The Top 5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire

Not all hire companies are created equal! 

If you need reliable and safe equipment, make sure you ask your hire company these 5 key questions before to take the plunge and book your next machine. You could save yourself a heap of time on site by avoiding compliance and safety issues. 


Hiring earthmoving machines and large equipment seems like a straightforward process. You call a few hire companies, get some quotes and go with the cheapest to keep your budget in check and your boss happy.

Simple, right?

Well, there are a few key things to check to ensure that you don’t run into serious issues on-site later when the meter’s running and your job is held up due to safety hazards, compliance issues, or machinery faults.

The worst-case scenario is having to stand down your crew due to breakdowns or failures. Although on rare occasions breakdowns are unavoidable, in the vast majority of cases proper maintenance, servicing and care of the machine by the hire company will go a long way to preventing equipment from breaking down.

Taking a few minutes to ask questions about service history, safe operating procedures and inclusions of your quote will ensure that you get peace of mind when the job is in full swing and you’re under the pump.

So, rather than just calling the first hire company that pops up on Google and assuming they will be able to provide you with a quality machine – grill them! Ask the hard questions up front to make sure you’re getting the best deal and the right equipment, not just the cheapest.


Our top 5 questions to ask before you hire earthmoving equipment:


  1. What’s the service history of the machine?

Your hire company should be able to provide complete service logs, along with proof of the most recent service. At Orange Hire, for example, we manage our fleet maintenance through the PlantAssessor digital platform, which makes it easy to access service history, documentation, risk assessments and more. Before you take delivery of your equipment, you’ll need to find out what maintenance is required daily, weekly or monthly whilst the machine is on your site. Lubrication, preventative maintenance and regular pre-start checks are essential to keeping your team safe and productive.


  1. What are the safe operating procedures? 

Your hire company should be able to provide not just the manufacturer’s operating manual, but a checklist of safe operating procedures, compliance documentation and manuals for every machine. They should also be able to explain their own team’s safety protocols to ensure your machine is delivered to site safely and to your exact instructions. If you’re unsure of the hire company’s credentials, ask for proof of permits and licenses required to enter your site and deliver the equipment. Experience counts too: if you have a tough job, complicated site access or remote location to deal with, ask how your hire company has dealt with this in the past.


  1. How old is the machine?

Machine age is directly proportionate to reliability: as a machine ages, it becomes more liable to failures and general wear and tear that can end up creating big hassles on site. A lot of hire companies squeeze as much life out of a machine as they can in order to keep their capital outlay low. This can sometimes be reflected in very cheap hire rates, but if it looks too good to be true, it probably is: paying a little more for a reliable machine is worth it in the long run. Always ask how old the machine is before you hire (as an example, Orange Hire’s average machine age is just 2.5 years).


  1. What are the limitations of this machine?

Sometimes you have to adapt on the fly when things change on site. If the machine only works with very specific attachments, doesn’t perform well in boggy conditions or has a compact cab that’s uncomfortable for your operator, then it’s not right for the job. Ease of operation and adaptability to different conditions, especially on long term projects, can make things run more smoothly on site. Your hire company should be able to offer advice on the versatility of your machine if this is likely to be a factor for your project.


  1. Is my quote all-inclusive? 

There’s nothing worse than being hit with unexpected charges. Checking details such as delivery locations and fees, exact pickup and drop off points, extension fees and whether you’re liable for damage caused on site will set your mind at ease. Finding out what’s included in your rental agreement and what isn’t is a wise move and will save you accounting and admin issues down the track.


At Orange Hire, our friendly team can answer all these questions and more. Our trained and experienced staff understand the needs of construction, civil and infrastructure professionals and we can offer advice on the best machine for your project.

Give our team a call and put us to the test!

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    Hazell Bros Group

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