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Should You Buy or Rent Heavy Machinery For A Mining Project in Western Australia?

Mining and construction heavy machinery is big, bold and impactful. Not just on your site, but also on your wallet. They are massive machines with massive costs. These industries, particularly mining, can develop quite rapidly, and the technology of the equipment you use can become outdated faster than you can finish your project. 

So should you buy your heavy machinery, or should you hire it? And what is dry hiring? Hiring has become an increasingly popular option because it gives mining and construction some much appreciated flexibility. As with most things, there are pros and cons to each and understanding what they are will best position you to make an informed decision. 

Pros and Cons of BUYING Heavy Machinery


  • Greater Control: When operating a business or managing a project, no doubt you want to have as much control as you possibly can. It is vital so you can curb the flow and objectives of your operations. Owning your equipment will give this to you because you don’t have to listen to someone telling you how and where you can use the equipment. 
  • Availability: When you own your heavy equipment outright, you don’t have to worry about availability shortages and deadlines.  
  • Long-term: In the long-run, if you own the equipment, it will save you money. The longer you use the equipment, the more you will save.  


  • Less Flexibility: When you buy into heavy machinery, you are locked into a long-term, expensive financial investment. If the technology becomes outdated or the project you’re running runs out, you will be stuck with a very expensive and useless piece of equipment. 
  • Self-Managed Repair and Service: When it comes to heavy machinery glass repair, heavy machinery service and heavy machinery maintenance, if you own the equipment, you will have to manage it all yourself. This can be difficult and frustrating if you’re already managing a project with a complex schedule. There are companies that offer mobile windscreen replacement, and heavy machinery repair/service, but you will still have to organise the bookings yourself.
  • Massive Capital: When you buy heavy machinery, it is a massive decrease in your capital. This capital could be spent elsewhere that will allow your project to scale. 

Pros and Cons of HIRING Heavy Machinery


  • Stress-Free Service & Support: If you hire, your heavy machinery glass repair, and your heavy machinery service and maintenance will typically be handled by the rental company. There will be a good degree of alleviated stress off your shoulders because of this. 
  • Easy-To-Budget: When you rent heavy machinery, you know what your budget will be and you will not have the same surprise costs as if you owned it.
  • Reduced Risk: When you hire, you don’t have the risk of your machinery becoming outdated because you can simply return it and hire something else. Additionally, if your project ends, you aren’t left needing to try and sell leftover equipment. 
  • Try Before You Buy: How do you know what machinery is best for your project? The best way is to simply test it out. When you hire, you are able to do this.
  • Support Team: When you hire, the company you hire from will be able to lend you their experience. Troubleshooting any problems or working out how to use the machinery will be far easier. 
  • Specialisation: Not every machine will work for every project because not every project will be the same. Renting allows you to pick and choose which may be very important to your business.
  • Transportation: Transportation of heavy machinery is difficult and expensive. If you hire, usually the rental company will sort this for you.  


  • Long-Term Cost: If you end up hiring a machine for a long time, it may have been cheaper to just buy it outright. The shorter you use the machine, the more beneficial the hire. 
  • Rushed Projects: This con isn’t a given, but if you or your project manager tries to rush a job to try to save rental costs, it may save you money, but will cost you the health of your project and safety of your workers.
  • Less Control: If you hire machinery, the rental company might be over-barring on what you can and can’t do with the machinery. This may cause significant hassle within your project. 
  • Availability: When you decide to hire, the machine you decide to hire might not be available, so you have to select a different machine that is not as appropriately suited. Or maybe you have to return it early, which forces you to rush your project.

What is Dry Hire?

Dry hiring heavy machinery has become very popular for long-term mining and construction rentals. It is when a company hires heavy machinery without an operator. 

Laws Around Dry Hire 

Dry hire has become more popular recently because of changing laws in Work Health and Safety in Western Australia. Recently, it has been decided that you do not need a specialised license to operate types of low-risk equipment, such as:

  • Front-end loaders
  • Rollers
  • Graders
  • Dozers 
  • Excavators 

Using high-risk equipment will still need a specialised license, so you may need to make a “wet hire” where the machinery comes with an operator. Such machinery includes: 

  • Cranes
  • Forklifts
  • Other specialty equipment; check with the rental company for more advice

Benefits of Dry Hire 

Dry hire is beneficial over wet hire because it: 

  • Saves you money on operator costs by allowing your own employee to work the machinery. 
  • Gives more control over your project. Your own operators are your employees and already have an idea what your project vision is.
  • You only have to take control of minor repairs. Earthmoving equipment glass/heavy equipment glass repair, earthmoving machinery glazing, and other services/repairs will typically be handled by the rental company, and you should check when making an agreement. 

However, there are companies that offer fast and easy solutions in case you do have to handle repairs yourself.

6 Things to Consider When Deciding to Buy or Hire

When making a decision if you should buy or hire, or if you should wet or dry hire, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. These questions include: 

Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Project?

The shorter the project, the more likely hiring will be your best option. If you use the machinery over a long time, hiring can become more expensive than buying.

Do You Have Capital Available and Able to Be Parted With?

If you can afford to purchase the heavy machinery outright, it might be better than hiring it. At the end of the day, buying the machinery will give you an asset, while hiring will not.

Is It Specialty Machinery and Can It Be Used Again?

Is this specialty machinery or is this a once off project? If the machinery isn’t likely to be used again, you should hire.

Is The Machinery Likely to Be Outdated or Made Redundant? 

It is possible machinery becomes outdated for your project, or something better comes on the market. If you think this is likely, then you should consider hiring. 

Can You Be Bothered With The Trouble?

Buying the machinery outright means you have to worry about service, maintenance and transport. If you are too busy to do all this, perhaps renting from a company that will do it for you is a better option.

Do You Have an Operator Ready?

If you have an operator that will be able to use the machinery, a dry hire or buying the machinery outright will work for you. If not, you will need to consider a wet hire or employing someone that can use the machinery. 

The Bottom Line

When it comes down to it, hiring vs buying is a matter of how much you are able to spend and how much control over your project you want to have, divided by how long you will use the machinery. Buying will give you more control, but hiring will be cheaper, unless you are hiring for a very long time. 
Managing services and repairs can be annoying, but, if you’re running a project it is simply something you have to do. Companies that specialise in heavy machinery repairs, such as Dean’s Autoglass, that offer complete mobile emergency glass repairs, installations and service throughout Perth, Newman and Kalgoorlie, make the job extremely easy.