Prime Mover Hire Rates 2022

Prime movers are large haulage trucks used to transport material, machinery, and other equipment long distances across Australia. They can be fitted with numerous different trailer types like low loaders to create ease of loading and unloading. They are durable machines able to haul heavy items across the country with ease and are an excellent choice if you are wanting to move that new machine safely. The cost to hire a prime mover will depend entirely on the supplier but there are other factors that affect the cost.


What are prime movers used for?

Prime movers are used across a multitude of industries including the infrastructure and mining industries, able to cater to the flexibility required for each. They are mostly used for:

  • Floating large machines: excavators, backhoes, tippers, etc.
  • Transportation of agricultural equipment: tractors, sprayers, etc.
  • Marine transport: boats, etc.
  • Oversized loads: portable homes or offices, etc.

Prime mover hire rates

Prime mover hire rates will often be calculated per day with a 7.6-hour average day of travel and over 1,600 hours a year. A basic breakdown of costs may look like this:

Totals per driving hour Fixed costs Notes
Fixed costs $22.45 Assuming fixed costs spread over 1,672 hours.
Variable costs $20.97 Assuming 18 km travelled per hour.
Labour $28.43 This work example is based on a labour rate of $28.43 per hour.
Total per hour (Up to 1,600 hours) $71.85 Note that this is not a prescribed or recommended rate.

*These rates are based in VIC and may change from state to state, this is simply a basic estimate and breakdown.


Factors that affect prime mover hire rates

While these basic costs may be standard across all prime mover hire companies, there may be additional costs for circumstances that are irregular or outside of the standard 7.6-hour day.


Diesel costs

If the diesel for the prime mover to run increases significantly in price, then costs may rise. This is usually a determining factor for the decisions prime mover hire companies make surrounding prices.


Emergency or outside-of-regular-hour calls

If someone needs an emergency transport or machine float outside of regular hours, or if a driver needs to drive for more than 7.6 hours, this can increase the price. The prices may be for the truck itself and diesel, or for the labour costs of the driver.


Oversized loads

Some oversized loads may incur extra fees as they increase the hazards for the driver and may take longer to transport. Due to oversized loads being dangerous to transport drivers often have to travel at slower speeds which can significantly increase costs.


Pilot drivers

Alongside oversized loads, you may see pilot drivers who will drive in front and behind of a prime mover moving hazardous cargo. This is so the driver can see where they need to travel as well as the pilot driver being able to signal any traffic, hazards, or any other issues ahead on the road.

Mining equipment on trailer


Do I need a licence to operate a prime mover?

To operate a prime mover, you have to obtain your Heavy Rigid Licence . This licence dictates that you can operate a vehicle over 8 tonnes of Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) or has 3 or more axles. Most prime movers meet both of these requirements or exceed them, so a licensed operator may be required if you do not already have this license.


Things to consider before hiring a prime mover

  • What you need to be transported: if it is machines, this may affect the cost, whereas materials may be cheaper for example.
  • The distance you need to travel: the further the distance, the longer it will take, and it will cost more.
  • Licencing: Do you have the correct licence? If not, you will have to hire an operator.
  • Companies may not have the correct certifications to transport marine equipment, so always check before hiring someone.

Find the best prime mover hire

iseekplant is Australia’s largest online construction marketplace, and with thousands of machines listed, there are plenty of options for prime mover hire near you. Simply search or use our Get a Quote Tool if you’ve narrowed it down.

If you need more information, email our projects team today and they can help you with any hiring questions. To help you find suppliers and contractors fast, download our seeker app today. With a few clicks, you can have someone on-site or a machine helping you get your job done quickly.