Lynch Plant Hire on growing importance of fuel costs in hire market

Friday, November 20 th, 2015

Despite a fundamental shift over the last three years in how the biggest names in the plant hire sector structure their offering, the most significant cost implication for customers has remained consistent – fuel.

In this article, Ian Chapman, product specialist at Finning, looks at how the true cost of plant hire is being addressed in the industry.

“Plant hire dominates the UK market and over the last few years the most significant plant hirers in the sector have had to adjust their approach to adapt to the changing needs of customers in an unpredictable economic environment.

“With the value proposition of plant hirers varying greatly from guaranteed next day delivery to additional machine control, safety systems and attachments or even the provision of trained operators, evaluating the value of a hire offer is more difficult than ever to quantify.

For customers the real cost of hire is ultimately determined by two things, the hire rate and fuel. Plant hirers are now working with customers to help them understand the true value of fuel-efficient machines.

“At face value, a three-year-old piece of equipment may appear to be cheaper to hire than the latest model. But for longer hire periods the savings made by operating a more fuel-efficient machine far outweigh any money saved through a cheaper daily rental price.”

One business looking at the real cost of hire is Lynch Plant Hire. Lynch Plant Hire Group Training Manager, Liam Moore said: “We are helping customers understand the true cost of hiring by taking data we have collected on our machines and using this to show customers the impact fuel has on their hire costs. This helps them budget and set benchmarks for costing future jobs. Where possible we also advise on the right machine for the task, which may be smaller or even larger than what the customer perceives is needed. This approach helps instil confidence in plant hirers, and can only have a positive impact on the industry.”

Ian Chapman concludes: “As more plant hirers use systems like Finsight condition monitoring to achieve higher levels of uptime, the argument for hiring newer equipment becomes even stronger still. But despite this, the true cost is still going to be determined by fuel. So it’s up to the industry to help educate customers and prompt them to ask themselves the question – how much is this really costing me?”

Hire By Numbers

At face value, it may appear that the most cost-effective option when hiring is to find the machine with the lowest rental rate available from any manufacturer, no matter whether the machine is brand new or 5 years old.

The reality is that improved fuel efficiency in newer machines, as well as the increased productivity achieved through more effective technology, can often outweigh the initial cost savings of the lower rental rate.