It’s often more economical to hire plant equipment than to buy your own, as each project will have different requirements. However, picking the right tools for the job can sometimes be more complicated than first meets the eye. Here are some of most important points to take into consideration before the project gets underway.

Check availability

At the moment, construction is booming and demand for plant machinery hire is running high. This means it’s best to check in with your chosen rental hire company several weeks in advance of your start date, to find out if the plant you need is available, and what their delivery times are.

Pick the right size

Consider the site access first of all. If there are unmoveable obstacles such as permanent fencing or walls, then the machinery can only be as big as the width of the gates. Even if access isn’t an issue, using the wrong size equipment can cause hazards and slow down productivity.

If you need plant that can be operated in tight spaces, look for equipment such as zero tail swing excavators, which can rotate at the base and have a compact radius. This minimises the risk of damaging other structures while working in a small area.

The smallest diggers start at around 1.5 tonne, and would be useful for a garden landscaping project, for example. if you need a bit more power for heavy lifting, then an 8 tonne mid-sized digger may be a good option.

Do you need a wheeled or a tracked vehicle?

Wheeled vehicles are more versatile for transporting materials and driving between different areas on site. They are able to lift heavier loads than tracked vehicles, if they are fitted with stabilisers. However, they have less off-road traction, and a higher undercarriage, which can be a disadvantage for digging equipment.

If the site has a lot of steep or uneven terrain, then a tracked machine is the best option, as they are more stable than wheeled vehicles.

Make sure workers are qualified to operate it

As well as a standard drivers licence, workers will need a CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) licence to operate many types of plant machinery, such ass dumper trucks. Even if a piece of equipment doesn’t require a licence, there may be mandatory minimum training and supervision requirements to meet, such as for forklift trucks.

Plant that is operated by unsuitable or poorly trained workers is a hazard to site health and safety, and will lead to inefficient and unsafe working practices. If an accident does occur and is deemed the fault of an unqualified or untrained operator, the company or individual may be held liable for damages, and/or criminal prosecution.

Therefore, it is vital to have suitably trained and qualified operators. If you need to hire such workers, look for a plant hire company which can provide you wit the option to hire fully trained team members who are skilled and experienced operators of your chosen plant.

Is the equipment safe and well maintained?

The safety of the site is of the highest priority, and obviously a large part of this is making sure the plant is fit for purpose. Ask your chosen hire company what age their stock is, and what their maintenance and service schedule is.

Make sure you hire enough machinery

If you are hiring an excavator or digger, do you also need to hire a dumper truck to remove and transport the rubble? Would a backhoe loader, a skid steer loader, or a crawler excavator be most suitable for the job? Excavators are commonly used for digging trenches, mining, landscaping, demolition, and site grading.

Backhoe loaders are more of a general purpose wheeled vehicle. The cab resembles a tractor, while the front has a shovel, and the back has a smaller bucket attachment which can be used for digging. They are a great versatile choice for smaller construction jobs, and can be used for earth moving, digging trenches, and backfilling.

For a larger site clearance project, a bulldozer may be a more sensible option. They are powerful pieces of equipment which can be used for breaking and heavy earth and rubble moving.

People can sometimes hire the right earth moving equipment, but overlook the need for materials handling equipment. If you are unloading and placing a lot of heavy materials, do you need a telehandler or a forklift to move it safely?

If you need plant hire in Chiswick, please get in touch today.