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March 2023

Should You Sell Your Old Steel Road Plates and Hire Instead?

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Steel road plates have been a crucial component in construction projects for decades, allowing for temporary access and providing a level surface for vehicles and heavy equipment. However, over time, these plates can become outdated, damaged, or unsafe, leading many construction companies and contractors to wonder if they should sell their old steel road plates and hire them instead. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of both options and provide you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision. So, whether you are looking to clear up space, reduce costs, or ensure safety, keep reading to discover whether selling your old steel road plates and hiring is the right choice for your project.

What Are Steel Road Plates

Steel road plates, also known as trench covers or steel plates, are large metal plates that are used to cover excavations, trenches, and holes in the ground during construction or repair work. They provide a safe and stable surface for vehicles, equipment, and pedestrians to travel over, protecting them from potential hazards.

Steel road plates have many uses in construction, including:

  • Covering trenches and excavations to provide a safe and stable surface for vehicles and pedestrians to travel over.
  • Creating temporary access roads for heavy equipment and vehicles, such as cranes and bulldozers.
  • Protecting underground utilities, such as gas and water pipes, from damage during construction work.
  • Supporting bridge structures during construction or repair work.
  • Creating temporary parking areas or walkways for events or festivals.
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    Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring Steel Road Plate


  • No Upfront Cost:
  • One of the significant advantages of hiring steel road plates is that you do not have to pay any upfront cost for the plates. This can be beneficial for contractors and construction companies who have limited budgets or prefer to avoid the upfront investment cost of purchasing new steel road plates. By hiring, you can spread out the costs of the steel plates over the duration of the project.

  • Access to The Latest Technology:
  • Rental companies often have a range of steel road plates available that are up to date with the latest technology and safety standards. By hiring from a rental company, you can access the latest technology without having to invest in it yourself. This can be particularly beneficial for small companies or those with limited budgets, who may not have the resources to keep up with the latest equipment trends.

  • Flexibility in Terms of Plate Sizes and Types:
  • When you hire steel road plates, you have access to a wide range of plate sizes and types. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial when you are working on a project with varying requirements. By hiring, you can quickly and easily swap out plates to meet your project's specific needs.

  • Reduced Liability:
  • When you hire steel road plates, the rental company is responsible for ensuring that the plates are in good condition and meet safety standards. This can reduce your liability in case of any accidents or incidents that may occur during the project.


  • Higher Overall Cost in the Long Run:
  • While hiring steel road plates may not require an upfront cost, the overall cost may be higher in the long run. This is because you will be paying a rental fee for each day or week that you use the plates. If your project is long-term, it may be more cost-effective to purchase the plates outright.

  • Limited Customisation Options:
  • When you hire steel road plates, you are limited to the plates that are available from the rental company. This can be a disadvantage if you require specific sizes or types of plates that are not available for rent. Purchasing your plates will provide you with greater flexibility and customization options.

  • Dependence on The Rental Company:
  • When you hire steel road plates, you are dependent on the rental company to provide you with the plates. If the rental company experiences a shortage of plates, or if the plates you require are in high demand, you may experience delays in your project. Additionally, if the rental company does not provide adequate maintenance, repair, or replacement services, this could cause further delays or safety issues.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling Old Steel Road Plates


  • Immediate Financial Gain:
  • One of the main advantages of selling old steel road plates is the immediate financial gain. Instead of keeping the old plates and letting them deteriorate over time, selling them can generate revenue for the company or individual.

  • Ability to Customise Plates:
  • Buyers can modify the plates to meet their specific needs, such as cutting them to size or adding additional holes. This can increase the value of the plates and make them more appealing to potential buyers.

  • Control Over Maintenance and Repair:
  • By selling old steel road plates, the seller can maintain control over their maintenance and repair. This is especially beneficial for companies that rely on the plates for daily operations. By selling the plates, they can ensure that they are properly maintained and repaired, reducing the risk of accidents or damage.

  • No Dependence on Rental Companies:
  • Selling old steel road plates also eliminates the need for rental companies. By owning the plates, the seller can avoid rental fees and have greater control over the use and maintenance of the plates.


  • No Access to The Latest Technology:
  • One of the main disadvantages of selling old steel road plates is that the seller may not have access to the latest technology. Newer plates may be lighter, stronger, or more durable than older ones, making them more appealing to buyers. This can make it difficult to sell older plates, as buyers may prefer newer models.

  • Higher Upfront Costs:
  • Selling old steel road plates may also require higher upfront costs. For example, the seller may need to invest in transportation or storage equipment to move the plates from one location to another. This can reduce the overall profit margin from the sale.

  • Increased Liability:
  • Selling old steel road plates may also increase liability for the seller. If the plates are not properly maintained or repaired, they may pose a safety risk to workers or pedestrians. This can result in legal or financial consequences for the seller.

  • Potential Loss of Resale Value:
  • Finally, selling old steel road plates may result in a loss of resale value. Over time, the plates may become damaged or deteriorate, reducing their value to potential buyers. Additionally, if newer and more advanced plates become available on the market, the value of older plates may decrease.

    Factors to Consider Before Making a Decision

    Length of the Project:

    The duration of the project is one of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to sell your old steel road plates and hire them instead. If the project is short-term and will only require the use of steel plates for a limited time, renting them may be a more cost-effective option than purchasing new ones. However, if the project is long-term or ongoing, purchasing steel plates may be the more sensible choice.


    The cost of purchasing or renting steel road plates should also be considered. If you have the budget to purchase new plates, it may be a better option than renting them repeatedly. On the other hand, if the project requires a limited budget, renting may be a more practical option to keep costs down.

    Frequency of Use:

    The frequency of use of steel road plates is another important factor to consider. If you regularly undertake road construction projects, it may be more cost-effective to purchase steel plates rather than renting them repeatedly. However, if road construction projects are a one-off occurrence for your business, it may be more practical to rent them.

    Environmental Concerns:

    Steel road plates have the potential to harm the environment, particularly if they are not disposed of correctly. When deciding whether to sell old steel plates and hire new ones, environmental concerns should be taken into account. It may be more environmentally friendly to rent steel plates that are regularly maintained and reused rather than purchasing new ones that may require more resources to manufacture.

    Safety Considerations:

    Safety is paramount when it comes to road construction projects, and the condition of steel road plates can have a significant impact on the safety of the site. Before deciding to sell your old steel road plates and hire new ones, the safety of both the old and new plates should be evaluated. If the old plates are damaged or worn and pose a safety risk, it may be best to invest in new plates.

    Reliable Steel Road Plate Hire

    If you have decided to hire steel road plates for your next construction project, Scope Cranes & Logistics can provide a wide range of options to suit your needs. Our steel road plate hire services are reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. Our road plates cater to different projects and are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure safety on site.

    Our team of experts can help you make an informed decision on whether to sell your old steel road plates and hire instead, taking into account all the factors mentioned above. Contact us today to learn more about our steel road plate hire services and how we can assist with your project.

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