As Australia continues to recover from the recent COVID-19 pandemic, more and more construction activities are ramping up across the nation.
And with this increase in infrastructure projects, Australians will start seeing the skyline being peppered with tall cranes working night and day.
But just like other construction equipment, crane hire rates are affected by several factors, and it is not a one-size-fits-all thing.
Based on research and insights from experts within the Felix team, we have gathered the different factors that will affect the rates of cranes for hire.
Factors that affect crane hire rates
Project scale and site
Before hiring a crane for your construction project, one must determine the scale of the project and the size of the project site. The project site’s overall condition as well as ground conditions will also help in deciding what type of crane is needed for the job.
For example, smaller projects – such as low-rise buildings or houses – that require lighter materials like timber or pallets of bricks will require smaller cranes.
On the other hand, large-scale construction projects which require heavier building materials such as steel beams will need larger cranes that have a higher lift capacity. High-rise building construction will also require taller cranes such as a tower crane.
Crane size and type
Cranes come in different sizes and types, just like other commonly used construction equipment like the excavator.
The size and type of crane you hire will, firstly, depend on the project and the materials you will use.
As mentioned above, smaller projects will usually require smaller cranes whereas large-scale building projects will require larger cranes that are taller and have a heavier lift capacity.
Let us take a look at the different types of cranes that you can hire through the Felix Vendor Marketplace.
Crane size / type
|Average Hire Rate
|11 - 20 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||165 (wet hire, hourly)|
|21 - 30 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||201 (wet hire, hourly)|
|31 - 40 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||235 (wet hire, hourly)|
|41 - 50 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||270 (wet hire, hourly)|
|51 - 60 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||283 (wet hire, hourly)|
|61 - 70 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||340 (wet hire, hourly)|
|71 - 80 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||369 (wet hire, hourly)|
|81 - 90 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||380 (wet hire, hourly)|
|91 - 100 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||415 (wet hire, hourly)|
|101 - 150 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||524 (wet hire, hourly)|
|201 - 300 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||737 (wet hire, hourly)|
|0 - 15 Tonne Franna Crane||186 (wet hire, hourly)|
|16 - 20 Tonne Franna Crane||259 (wet hire, hourly)|
|21 - 25 Tonne Franna Crane||195 (wet hire, hourly)|
|26+ Tonne Franna Crane||237 (wet hire, hourly)|
|11 - 50 Tonne Crawler Crane||272 (wet hire, hourly)|
|51 - 100 Tonne Crawler Crane||264 (wet hire, hourly)|
|City Crane||195 (wet hire, hourly)|
|Hydraulic Truck Crane||900 (wet hire, hourly)|
|Tower Crane||4,500 (dry hire, weekly)|
|Truck / HIAB Crane||120 (wet hire, hourly)|
All terrain crane (source: Tadano Global)
Wet hire vs Dry hire
When hiring a crane for the job, one must consider if hiring an operator is also needed or not – wet hire or dry hire.
Some cranes are more complicated to operate than others, thus special training and licenses are required. Crane hire companies will usually have the option to hire a crane along with an operator – one that has experience in operating the cranes that you want to hire – but at an added cost.
Of course, if you already have an operator in your employment that has proper experience in operating a crane, you can opt to hire without an operator.
Crane size / type
|Average Wet Hire Rate
$ per hour
|Average Dry Hire Rate
$ per hour
|11 - 20 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||173||26|
|21 - 30 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||296||32|
|31 - 40 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||235||24|
|41 - 50 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||270||38|
|51 - 60 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||270||42|
|61 - 70 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||340||40|
|71 - 80 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||366||47|
|81 - 90 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||380||41|
|91 - 100 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||409|
|101 - 150 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||529||71|
|0 - 15 Tonne Franna Crane||185||12|
|16 - 20 Tonne Franna Crane||259||19|
|21 - 25 Tonne Franna Crane||195||17|
|26+ Tonne Franna Crane||237||24|
|11 - 50 Tonne Crawler Crane||272||20|
|51 - 100 Tonne Crawler Crane||264||42|
|Truck / HIAB Crane||120||18|
Additional labour requirements
Other than an operator, hiring a crane will also have other labour requirements such as for the assembly and dismantling of the crane as well as logistics and transportation for mobilisation and demobilisation (mob and demob).
Depending on the type and size of the crane you will hire, transporting the equipment to and from the project site might need expert handling.
Most, if not all, crane hire companies will provide you with options for those labour requirements as well, but it will come at a cost. However, allowing the hire company to handle all the labour requirements for the crane hire will ensure that the machine is handled properly, efficiently and in a timely manner.
The labour options provided by the hire company could include a project manager and an engineer assisting site and logistics planning for the transport and assembly of the crane on the project site as well as the proper and safe operation of the crane.
Crane size / type
|11 - 20 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||165||165|
|21 - 30 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||4,805||4,805|
|31 - 40 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||3,262||3,262|
|41 - 50 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||5,368||4,755|
|51 - 60 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||4,500||4,500|
|71 - 80 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||6,628||6,593|
|81 - 90 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||4,765||4,765|
|91 - 100 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||5,642||5,642|
|101 - 150 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||8,643||8,643|
|201 - 300 Tonne All Terrain / Rough Terrain||7,600||7,600|
|0 - 15 Tonne Franna Crane||2,559||2,559|
|16 - 20 Tonne Franna Crane||2,062||2,080|
|21 - 25 Tonne Franna Crane||2,566||2,592|
|11 - 50 Tonne Crawler Crane||2,866||1,166|
|Truck / HIAB Crane||981||1,079|
Another factor that will affect the cost of hiring a crane is the hire duration. Will you require the crane for a day, a week, a month or a year?
When requesting a quote, the hire company will provide you with either an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rate.
In some cases, crane hire companies can give you lower rates if the machine is going to be rented for a long period.
Availability in your area
Similar to goods and services, crane hire rates are also affected by the law of supply and demand. A little refresher, the law of supply and demand explains the economic principle that when a supply of a product or service is higher than the demand, prices will fall. Likewise, when demand exceeds supply, prices will rise.
The supply of cranes in a particular region or state will depend on the number of competitive equipment suppliers and the number of hirers.
In addition, hire rates will differ from one state to another. This means that hiring a crane might be more expensive in New South Wales than in South Australia.
Let’s take a quick look at the table below where we compare hire rates for the different sizes of the franna crane in different states.
|State / Territory||Average Hire Rate
|0 - 15 Tonne||NSW||245 (wet hire, hourly)|
|QLD||186 (wet hire, hourly)|
|VIC||122 (wet hire, hourly)|
|16 - 20 Tonne||NSW||241 (wet hire, hourly)|
|QLD||243 (wet hire, hourly)|
|VIC||292 (wet hire, hourly)|
|WA||4,112 (dry hire, weekly)|
|SA||2,800 (dry hire, weekly)|
|NT||2,575 (dry hire, weekly)|
|21 - 25 Tonne||NSW||243 (wet hire, hourly)|
|QLD||193 (wet hire, hourly)|
|VIC||231 (wet hire, hourly)|
|WA||82 (wet hire, hourly)|
|SA||231 (wet hire, hourly)|
|NT||186 (wet hire, hourly)|
Maintenance, repair and machine hours
Other factors that affect crane hire rates include maintenance and repair costs as well as machine hours and depreciation value.
Over time, the crane will need to be repaired or maintained to ensure that the machine is in good working condition. With proper maintenance or repair, the crane can continue working safely and efficiently which, in turn, reduces the risk of accidents, injuries or issues on site.
Ask your crane supplier if they offer maintenance and repair services as well or if they have a preferred service provider to handle any repairs or maintenance work on their cranes.
Equipment that is constantly in use gets wear and tear, which decreases its overall value. This means newer equipment will have a higher rate than older equipment. Cranes that have longer machine hours - the total time the machine has delivered work - will have already depreciated in value, thus the lower hire rate.
When asking for a quote, ask the supplier for a breakdown of the rates provided to you as this might include other charges such as maintenance and repair costs.
25 tonne franna crane (source: Premier Cranes and Rigging)
Tips and tricks to get relevant hire rates
Provide complete information
For suppliers or hire companies to be able to give you the most relevant rates, always make sure that you are providing them with detailed information about your project and your needs when submitting a request for quotes.
With the specific information you have provided, suppliers will be able to gauge fluctuations in rates based on your location and requirements.
The information that you need to provide to hire companies could include project location and timeline.
The project timeline should include the start and end dates of when the crane is going to be used along with possible breaks or construction downtime.
Project delays due to unforeseen events are inevitable and if this happens, make sure you keep the supplier in the loop as hire companies also try to stick to a schedule. Also keep in mind that most, if not all, hire companies have a required minimum number of hours for both wet and dry hire.
In the previous section, we discussed that hire prices are also affected by labour requirements.
Hiring a crane with or without an operator as well as other labour requirements – such as people to handle transport and logistics, assembly and dismantling of the crane, and engineers to assist with the operation of the crane – could all affect the rates.
When asking for a quote, specify the labour requirements you need so the supplier can include them in the price breakdown.
Indicate additional requirements
Another important thing to note is to indicate any additional requirements you may need when sending in a quote request. This will help prevent any misunderstanding or surprises once you receive an invoice from the supplier as some fees or charges might not be included in the initial quote.
Additional requirements may include, but not limited to, fuel charges, maintenance cost, transportation/delivery/mobilisation or demobilisation fees and specific equipment features or attachments.
Disclaimer: The hire rates data found in this post is a snapshot of the market and does not guarantee the same rates at present. For the most up to date crane hire rates, it is best to submit a quote request.
Being able to acquire the most accurate and relevant hire rates from suppliers will make the procurement process for any project a breeze and the Felix Vendor Marketplace can help.
Felix Vendor Marketplace lists thousands of equipment suppliers and subcontractors across Australia. The platform will not only allow you to request for quotes from equipment suppliers or subcontractors near you, but also allow you to compare quotes from several vendors, giving you the choice which equipment or service to hire depending on your specifications and budget.
Our team aims to provide our readers and clients with industry knowledge that will be able to help them get relevant quotes for plant and equipment hire or subcontractor services. If you find this article helpful, please do subscribe to our blog for the latest project news and industry insights.
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Formerly known as the PlantMiner blog, Felix Project News is Australia's top 10 Construction blog.
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