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What is the difference between wet hire and dry hire?

When it comes to hiring machinery, you can choose a wet hire which includes machinery and an operator or a dry hire, in which you borrow the machinery and you are the operator. The decision on whether to use wet hire or dry hire depends on the type of machinery needed, the size of the project; and of course, the finances and time you have available.

What is dry hire?

Hiring a machine which you will need to operate yourself has pros and cons. This is a more commonly used option with more basic machines such as a generator. The biggest consideration is that if you don’t know how to operate your machine – what may take a professional a few hours will likely take you several days – a fact that may result in the hire being more expensive than anticipated. You’ll also have to keep in mind that the quality may not be as high.  However, this option is significantly cheaper than a wet hire. If the job requires more complicated machinery, it may be unsafe or downright impossible unless you have a lot of prior experience.

What is wet hire?

Wet hire includes rental of a machinery and an operator to run it. This is a more commonly used option with more advanced machines such as welding equipment or oxygen/acetylene gas cutting equipment. All operators must legally be ticketed and competent so you will be guaranteed higher quality work by a professional with health and safety knowledge. This also means that this option will be much more costly. The final result will likely be much better, however, because operators also have a greater understanding of how to decrease environmental damage.

Which is right for me?

If you’re confident that you know what you’re doing or you’re willing to risk a poorer outcome in exchange for a cheaper price, then a dry hire may be the best option for you. Otherwise, as with all DIY projects, the old adage rings true – you get what you pay for. A wet hire is going to give you a professional result in much less time.

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