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3 Things to Consider When You Dry Hire Equipment

Construction projects are always profoundly complex tasks. There’s a number of factors that make this the case. The need to manage a project timeline unquestionably looms as one of the biggest challenges, with the effective management of personnel a key aspect of this. But it’s also necessary to maximise efficiency surrounding how equipment is hired and used.

This isn’t always an easy task. Job sites are not static, with a constant movement of people and materials occurring about the place each day. In this dynamic, making an assessment about the sort of dry hire equipment a project needs and how the crew may use it can be very difficult.

Let’s make this process easier, by looking now at three things to consider when hiring dry hire equipment.

Dry Hire Definition

For anyone yet to feel they’re totally on top of the differences between dry hire and wet hire, a quick overview is sure to help. In a nutshell, dry hire is the hiring of any equipment that occurs without an operator accompanying it. For some businesses, hiring equipment and an operator would be essential, but for others they already have access to an operator and only require the machinery. It’s here that dry hire comes in – so what questions should be considered when dry hiring equipment?

1. What’s the Budget?

When opting for dry hire it’s possible to obtain greater control at the outset of the expected costs. This is because you can first obtain an operator, and then look to hire the equipment once it is available, or vice-versa. When you opt for wet hire, the ‘all-in-one’ nature of the package that includes the equipment and operator can streamline the process, but may also be more expensive and rigid in terms of cost structure. That’s why projects with tight budgets can find the dry hire model very enticing.

2. How Much Flexibility is Desired?

Many projects will have concrete timelines pertaining to particular tasks. With others, there can be more flexibility. In the latter case, dry hire can provide greater flexibility. Especially if there is idle time or delays where via a wet hire arrangement the equipment – and thus the operator! – is forced to just sit there and wait around for work to resume.

3. How Much Weight Are You Placing on Operator Skill?

Certain pieces of equipment and certain tasks will require a higher level of skill than others.
When opting for wet hire, the operator will come bundled with the equipment as part of the deal. When utilising the dry hire model, there’s the greater degree of freedom that comes from choosing an operator, but it’s necessary to ensure they’re one who ticks all the boxes. This said, dry hire can certainly yield great operators too, it just may require a little more time being set aside to find the right fit. 

Dealing with Speed Bumps

Construction projects can certainly run smoothly overall. But this said, it’s likely something will go wrong along the way. That’s just the nature of it, and instead of lamenting it, the key way to overcome such hurdles is looking to make a plan in advance for how to respond to them. This can be a particularly important consideration regarding dry hire.

When looking to arrange construction equipment for hire, it’s useful to play the ‘what if?’ game a little. This is ultimately a good practice not only with equipment hire, but many other areas of construction work. It’s true it’s impossible to see every issue that could arise along the way. But having an answer to a question like ‘what if my operator got sick for a long period of time?’ would help ensure if a problem like this arises, you’ve a backup plan in place to get another worker and not waste time and money by having the hired equipment sit idle.

Driving Forward with Dry Hire

Although in 2021 Australia is beginning to see a post-pandemic economy emerge on the horizon as vaccine rollouts promise to drive down the ongoing threat of Covid-19, ultimately the financial damage of the pandemic will take a long time to recover from.Predictions in the early stages of the pandemic last year held Covid-19 could cost developers and government $1.5 billion monthly in delay costs. It’s why running a drama-free construction project from one day to the next has never been more important as Australia begins it’s long road back to normalcy.

As it concerns dry hire, putting the right planning in place before a project begins will help it run like a well-oiled machine. Being mindful of a budget is an essential aspect of a successful dry hire process. So too considering how much flexibility is desired, and also factoring in the need for a particular level of operator skill when it comes to the equipment being hired. Any construction crew that pursues dry hire with these considerations in mind will be well-placed to have their project run smoothly.

What other things do you think should be considered when dry hiring equipment? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: Pixabay

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