5 Forklift Rental Providers in San Diego, CA, to Rent a Forklift from Today

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Do you need a forklift rental in San Diego, CA? 

You’ve landed on the perfect page.

You’ll uncover reputable forklift rental providers serving the San Diego area. You’ll also get an overview of average, low, and high rental prices.

Plus, I’ll share expert tips so you can make the best rental choice to meet your needs.

Let’s get started!

5 Forklift Rental Providers in San Diego, CA

Claremont Equipment

Claremont Equipment is a family-owned rental house based in San Diego, California. It’s been around since 1974. The business offers a variety of equipment for rent, including forklifts.

The company offers propane forklift rentals. These trucks are mainly designed for indoor use, like in warehouses. 

Claremont Equipment also rents telehandler-style diesel reach trucks. These are ideal for construction, farming, and other off-road activities.

Claremont Equipment has a solid online reputation. It’s received high ratings on Google to that end.

Raymond West

Raymond West is a subsidiary of the Raymond Corporation, well-known for manufacturing forklifts. The former’s headquarters are in Santa Fe Springs, CA. But it also operates a branch in San Diego.

Raymond West specializes in electric forklift rentals. These include reach trucks, swing reach trucks, and pallet jacks.

Moreover, the company claims to have one of the largest electric forklift fleets in the Western United States. 

Raymond West’s San Diego location has few Google reviews. Despite this, their affiliation with the Raymond Corporation boosts their credibility as a provider of equipment rentals.

All Access Rentals

All Access Rentals is an equipment rental agency in Spring Valley, California. The agency serves clients in San Diego and its surrounding areas. 

They provide industrial forklift rentals for both indoor and outdoor use. Additionally, they offer a variety of telehandler rentals ranging from 5,000 to 17,000 pounds lifting capacity.

All Access Rentals enjoys a generally positive reputation among reviewers. That’s based on their Google Business profile and Yelp page.

Miramar Forklifts

Miramar Forklifts operates in San Diego, CA. They’re a sales and service center for material handling equipment. They have been around since at least 2014, per their web history.

The company’s offerings include forklift rentals. That consists of equipment from electric pallet jacks for warehousing to diesel forklifts for heavy-duty outdoor tasks.

Furthermore, Miramar provides flexible rental terms. These include options for daily, weekly, and monthly rentals. That makes them suitable for different project needs. 

Miramar Forklifts has generally favorable ratings on several web platforms. These include Google, the Better Business Bureau, and ChamberofCommerce.com.

Sunbelt Rentals

Sunbelt Rentals is a national tool and equipment rental agency. It is one of the largest in the United States. In San Diego, it operates three locations.

Sunbelt Rentals offers many forklift rental options. That includes forklifts with lifting capacities ranging from 3,000 to 36,000 pounds.

Additionally, the agency offers forklift models suitable for indoor and outdoor use. This includes trucks like straight-mast rough terrain forklifts designed for unimproved grounds.

Sunbelt Rentals has held Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation since 1998. Also, their Google Business profile displays generally positive reviews.

How Much You’ll Pay to Rent a Forklift in San Diego, CA

We conducted a study to understand the pricing of forklift rentals in San Diego. Our research involved collecting 117 different price points from rental sources in the area.

This table shows the rental rates for three different timeframes: daily, weekly, and monthly. We’ve included each duration’s average, lowest, and highest price points. 

This should give you a better idea of what you’ll pay to rent a forklift in San Diego.

Forklift TypeDurationAverageLowHigh
Walkie Pallet JacksDay$170$165$175
Warehouse StackersDay$248$189$315
Low-Capacity WarehouseDay$331$178$544
Mid-Capacity OutdoorDay$482$318$615
High-Capacity OutdoorDay$792$412$1,395
Straight Mast Rough TerrainDay$475$391$600

4 Factors Impacting the Price of Forklift Rentals in San Diego, CA

You can see from the provider table that rental rates vary significantly. So, let’s go through some factors that impact forklift rental prices. 

That way, you can understand why you’re paying what you’re paying. You can also check our forklift rental cost factors page for more information.

Type of Forklift

The type of forklift is a significant factor affecting rental prices. 

For example, forklifts with higher capacities are generally more expensive to rent. This is for several reasons:

  • They’re larger in size
  • They’re made with more materials
  • They break down more often
  • They’re more expensive to fix

Another reason is that manufacturers make fewer high-capacity forklifts than smaller trucks. This can make the former harder to find.


Usually, the rental company includes these maintenance services in their rates. 

This includes routine wear and tear. For example, changing parts such as oil filters, fluids, and regularly worn-out tires.

But, renters must pay for any damage caused by excessive wear or misuse.


The length of time you plan to rent the forklift also affects its price. Renting for a shorter period generally costs less. 

However, rental companies have specific pricing structures that encourage longer-term rentals. For instance, renting a forklift for three days usually costs the same as a week.

That way, the company can keep their equipment out longer, meaning they can keep charging. 

Typically, the shortest rental period is one day. Some providers might offer hourly rental rates for forklifts.

Delivery and Pickup

Delivery and pickup fees significantly impact the total cost of renting a forklift. Rental companies usually don’t include these fees in their standard rates.

The rental agency might use their equipment for delivery and pickup within the area. Or, they might use external services, like local trucking or hauling companies.

It usually costs a few hundred dollars to transport a forklift one way locally. But the cost can be hundreds to thousands of dollars if the destination is several hours away.

Furthermore, truck drivers may need to get permits to haul oversized forklifts. If you rent such a machine, these permits can inflate your bill by hundreds to thousands of dollars.

5 Types of Forklifts Available for Rent in San Diego, CA

Let’s discuss the main types of forklifts for rent in San Diego. There are many options to consider, each catering to different needs. We’ll make it straightforward, so you know what’s right for you.

Counterbalance Forklifts

The counterbalance forklift is the most widely used type in the industry. These trucks come with either 3 or 4 wheels and are commonly used indoors, like inside warehouses and distribution centers. 

However, there are models designed for outdoor use. These are suitable for places like lumber yards and construction sites.

Counterbalance forklifts have a counterweight at the back. This balances the load on the forks, not unlike what happens on a see-saw.

Counterbalance forklifts are available in different power types: electric, gas-powered, or diesel-powered. They’re appreciated for their ability to lift heavy weights.

Narrow Aisle Forklifts

Narrow aisle forklifts are for indoor use in tight spaces. These trucks are often used in warehouses and distribution centers. 

They come in several subtypes. One is the reach truck. It has a scissor mechanism at the front that extends and retracts the forks. This allows operators to reach goods deep within storage racks.

Narrow aisle forklifts also include order pickers. These are mobile, electric-powered elevators with forks. 

Order pickers lift operators to different levels within an aisle. This enables them to reach materials at various heights. These forklifts improve safety since they’re a better option than climbing ladders.

Pallet Jacks

Pallet jacks are also available for rent in San Diego. These are hand-controlled forklifts used indoors, like in warehouses. 

You can find pallet jacks in electric or manual versions. Either way, they’re mainly used for moving loads horizontally instead of lifting them.

Using pallet jacks reduces the need for human operators to carry heavy pallets by hand. Instead, they can transport loads long distances by pulling them.


Stackers are hand-controlled forklifts that can move back and forth and lift loads. They’re designed for light-duty work, with lifting capacities up to 4,000 pounds. 

The lift heights of these forklifts vary. Smaller models can lift to 80 inches, while larger models can reach approximately 15 feet.

Stackers are known for their tight turning radius and easy maneuverability. This makes them well-suited for operating in limited spaces like narrow aisles.

Rough Terrain Forklifts

Rough terrain forklifts are commonly used on unimproved terrains or grounds that have been disturbed. That makes them great for places like farms and construction sites.

You can rent several types of rough-terrain forklifts in San Diego. The first is the straight-mast style. 

These forklifts look similar to farming tractors. They have a front-mounted lifting mechanism known as a mast. They also have large, oversized, air-filled tires for stability on uneven ground. 

Rough terrain forklifts are usually powered by diesel. They can handle loads ranging from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds.

Telehandler Forklifts

Another type of rough terrain forklift is the telehandler. Unlike the upright lifting mechanism on a straight-mast forklift, telehandlers have an extendable boom arm with forks.

Telehandlers are great for reaching higher places and moving over obstacles. For instance, tasks like placing shingles on a roof.

Rules and Guidelines That Forklift Renters in San Diego, CA Should Know About

You need to follow specific rules if you’re a business renting a forklift in San Diego. 

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that sets these rules nationally. In California, businesses must also follow state-level Cal/OSHA rules.

Let’s discuss some essential regulations when renting a San Diego forklift. That way, you can enhance safety and maintain compliance.

Be At Least 18 Years Old (in Most Cases)

When it comes to operating forklifts, there are strict age requirements. Under federal law, forklift operators must be 18 years old. But there are some exceptions. 

The Fair Labor Standards Act allows some minors to operate forklifts for agricultural purposes. That’s so long as other approvals are in place and requirements are met.

Take the Required Training

OSHA has specific rules regarding training to become a forklift operator. They do not require formal educational credentials like a high school diploma. You also don’t need a driver’s license

But, you must complete forklift operator training. This training must meet OSHA’s requirements. For instance, OSHA says that training must cover topics related to the forklift and the workplace. 

OSHA also says that the training must have three main parts. They are formal instruction, hands-on training, and an evaluation.

Once an operator has received sufficient training and a passing evaluation, an employer can certify the operator to use a forklift. 

Per OSHA, the certification must contain specific details, like the operator’s name, the trainer’s name, and the training date.

Follow All Operational Rules

Operators must follow specific rules while using a forklift to avoid accidents. That’s regardless of whether the truck is rented, owned, borrowed, or any other type.

You can view the complete list of regulations on OSHA’s website. Here are some examples:

  • Never walk under raised forks
  • Keep limbs inside the running lines of the lift truck
  • Don’t drive up to people standing in front of fixed objects like benches
  • Keep a safe distance from the edge when on elevated platforms

How to Rent a Forklift in San Diego, CA

Let’s walk through the rental process for a forklift. That way, you’ll be prepared and know how to navigate them.

Clarify Your Needs

Choosing the right rental forklift involves several factors. While rental providers can assist you, thinking through your needs beforehand is beneficial. 

This will help streamline communication with the provider. It also helps show that you know what you’re talking about. 

Here are some key questions to consider about your operation and environment:

  • What’s the heaviest weight you’ll need to lift? This determines the lifting capacity
  • How high do you need to lift loads? Your maximum lift height will determine the type of mast
  • Will you use the forklift inside, outside, or both? This influences the fuel and tire choices
  • Do you need attachments like a side shifter or clamp? Note that attachments cost extra
  • How long will you need the forklift? Rental periods typically go by the day, week, or month

Also, consider how you’ll transport the forklift to your location and return it when done. Many rental providers will transport the forklift using their own trucks. 

You can also use your own equipment to move the forklift. Or, you can hire an outside trucking or towing company to do it.

Select a Provider

We’ve listed five forklift rental equipment providers at the top of this page for you to consider. You can follow our suggestions or look for a provider on your own. 

If you choose the latter, you’ll want to consider a few aspects before deciding. 

First, check if the provider has the exact equipment you need. Some have online e-commerce-style lists of their inventory. Others might not have this online, so you’ll have to ask them for it.

Also, look at how well the equipment is maintained. Using unsafe forklifts is dangerous, not to mention prohibited by OSHA. Well-maintained equipment is less likely to cause you problems.

Finally, research the provider’s reputation. Look at online platforms with customer reviews like Google Business Profiles and Facebook pages.

Also, check sites like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. These places give you a good idea of what customers think and how trustworthy the provider is.

Contact Your Chosen Provider

Some providers let you book online, while others might need you to call or email. Whichever way you book, make sure you understand the rental agreement well. 

This means knowing about the rates and any extra costs (like for propane tanks or chargers). Also, consider the maintenance terms and who pays for any repairs.

Ask about when and how they will deliver and pick up the equipment. This is important to ensure it fits with your schedule and location specifics.

After you know all these details, you can book the rental. 

If your company has used this rental agency before, you might already have an account. You can use a purchase order to reserve the truck in that case. If not, be ready to give your credit card.

Take Receipt of the Forklift

It’s best to be on-site personally to accept the forklift rental delivery. If you can’t, having someone else there to meet the delivery driver is a good idea.

The reason it’s essential to have someone there when the forklift arrives is so they can check the equipment over. You want to ensure the forklift is what you requested and is in good condition. 

That means looking for any safety problems, mechanical issues, or signs of wear and tear. If you find any issues, notify the rental agency before signing the agreement.

If everything with the forklift looks good, you can complete the contract. Make sure to take a copy of the document for your records. This can help clarify any discrepancies between you and the agency.

Put the Forklift to Work

Now that you have the forklift, you can start using it. 

But you must follow all the forklift rules and regulations in San Diego, CA, as you do. This includes sticking to all federal and state OSHA guidelines.

For instance, you must examine the forklift before using it. This inspection is crucial for safe operation. It also serves a practical purpose for finding problems.

If you find any issues or defects during these checks, write them down and tell the rental agency. 

Call of the Rent

When you’re done using the forklift, you need to start the process to end the rental. Even if you told the rental agency how long you planned to rent it, you should still tell them when you’re finished. 

Otherwise, the agency might charge you until you formally end the rental.

If someone else is your contact at the site, ask them to tell the agency. Or, have them give you the information so you can do it.

During the call-off, you’ll also arrange to pick up the forklift. Tell the rental agency where the forklift is. Also, give them contact details for the on-site contact in case of problems.

After the agency picks up the forklift, they’ll check it to ensure it’s still in good condition. 

Finally, the rental house will issue you a bill for the rental. If you paid in advance but returned the forklift early, you’ll get a credit for the time difference.

FAQs About Renting a Forklift in San Diego, CA

What types of forklifts are available for rent in San Diego?

In San Diego, you can rent various types of forklifts. The options include small, hand-controlled trucks like pallet jacks and stackers. There are also sit-down counterbalance trucks for warehouse use. For heavy lifting, you can rent high-capacity diesel trucks. Off-road style forklifts are also available for construction sites, farms, and similar environments.

How do I choose the best forklift rental for my needs?

When choosing a forklift rental, consider several vital factors. Think about how much weight you need to lift and how high you need to lift it. Decide if you’ll be working inside, outside, or both. Also, decide if you need special attachments like side shifters or clamps. Forklift rental agencies can help you figure out precisely what you need.

How much does it cost, on average, to rent a forklift in San Diego?

The cost of renting a forklift in San Diego depends on the type and capacity of the forklift. Walkie pallet trucks are usually the cheapest, costing about $170 daily. Sit-down warehouse forklifts with lower capacity cost around $330 daily. The most expensive are heavy-duty, high-capacity lift trucks. These can handle loads of 15,000 pounds or more and can cost almost $800 per day.

Can I rent a forklift for a short duration, or do rentals typically require longer durations?

You can rent forklifts for short-, medium-, or long-term needs in San Diego. Some rental providers, like Sunbelt Rentals, allow you to rent a forklift by the hour. But usually, the minimum rental period is a day. Additionally, some agencies offer discounts for multi-month rentals if you need them longer.

Are there any age requirements for individuals who want to operate a rented forklift?

In most cases, forklift operators must be at least 18. Some agricultural settings have some exceptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Are there any certification requirements for individuals to operate a rented forklift?

Operators need training and evaluation before they can use a forklift. This is true whenever there’s an employer-employee relationship. Employers must follow state and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules in such cases.

Do rental providers in San Diego offer delivery and pickup services for forklifts?

In San Diego, some rental providers offer delivery and pickup services for forklifts. For example, Sunbelt Rentals has its own vehicles to transport rentals. Companies might also work with local trucking companies for these services. Renters should know that the costs of moving a forklift are not included in the rental rates. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars for local one-way transport.

What safety precautions should I take when operating a rented forklift?

There are many forklift safety precautions to follow. For example, operators can drive at excessive speeds. Also, operators need to know how to park and secure a forklift when it’s not in use. Additionally, operators must take precautions when refueling to avoid fire risks. This is a partial list. Check OSHA’s state and federal guidelines for a complete list of forklift operation rules.

What happens if my rented forklift breaks down during the rental period?

If the forklift you rented breaks down, contact the rental agency immediately. Many rental houses have maintenance teams who can come to the forklift and fix it quickly. If they can’t fix the forklift, they should offer you a replacement to minimize downtime.

Can I extend my rental if I need the forklift longer than planned?

You can often extend your forklift rental if you need it longer than you first thought. But first, you need to check with the rental provider. This is because other people might have booked the forklift after you. Extending your time could cause problems for them in that case. So, you can keep the forklift longer if it doesn’t get in the way of other renters’ needs.

What Next?

Your quest for forklift rentals in San Diego has led you here. 

You’ve seen a list of reputable rental providers in the area. You’ve seen the ins and outs of rental costs. You’ve also gotten our tips on choosing the perfect rental forklift.

You have everything you need to get your hands on a forklift rental.

But there’s so much more to discover about these machines. 

Dive deeper into our latest blog articles to discover more.

See you there!

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