What is Dry Hire?

You have made your decision to hire equipment or machinery. During this time, you will face a few terms, even if you prefer a standard agreement.

One example is “dry hire.” In this post, we will cover the basics of this type of plant hire and if it is suitable for your business operations.


So, What Exactly is Dry Hire?

When you hire any equipment, and it does not come with lubricants. More importantly, you are in charge of operating the machinery because the hired machine does not include the operator. In other words, you only get the vehicle, equipment, or machinery – no other inclusions.

As the person who hired it, you are responsible for running the machine.

It is as simple as it sounds. And several benefits come with it. There are no worries about the equipment you have hired, as well. You will only get well-maintained machinery; just make sure that you deal with a reliable company. You will also need to read and sign some documents. They should state how you can operate safely, along with other conditions.

A barge taking a dump truck to an island job.


Wet Hire vs Dry Hire: Which is the Better Option for You?

Before you sign that paper, you should first know that you have another option for hiring the equipment. This time, it is called “wet hire.” You can already tell that it is the opposite of dry hire, which involves hiring the equipment and nothing else. On the other hand, wet hire is when you hire the machinery, and there are operates that come with it.

With these definitions, you may think it is easy to choose between the two. If you have operators already, go for dry hire.

If you need a pro to run the machine, you only need to select wet hire, right?

In reality, it is not a simple choice to make. The difference between these two options can be more complicated if you take a closer look.

Both dry and wet hire have advantages and limitations. Businesses should understand their own requirements and capabilities before deciding to hire one of these options.


Why Choose Dry Hire?

The following are among the reasons why people go for dry hire over wet hire:

1. Dry Hire Supports Accurate Budgeting

When you opt for dry hire, you can allocate your budget accordingly. You know you still need to hire an operator, along with the equipment you will use. There is clarity surrounding all the costs involved. Therefore, you do not have to worry about budget blowouts.

2. There is Greater Flexibility Compared to Wet Hire

Aside from determining how much your budget should be, dry hire is also more customisable. Projects vary in size, shape, and requirements. There may be a few things taking place, which you did not expect. With dry hire, you do not have to hire an operator, along with the equipment. You can hire someone who may also be useful in other stages of the project. With this benefit, you can fine-tune the work conditions and other necessities, if needed.

3. Dry Hire is the More Affordable Choice

You can already tell that wet hire is more expensive than dry hire. After all, wet hire has the equipment and operator as a package deal. In some cases, this combination can provide them with some savings. However, for the majority, it is more expensive. If you do not carefully budget your resources, wet hire can quickly drain your time and finances.

For instance, the project was easier than expected. Therefore, your team finished early. Unfortunately, you cannot just terminate or return the equipment you hired because of an agreement. The contract states that you will use the machine for three months, even though the project finished in two. At this point, you no longer need the equipment and operator. Still, you need to pay for them until the agreement is reached.

Going for dry hire eliminates worries about wasted resources.

4. No Extra Worker is Involved

The addition of personnel in your job site may be welcome in many cases. However, you may not need another person in the field, which you can avoid with dry hire.

5. You Are Sure of the Operator’s Skill

Dry hire does not involve paying for the skill of the operator. You only avail of the service or the equipment. Anyone can drive a car, but drivers are not the same when it comes to their level of competence. The same thing applies to the operator that comes with wet hire.

When you use your own personnel, you know their skill. You can choose who will operate the excavator, wheel loaders, or skid steers. You avoid delays in the completion of the project as well as accidents.

All in all, dry hire is flexible, and you get the kind of equipment you need – when you need it. Once you are done using the machine, you can get it offsite right away. Cost efficiency is critical in the entire construction industry, and it is exactly what dry hire provides.

A cleaned and washed excavator in the ESM Resources yard ready to be deployed.


Why Choose Wet Hire?

Now let us head to wet hire. Is this the right type of service for you? Here are the reasons why you may want to go for wet hire over dry hire:

1. You Have an Operator Waiting

For some, it is easier to hire equipment when there is an operator. It means you no longer have to look for someone who will run the machine. If you are lucky, you can have a real professional who will ensure quality results.

2. Wet Hire Offers Convenience

Another reason why companies turn to wet hire is that they do not want to go through the trouble of finding an operator. It saves you the time and effort to locate a person who knows how to use the equipment you need for your job site.

3. Prices May Be Negotiable

While it is true that wet hire is more expensive than dry hire, you can get lower quotes on the service. The final price typically depends on the experience of the operator. You can save money if you hire an apprentice, although you may not get the result you want.

Wet hire does have its advantages, but it is easy to see why dry hire is the better option. Make sure you read the agreement thoroughly, whether you choose dry or wet hire. Focus on the total cost, efficiency, and the level of control you can gain out of the entire service.

A dozer for hire in the ESM yard; clean and ready to go.


How Safe is Dry Hire?

Just like with any service, you need to find a reliable provider when hiring a piece of equipment. Dry hire is generally safe, but you should pick the best company out there. This way, you can be sure that the machine you hire is fully compliant. All the required paperwork should be ready for you to read and sign.

Whether it is your first time to hire or you have done it a few times, you should be given a checklist either way. Manuals and guidebooks will be supplied as well.

As you can see, dry hire is safe from start to finish. 


Things to Be Careful Of

You must know dry hiring may not be fit for your business. Since there is no operator included in the package, you need to provide a professional who will operate the machinery for you. This person should have at least a few years of experience in running the wheeled equipment.

At the same time, credentials should be complete. Never settle for a driver or machine operator who offers the lowest-priced service. You could end up with a low-quality outcome for your project, which is certainly not what you want.

Another thing to note is that you will not get access to additional fuel. You will need to add it to your total amount of expenses. If you have a big project, you will need to fill up the tank more than once. Plus, you may also need a lubricant for the machine, as well as attachments if they are not included in the delivery.

Finally, if you hire an operator from your staff, remember that each hour costs money.

Therefore, it makes sense to use the best and most powerful machine that suits your project. Consider these factors before you decide on which equipment to dry hire. Otherwise, you could end up wasting more resources because you have inadequate machine size and power.


Legalities Concerning Equipment Dry Hire

A part of Work Health and Safety legislation has recently changed where requiring a licence to operate plant equipment was eradicated.

To elaborate, you no longer need a licence to run the following:

  • Class LE excavators
  • Class LB front-end loaders or backhoes
  • Class LL front-end loaders
  • Class LS skid steer loaders
  • Class LZ dozers
  • Class LG graders
  • Class LP scrapers

The change puts a significant responsibility on the shoulders of the plant owner or manager.

It is required to ensure all operators are competent before they utilise any of the mentioned earthmoving equipment. The new rules also necessitate businesses to look for certification from the operator.

In this case, it is your duty as the project manager to be in control of the plant by guaranteeing:

  • Operators are knowledgeable and with adequate training
  • There is enough supervision among the staff, especially the crane operator
  • Correct use of equipment to avoid any health and safety risks


How Do You Know an Operator is Skilled, Experienced, and the Right Person for the Job?

You will need to look for minimum qualifications, including their on-the-job training certificates, which tell you they are fit for operating a particular piece of machinery.

Another essential requirement is to ask for a Workplace Health and Safety certificate that the operator’s previous job issued. Finally, it helps if you can get a copy of the person’s statement of attainment, which is issued by the National Unit of Competency Conduct. It certifies that the operator is competent in civil construction excavator jobs.

While operator licence is no longer a requirement, businesses still need to provide certifications and other documents for certain activities. If you have demolition projects or even asbestos removals, you should give the necessary operating licence of your plant. Similarly, you should also have proper documentation for operating forklifts, boilers, hoists, cranes, and steam turbines, among others.

A water truck for hire in the ESM resources head quarters.


Servicing and Responsibilities after Equipment Dry Hire

Since you are supplied with a high-quality working machine before you start your tasks, you are required to return it in the same condition. If it comes with attachments, you will need to make sure everything is complete when you give the equipment back.

Depending on the agreement, you may also be required to refuel the equipment before you return it. Read the terms and conditions or the contract before you send it back to the supplier. Of course, if you are happy with the service, it may be worthwhile to refuel it even if it is not stated in your agreement. Nevertheless, it is always up to you, as long as you follow the entire procedure.

The equipment may be cumbersome and robust. However, improper use and undisciplined operations can cause it to be faulty. You should still make sure the operator handles the machine like a professional.

Plant hire work hats in a plant hire company yard.


Safety First Always

No matter what machine you plan to hire, your top priority should be safety. These pieces of equipment are huge, with considerable weight. They take up a lot of space and can be quite challenging to manoeuvre if you do not know what you are doing. Always exercise caution before, during, and after operations.

If you have not done any risk assessment, now is a good time for you to perform it before you hire. This way, you ensure that the job site is safe and hazard-free. Operators and other workers can get into an accident with improper handling. It will not only affect your profitability but the name of your company as well.

Once all risks are assessed, and you feel confident in managing potential hazards in the workplace, it is time to get to work! Contact ESM Resources, the most reliable plant hire company in Western Australia.