Savvy tradies are turning to equipment hire companies as an intelligent way to save on project costs

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Gone are the days when tradespeople would only consider renting equipment in an emergency situation or to get them through a one-off job.

Now, construction industry workers have begun turning to hire firms just to take advantage of the service’s business-savvy benefits.

Hiring gear instead of purchasing has become an increasingly popular way for busy tradies to reduce expenses, speed up completion times, and even lessen their carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, finding a quick fix for equipment breakdowns and other unforeseen circumstances is now faster than ever, thanks to instant quoting and same-day hire assistance.

The largest earthmoving supplier on Australia’s east coast, Orange Hire, has seen a clear jump in the number of industry workers choosing to hire for reasons other than equipment breakdown in the last few years.

National Marketing Manager Simon Hatton says the cost-of-living crisis and the reduced availability of construction equipment have been a key reason behind the increase.

“With business expenses higher than ever before, hiring out equipment allows tradies to do the job for less,” Simon told Build-it.

“There’s no need for businesses to spend $200,000 on a piece of machinery when they could instead be reducing their overheads and freeing up cash flow that can be better spent on wages, materials and other project assets.”

Tradie benefits

However, saving time and money aren’t the only reasons hiring firms have seen customer growth in recent years.

Material cost increases, tight job margins, demanding upkeep and downtime of equipment due to a shortage of parts have been a few key reasons behind more tradies choosing.

Meanwhile, a stronger public demand for incorporating greater safety and environmental care regarding work projects means that companies are looking to hire niche equipment to satisfy these metrics.

Energy-efficient equipment, solar lighting, and even track mats to protect lawns are simple ways to reduce job-site impact.

“There’s definitely a greater demand for construction workers to use the most environmentally efficient equipment than a few years ago,” Simon told Build-it.

“Minimising environmental disruptions is also high on most customers’ checklist.”

“Using up-to-date machinery designed with safety and efficiency in mind allows projects to significantly reduce their environmental impact and increase productivity.”

Try before you buy

Construction companies that need to make equipment purchases are even using hire firms to “test drive” desired gear before spending large amounts of capital.

Simon told Build-it that hire firms are also being utilised to find pre-loved hire equipment to purchase at a fraction of the cost of brand-new gear.

Orange Hire’s young fleet allows them to sell ex-hire assets with generally under three years of site use, including earthmoving equipment and attachments, to mention a few.

“If you’re in the market for equipment, hiring allows you to test it on a project and see if it’s right for you before committing to the outlay,” Simon explained.

“Often, our customers will ask if they can purchase our used equipment, and as our fleet age is generally under three years, they can score low-hour equipment that professionals have consistently maintained at very competitive prices.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.