Digger & Dumper Hire | Beginners Guide

For any sort of excavation, the use of a digger and dumper can make your project far more cost-effective, efficient and manageable. But where do you start? Who do you go to, and what do you use? To help explain digger and dumper hire in the simplest of terms, we have put together this guide to help. By the end, you will have all the information you need to hire a digger and dumper with confidence.

What is a digger used for? (if you weren’t too sure)

Diggers are used to remove waste materials, digging trenches and foundations, as well as installing pipping or underground tanks. Diggers are operated by a single individual, who, with the aid of the machine can maximise the movement of debris at one time. Using a digger can speed up your project and reduce the amount of manual handling you have to do. Diggers range from micro (small enough to fit through a standard door) up to 20 Ton plus.

What is a dumper used for? 

Dumpers have the sole purpose of moving waste, raw materials or earth from one place to another. They operate on either wheels or tracks, depending on the make, model or terrain you require it for. Different designs of dumpers come with variations of tipping and swivel options. Some tipping options are ideal if you plan to remove rubbish into a skip, or if you have to manoeuvre around obstacles. They also come in a variety of weights and capacities ranging from 500kg to over 10 tons.

There are numerous digger and dumper options on the market, hence why consulting a plant hire specialist is always beneficial. Things you will need to take into consideration are:

  • The amount of access you have?
  • How long do you have to complete the project?
  • How much ground disruption can you afford?

Do not hire any plant machinery without having a clear answer to each of these questions. Never hesitate to ask an expert to help you find the ideal match. 

Do you need a licence to operate a digger or dumper?

If you are operating either a digger or dumper in a work environment for commercial purposes, you may require an NPORS or CSCS card. All operators within a construction site should have a valid NPORS card for health and safety purposes. These show that the individual has all the appropriate training and qualifications for their specific role on site. To remain safe and legal, you should comply with the current UK health and safety legislation. An NPORS or CSCS card is NOT required if you plan to operate the machinery on private land for personal reasons. To hire a digger or dumper, you will not be asked to produce a licence, although you are responsible to insure the machinery whilst it is in your possession. If you are planning to undertake regular amounts of excavation, then we would highly advise investing in some training courses to help you operate the machinery safely and efficiently.


The scale of your project may dictate the way you transport your digger and dumper to its destination. In most case scenarios, it is wise to have the machinery delivered, to avoid any issues. Plant hire specialists can deliver your equipment safely and in accordance with UK law. If you decide to transport the machinery yourself, make sure to secure the plant equipment correctly and as instructed by the machine’s manufacturer. For transporting smaller excavators yourself, we would advise using a trailer designed specifically for digger transport. Check out TRACK-LOCK for more information: https://whchire.com/tracklock/


Most plant machinery uses red diesel (Aug 21), however, to avoid any nasty accidents, always double-check. When your digger or dumper arrives, it will be delivered with a full tank of fuel. It is your responsibility to refill the machine before returning the equipment, as failure to do so will only increase your overall cost. Always check with your plant specialist’s terms and conditions beforehand to make sure you do not get charged extra. 


Whilst in possession of a digger and dumper, you are responsible to insure yourself and the machinery against accidents, damage and theft. If you think that the plant equipment may already be covered on your existing business policy, be sure to check with your current insurance provider. Plant hire is not covered by standard business policies; however, it can be added with just a simple phone call. Alternatively, for short term hire, we recommend looking at JCB’s plant insurance specifically designed for hire equipment: https://www.jcbinsurance.co.uk/ 

Is training given when you hire a digger and dumper?

When you receive your digger and dumper, you will also be given an overview of how to operate the machinery. This will include basic controls and how to operate various features and components. If you are ever unsure, then never be afraid to ask your provider. Misuse of diggers and dumpers can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Make sure you are confident with all controls and safety procedures before commencing work. If you do not feel 100% comfortable operating the equipment, you can always hire an operator to help.

Here at WHC Hire, we are committed to supplying the nation with the highest quality plant equipment on the market. Since 1997, we have offered a wide range of diggers and dumpers available to hire for long or short-term projects. With depots in Tewkesbury, Worcester and the Cotswolds, we are available and on hand when you need us. With consistent investment into the quality of our fleet, we can assure that customers, contractors and businesses (no matter their size) receive their required equipment on time and in perfect working condition.

Click here to see the latest plant and machinery we have on offer, or call 01684377977 to discuss your project with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team. Together, we can help you get the job done right.

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