Benefits To Hiring Plant Equipment During Winter.
With the nights drawing in and the festive season nearing closer, the time to meet our end-of-year deadline is upon us. As we all know, winter is the toughest time to be working out in the elements. It brings forth with it several additional risks, such as breakdowns, additional clean-up fees and in some cases, projects coming to a complete standstill. In this resource, we will share with you the benefits of hiring plant equipment during winter, additional factors you could face, and tips to avoid any nasty accidents.
First things first, let’s look at the potential problems you could be facing throughout the winter.
Problems you might come across in winter
Construction of any kind throughout winter comes with its issues. The most common problems you will come across are:
Even though in the UK we don’t suffer with the snowdrifts that our friends across the pond do. Instead, we have to tackle frozen ground, which, if excavating, may require more powerful equipment than you first once thought. The incorrect choice of machinery can lead to construction projects taking far longer than originally projected. This can have serious financial and reputation implications for you and the overall project. Therefore, if you intend to undergo a project throughout the winter months, your equipment must be able to adapt to the conditions. This will undoubtedly avoid any unnecessary delays.
Another huge problem that all construction businesses must tackle during winter is the freezing of materials. Frozen materials can lead to poor quality overall projects. Freezing temperatures can cause problems with grout, adhesives and most commonly, concrete. Ultimately, if this is not managed, it once again can have project-failing consequences. It is very common to heat materials to allow the chemical bonds to form correctly during winter. Exterior work can generally be covered to act as a barrier to the elements. Note that there are alternative products that have been designed to lower freezing points and curing time, making them more resistant to the cold. However, these may not be suitable for your budget.
One of the largest challenges projects that all construction, utilities, civil engineers and DIYers face is the battle with ground disruption. During the winter months, the ground can be very susceptible to becoming waterlogged as well as frozen. Resulting in expensive clean up fees caused by machinery that is used during construction. The key to mastering ground disruption during winter projects is using the correct plant hire machinery. Using machinery that admits higher ground pressure will ultimately leave you with more mess. There are many products that have been designed to assist with overcoming ground disruption, which we will touch on shortly.
Investment into additional PPE for staff
Our final problem that you might come across in winter construction is the additional investment into further PPE for yourself and staff. The key to avoiding this factor becoming a problem is planning. When working throughout the winter, there are far more risks when it comes to health and safety. This is why it is essential to make sure you are prepared for the worst-case scenarios. HSE maps out all the additional risks of working throughout Autumn and Winter, which you can read here. The biggest risk increases in working in wintery conditions is from slipping or tripping. By correctly planning, choosing the right plant hire equipment, and investing into suitable PPE you can protect your team and keep your project moving forward.
Benefits of hiring plant equipment during winter
There are many benefits to hiring plant equipment, but even more so during the cold months of Autumn and Winter. The biggest problem with investing in specialised winter equipment is, what is it going to do for the rest of the year? Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of hiring plant equipment during winter for businesses and individuals.
As we have already highlighted, large investments in plant equipment that you are only going to use for a small period of the year, isn’t always the best financial decision. Your alternative is to hire the specific equipment you need for that one specific project. When dealing with an ever-changing climate, which is unpredictable from week to week, it makes perfect sense in hiring plant equipment during winter. Doing so allows you to not put all your eggs in one basket and have the freedom and flexibility to alter the machinery as you go.
In essence… it allows you to micromanage the machinery and control the problems that you will come across during construction in winter. One week you may need one piece of machinery, the next, you may need something smaller, larger, or ground sensitive. Which for the UK climate is ideal.
Another massive benefit of hiring plant equipment in winter is the ability to avoid the logistics of getting machinery from A to B. This removes any issues that could occur during the arrangement and transportation of machinery to the site. You are then assured that the equipment can arrive safely and ready to work. The other benefit to this is that, if the machinery is small enough for you to collect yourself, you can get your hands on equipment you need fast! There are many examples of equipment that you may use in winter that you can obtain from your plant hire supplier. More on this shortly. Remember that if you are working on a tight budget throughout the winter period, that most reputable hire suppliers will offer the latest and most efficient plant hire equipment on the market.
No upkeep and storage
One of the largest problems with purchasing any type of plant hire equipment is its upkeep and storage. Upkeep of large plant can be very expensive on top initial investment. Winter is commonly regarded as the most popular time for things to go wrong. Harsher elements, results in unwanted breakdowns and complications. By hiring your plant equipment during winter, you avoid any of these responsibilities. If the equipment breaks down under no fault of the hirers’ fault, they are not accountable for it. Instead, the machine can be fixed on site, or a replacement can be organised at its earliest convenience. This means that you can ensure you can keep your project moving no matter the circumstances. Please note that plant hire suppliers will have different policies to protect their machinery.
In addition to the avoidance of upkeep costs, is the issue of storage of the machinery. Storing machinery for long periods requires financial investment and regular time to service. Machinery standing still for long periods should be regularly run to charge batteries, circulate lubricants, oils and fluids throughout the machine. Failure to do so can result in the machine not starting when coming to use it in the winter months. Hired machinery is regularly run and serviced in between deployments. This reduces the chance of the machine of being faulty when it is required.
Issues you may come across
There is no doubting it, that no matter which avenue you explore, there many be issues that occur. As we have highlighted, there are many benefits to hiring plant equipment in winter. However, you need to be aware of the problems this may potentially cause you.
Getting hold of the equipment
Hiring plant equipment in winter is a very popular choice for keeping projects moving forward with its flexibility. The problem is that this ultimately makes winter a very busy and popular time for hiring equipment. Meaning you could struggle to get hold of the machinery at moment’s notice from your usual plant supplier. To avoid this issue, always book in plenty of time, choose a well-stocked supplier and stick with well renowned manufacturers.
One of the very few issues with hiring plant equipment is the opening times of the suppliers themselves. For some, this can affect the way that they work. However, seeing as most suppliers open between the hours of 7-8am they are able to cater for most construction site operating times. It is understandable how some businesses feel limited by operating to someone else’s time scale.
Quality of equipment
The quality of the equipment from your supplier should be your main priority when it comes to working in the winter. Choosing cheap old, over worked machinery is going to bring with it a higher chance of reducing your productivity on a project. To avoid this issue, it is worth inspecting the equipment, get to know the supplier and don’t be afraid to pay a bit more to guarantee you get the job done.
In house engineers
If your plant hire supplier does not use in house engineers, then you could be setting yourself up for additional delays if something is to go wrong. Winter is a popular time for breakdowns, as machinery is exposed to harsher conditions. In knowing this information, ensuring you have the adequate level of support before you commit to hiring is essential. The last thing any project manager or business owner is to have delays from a supplier that they have invested in.
Plant you can expect to hire in winter
Here are some of the most popular plant equipment to be hired during the winter months:
Cabbed excavators are used to protect construction workers from the harsh weather conditions that occur during the winter months.
Tracked dumpers offer a more ground sensitive earthmoving solution for businesses to keep moving. Their design helps to reduce surface damage, leading to less clear up costs and faster completion times.
With a reduction in daylight hours through winter, tower lighting is used to keep projects on schedule. Their design makes them very portable and affective.
Welfare units provide a heated, on site rest bite for workers. These portable cabin-like containers can be towed and repositioned at a time unlike container units.
Heaters are essential to keep materials and workers warm during the harshest of conditions.
The winter season invites a large amount for rainfall and surface water, leading to potential flooding Pumps offer a solution to move unwanted water from one place to another.
Where to hire plant equipment for winter
Finding the right supplier to hire plant equipment for winter from can be a trying task. With many suppliers out there, it can be difficult to choose the right business to partner with. We at WHC Hire Services are an independent supplier of high-performance plant and tool hire equipment. Our ethos and values revolve around providing the latest machinery at low hours to all our customers. No matter their business size or turnover. Looking to hire plant equipment this winter? Speak to our team, organise a visit to see the equipment we supply first hand, or book your delivery today. See more in our online catalogue, or call 01684377977 to get started.