Excavators: The Pros and Cons of Hire vs Buy

When looking for an excavator for your construction project, the question of hiring vs buying is an important one, especially as it can be a large investment for your business.

It’s important to know what your options are when it comes to earthmoving equipment such as excavators, so in this article, we will cover exactly what you need to look out for – the pros and the cons – so you can make an informed decision.

Pros of Buying an Excavator

If you’re a contractor who has projects running into the long term, depending on your business needs, buying an excavator might prove more economical than hiring one.

The benefits of owning an excavator range from saving time on organising hire, through to knowing the machine is always at your disposal when you need it.

If an ex-rental excavator sounds like something you might consider, check out our previous blog that explains how a reliable, low-hour second-hand excavator could be a great asset to your business, at a fraction of the price of a new machine.

Cons of Buying an Excavator

Although owning an excavator is a great asset to your business, it also comes with some downfalls.

Firstly, owning such a machine means you’ll need to provide ongoing service and maintenance. This is the only way to guarantee a reliable excavator is always ready to go in your yard – and that’s the main benefit of owning one in the first place!

During a service it may become clear that the undercarriage, tracks, engine, or other parts of your excavator may need repairs or replacements. This can be an expensive exercise particularly as your machine ages, and especially if the machine has a lot of hours on the clock from use in tough construction environments.

Avoiding the wear and tear and depreciation associated with owning an excavator can only be avoided by hiring one instead.

So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of renting earthmoving equipment such as excavators.

Pros of Excavator Hire

Firstly, hiring an excavator eliminates the need to store your excavator – a rather large piece of machinery. Without this burden (and the accompanying costs) hiring an excavator could prove a more appropriate choice for your business if you only need it for specific jobs.

Hiring an excavator also guarantees that the machine you receive from the rental company is high quality, well maintained and frequently serviced.

Plus, it also means you get access to newer excavators available on the market. Often, if you purchase these machines, it isn’t cost-effective to be updating to the newest model every couple of years, so hiring can be a great way to use newer machines without a huge capital outlay.

When it comes to the complexity of your construction projects, you may also need different types and sizes of machines. With the flexibility offered by hiring an excavator, it may be a better option for your business so you can pick and choose different excavators when you need them.

With excavator hire, you can get a good deal on the best modern equipment that your construction project requires.

Cons of Hiring an Excavator

Although at this point it may seem more sensible from a business perspective to hire an excavator, there can also be cons to this decision. Renting any form of construction equipment is more cost-effective the longer the hire period, so for larger and longer-term projects, it’s a good way to go.

Overall it’s important to examine how the cost of hiring an excavator would compare if you are expecting to be hiring one frequently.

Finally, in contrast to owning earthmoving equipment, hiring earthmoving equipment requires some minor forward planning. hire equipment can often be arranged at very short notice but for the best result, it’s wise to plan ahead and book your equipment ahead of time.


Deciding whether to hire or buy an excavator all depends on your construction needs and what’s best for you. Both options can serve your projects extremely well. And if you’ve decided that hire is the way to go, we can help!

Did you know we are the largest specialist provider of dry hire earthmoving equipment on the east coast? With a range of excavators in every size to suit your project (from 0.8T – 35T), we have the machine you need to get the job done right.

At Orange Hire, we guarantee reliable hire equipment that is well serviced and maintained. Whether you’re in the market to hire or buy, we have flexible options that enable contractors like you to get a great price on low-hour, top quality excavators.

Our team is always at the ready to help you with your machine selection so give us a call today.

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