Any new construction project or home renovation is exciting – from contacting architects to draw up blueprints and order materials, it’s always satisfying to see something built, or to build something yourself, from scratch.
However, it is no secret that to ensure a renovation project goes off without a hitch, it needs plenty of stringent organising. Simple errors like ordering the wrong kind of plant hire equipment or ill-equipping the contractors you hire can lead to loss of productivity and, in the worst cases, accidents and injuries. Loss of productivity can lead to the overspending of budgets and time-wasting, and accidents could result in your company receiving a bad reputation as well as a hefty lawsuit – two things you clearly want to avoid.
Yet, as mentioned above, these mistakes could be a result of simple errors, and excavator rental or digger hire can be a minefield to navigate. For example, what type of equipment should you hire and how long should you hire it for are two basic questions you need to ask yourself. With this in mind, as a leading Somerset plant hire equipment company, we have collated together an essential guide to what kind of earth-moving equipment is essential to your needs. Whether you are building a brand new school in your community or simply undertaking a garden renovation, read on to find out more about what equipment you should hire.
Essential Guide to Plant Hire Equipment
It won’t come as a surprise that there is a wealth of plant hire equipment that you can hire for both your small or large scale project. So, what exactly can you choose from?
Excavators are hydraulic heavy construction equipment that consist of a boom, dipper, bucket and cab on a rotating platform known as the ‘house’. The modern excavator that we see on building sites is an evolved piece of equipment from steam shovels, which means they are often mistakenly called power shovels.
Excavators operate through the transmission of hydraulic fluid and contain both hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors. Excavators are commonly called ‘diggers’ because their primary motion is to dig up the ground for construction projects. Excavators are mainly hired for projects that involve the following tasks:
The need to dig holes and create trenches to lay foundations
Forestry work like mulching
Demolition work (with the attachments of a hydraulic saw and mower)
Driving piles with a pile driver attachment
Drilling shafts with a hydraulic drill attachment
Snow removal with a snowplough attachment
As is evident above, excavators can be used for more than just their original ‘digger’ function. This means that if you are considering excavator rental, you need to make sure you also order the right attachments for your needs. For example, if you are working throughout the winter season, then a snowplough could be needed in case you are hit with heavy snow onsite.
A dumper is a vehicle designed for carrying bulk material to and from areas of the construction site. Due to their name, dumpers can often be mistaken for dump trucks – however, these two are very different despite having a similar function. A dumper is an open four-wheeled vehicle with a load skip in front of the driver, whereas a dump truck has a cab at the head of the load.
The load skip is used to carry and ‘dump’ materials, and can be fitted with rubber tracks depending on the weather conditions and the size of the load. For instance, rubber tracks may provide more stability in icy or wet conditions, which means that you won’t lose the load or compromise the safety of your employees.
Most modern dumpers are powered by a combination of a diesel engine, electric start and hydraulics for tipping and steering. For construction projects that work within narrow roads, like in urban areas, a dumper with a swivel skip installed would be useful.
Also known as a telescopic handler, cherry picker or a forklift, a telehandler is ideal for agriculture projects. They operate with a telescopic boom that can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle, moving loads to and from heights that are unreachable by other machinery or humans.
Like excavators, telehandlers can be fitted with attachments that are designed to help with specific functions. For instance, these attachments include pallet forks (which are essential for industry work) or bucket grabs (essential for agriculture works). One of the main advantages of telehandlers is that they maximise productivity on a site, as their applications are far better suited than cranes, conveyors and loading ramps.
However, telehandlers have one main disadvantage. The higher the boom extends, the more unstable the base of the telehandler becomes. This means that when planning a lift, you need to calculate and weigh the goods before lifting – the higher the boom extends the lighter the load needs to be in order for the base to remain stable. Luckily, many modern manufacturers create telehandlers with safety features installed, like a load chart for the operator, front stabilizers and sensors that warn the operator if the load is too heavy for the height of the lift.
A roller is a compactor engineering vehicle that is designed to smooth and flatten a surface. Rollers are ideal for projects that concern asphalt, soil, gravel, or concrete and are especially crucial for the construction of roads and foundations.
Despite a lot of plant hire equipment being invented in the last century after the Industrial Revolution, rollers were actually around for many years before that and were operated by horses for agricultural purposes.
Rollers use the weight of the vehicle or vibrations to compress and compact a surface.
Now that you have been informed of the various types of machine hire equipment, you need to decide which ones will be suitable for your project.
For most projects, a variety of different equipment will need to be hired as they all have varying functions. However, as illustrated above, there are a range of attachments that you can order to facilitate specific functions or to help ease the project if bad weather hits. Below, we have compiled together some considerations you need to think about before hiring plant equipment:
The location of the project – is the project agricultural or urban?
The estimated duration of the project
How the machinery operates – does it utilise hydraulics or electrics, or is it diesel engine powered?
The manufacturer of the equipment
As the old adagé goes, poor planning equals poor performance, and many site managers should seek to avoid this at all times. This is why we recommend ordering as many attachments as possible, within reason. For example, if you are planning on completing the majority of your project during the rainy, icy, and wintery months of December, January and February, ordering a snow plough attachment for an excavator or rubber tracks for a dumper may not only be the safest option but also allows for sustained productivity. However, these attachments certainly won’t be necessary during the summer months, so will not only impact your budget, but the attachments will also clutter the construction site.
Another important consideration that is vital for both sustained safety and productivity is how the machinery operates and who the manufacturer of the equipment is. After all, if a machine breaks down, stops working, or gets damaged, do you have the right skills and experience to repair it yourself? Do you have a trusted repair company to help fix it? And what manufacturer do you need to contact if all else fails? For instance, for excavators, they primarily operate using hydraulics, however, sometimes they can be operated by cables that use winches and steel ropes. If a hydraulic operated excavator breaks down, then you need to find a reputable hydraulics company in your local area.
Looking for efficient plant hire in Dorset? Here at Buckland Newton Hire, we can help you with your project, utilising our 40 years of experience in machine hire, waste disposal, haulage, aggregates and groundworks. Hiring machinery is just the start of any project taking off, and not only can we help you with this, but we can also help you with the rest.
For instance, if you are commissioned to help fix pesky potholes after a harsh winter, then you will need both our efficient rollers and our range of aggregates. Or, if you are doing a large scale demolition in Dorset, then it is likely you will produce plenty of waste. All in all, you need a one-stop-shop for your construction needs and at Buckland Newton Hire, we can be just that.
To find out more about our specific plant hire equipment, or you need to hire a skip, then simply contact us today.