Forklift trucks are a common sight in the fields of manufacturing, construction and warehousing. Whether it's a one-off job, or an ongoing construction project, they're an indispensable piece of machinery that can handle everything from the heavy-lifting of large loads, to providing convenient access to out-of-reach places. Many business owners, site and project managers may opt to hire a forklift rather than purchase one outright, seeing it as a cost-effective alternative to manual labour. While forklift and hoist hire can be an affordable option, many don't consider whether or not to hire an operator or driver along with the vehicle. When deciding on whether hiring an operator is a worthwhile venture for you, it pays to consider your individual job requirements, and weigh up the pros and cons of going all in.
Hiring an operator along with a forklift is undoubtedly more expensive than opting for vehicle hire alone, but the additional financial commitment can pay for itself in the long term. When deciding on forklift hire, consider the scope of the job you're looking to fulfil. If you're working on a short-term construction project and only need a specific type of forklift for a relatively brief period time, hiring in the operator along with it makes perfect sense. You save yourself the hassle of advertising for an operator privately, reduce the amount of necessary paperwork and red tape required to have your operator cleared for the task, and dramatically reduce your lead-in times overall. While designated agencies can be an easier way to source operators, personnel-only resources can also charge a premium. If you're not looking to bring said operator into your workforce full-time, ask yourself whether or not paying a premium is justifiable.
One of the main reasons people look to hire an operator along with a forklift vehicle is that their current workforce isn't trained to task. Even when you have clued-up resource available, getting an operator trained up to the specifics of an individual vehicle can take time. If you're working to a tight timeline and don't want to compromise your lead times further, hiring an operator in who knows the rented forklift inside and out is a no-brainer. Not only will your hired driver be fully trained to the specifics of the chosen forklift, they'll be the best possible available candidate. If you're looking to introduce a new type of forklift to your site or operation on a longer term or semi-permanent basis, hiring a driver initially is another good idea. They'll be able to give your current team of qualified drivers a thorough introduction to your new piece of machinery, providing effective onsite training and supervision so your own workforce is ready to pick up the reins in the future.
Ensuring you've enough personnel to meet project tasks and deadlines is a serious concern for many industries. In warehousing and fulfilment, construction and manufacturing, ensuring you've enough resource available makes all the difference when it comes to honouring deadlines, meeting project milestones and ensuring the smooth running of your daily operation. Sometimes, employers simply don't have the additional resource to allocate a forklift operator, even when they need one. Hiring in a driver along with the vehicle itself makes perfect business sense, especially in the short-term. Not only do you not have to worry about sourcing a driver yourself, you won't have to compromise your current workforce and production schedule.
If you're renting a forklift vehicle that's unfamiliar to you, chances are your current resource and knowhow won't be enough to meet unexpected maintenance issues should they arise. By hiring in a specialist driver along with a forklift, you provide yourself an inbuilt failsafe. Should there be an electrical failure or technical problem with your hired vehicle, your driver will be able to provide you with a more immediate resolution. Most of the time, an experienced and qualified driver will be able to offer a solution for a fix more or less immediately, meaning your project timelines won't be derailed, and you won't be left at the mercy of third party agencies as you wait for a site visit, inspection and repair quote. Should you be unfortunate enough to encounter a problem that can't be fixed onsite, your hired-in operator will be able to consult with their colleagues at their own headquarters immediately after, providing a quick follow-up service, or arrange a replacement vehicle that can be at your site in next to no time.
If you're hiring a forklift type you've never used before, it's easy to spend needless hours on getting to grips with the basics before essential operation can begin. Hiring a forklift operator along with the vehicle itself lets you get to work almost immediately, confident in the knowledge the task is being carried out as efficiently as possible by a qualified professional. In the UK alone, there's 1000s of accidents involving forklifts at workplaces every year, so the added benefit of an expertly trained operator can also bring you peace of mind when it comes to health and safety implications. A site inspection and induction to get any driver up to speed about the exact nature of your work environment is also advisable, but you'll need to designate less time to rudimentary run-throughs in safe areas, ensuring urgent tasks are seen to more immediately. If you hire a driver who is an accredited trainer, you have the added benefit of being able to split their role between active work onsite, and supervision of prospective operators as they get to grips with the basics of new machinery.
Deciding to hire an operator along with a forklift isn't without financial implications, but if you're serious about getting the best out of your new machinery, it makes sense to bring in the expertise of a qualified operator along with your chosen forklift. You'll be able to ask questions and seek advanced guidance from your hired operator immediately, learning the specifics on the job, rather than reverse engineering your way backwards through problems as and when they arise.