How Can A Hired Conveyor Be Cheaper Than Using My Own Kit?

When thinking about the cost of hiring a conveyor, one of the questions that often comes to mind is, "why should I pay hire for a piece of equipment to do a job that my laborers are already doing with dumpers, wheelbarrows, bags or buckets?"

When working out whether it’s worth hiring a conveyor to do a job, you need to consider two things:

  1. How many laborers would I need to do this job without a conveyor?
  2. How far does the material have to travel?

Back and forth

Any container or vehicle that carries site materials from one place to another, must come back empty in order to collect another load. This means that 50% of their working time is non-productive. That's not including the time when it is stationary being emptied and refilled.

By contrast, a belt conveyor presents you with a constantly available loading surface for 100% of the time it’s running. The belt forms a continuous moving loop giving maximum productivity.

If the material doesn’t have to travel great distances (more than 150m or so) and you have a large volume of material to move from one place to another, then it’s worth considering a conveyor for the job.

How much material will it move?

Whether loading with shovels, wheelbarrows or an excavator, you’ll have a job to keep the belt on a conveyor fully loaded.

I once witnessed a bit of a contest between our smallest conveyor (300mm wide) and three site laborers who were determined to prove that they were better than the conveyor was at their job.  After about 3 minutes of shoveling flat out, they gave up exhausted, while the conveyor rumbled happily on with a now-empty belt!  They then tried again to prove that the conveyor wasn’t fast enough, by all loading it together with loose, stockpiled material. Again, they gave up quickly as the belt had empty sections in between each shovel load, which they simply couldn’t fill.

Another time, one of our customers put a 600mm wide belt to the test by loading it with two diggers, positioned either side of the hopper, and loading the belt directly from a pile of brick rubble. Again, the belt took the rubble away, and even with two buckets working in tandem, there was always available loading space on the belt between each load!

My point is that even a small belt conveyor will comfortably out-work three site laborers (even when they’re working at an unsustainable pace), and larger conveyors can shift significantly more material than site dumpers could ever move in the same time period! With site laborers earning an average of £8.25 per hour across the United Kingdom in 2018, a conveyor can be easily justified.

Comparing costs

Here's a quick comparison of a 12m Easikit 300 conveyor, which can move at least as much material as 3 laborers.

No. of weeks

Cost of 3 labourers  [1]  
(8 hours per day, 5 days per week)

Cost of a 12m Easikit 300 conveyor


































Of course, if you have more laborers your savings will also increase.

This comparison doesn't take into account the other cost savings associated with reduced personnel on site and less heavy lifting. Your health and safety compliance and administration costs should also go down with a conveyor compared to laborers.

Need more help?

If you'd like to talk to us about a job you need a conveyor for, or arrange a free site visit , please contact us on 0808 278 5220 or email .

[1] Based on 2018 average UK Site Laborer wage of £8.25 per hour.


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