Industry leaders are advising businesses relying on rented lift trucks to take good care of them. Failure to do so, warns the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), places them at risk of large end-of-contract repair bills.
Confusion over what constitutes 'fair wear and tear' of fork lift trucks is a long-standing issue for the industry. "Disagreements between customers and dealers can quickly lead to costly court cases and damaged reputations all around," said FLTA Chief Executive Peter Harvey MBE. "At the end of a typical five-year contract, some degree of deterioration is expected. But, as you would expect when using a leased car, any damage caused by carelessness or neglect – be it a hole in a seat or a cracked mirror – must be paid for."
The FLTA advises that 'fair wear and tear' refers to the degradation of components consistent with manufacturer's recommended use. Harvey adds: "Damage caused by carelessness or improper use – be it damaged tyres, scratched bodywork or a dented overhead guard – is simply not 'wear and tear'. This is why we advise that dealers and customers agree what condition a lift truck should be returned in and what damage is acceptable before equipment is leased out.
"With this in mind, we created the Fair Wear and Tear Guide. It's available exclusively through our Members and – using photographic examples of real lift trucks returned at end of contract – it shows what is and is not acceptable damage. And, in response to public demand, we have just released a digital version so that our members can share it more easily with their customers."