Grab hire and skip hire are the two most popular waste management and disposal methods.

In this guide we compare the two and discuss their advantages and disadvantages as well as explain which type of jobs they’re suited to.

What is a Grab Lorry?

A grab lorry is a large truck specifically designed for removing waste. Equipped with a hydraulic arm and bucket, it picks up – or grabs – waste and debris before unloading it into its load bed.

What is a Skip?

Skips, on the other hand, are large immovable open-topped waste containers. They’re essentially very large bins that can be filled with all sorts of waste before being collected and taken to a waste transfer centre.

Grab Lorry Vs Skip

There are a number of notable differences between grab lorries and skips. When deciding which is best for your project it’s important to consider factors like their capacity, cost, speed and efficiency.


A wide range of skip sizes are available so its capacity will vary depending on how big or small your skip is. However, grab lorries can generally hold and dispose of much larger volumes of waste which would otherwise require multiple skips.


Price is another aspect to factor in when deciding whether a grab lorry or skip is right for you. Grab lorries tend to be more cost-effective for larger projects because they can hold more waste than skips – so rather than pay for multiple skips, you can instead just pay for a single grab lorry. However, it’s important to note that prices will vary depending on the size you need and how long you need it for.


The hydraulic arm of a grab lorry makes it very quick and easy to load waste as it is a self-loading machine. Filling a skip, however, can be a time-consuming task as it requires considerably more effort and manual labour.


Regardless of size, skips can be situated at your construction site for as long as need be – whether this be a few days or a few weeks. Conversely, grab lorries arrive at your site, pick up the waste and immediately leave, helping you to remove waste as quickly as possible.

Grab Lorry Hire

If you’re looking to get your waste removed as quickly as possible or are working in a short timeframe, hiring a grab lorry is likely to be the preferred solution for you. They’re a fast and efficient method of waste removal and have the capabilities to dispose of large quantities of waste, without needing to have an excavator on site.

These vehicles are operated by and driven to and from your site by a qualified driver – all you’re required to do is make sure your waste is organised into skip bags. Grab lorries have a quick turn around and should cause no delays to busy construction sites so are perfect for disposing of waste quickly and efficiently.

Skip Hire

Skip hire, in contrast, is suited to long-term projects. Providing minimal disruption to your project, they can hold large quantities of waste for long periods of time, helping you to manage debris and ensure your construction site is safe and clean.

They’re available in a number of sizes and, with flexible pick up and drop off times, can be filled at a rate that suits you.

One thing to point out is that you need to find an appropriate place at your site for the skip to be stored – if you need to put it on a road or public highway, you will require a permit from the council.

Grab Lorry & Skip Hire Bristol

Here at ETM Recycling, we provide industry-leading grab lorry and skip hire services for domestic and trade purposes in and around the Bristol area. We supply 4, 6, 8, 10, 12ft and RoRo skips as well as a modern fleet of grab hire vehicles to enable you to dispose of your waste in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner.

Book your skip online or contact our team today for a quote.

If you’re not sure whether you’d benefit more from a grab lorry or skip, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to provide you with our personal recommendations based on your specific requests and requirements.

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