When a construction company or project manager faces the prospect of investing in a new piece of plant machinery, chances are they’re not going to deliberately take home a dud. Sadly, this happens to be precisely what happens time and time again for the simple reason that most plant machinery needs are now fulfilled by shopping online.

Is it a bad idea to shop online for a telescopic handler outright? Not at all – in fact the very best machines on the market and the best prices can be found on the web. What makes the difference however is vetting the various options in terms of suppliers and finding one you know you can trust, as opposed to one you think might be ok.

Easier said than done? Not really, as even though you’ll be looking to do most of the work online, you can still make it pretty sure that you’re shopping with a dealer of choice.

Specialist Plant Hire Firms

For example, there’s a very big difference between a company that sells or hires telescopic handlers exclusively and another that’s something of a jack-of-all-trades. Does this mean the latter isn’t to be trusted? Not necessarily, but as you’re looking for a specialist piece of equipment, it’s in your best interests to shop with a dedicated specialist. Chances are that sooner or later you’ll have more than a few questions to ask, so to buy from a dedicated specialist means to buy from a dealer that knows what it’s talking about.

Pure Professionalism

Also crucial to bear in mind while going about the vetting process is the professionalism or otherwise of the supplier. Some sites will immediately win your confidence as genuinely professional affairs, while others will give you the impression you’re dealing with a rank amateur…which you might be. You can’t afford to take chances with something as important as a telescopic handler, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re buying from a genuinely professional company and not a dodgy back-bedroom affair.

Comprehensive Knowledge

During the website evaluation stage of the vetting process, as yourself – how much do they seem to know and/or care about the industry as a whole? Are they displaying clear knowledge and passion with plenty of information and openness, or does it come across more like a telescopic handler vending machine where sales are sales and that’s that? This matters because, as mentioned earlier, you’re bound to need help from time to time and it’s good to know your vendor knows what they’re talking about. And of course, this counts double if you plan to use their advice to make your choice of telescopic handlers in the first place.

An All-Round Package

There are some telescopic handler retail and rental services that provide great machines, while others provide great machines and a much wider service package on top. The difference being that in the case of the latter, you have yourself a single and hopefully trusted port of call to go back to with any queries about performance, maintenance, repairs of upgrades, knowing that no matter what you need you’ll find it all under one roof. By contrast, buy from a sales-only business and you might be on your own when the time comes to seek a little help.

A Solid Reputation

Perhaps more important than anything else during the vetting process is looking into the feedback the seller has earned over the years. More often than not, buyer/renter testimonials are essentially the only 100% impartial forms of information you can find on the subject of any retailer of any kind. So, if you’re interested in finding out how they perform in the real world and away from all the marketing spiel, feedback is your friend. And just for the record – no feedback to be found is actually worse than negative feedback.

A Range of Guarantees

Last but not least, any business worth dealing with will be willing to put its money where its mouth is. Or in other words, everything should be backed by a range of guarantees. Businesses like UK Forks for example guarantee quality, price, service and pretty much everything else across the board – others by contrast work on a ‘sold as seen’ basis. And while no guarantee in the world can ever truly ensure that nothing will go wrong, it at least means that you already have a contingency in place and a port of call to turn to if and when it does.

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