Skip Hire vs Grab Hire

Nov 20, 2018

Waste is an unavoidable by-product of any construction job, large or small, and it needs to be removed appropriately. Whether you've had a new conservatory added to your home or a new office block has been built, all the waste that's produced needs to be removed from your house or the construction site.

There are two popular methods for dealing with construction waste - skip hire or grab hire. Both of them have benefits as well as drawbacks. Below we explain the key differences and when they should be used.


Although both of these methods are used for waste management and disposal, their design and the way they operate is completely different.

A skip is a large open-topped waste container that is delivered to a worksite and remains stationary until it is collected having been filled up. They're available in a variety of sizes, from the mini skip for small amounts of waste, right up to large industrial rolling skips. 

A grab lorry is a self-loading machine that uses a hydraulic arm and bucket to collect large amounts of waste, placing it in the load bed of the vehicle, ready to be transported away from the site.


If you're working on a long-term, DIY project around the house that is relatively small, hiring a skip is likely to be your best option.

Skips are designed to hold large quantities of waste, but the waste has to be manually loaded in which requires a huge amount of manual labour. You can use a wheelbarrow to speed up each trip, but it remains a laborious task.

The skip hire process involves the skip being delivered, filled and collected. Due to the manual nature of the work, it is quite time consuming to fill a skip up with waste. 

In addition, you need to find a suitable place for the skip to be deposited - this can take up a large amount of space in the garden, on the driveway or on the construction site. If you have to put the skip on the road, you need a permit from the local authority which costs extra money.

Once delivered, the skip is unable to move until you arrange for it to be collected. The actual delivery and collection of a skip can cause major disruption to the road because it requires a lot of space and is not a particularly speedy process.

Skip Vs Grab Lorry


Typically, a grab lorry is employed by commercial clients for large industrial and building jobs. However, if you're refurbishing sections of your house or extending it in any way, grab hire could still be a viable option.

As opposed to skip hire, there is very little manual labour involved in the actual waste removal process. Once you've ripped out those old units or knocked down that wall, the collateral will be collected by the bucket operated by the hydraulic arm of the grab lorry. All you have to do is put the waste in a pile or organise it into skip bags.

Grab hire is a fast and efficient process that is able to load and remove waste in one go because it's mobile. Despite having the capacity to contain large quantities of waste - often more than an average skip - grab lorries are surprisingly small and agile enough to negotiate urban roads and fit on most sites.

The lorry can park at the side of the road and collect the waste - usually within 20 minutes - without needing a parking permit, which helps you to cut down on time and costs as well as minimising disruption.

If you're working on a bigger project that requires aggregates to be delivered as well, a grab lorry can first transport the aggregates you need to the site, deposit them, and then remove the unwanted waste.

Skip Vs Grab Lorry

If you decide that you need grab hire to improve the waste management and efficiency of your project, Wiltshire Grab Hire can typically collect your waste within 24 hours of your enquiry. We are a FORS Bronze Accredited business with a fleet of modern grab lorries.

Call us on 01793 222 129 for a quote and our friendly staff will be happy to advise you on the best grab lorry for your needs.