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Grab Lorry Capacity: What You Need to Know

A man driving grab lorry

A grab lorry is a type of truck that has a hydraulically operated arm on the front, which can be used to scoop up objects and materials. The arm can also be fitted with various attachments, such as buckets or grabs, to make it easier to collect items. A grab lorry is often cheaper than hiring a skip, so they are becoming increasingly popular for small removals and clearances. However, it's important to know how much capacity a grab lorry has before you hire one, as this will determine how much debris or material it can collect.

Purpose of a Grab Lorry

A grab lorry is an ideal means of transport when moving large quantities of waste materials such as construction, demolition and garden waste. It’s a highly cost-effective option compared to other methods of getting rid of waste.

This type of vehicle is designed with accessibility in mind. Its capacity to hold large quantities of waste makes it a valuable asset to companies in various industries needing waste disposal services. Hiring a grab lorry is incredibly convenient. You can schedule for it to come to your location at a convenient time for you, so it can pick up and dispose of your trash safely and with minimal disruption.

As mentioned, a grab lorry is usually more affordable than a skip. So why is a grab lorry cheaper than a skip? Well, it has a larger capacity and can hold twice the amount of waste. Instead of paying for several skips, you can simply hire one grab lorry. This makes grab lorries a better option for large-scale projects.

How Much Can a Grab Lorry Carry?

One of the most common questions that people ask regarding grab lorries is: how much can a grab lorry carry?

The load capacity of grab lorries will vary depending upon the size of the vehicle that is used. You can pick from three different sizes: a 4-wheel, 6-wheel and 8-wheel.

A 4-wheel grab lorry weighs approximately 18 tonnes and is the equivalent of 1 skip. It can hold a load capacity of 6 m3 or up to 8 tonnes. Meanwhile, the 6-wheel grab lorry capacity in m3 is 10 m3 or 13 tonnes. A grab lorry of this size is equivalent to using 2 skips for your waste disposal needs. Lastly, the 8-wheel grab lorry capacity in m3 is 13 m3 or 16 tonnes. Weighing around 32 tonnes, a grab lorry of this size is equivalent to hiring 3 skips, making it a cost-effective waste removal solution.

What Can a Grab Lorry Take?

Below is a list of materials that a grab lorry can remove from a job site.

Muck away

Muck removal refers to the act of cleaning up mud, earth and other debris such as clay, chalk, stone and concrete from a construction site. If you have a landscaping project that is quite extensive or you’re preparing the foundation for a new structure, huge piles of mud and earth can quickly accumulate on-site as a result. This can cause delays in the work process. It can also make it difficult for workers to get around on the job site.

Construction waste

Another common type of material that is commonly hauled by grab lorries is demolition debris. Examples are rubble, cement blocks, chunks of concrete and slabs of asphalt. It may also include bricks and other construction materials. Construction waste must be separated from other materials. Wood and soil, for instance, will have to be collected using a separate grab lorry.

General recyclable waste

Grab lorries are also highly effective when you need to collect and dispose of great quantities of green waste. This includes recyclable waste from trees or gardens. Grass, hedge trimmings, flowers, trees, bushes and shrubs can all be picked up by a grab lorry.

Regular rubbish

On every job site, there is always some waste that needs to be disposed of regularly. Generally, these include the junk, trash and other general waste that your site and workers generate. If you’re doing a demolition job, the site might still have trash and debris leftover by the previous occupants.

What Materials Are Not Suitable for a Grab Lorry?

There are numerous wastes requiring special disposal services. Grab hire may not be suitable for collecting and removing asbestos, batteries, tyres, paint, gas cans, oil and hazardous wastes. If you have these materials on your site, you may need more than a grab lorry to haul them away.

Benefits of Hiring a Grab Lorry


Hiring a grab lorry is a cost-effective way to collect and haul away waste from a job site. A grab lorry can usually be hired for a one-off fee. As an additional benefit, you don't have to pay a permit fee, which is typically associated with hiring a skip. You also do not have to pay labour costs for loading a lorry.


When hiring a grab lorry, you don’t need to worry about manually hauling the waste onto the vehicle. Its hydraulic arm makes it easy for the operator to easily pick up the debris and transport it to the lorry. This makes the grab lorry the most convenient substitute for hiring a skip.


One of the best things about using grab lorries for waste collection and disposal is their ability to transport a large amount of waste at once. If you have 16 tonnes of debris, a single grab truck trip will suffice to remove it all. Additionally, the average time for loading a lorry is generally within 20 minutes (for wastes amounting to 15 cubic yards).


Another perk of a grab lorry is that it is pretty agile. It can reach areas of a job site that a skip would have trouble accessing. Its arms can also extract even difficult-to-reach waste materials that would take a lot of time to remove if done manually.

Make Waste Collection and Disposal Easy with AU Grab Hire

At AU Grab Hire, we offer to grab hire and muck away collection services for removing large amounts of waste materials from your site. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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