Dry Versus Wet Hire Cranes: A Comparative Guide


Crane hire is a suitable option when you need to use a crane for a short period. When hiring a crane, clients are often asked whether they will hire a dry or wet crane. In most cases, they do not seem to understand these terms. Below is a comparative analysis of dry and wet cranes. Hopefully, you will have an easy time when hiring your next crane. 

What Is Dry Hire? 

A dry hire crane does not have an operator. One would ask, why go for a crane that does not have an operator? Well, if you have a crane operator's licence, you will make significant savings on the crane rental charges. In some cases, your site could need more than one piece of equipment. For example, a construction site could need a crane and excavator. If these machines will not be working simultaneously, you could opt to hire a single operator with the permits and experience required to operate both machines. 

More often than not, dry hire cranes are cheaper compared to the wet hire alternative. However, you bear responsibility if the crane breaks down or suffers an accident at the site. For this reason, you should consider the following precautionary measures when hiring the crane: 

  • Always hire an appropriate crane for your site. For instance, a rough terrain truck will be perfect if the site has uneven ground.
  • Inspect the crane before it leaves the company's premises. Test the crane to ensure the hydraulics, engine, and brakes are in excellent condition. Additionally, check the crane's maintenance records to know whether some parts are due for replacement.
  • Ensure that the crane has a comprehensive insurance cover.
  • Always observe safety when using the crane. For instance, do not overload the crane or position it on unstable soils. 

What Is Wet Hire? 

Wet hire is a crane that comes with an operator employed by the hiring company. These cranes are ideal for people who cannot operate cranes. Besides, as the client, you do not bear any responsibility if the crane breaks down. When hiring a wet hire crane, your primary concern should be the company's terms. For instance, are the operator's charges included in the daily fees, or do you have to pay them separately? For long-term projects, does the company expect you to provide the operator with food and accommodation? Additionally, check what is included in the rental package. For instance, the company should offer free transport services to your site. Since wet hire cranes are more expensive than dry hire cranes, thoroughly negotiate the company's quote and ask for discounts. 

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