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Grab Hire vs. Skip Hire: Making the Right Choice for Your Project


Embarking on a construction or a renovation project involves carefully planning, hiring manual workers, having the right equipment, and one other crucial step is waste management. For many project managers, there are two popular options: grab hire and skip hire, each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will distinguish between the two options to determine which one is right for your future project. 

What Is Grab Hire?

Grab hire is a type of waste removal service which uses a specialised vehicle called a tipper grab or grab lorry equipped with a hydraulic arm connected to a grab bucket. The grab bucket is designed to scoop and pick up waste, then it is loaded onto the vehicle before being transported to be recycled or disposed of. The hydraulic arm is operated by the driver from the cab of the vehicle. While these vehicles have a very specific and important purpose, they are generally not for everyday use, which is why many project managers decide to hire a tipper grab or a grab lorry instead of purchasing one. 

What is Skip Hire?

Skip hire is also another type of waste removal service which involves hiring a large metal container for temporary storage. Skips are delivered to sites with the use of a skip loader. They come in various sizes to suit various amounts of waste. Once all the waste is loaded into the skip, it is collected by the skip hire company and transported for disposal.  

Which One Should You Choose?

Making a decision between grab hire and skip hire depends on your project’s needs, circumstances and budget. Let’s look at a few reasons why grab hire may be more beneficial than skip hire:

1) Ideal For Limited Spaces 

While a skip can hold a large capacity of waste, grab hire vehicles can do the same, and thanks to its hydraulic arm, it has the ability to reach over obstacles such as walls and fences. This makes them more suitable for sites with limited space because placing a large skip on-site will take up valuable space and even block access.

2) Clears Space

A tipper grab or grab lorry also clears space on-site once the waste is loaded and taken away. Meanwhile, a fully loaded skip is left on-site until it can be collected, which could take days or even weeks. The skip can be moved out of the way to create more space, but this requires a skip loader. A grab hire vehicle is designed to be a skip and skip loader in one.  

3) More Efficient 

In large construction projects, it’s not uncommon to have multiple skips on-site. Choosing grab hire is more efficient at removing large quantities of waste in one go, then loading numerous small quantities of waste into a skip at a time. Grab hire vehicles can also perform additional runs, removing the need of hiring multiple skips. 

4) Saves Money & Time

Skip hire can be seen as the more affordable option, however, grab hire can save you both money and time in the long run. Because the hydraulic arm does all the heavy lifting and loading, you will need less manual labour to operate a grab hire vehicle than hiring multiple workers to load a skip manually, meaning fewer labour costs. A grab lorry can also save you time as it is much quicker than loading a skip or multiple skips manually.

For A Grab Hire Quote, Contact ND Brown

If you are looking to work efficiently and keep costs low for your future project, grab hire is the right waste management choice. At ND Brown, we are one of the UK’s leading grab hire companies, we have depots spread across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our fleet of over 900 HGV vehicles including fully serviced and reliable tipper grab vehicles in various sizes from 7.2 tonne to 32 tonne to suit different projects. If you are interested in arranging short or long-term grab hire with us, please get in touch to receive a quote. We would also be happy to answer any of your questions in regards to our tipper grab vehicles.

About ND Brown

ND Brown Ltd is a specialist independent truck rental and sales company of over 40 years’ standing. Owned and operated by the same dedicated management team since its inception, ND Brown’s efforts are focused on supplying the utility, civil engineering, municipal and highway maintenance industries with high-quality modern HGV vehicles for both short and long-term self-drive hire.

From our sales division, we also sell a wide, but specialised range of new and used commercial vehicles.

Please call us on 01902 791991 or email us on