Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Dumper

Whether it’s a construction, landscaping or a DIY project that you are undertaking, the correct machinery can make all the difference. Therefore, before you even consider doing so, we are going to cover all the mistakes to avoid when hiring a dumper for you. This resource is going to take you through various stages of the hire process and highlight many common hi-cups that even the most seasoned professionals trip up on.

The aim of this resource is to share more than 25 years of experience in the plant and tool hire industry. In turn, this article is not only going to save you money but also hassle in the long run. Before we start to highlight the mistakes, let’s have a look at the reasons why you might want to hire a dumper in the first place.

Why might you hire a dumper?

why might you hire a dumper?

There a several reasons why you might want to hire a dumper during a project. The machines themselves offer a safe way of transporting materials, debris or earth across a working area. Many dumpers have been designed to aid in a variety of different scenarios. For example, different sizes for project scales and access opportunities.

Because of the variation in engineering, choosing the right dumper is important and, at the same time tricky. We cover all of this on one of our other resources.. This article highlights all the different types of dumpers there are on the market and will help assess your own needs for your project.

Now that you have a grip on the machinery you need, let’s look at the mistakes to avoid when hiring a dumper. No matter what stage you are at with your hired equipment, we have broken this resource down to help disclose the areas to focus on. Feel free to skip to the most appropriate stage to suit your needs. Otherwise, continue following for complete disclosure on this topic.

Mistakes to avoid before hiring a dumper

mistakes to avoid before hiring a dumper

Some of the biggest operational and financial mistakes can happen prior to even receiving the machinery. This can have a huge impact on how your project pans out. For each mistake, we will leave you with some thoughts to consider to help you make the right decisions.

The most common mistakes to avoid before hiring a dumper are:

  • Type of dumper you are hiring
  • Book in plenty of time
  • Size of dumper
  • Planning in advance
  • Tip type to suit your project
  • Supplier
  • Overpaying
  • Insurance

Type of dumper you are hiring

Choosing the right dumper for you depends on several factors that we highlight in the Hiring Dumpers for Landscaping Projects: Tips for Making the Right Choice” resource. In short, you may have to choose between a dumper that offers more versatility, depending on the restrictions of the operation area. You should be aware of your entrance and exit points, ground pressure, and the amount of material you will be handling. From here you can also determine your timescale for completion. Allowing you to budget far more accurately.

Book in plenty of time

The next common mistake is the booking process. Dumpers are extremely sort-out pieces of machinery, which means, to get the best rates, you need to book in advance. Normally 2-4 weeks is a good amount of time to do so. Otherwise, you may be forced to change suppliers and be charged more for identical equipment. Booking can also guarantee the delivery of the machinery if you require so.

Tip type to suit your project

The next consideration is the type of tip you need on your machine. There are commonly three different types to suit different operations. The first is the standard tip, which is either offloaded at the front or rear on machinery (design dependent). Next, is a swivel tip. Here the skip of the dumper will pivot through 180 degrees allowing you to offload either side, as well as either the front or rear. Finally, you have a hi-tip option. This design is specialised for unloading into skips or onto the rear of vehicles. Hi-tip features are only available up to a certain operational weight.

Selecting your machine just based on its overloading capabilities is not always suitable, however, it is beneficial to have a machine that will work in your favour. Less ground disruption and lifting are highly beneficial to operators.


Who you decide to work with is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to renting equipment. The quality, age and service that they can offer are all important when making your final decision. It is always worth paying suppliers a visit to evaluate for yourself. Most plant and tool hire companies will be welcoming enough for you to assess the equipment before even committing.

For a more in-depth look at how to vet a plant and tool hire company, check out this resource: How To Choose The Right Equipment Hire Company Near Me?” Choosing who you work with will impact the work with greatly.


We all have to pay for the rental/hire of equipment. But getting the best price all around is crucial to sticking to your budget.  This doesn’t mean you need to go for the cheapest option on the market. This could in fact be far more damaging than not selecting a supplier to work with at all. What’s key here is that you get what you feel is the right equipment and service for the cost you are paying.

Most hire companies will offer machinery around the same price to remain competitive within the market. However, evaluating your value for money is essential. You could be receiving a better service elsewhere. Sometimes even for less money. So, doing your homework on suppliers is essential. If the cost is justified, then you are probably heading in the right direction. However, you need to know what you are paying for and whether there are further terms and conditions you need to be aware of.


The final mistake to avoid before hiring a dumper is Insurance. Temporary plant hire insurance cover is essential to avoiding any nasty accidents. Remember that once the machinery is in your hands then you are ultimately liable for it. We’ve addressed everything you need to know about plant hire insurance in the article, Plant hire insurance (hired in)”.

You must note that not all standard construction business insurance will cover you for plant hire. This is normally an add-on which will cost you extra on your annual policy. If plant hire is something, you intend to do regularly, then this could be an avenue to explore. Otherwise, we would highly recommend a temporary cover from JCB Finance.

Opting to not cover yourself while you hire the machinery could leave you with serious bills if something is to go wrong. Remember some dumpers can cost up to £100,000 per unit and in some cases more so. (Design and manufacture dependant). This is a huge amount of money to repay if equipment becomes stolen or damaged beyond repair. Therefore we would highly recommend you either take out a temporary cover policy or add it to your business insurance. Never assume that the machinery is covered. (All details will be highlighted in your supplier contract).

So now that we have highlighted all the common mistakes that many make when it comes to hiring a dumper, let’s have a peek into the next stage.

Mistakes to avoid DURING dumper hire

Hiring a dumper shouldn’t be a stressful process. If it ever becomes so, then maybe you need to reevaluate some of the areas we have already highlighted. However, if you can avoid all the common mistakes made before receiving your machinery, the next hurdle is…

During hiring a dumper, we commonly find that operators struggle with the following areas:


The seatbelt is a vital and essential tool for any dumper. Most dumpers now will not turn on, or run without the seatbelt being engaged. This a safety feature that is highly common in many manufacturers you will find across the industry. To ensure that you don’t come into any problems when trying to start you hired a dumper. You should always make sure you have completed your daily operator’s checks and gone through the correct start-up operation sequence. Here is an example of the correct start-up sequence of a 1T dumper:

As you will see in this tutorial video, the seatbelt is a vital component to allow the machine to move. Knowing this will save a huge amount of time when trying to operate the machinery.

Loading the dumper

Another big mistake is during the loading phase. Its common that many may well choose to sit on the machinery as this takes place. This is extremely dangerous, especially if been done by an excavator. One wrong move and the dumper could roll over along with the operator on it.  Resulting in potential serious injury or fatality. Remember that earthmoving equipment of any size should be respected when using and all safety protocols should be adhered to. This leads us nicely on to training.


One of the most popular mistakes that is made is inadequate training on the machinery that you are hiring. Not be confident and competent in the safe operation of a dumper could lead to life-changing mistakes. Getting the appropriate training for any machinery is essential, but even then, every model of dumper is going to be different. You do not need an operator’s licence to hire any plant machinery in the UK. However, we would always encourage you to do so.

Some suppliers may offer safety and operation videos to help familiarise you with the machinery before starting. If you do not hold an operator’s licence, we would highly recommend getting access to this information. As an example: WHC Hire Services offers free tutorial videos to help you operate the machinery safely and correctly. Check out this example below:

Correct PPE

Protecting yourself is essential when working in our industry. When operating machinery or just walking across a site, having the correct PPE on at all times could save your life. A very common mistake for many dumper operators is to skip on the required components needed to operate the machinery safely.

The correct PPE to operate an articulated dumper is as follows:

  • Safety helmet
  • Eye protection
  • Hi-viz overalls
  • Safety boots
  • Oil-resistant gloves

By adhering to the correct PPE you can minimise the risk of accidents happening. If you are ever unsure of the correct equipment to use, you can seek professional advice from HSE (Health and Safety Executive).

Now that we have had a look at all the common mistakes that occur during the hire period, let’s now have a look at what’s next.

Mistakes to avoid after hiring a dumper

Mistakes to avoid after hiring a dumper

After you have finished with your rental dumper, ending your contract with your supplier is the next move. To do so, you need to go through the process of “off hiring” your machinery. “Off hiring” is a general term used throughout the trade industry to inform your supplier you are done with the equipment.

Off hire correctly

A common error made when hiring a dumper is failing to off-hire machinery correctly. Each supplier may has a different way of doing so. This will be stated in the terms and conditions of your contract. So always check! If you are ever unsure, speak to a member of the supplier’s team to confirm the correct method.

But what happens if you incorrectly do so? Well, there are two main outcomes. First is, extra charges. If you don’t stick to the trade contract agreement, suppliers have the right to continue charging you for the machinery. This is until the dumper is returned to them again.

Secondly is forgetting to off-hire. If you don’t off-hire correctly, the machinery will never be collected. This can lead to overcrowding and additional risks arising. The quicker you can have the machinery removed the better, as long as you are finished with it.

The continuation of the use of off-hired machinery is prohibited. Without permission from your supplier, this method can backlash on you. Only off-hire machinery when you are completely finished with it. Mistakes like this will cost you additional transport and hire fees.

Cleaning Charges

Another mistake made during the wet and winter months is the state in which the machinery is returned. There is no doubt that plant machinery will get filthy when operated, especially dumpers. However, to avoid any further charges, always return the machinery clean.

Cleaning charges are not always imposed. However, this is subject to the condition in which the machinery is returned. Some large excavators and dumpers can take hours to decontaminate and clean. Sometimes mounting to hundreds of pounds of labour. It is highly advisable to wash down your machinery after every day’s work to keep it in good working order. This will make your final clean easier and faster.

Note: One common task that dumpers are used for is transporting wet concrete across building sites. If you intend to do so, you must first have your supplier’s permission, then clean the skip after every use. Otherwise, you could be caught not only with cleaning charges but also damage ones too.

Refill Machinery

The last mistake to avoid when hiring a dumper is when refilling machinery. There are in fact two parts to take note of here. Starting with refilling the machinery. Every plant hire supplier will be able to refill the machinery for you, upon its return. But is this something you want? All plant hire suppliers deploy their machinery with a full tank and expect to have it returned the same. (This will be in your contract, if not ask and have clarified).

Refuelling the machinery yourself could in fact offer a more competitive rate compared to the supplier. By not checking the fuel rates that are available, you could be missing out on saving yourself a load of money.

The second mistake is choosing the correct fuel. Since April 2022, all plant hire machinery has turned to using white diesel. Unless used for agricultural use, but even then, you will be charged for draining, replacement of filters etc. Running red diesel in a dumper these days is very uncommon. Therefore, to avoid making this mistake, always check how your supplier works. Get your agreement in writing and avoid horrendous charges. To avoid confusion, most businesses have now transferred over to white diesel completely.  For more information on the removal of red diesel within the construction industry, check out this resource here.

Where to get help with your dumper hire

where to get help with dumper hire

Mistakes are easy to make, no matter how experienced you are. When looking to hire a dumper in the UK, WHC Hire Services has one of the largest and most diverse selections available. With over 25 years of experience, we are committed to helping get the job done by providing a fully transparent service that can help minimise mistakes highlighted in this resource. With dumpers ranging from 500kg- 9Tonnewe are certain you can find an affordable solution for your task. Check out our full range of dumpers here, or get in touch to book your machinery today. 01684377977

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