Fair Wear and Tear Guide

Diggermate Australia – Fair Wear and Tear Guide

1. Introduction

The purpose of this document is to give a guide to what is considered, within the earthmoving hire industry, as “Fair Wear and Tear”. Importantly, the term “Fair Wear and Tear” only relates to equipment that is being used in compliance with the Operating Instructions, where daily checks are carried out by the operator, and regular servicing is carried out using recommended parts and lubricants.

“Fair Wear and Tear” should not be confused with damage or excessive wear and tear. Damage and excessive Wear and Tear occurs as a direct result of misuse, abuse, lack of attention to preventative measures, poor application or environmental conditions.

Users are financially responsible for the repair or make good costs if equipment is returned with an unreasonable level of wear and tear at the end of the rental period.

2. Responsibility

Diggermate has a responsibility to monitor and maintain its plant equipment following the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.
Users have a responsibility to:

  • Note any damage, mechanical problems or areas of worsening wear and tear and notify the Diggermate Franchise.
  • Conduct pre-operational checks (oil, tyres, radiator, battery etc.) at least once daily. For long term hires maintenance and inspections are to be recorded in a log book or fleet management system.
  • Not use the machine beyond its capacity; and
  • Regularly clean the bodywork, upholstery and cabin.

3. Definitions

Fair wear and tear
Fair wear and tear refers to the reasonable and acceptable amount of deterioration or damage that can be expected to occur to an item or equipment during normal and proper use. This excludes damages to machines or attachments that result from misuse or neglect or the loss of pins/shackles and accessories.

Damage is the most commonly used term when dealing with out of contract costs, especially on contract hire machines. The examples in this document refer to wear/damage/loss etc that has occurred to a new machine. If a machine is not in “as new” condition at the start of the period, any wear or damage should be noted by all parties to avoid a dispute on return.

Misuse means a machine is being used for purposes that it was not designed for, and could be dangerous and/or unsafe. Misuse often leads to the machine being damaged. Some common examples of misuse are:

  • The machine being used when warning indicators are lit, especially if the warning indicates an overheated engine or low oil level in the engine or the hydraulic system.
  • The machine is being operated despite it having obvious faults.
  • The machine is operated after it has been damaged without being repaired.
  • Use of contaminated or incorrect fuels or oils.
  • Lifting or carrying loads that are heavier than the machine is designed for.
  • Traversing the machine with buckets raised.
  • Overturning the machine.
  • Overloading buckets.
  • Utilising general purpose buckets for excavating rock, demolition work etc.
  • Inadequate cleaning of machines used in fibrous, dusty or aggressive environments.

4. General

Books and Manuals
All operators’ manuals and other documents relating to the machine are the responsibility of the user and must be returned at the completion of the rental period.

Regular cleaning of the machine is required on long hires; taking care that the cleaning method is reasonable and complies with any manufacturer’s instructions.
On all hires the machine should be returned suitably clean to allow inspection of equipment condition.

Additional Equipment/Attachments
All items supplied with the machine must be present, complete and fully operational when the machine is returned. Examples include augers, levellers, etc.

Machines or their attachments shall not be modified in any way, except with the prior approval of the Diggermate Franchise from which the machine was hired.

Badges, Labels and Decals
Any non-standard badges or labels attached to the bodywork or glass must be removed, and any damage caused by their attachment or removal must be made good before the machine is returned.

Keys/Security and Fleet Management Systems
All keys must be returned with the machine. Similarly, if the machine was supplied with a security or tracking system, then this must be intact and in working order.

5. Exterior

Body Damage – Relates to Vehicles, Plant Equipment, EWPs and equipment which contains panels that could be damaged.


  • Protective panels and covers present and undamaged.
  • Undercarriage and blade paint damage are considered fair wear and tear.
  • Minor dents op to 20mm diameter and light scratches up to 25mm in length, where the paint surface has not been penetrated
  • Lifting equipment, shackles and pins present and working

Acceptable paint damage on undercarriage


  • Mechanical deformation of supporting components, panels and covers
  • Broken, cracked or deformed plastic components
  • Multiple dents occurring in a single panel or dents larger than 20mm in diameter and abrasions of more than 25mm in length
  • Major decal destruction – greater than 100mm or graffiti
  • Unapproved modifications
  • Protective grille or panel missing or damaged
  • Lifting equipment, shackles or pin missing or damaged
  • Removal of compliance and/or rating plates

Unacceptable damage to engine cowling

Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS), Overhead Guard and Cabin


  • Front and rear panels and doors complete, not deformed and fully functioning
  • Windscreens undamaged and free from major scratches
  • Wiper blades and windscreen washer system operating
  • All cabin functions working (if fitted: Front and Rear Wipers, Air Conditioning System, Roof Panel, Mirror, or Window opening mechanism)


  • ROPS, Cabin panels, or Cabin components
    dented, deformed and/or damaged
  • Holes or unauthorised penetrations
  • Damage to cabin accessories
  • Any broken glass/plexiglass or similar

Damaged viewing glass in ROPS

Machine lighting and working lamps

  • Complete as originally supplied and in working order
  • Plastic casings, bulb holders and glass undamaged


  • Missing, damaged or broken lights
  • Cracks, fractures or deep scratches in the glass
  • Bent headlight mountings or protective frames

Damaged Work Light

6. Operator’s Compartment

Interior Cabin & Cockpit Area

  • Steering controls functioning
  • Hydraulic levers working
  • Display and gauges operative
  • Floor plate present – normal wear and soiling is acceptable
  • Plastic enclosures unbroken and not cracked or fractured
  • Arm rests and locking pins in place


  • Broken, bent or damaged hydraulic levers
  • Display not working or with the glass badly scratched
  • Switches and levers damaged or missing
  • Deformation, deep scratches, holes, cracks or fractures in the dashboard
  • Missing covers
  • Strong discoloration due to oil, paint or chemicals
  • Metal floor plate or anti-slip covering missing
  • Arm rests and/or locking pins missing


  • All seat adjustments working correctly including seat contact switch
  • No major parts broken off or large splits in the cushions (minor tears and scratches are acceptable)
  • Seat belt working correctly without a cut or frayed belt


  • Missing seat parts (e.g. rear cover)
  • Seat cushions with parts broken off or large splits
  • Missing or inoperative restraint system covering
  • Seat and seat belt is cut, frayed or has evidence of tampering
  • Damaged or inoperative seat adjustment controls

7. Vehicle Undercarriage


  • Minor dents and deformation to machine underbody, covers or protective mounts is acceptable where surface damage has not exposed the underlying components.


  • Any major impact damage to components or machine chassis frame is unacceptable

Axles, wheels, tracks and rollers

  • Drive and steer axles fully functioning, without external damage or making excessive noise
  • Wheel rims without deformation and wheel fixings complete
  • Rollers, tracks and/or wheels operative and free from dirt or obstruction


  • External damage
  • Deformation of the tread and tyre walls. Broken off parts and/or considerable cuts or chunking in the track or tyre surface
  • Wheel/roller fixings sheared or missing
  • Damage resulting from foreign materials (e.g. rocks/tree branches shearing sprocket teeth)
  • Damage to wheels or rims or tracks that make them unserviceable.

Damaged Wheel Rim

8. Mechanical

Internal Combustion Engine / Transmission

  • Complete as originally supplied and in working order
  • Oil and fluid levels in accordance with manufacturers or supplier’s recommendations


  • Damaged engine and or ancillary components
  • Oil or fluid leaks from the engine or hydraulic system due to physical damage
  • Damage to the exhaust system
  • Debris and foreign matter within the engine compartment
  • Fuel or fluid system contamination
  • Engine cooling system not functioning correctly due to debris or damage
  • Transmission slipping, erratic gear or direction changing, or noisy faults caused by operator abuse
  • Damage to equipment due to running low level of fluids & oils on hires longer than 2 days.


  • Service and Parking brake in working order


  • Brake system not operating correctly due to damage or handbrake being left engaged
  • Missing parts or damage to brake system components; including protective covers.
  • Damage to brake system caused by foreign matter or abuse

Booms/Lifting Arms

  • Hydraulic hoses and connections, brackets intact and undamaged
  • Hydraulic system and cylinders undamaged and in working order
  • Paint damage less than 25mm


  • Damaged or bent arms and/or cross-members
  • Damage to anchors
  • Damage to cylinder(s) and cylinder rods due to impact or abuse
  • Hydraulic hoses torn off or hoses damaged due to impact or abuse
  • Protective plates bent or damaged
  • Paint damaged as a result of bucket on arm contact.

Electrical system

  • Electrical systems in working order
  • All connecting cables intact and undamaged
  • No damage to electrical system, cables, plugs and/or electronic components


  • Damage electrical systems or fleet management devices due to impact or abuse
  • Unauthorised repair, modification or tampering of the electrical or fleet management system


  • Batteries have the correct level of electrolyte, no corrosion on the cell connectors, cell tops or battery box
  • Battery plugs/cables/connectors free from damage, with no exposed wires or splits in the insulation
  • Battery secure and all clamps in place.


  • Low electrolyte level (hire >3 days)
  • Evidence of excessive corrosion or acid damage (hire >3 days)
  • Damaged battery plugs or cables

Excessive Battery Corrosion

9. Attachments

Excavator and Loader Buckets

  • Hydraulic connections are intact and without damage
  • Hungry board is in place and structurally sound, not bent, cracked or damaged
  • Quick hitch and hydraulic connection is complete, fully functional, and not bent or damaged
  • Attachment rating plate and labels present and legible
  • Teeth broken or missing


  • Bucket mounts torn or broken
  • Bucket twisted or does not close properly
  • Hungry board or frame bent or damaged due to misuse or abuse
  • Hydraulic connections, pipes and hoses damaged, worn or deformed
  • Damaged tooth connectors caused by machine use with missing tooth

Damaged Hungry Board on 4 in 1 Bucket

Other attachments; including, but not limited to, augers, trenchers, power rakes, leveller/smudgers etc

  • Hydraulic connections are intact and without damage
  • All pins are intact
  • Augers are not bent
  • Teeth are in place
  • Broken or missing teeth where the mounting point is undamaged


  • Hydraulic connections/hoses damaged by impact or missing
    Pins or pin locks missing
  • Guides, shafts or teeth damaged or bent
  • Tooth mounting point damaged due to use with missing tooth
  • Significant concrete residue on the attachment

10. Trailers


  • Tyres showing wear consistent with regular use.
  • Minor surface scratches and paint wear consistent with normal usage.
  • Small, superficial dings and dents that do not affect the trailer’s functionality.
  • Functional lights and signals; acceptable wear on lenses.
  • Functional hitch and coupling mechanism with reasonable wear.
  • Normal wear on suspension components that doesn’t compromise safety.
  • Wear on brakes consistent with regular use, provided they are still functional.


  • Major Structural Damage including significant dents, bends, or other structural damage that compromises the integrity of the trailer.
  • Missing or broken components essential for safe operation, such as lights, reflectors, or safety chains.
  • Irregular or excessive tyre wear, including flat spots or sidewall damage. roadworthiness.
  • Heat affected worn brake systems that compromise the ability to stop the trailer safely as a result of the hand brake being left on.
  • Bent or damaged springs, spring hangers or connection bolts.
  • Damage to the hitch or coupling mechanism that compromises its functionality or safety.
  • Lack of proper maintenance, leading to issues that could have been prevented by visual checks prior to driving.

Damaged trailer brake mechanism

Damaged Trailer Ramp

Damaged Wheel Guard

11. Contact Details

For any inquiries or further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help ensure you have the best experience with Diggermate.

Franchise Manager: Dalai Liddy
Contact Number: 0421 353 036
Email Address: su*****@di********.au