What Is a Grab Lorry?

In the US alone, homeowners spend around $400 billion on home renovation projects each year. What many homeowners, to say nothing of small commercial operations, don’t realize is the remarkable amount of waste renovation projects produce.

For example, a 10-yard dumpster may not suffice for even a basic roof tear off because of the weight involved. Now, imagine adding a major interior renovation and you need a better solution.

This is where a grab lorry enters the picture. That begs the question, what is a grab lorry?

What Is a Grab Lorry?

A grab lorry or grab hire is a unique vehicle ideally suited for helping homeowners and businesses clear away waste. It’s one part dump truck and one part grab arm.

The grab arm uses hydraulics to move the bucket into the right position to grab the waste. The arm then lifts the bucket and waste material and deposits the waste material in the back of the truck.

Common Uses

Grab hires see widespread use for renovation and construction projects. A few types of waste they routinely take away include:

  • Concrete
  • Bricks
  • Trees
  • Other non-hazardous waste

Grab hires also excel in dealing with green waste. This makes them an ideal solution for large-scale garden or landscaping projects.

Grab Hire Benefits

One of the main benefits of a grab hire is versatility. A common dumpster can only go so many places. More often than not, they wind up on a front lawn or in business’ parking lot. That means workers end up carrying waste to the dumpster from all over the property.

Grab hire can reach out and snap up waste from all over, especially with a skillful driver behind the wheel. That reduces the time spent moving waste around on the property and increases the time spent working.

Grab lorries also come with different weight ratings. You can learn more about the different types of lorries and their load capacities in this article.

As a bonus, grab hires are typically comparable in price to an equivalent weight capacity in on-site dumpsters.


Grab hires must still operate under local and national health and safety regulations. So, for example, most grab lorries won’t haul away toxic materials. Grab lorries typically won’t take batteries and electronics that require special handling or recycling processes.

Getting the Most from Your Grab Lorry Rental

A grab lorry is a different animal from a dumpster rental. Dumpster rentals sit on the property for a period of time. That lets you slowly fill them as you go.

A grab lorry typically comes in toward the end of the project to haul away the waste in one fell swoop. That means you must plan around that fact.

You must designate areas for the waste to go until you’re ready for the grab hire to show up. This can mean fencing waste collection areas off for everyone’s safety.

Looking for more advice on managing renovation or construction sites? Check some of our other construction-centric articles on this site.

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