Taking the hassle out of hiring - Call 0845 600 2028

Have you ever hired a vehicle or piece of equipment only to find that it isn’t big enough, doesn’t reach far enough, or you don’t have an operator who knows how to use it properly? Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are an excellent solution for carrying out work at height on construction sites. They can be hired quickly and returned when the job is done, and they often come in a range of sizes to extend to different heights and outreaches.

However, these aren’t the only things to consider when hiring a MEWP. With a 65% increase in the number of MEWP-related accidents, carrying out site surveys and risk assessments is important, as well as thinking about who will operate the MEWP. Realising that you’ve chosen the wrong platform can waste time and money as you might have to return it for another model. There’s a lot to think about before you get in touch with MEWP rental companies, but with our quick guide to choosing the right MEWP for the job, you’ll be able to avoid these common headaches.

MEWP operators, platforms and training

You might only need one man to fit a phone line, or you might need two or three people for a bigger building maintenance job. The type of job will impact the size and rate of the MEWP you hire. They come with different sized platforms, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to carry out the job and transport any materials you need.

The type of job not only impacts the size of platform you rent, but also whether you need a MEWP operator or not. The person operating the MEWP needs to be fully trained and have a valid operating license so make sure you check this first.

Height and outreach

MEWPs are used for all sorts of jobs, from telephone pole repairs and exterior painting to building maintenance and window cleaning. Before you hire a MEWP, think about how much height you need, and whether you’ll need to go up and over, or rotate the MEWP to reach different areas.

All of this will impact the size of MEWP you need and the MEWP hire rates you pay. MEWPs have different height and outreach capabilities so there is no point paying for more than you need, and equally you need to make sure you have the right one to do the job safely and efficiently.

The ground

What type of ground will the MEWP be used on? Will the ground surface be stable? It is always best to do a site survey to answer these questions before you start phoning companies for MEWP rental quotes. A van-mounted MEWP or truck MEWP might be sufficient for use on flat hard standing surfaces, such as car parks and roads etc. whereas a specialist tracked MEWP may be more suitable for unstable, uneven ground and weight-restricted areas.


How will the MEWP get to the construction site and what ground will it have to cross? Are there any overhead structures to be aware of like power lines and buildings? Thinking about the access is important because you’ll need to make sure the operator can get the MEWP to the site safely and efficiently.

Other things to consider

As well as the above points, it is worth thinking about a rescue plan should the worst happen. How will people raise the alarm if something goes wrong, and who will be on the ground to respond? Also, consider whether it is likely to be windy or wet whilst you’re using the MEWP, as this could impact your choice.


Now that you know about the key areas to think about before you hire a MEWP, you’ll save time, money and frustration further down the line by choosing the right one for the job. Just remember these key MEWP checklist points:

● Carry out a site survey and risk assessment
● Consider what platform size you need
● Review how much height, outreach and rotation you will need
● Find out what the ground will be like when you use the MEWP
● Assess whether there are any overhead structures or power lines
● Consider how you will access the site
● Hire a trained MEWP operator with a valid licence
● Have a rescue plan in place in case the worst happens

Still unsure of what you need? Call Highway Hire’s team of experts on 0845 600 2028, and we’ll pleased to provide a free evaluation.

Highway Hire is pleased to offer a range of van-mounted, truck-mounted and specialist tracked MEWPs for hire. Call now for a free no obligation quote or site survey.