Discussion:
New forklift company

I just started a forklift rental co. here in Pittsburgh PA. I have a former background in IR diesel compressor sales. Any ideas on what type of machines I should begin with for a rental fleet. In other words, what are the most commonly rented machines? Also, any ideas on what industries regularly rent machines? I do not yet have a distributorship so I am going to have to focus on rentals for now. I would really appreciate any helpful advise.
  • Posted 8 Jun 2011 06:36
  • Modified 8 Jun 2011 08:12 by poster
  • Discussion started by eric_g
  • Pennsylvania, United States
Showing items 1 - 9 of 9 results.
They did a bit of a blitzkrieg. Flyers were an envelope sized hard card with rental rates and then a who are we and the 24 hr service on the other side.These were mailed out by a service that got the names and companies from people who do that.
They also did bumper stickers with a double entendre message that you wouldn't do today! But a catchy phrase and logo would.Also some radio ads on the morning show.All to establish a presence that looked a lot bigger than it really was.
  • Posted 1 Jul 2011 04:08
  • Reply by andrew_j
  • Florida, United States
I really appreciate that type of feedback. I just purchased a used 5000 lb. dual fuel Toyota. You mentioned flyers. Did they do any kind of mailings or was it strictly a sales rep. passing those around?
Again, I really appreciate your help.
  • Posted 1 Jul 2011 03:57
  • Reply by eric_g
  • Pennsylvania, United States
3,000# and 5,000# propane with triplex masts to start off with.Ratio of 3 to 2 with the majority being the 5,000. Maybe an electric as well. As people have said the big guys are going to look at you and say so what?
When I was with a company and we were starting up like you we did 24/7 service availability. Paid the mechanic to take the cell phone home and answer it during his 12 hours. Not many people called but those who did were very grateful and very appreciative to talk about their problem,which they fixed on Monday at regular rates. It was a great sales tool for us and made people sit up and notice us. We literally stumbled into our largest rentors the docks and peanut processors. After some time it then gave us a good well maintained used truck inventory to sell.
Good luck but forget all the pre-conceived notions, pick a sales hook to get people interested and start getting the flyers out and see what develops.
  • Posted 1 Jul 2011 01:34
  • Reply by andrew_j
  • Florida, United States
If it were me and I was first starting out I would stay away from the huge companies. Even if you wanted them I would doubt if they would consider buying from a small start up company. There's risks on their side as well.
  • Posted 16 Jun 2011 02:16
  • Reply by duodeluxe
  • United States
duodeluxe
chublil,
Better yet tell them your are in the "pickle foundry" business.
  • Posted 14 Jun 2011 08:24
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
I agree with johnr, big units and wierd attachments, (Foundry and Kiln stuff-rotators--manipulators etc.) It sounds like you may be in for a tough row to hoe. Visit some of your local competitors and act like a customer, eyeball their yard and ask about capacities and attachments, tell them your in the foundry side and see what they reccomend or what their best rent is.
  • Posted 13 Jun 2011 19:35
  • Reply by chublil
  • California, United States
Fix it right!!!
My 3 & 1/2 cents worth
When you talk about Alcoa & US steel - you are look at large lifts - 12 to 30K - very special units & you need a BIG check book. I would steer away from those unless you ca have connections that can get you the business. These companies are typically National Accounts buyers And there is something to be said for renting units of the same brand you are using - operator familiarity.

Just a suggestion start with the IC trucks cushion & pneumatic 5-6000 lb, lift range, 189" triple, side shift - forks 42", 48" and grow from their until you find what the "dogs eat). Electric lift are common with food companies like Heinz but require more investment dollar (battery/chargers plus the lift). It takes some time to learn what chargers you may need & which ones to avoid.

You will be competing with all the other brand lift truck companies in your area plus the independent lift truck companies, plus rental yards like Sunbelt Rentals, etc
Suggest you review your market needs, pricing ( published rental rates are probably not a good indicator of market pricing), etc before you commit. Current companies in your area probably are not a good source of G2 they don't really want another competitor in the area. Besides equipment you will need to have some structure to have your assets, serviced, repaired, etc. Documentation (rental contracts, operators manual, etc.) & record keeping system are key items, following up on & determining abuse damage are other key points. Check out the cost of liability insurance too! Oh yeah, you'll need a delivery truck & licensed driver with tilt bed (for ground loading where a customer does not have a loading dock access. There is a lot more to know about the rentals business.
  • Posted 12 Jun 2011 11:16
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
chublil,
Thanks. In Pittsburgh, I am going to focus on Industrial/Manufacturing. Co.'s like US Steel, Heinz, Alcoa, etc. So with this in mind, should I start my fleet with IC cushion tire models. What weight machines would be most practical for rentals. As this is fairly new to me, any advice is greatly appreciated.
  • Posted 12 Jun 2011 04:40
  • Reply by eric_g
  • Pennsylvania, United States
It depends on the demand locally and what type of companies are within your area. DC types useally look for class 3 stuff, construction is the tow behind type lifts, manufacturing places go for the cushion style units. I would check the buisness's locally and see what description they fall under first.
  • Posted 8 Jun 2011 22:51
  • Reply by chublil
  • California, United States
Fix it right!!!

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