Factors Impacting Excavator Hire Rates

Excavators, commonly referred to as diggers, are among the most popular kinds of equipment used in the construction and mining industry. Such versatile items of machinery comprise of dipper, bucket, boom, and cab, which sits on a rotating platform.

The platform is mounted on an undercarriage with either tracks or wheels. Diggers come in various sizes and types, and every digger can be used on multiple projects. Excavator hiring rates depend on several features of mining and construction projects. As such mini excavator hire rates will be different from standard excavator.

Types of excavators include:

  • Mini digger
  • Standard digger (6 tons to more than 500 tons)
  • Long reach digger
  • Swamp (amphibious) digger
  • Knuckle boom digger
  • Spider digger
  • Zero swing digger
  • Wheeled digger
  • Vacuum digger

Rates of Hire

In the equipment hire industry, prices are most volatile. Often clients forget while hiring equipment whose rates are never simple ‘rates’ quoted on a one-size-fits-all basis. Instead, excavator hire rates depend on the project type.

Equipment rates are provisional estimates. Such estimates are based more on the projected lifespan of the digger in tandem with an expected expenditure, assuming there is no unexpected expense. Since rates are specific to the job or project, the cost of digger hire can vary between projects.

Factors Impacting Rates of Hire

These include:

  • Availability

Concerning a service or product, the law of demand and supply impacts the hire price of the digger. When demand exceeds supply, price of equipment rises. When the digger is sourced from a long distance, the digger will accumulate extra demobilization and mobilization charges for transportation.

Thus, availability might push down prices with supply exceeding the demand and increased competition.

  • Location

Rural areas or areas out of reach from the equipment company will cost more due to higher costs. It also depends on demand and supply.

  • Dry/Wet Hire

Wet hire attracts a higher rate as compared to a dry hire machine because it includes an operator. Wet hire costs will differ based on the level of experience and qualifications of the operator.

  • Machine Size

Size does count. While using the equipment, costs of demobilization and mobilization vary tremendously based on the size of the machine.

  • Specification of Machines

Similar to buying a vehicle, the specifications of the digger play a vital role in the hire price. The value of the machine is calculated by its model, year, manufacturing, and features such as Universal Total Solution (UTS) and GPS.

Naturally, supply companies determined their original rates depending on their projected business revenue and the expected cost of the machine over the complete lifespan.

  • Separate machine hours

Just like the distance covered by a vehicle, the hours of operation of the machine will impact its value. The more the hours of operation, the more the depreciation of its value resulting in reduced prices.

  • Maintenance/Fuel

Based on the features of the work-site, factors like maintenance and fuel may be incorporated in the hire rate. Their impact on the price may depend on on-site access and location. Another important factor in consideration is whether the hired machinery requires scheduled maintenance or detailed service maintenance.


  • Make use of local suppliers
  • Go in for value money than cheapest rates
  • Choose a company with the highest reputation for safety

These are some of the factors affecting rates of excavator hire in the market and tips for saving costs.


What do you think?


Written by David Thach

Content AuthorYears Of Membership

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