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To Buy or to Hire Plant? – The Small Builder’s Dilemma


There is a wide range of heavy equipment that a builder requires, and the question often arises whether to invest in a versatile machine, or carry on hiring. For some of the smaller businesses, purchasing might seem out of reach, yet with a used machine, it is often affordable, and therefore, a wiser choice that renting. There are, of course, plant hire companies who supply the construction industry with a wide range of heavy duty machinery, and although it is not cheap, the service does empower even the smallest of construction companies.

Second Hand Equipment

There is always a healthy supply of used construction equipment for sale, if you know where to look, that is. If you are based in the north of England, there is affordable used small plant machinery in Lincolnshire, and with a huge inventory, there will be something perfectly suited to your needs. Large companies might prefer to invest in a fleet of new machines, as they have the budget for such an investment, and with so many projects on the go, the machine will always be working, yet for most of the smaller organisations, a used machine in good working order would be preferable.

Hiring Economics

Unless you have no choice, or are not likely to require the machinery again, hiring might be the best solution, but as any businessman knows, hiring costs money in the long run, and by investing in your own machine, it works out much cheaper.

Finance Options

A builder might not have the capital to buy a used machine, but the supplier would have competitive finance, and even with the interest, if the machine is required often, it pays to buy rather than hire. One JCB digger could change the way a small builder operates, and by directly employing a skilled driver/operator, he could hire out the machine whenever he has no need for it, which would supplement his income.

Think Long Term

If you look at it from a short term perspective, hiring a machine and operator seems to be a better deal, although if you do the number crunching over say two years, it makes more sense to purchase the machine, especially if it often required. Finance means the purchase will not take all the business capital, and competitive rates make it an attractive alternative to plant hire. If a small builder calculated how much he would spend of plant hire in 5 years, he might be shocked to discover he could have bought a new machine outright, and still had some money remaining.

Many small builder’s think they are forced to hire specific machinery, but if they have a regular need for a particular machine, buying a used model is perhaps the best alternative. Competitive finance allows such an investment, and once you have said goodbye to pricey hiring rates, your bank balance will soon build up, and you have the ideal machinery to keep your business booming.

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