Back in the 19th Century, the Scottish writer and philosopher, Thomas Carlyle wrote these words of wisdom:

“Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”

It’s a quote that probably rings true with many a construction worker as where we would be without all the tools and equipment that help bring a construction project to life. But, whilst these important items are essential for our industry to work properly, they also raise a question: should we buy or hire?

Although it makes good sense to go down the buying route for some tools (particularly the small hand-held items that get used every day), for other tools and equipment (especially larger plant machinery) there are clear benefits to hiring rather than buying outright. Here are three reasons we can think of:

1. Repairs are covered

Picture the scene – you’re in the middle of a job when an essential tool or piece of equipment stops working. If it’s not too serious an issue you may well be able to carry out a quick repair and carry on with the job but, if the problem is more complicated, perhaps involving a large piece of machinery or electrical issues, then you’re heading for a professional repair or possibly even scrappage.

If you own that piece of equipment then the problem comes down to you and this might involve having to find and make all the arrangements to bring in a specialist plus the hassle of an insurance claim.

However, in a hiring situation, all responsibilities for maintenance and repairs belong with the company that hires it out to you. While you may still have to deal with a bit of downtime, your provider is likely to get a replacement to you much quicker than if you had to deal with everything yourself.

2. No storage worries

When buying construction equipment, one of the things you have to consider is where it will be stored on and off-site. You need somewhere that’s suitable for the size of the equipment and of course security is a major consideration.

Another bonus of hiring is therefore that the businesses providing the tools or equipment can take this worry away and provide storage solutions for you. If you don’t have a big enough space at your own premises and would have had to pay for an external storage facility for bought-in equipment, then switching to hiring could also save money over the long-term.

3. Always up-to-date

We live in a time when technological changes come thick and fast into our lives. That means it’s pretty much become part of human nature to want to use the most up-to-date versions of the items we use most often. Whether that’s the latest mobile phone or state-of-the-art tools and equipment that helps you do your job well, buying such things outright can be extremely costly and ineffective (especially as a newer version could pop up at any moment)!

So, what to do? Well, think about how we go about getting a mobile phone nowadays. Many of us choose a contract where we pay a fixed monthly price for a set period of time (maybe 12 or 24 months), after which there is the option to trade-up. We don’t call this ‘hiring’ but it’s essentially very similar, offering the user a cost-effective way to keep using the most advanced models.

When hiring construction tools and equipment, you basically get the same benefit. Each time you hire an item, you can request the most up-to-date version and therefore use the best equipment without breaking the bank.

The next time you’re considering acquiring a new tool or piece of equipment for your construction project, it’s definitely worth considering these three points and then making an assessment of whether buying or hiring is the right choice.


Feature image: yda Productions/