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3 quick tips to help manage your subbies and operators


Posted by Monica Gameng

The relationship between equipment hirers and suppliers go beyond the signed contract. Project managers have the responsibility to nurture their organisation’s relationship with their plant or equipment suppliers since this will help in the timely completion of a construction project and a good relationship between the two parties could help reduce the risks of a misunderstanding.

Managing external equipment or plant hire can be a handful at times since it’s another added team to manage, but it can be easily done with strategic effort from project managers and their internal team.

So how can you effectively manage an external hire? Here are a few quick tips to help you out.

1. Communication

As project managers, you have to have an open line of communication between you and your external team. Make sure that your external team are all across the scope of the project, and any other pertinent details. You have to give them sufficient information and knowledge about the project they are about to engage in, just as you would for your internal team. Having an open line of communication will also reduce the risks of committing mistakes on their part.


2. Trust

Hiring plant and equipment from an external source mean that you are not familiar with the people on their team. It might take some time to fully adjust and trust them, but it is necessary to do so. Giving your trust to your external team will boost their morale which, in turn, will increase their productivity. Trusting your external team will make them feel more “at home” while working on the job site, and feeling comfortable will make them more confident in what they are doing.

Just as you would praise your internal team for a job well done, your externally hired team also need that boost. Give your hired excavator’s operator a pat on the back every once in a while to let them know that they have been doing a great job on your project.

3. Nurturing the relationship

Take care of your outsourced team just as you would take care of your in-house team. Workers who are cared for by their employers perform their work better and are more efficient. But it’s not just the workers on your site that you have to build a relationship with. You also have to nurture your relationship with theorganisation which you hired them from – the plant and equipment suppliers’ company. Having a good relationship with your suppliers has its benefits; such as discounts when you decide to hire from them again, and a guarantee that your project is in good hands.

Remember, the external team is an extension of your in-house team, so treat them as if they were your own.

Make sure you cover all issues, concerns and added information on your toolbox talk with your entire construction team – including your external team – to make sure that they are all across what’s happening to the project they are working on. Download and customise the Toolbox Talk Agenda we have created below to ensure that you have everything covered for your next team meeting.

toolbox talk agenda download

Monica Gameng

Monica Gameng

As PlantMiner's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1000 posts. She truly is an industry expert. Monica's passion for educating and inspiring readers saw the PlantMiner blog recognised by Feedspot as one of the Best Australian Construction Blogs in 2018 and 2019. PlantMiner is Australia's largest online construction marketplace. Sign up as a vendor to find and engage with civil and commercial contractors across Australia. Alternatively, if you're looking for plant and equipment you can compare equipment and subcontractor quotes from vendors near you in just a few steps.