Top tips for equip­ment hire

Hir­ing equip­ment can be the most cost-ef­fec­tive op­tion com­pared to pur­chas­ing new ma­chin­ery out­right, es­pe­cially when it’s to ful­fil a short term job that re­quires very spe­cific gear

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

First of all, the ques­tion isn’t: to hire or not to hire. There are count­less op­tions. Dry hire is the hire of any equip­ment with no lu­bri­cants and without an op­er­a­tor; this can be a cheaper op­tion but re­ally does in­crease the need for you to do your home­work.

Usu­ally dry hire just means you get the ma­chine (nor­mally, but not al­ways, with a full tank of diesel), but no lu­bri­cants and no at­tach­ments ad­di­tional to the stan­dard bucket – un­less oth­er­wise ar­ranged.

There are usu­ally also a range of much more com­pre­hen­sive or ‘wet’ hire op­tions, but you have to be will­ing to wear the price tag that goes with it.

Re­gard­less of whether you go wet or dry, you need to have a clear idea of what at­tach­ments you are likely to need in or­der to com­plete the job to a sat­is­fac­tory stan­dard and without need­ing to al­ter the hire ar­range­ment mid-job, which can be tricky and costly – if it’s pos­si­ble at all.

It’s worth check­ing that the ma­chine you are look­ing to hire will have been fully ser­viced and cleaned im­me­di­ately prior to be­ing handed over to you. Most hire com­pa­nies will also pro­vide the op­er­a­tor’s man­ual and some­times a ded­i­cated daily pre-op­er­a­tion check­list.

It’s not a bad idea to hire a ma­chine (or a least a make) that the main op­er­a­tor has used be­fore so that they are al­ready fa­mil­iar with the con­trols in the cabin, as well as the main­te­nance check points – if your wet hire in­cluded an op­er­a­tor pro­vided by the hire com­pany then this doesn’t ap­ply.

Al­though all wet hire com­pa­nies will in­sist that their peo­ple are mas­ter­ful op­er­a­tors of the par­tic­u­lar ma­chine that they will be tasked with us­ing on your site, this is not al­ways the re­al­ity, so keep an eye on them at least for the first few days.

Dry hire has be­come more pop­u­lar re­cently due to changes to Work Health & Safety leg­is­la­tion for the use of ex­ca­va­tors, doz­ers, graders and wheel load­ers. Dis­con­tin­ued op­er­a­tor li­cences that were pre­vi­ously is­sued by Work­place Health and Safety also in­clude those for trenchers, back­hoe load­ers, skid steer or a scraper, to name just a few.

Prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion when look­ing to hire is know­ing ex­actly what gear you are likely to need in or­der to do the job and how fa­mil­iar your op­er­a­tors are with that equip­ment.

Not un­til you have this in­for­ma­tion firmly in hand should you go fish­ing for quotes, but flex­i­bil­ity on terms of hire should be con­sid­ered just as im­por­tant as the price. If it’s your first time hir­ing then ask peo­ple your trust about who they have used for sim­i­lar jobs in the past and go with a com­pany that has a good rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing help­ful and flex­i­ble when re­quired, even if the over­all cost is higher.

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