Hire to the rescue
The flexibility of plant hire can be the right solution for construction contractors battling to cope with few and far between projects.
That times are tough in the local African earthmoving equipment sector needs no restating here. Both buyers and sellers are reeling under tough economic conditions, especially fuelled by the beleaguered mining sector and the subsequent slowing investments into construction projects. To give an idea, the South African construction equipment market, the biggest on the continent, is predicted to lose a third of its value, from over 6 000 units sold last year to about 4 000 during the course of this year.
The role the plant hire sector is playing in these trying times, for both equipment suppliers and end users, is enormous. When times are this tough, with contractors running short of the large capital outlays for outright equipment purchases, the benefits of equipment rental are there for all to see. For equipment suppliers, plant hire companies are the only sustainable customer base at present. Increased demand for their fleets can only mean that they have to continue growing their fleets, while their fleet replacement programmes for this uptime-conscious sector are thorough.
It is no fluke that the local plant hire’s popularity is growing from strength to strength, and figures from CONMESA confirm that this sector is growing at a rapid pace. Up to 40% of the machinery sold in South Africa, for example, is said to be destined for equipment rental companies.
Meanwhile, for the end user, the lure of being able to deploy an exact piece of equipment needed, but only for the period of time it is needed without having to worry about the long-term financial obligations, is extremely appealing.
Speaking of financial commitments, owning a piece of earthmoving equipment is a long-term investment as far as maintenance and repairs are concerned. With hire, the risks of expensive breakdowns and regular maintenance routines are not your worry. Apart from the less financial obligations, the peace of mind that comes with the assurance that you will always have a piece of equipment that works well at all times, is equally appealing.
With market conditions well beyond the control of contractors, hire makes more sense as equipment can be returned as market conditions deteriorate or contracts are cancelled. The flexibility of plant hire can be the right solution for companies battling to cope with standing equipment in their yards as projects are few and far between.
The benefits of plant hire abound and can be discussed at length. To underline the importance of this particular sector, we have a detailed a plant hire directory where you can get to know the various players in the various regions of Africa.
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