requirements for forklift operators. Understanding them can help you maintain compliance and safety when renting a forklift.

Receive Formal Instruction

OSHA says forklift operators must undergo formal instruction. According to OSHA, this can include a variety of teaching methods. For example, video lessons, lectures, slide shows, and interactive games. 

The training must cover specific topics related to forklifts and the workplace. The goal is to equip operators with the theoretical knowledge for safety and efficiency. 

After completing the formal instruction, operators usually take a test. This exam checks their knowledge and understanding of forklift operating principles.

Get Hands-on Training

OSHA also mandates that forklift operators get hands-on training with a real forklift. This training must be done under the supervision of a qualified instructor.

In this phase, the trainer will usually demonstrate different aspects of the forklift. Attendees will perform exercises and can ask questions, too.

This hands-on experience is crucial. It allows operators to combine classroom learning with a practical understanding of how forklifts work.

Receive an Evaluation

The forklift operator’s evaluation happens after the hands-on training. OSHA says that operators must be evaluated on their performance under workplace conditions

Only after this evaluation can they be allowed to operate a forklift. This exam aims to check their ability to use what they’ve learned. That forms the basis of whether they can operate a forklift safely.

Typically, these evaluations involve several tasks. Operators may need to navigate an obstacle course, for instance. They’ll also perform basic steering and driving maneuvers.

Get a Certificate

If an attendee passes the evaluation, their employer will issue them a certificate. This document acts as a forklift license. With this certification in hand, operators can operate forklifts in the workplace.

The format of this certification document can vary. It might be a diploma-sized certificate or a smaller wallet-sized card. But it must contain specific details, like names and training dates.

The Forklift Rental Process from Start to Finish: 9 Essential Steps

Renting a forklift is a straightforward process. But it does involve several phases. Let’s go through each one. That way, you have a better chance of a smooth rental experience.

Determine Your Needs

When you want to rent a forklift, the first thing to do is identify the type that meets your needs. There isn’t a universal solution because there are many different types of forklifts

Your choice should be based on your specific situation.

The rental service provider can help clarify your needs. But it’s good to think about these aspects in advance. 

Being prepared will make your communication with the provider more efficient. It’ll also help streamline the rental process.

Start by thinking about how much weight you need the forklift to lift. Also, consider the lifting height you need. 

Then, consider where you’ll use the forklift: indoors, outdoors, or both. This will help you narrow down what you need for lifting weight, height, fuel source, and tire type.

Select a Rental Provider

Selecting a rental provider for your forklift needs in Houston can be simple. To begin, you can scroll to the top of this page. 

There, you’ll find reviews of five reputable forklift rental providers around Houston. We’ve verified that each of these providers has generally positive online ratings.

If you prefer, you can also search for a rental provider on your own. Whichever method you choose, ensure the provider you select meets specific criteria.

For instance, ensure they have the necessary equipment and that it’s available when needed.

Request a Quote

Once you’ve selected a rental provider and identified your needs, the next step is to request a quote. 

Different providers may have different methods for this. Some offer online contact forms or an e-commerce cart for quote requests. Others might need a phone call to set up the rental. 

When you contact the provider, let them know what you need. 

Tell them how long you plan to use the forklift. Inform them of your expected delivery date and the location where you’ll be using it. Also, let them know when you need it picked up. 

If you have unique requirements, now is the time to mention them. For instance, if you need the forklift loaded at ground level due to a lack of a loading dock. 

Review the Rental Agreement

Next, you’ll want to review your rental agreement. The provider will prepare this agreement based on the information you’ve provided. This document will list various details, like:

  • Rental rates
  • Expected rental duration
  • Delivery and pickup fees
  • Extra charges, like for propane tanks or forklift attachments

When reviewing the agreement, ensure the terms match your needs and are acceptable. If they are, you can proceed with payment. 

You can use a purchase order if you have an open account credit with the provider. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay by check or card.

Once you’re paid up, the provider will arrange the delivery. Or, if you have the necessary trucking equipment, you can pick up the forklift yourself.

Inspect the Forklift

If the forklift is being delivered to you, make sure you are there to meet the truck driver. This is your chance to check the equipment thoroughly. 

You need to ensure that everything is in good working order. Remember, as an employer, you cannot use defective or unsafe forklifts. 

Contact the rental house immediately if you find any problems during your inspection. Tell them about the issue and work with them to find a solution. 

The rental provider might send a technician to repair the forklift. Or, they might provide a different forklift.

Use the Forklift

If the forklift passes your inspection, you can start using it. Remember to follow OSHA’s guidelines and rules while using the forklift.

For example, forklift operators must keep their speed appropriate to avoid accidents. They also need to be extra careful when making turns to avoid tip-overs. 

Additionally, operators should always wear seatbelts. Moreover, they should never allow passengers to ride along.

There are many more forklift rules and regulations that operators must adhere to. You can see them all on OSHA’s powered industrial truck web page.

Take Care of the Forklift

Maintenance and care of the forklift during your rental period are crucial. 

First, keep the forklift from having too much dirt, grease, lint, or other contaminants. Also, wipe down the forklift with approved solvents and cleaning agents. These are OSHA rules.

Operators should also conduct pre-use examinations. These inspections help ensure that crucial forklift systems are working correctly.

Any problems found during these inspections must be documented. The rental agency should also be notified promptly. This way, they can fix any issues or provide a replacement.

Furthermore, reporting problems helps protect you. If issues go unreported, the provider may blame them on you. Letting them know right away guards against this.

Return the Forklift

Once your rental period ends, the next step is to return the forklift. It’s essential to contact the rental agency and tell them that you plan to return the forklift. 

Many rental houses will only stop billing you once you explicitly tell them you’re done with the forklift. That’s regardless if there was a predetermined end time.

When you call, let them know where the forklift will be for pickup. Also, confirm if you or someone else will be a site contact during the pickup. This is important in case any issues come up. 

Before the pickup, make sure the truck is clean to avoid cleanup charges. 

Moreover, remove any personal items or work tools from it. This includes things like tape measures and tools. This is to prevent them from being left behind and potentially lost.

Settle the Bill

After you return the forklift to the rental provider, the next step is to settle the billing. The rental provider will usually put the forklift through a check-in process. 

During this process, they will inspect the truck. They look for any mechanical or other issues that need attention. If the forklift needs cleaning, they will also take care of that. 

They will also record the check-in hours. They’ll compare them to the original hours and calculate overtime fees as needed.

Lastly, the provider will issue you the final bill. Or, if you returned the forklift earlier than planned, they’ll issue a credit for the excess.

With the final billing settled, the forklift rental process is complete.

FAQs About Renting a Forklift in Houston, TX

What types of forklifts are available for rent in Houston?

In Houston, you have a variety of forklift types available for rent. These include electric forklifts, sit-down, stand-up, and walk-behind trucks. You can rent forklifts for indoor use, such as in warehouses and distribution centers. You can also rent sit-down forklifts with pneumatic tires. These suit outdoor environments like construction sites, farms, and oil and gas fields.

How much does it cost to rent a forklift in Houston?

The cheapest forklift to rent in Houston is a walkie pallet jack. These average about $228 per day. The most expensive type of forklift to rent is high-capacity forklifts. These cost about $940 per day, on average.

Are forklift rentals available for short-term and long-term needs?

Forklift rental durations in Houston are flexible. You can rent forklifts by the day, week, or month. This allows you to choose a rental plan that fits your specific requirements.

Is operator training required for forklift renters?

All forklift operators in Houston must take forklift training. That’s per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This entity mandates this training. This regulation is relevant in any situation with an employer-employee relationship. Employers must ensure that forklift operators receive proper training and evaluation. Only after this can they be authorized to operate a forklift in the workplace.

What safety precautions should forklift operators take?

Forklift operators must follow many safety precautions. For example, operators should maintain reasonable speeds to avoid accidents. They should also be cautious around pedestrians or other workers to prevent collisions. Additionally, they must not allow riders or passengers on their forklifts. For more information on forklift safety regulations, refer to OSHA’s official webpage.

How do I choose the right forklift for my needs?

You’ll have to answer several questions when choosing the right forklift for your needs. First, determine how much weight you need the forklift to lift. Second, consider the maximum height you need to lift your loads. Third, decide whether the forklift will be used indoors, outdoors, or in both environments. The answers to these questions will help you narrow down your requirements.

What are the advantages of renting a forklift?

Renting a forklift is cost-effective, especially for short-term use. Renting is often cheaper than buying or leasing a forklift. This makes it ideal for needs that are less than a year old. Renting also allows you to test different forklift models without a long-term commitment. This is helpful if you need clarification on which forklift is best for your operations.

What should I do if my forklift rental breaks down?

If your rented forklift breaks down, contact whoever supplied the forklift. Typically, forklift rentals include maintenance costs in the pricing. That means the rental agency handles breakdowns or issues on their own dime. So, inform the rental agency about the problem. They can then respond accordingly to repair the forklift or provide a replacement.

What Next?

Your search for forklift rentals in Houston brought you here.

You’ve explored various rental providers and gained insights into rental expenses. You’ve also gotten guidance on selecting the ideal rental forklift.

You have what you need to rent a forklift.

But, the exploration doesn’t conclude here.

Check out our recent blog posts for deeper dives into forklifts.

See you there!

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