August 24, 2018 /

Forklift Fun Fact: Rental Forklift Missing for 10 Years

By The Industrial Truck Management Team at I.D. Systems

Industrial truck management systems pay for themselves in many ways. For example, by providing control over — and visibility of — lift trucks. To illustrate this point, take the case of the $57,000 rental forklift missing for 10 years. (Really.)

Rental Forklift Missing - impound lot

As reported by USA Today’s News-Press, an 8-ton lift truck went out on rental in 2007. And it was never returned. Almost 11 years later, it was found in an impound lot used by the police department in Fort Myers, Florida.

In fact, the dealer who rented out the forklift didn’t realize it was missing until 2014! Only then did the dealer file a police report on the suspected theft.

Even after that, it took another three years for a break in the case. An anonymous caller told the dealer that a local towing company was using the missing forklift! The towing company said it bought the truck “used” from someone (identity uncertain) in 2012!

Not the Only Case of a Rental Forklift Missing

Mobile equipment like forklifts are not titled or registered to anyone, like cars, so tracking them can be hard. And not just for forklift dealers.

We’ve heard stories from customers about lift trucks they rented that disappeared. And they didn’t realize it. So they continued to pay the rental fee every month, even though the truck was missing! And in some cases, it was years before they caught the error!

Of course, that was before these customers installed our forklift control and tracking technology.

Stop Missing ANY Lift Trucks — with Telematics.

If you’ve had a rental forklift missing — or misplaced any piece of equipment — it’s actually an easy issue to solve. With industrial truck telematics.

First, you can nip the problem in the bud, before a vehicle disappears in the first place, using access control. With telematics access control, ONLY authorized (and trained) employees can start up a lift truck. That stops thieves (or any third-party) from driving off with the truck.

But what if an authorized driver decides to ride a forklift off into the sunset (perhaps to sell it)?! Telematics can help there, too. Once a driver logs into a vehicle, you can see the time of all his/her activity. And you can see who the last driver was when the vehicle went out of detection range.  

rental forklift missing - location tracking software

Some forklift telematics systems also have location tracking with GPS receivers. So you can track the exact location of trucks, even if someone takes them away from your facility. In addition, if the telematics system has location tracking, chances are it also has geo-fencing. That feature lets you create zones where vehicles are allowed to operate — or not. And if a vehicle leaves an allowed zone, the telematics system sends a real-time alert to management.

In the 20+ years we’ve tracked lift trucks, we’ve heard many good stories and seen a lot of interesting data. And we want to share it all with you on our blog. We also want to hear your own stories. So please email your stories and factoids to us at!)