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Portable Toilet Hire For The UK Event Industry

Aug 17, 2007
Portable toilets are an essential feature of an event. This article is designed to assist the event organiser in choosing the most appropriate type of portable toilet and contains basic information and tips to facilitate the decision making process.

There are a large number of suppliers of portable toilets to the event industry. Companies vary in size with suppliers being either local, regional or nationwide. The larger nationwide suppliers include - in no necessary order of importance - Elliot Loohire, Search, Igloos, Andy Loos, The Convenience Company, John Anderson and A1 Loo Hire.

There are two main different types of portable toilets for events.

1. Tardis Portable Toilets

The most basic type of portable toilet for an event is the single re-circulating chemical unit, known in the industry as The Tardis on account of its uncanny resemblance to Doctor Who's time-machine of the same name.

A tardis unit is essentially a 'budget box' which is ideal for smaller outside events such as local fetes, barbeques, point-to-point meetings or any small local or budget event. They are also widely used at
festivals.

2. Trailer Mounted Portable Toilets

The other type of toilet for an event is the trailer mounted portable toilet. This type of portable toilet is much larger and contains a combination of cubicles and urinals.

Cubicles can be equipped with handbasins. The industry size range for the trailers is between ten to twenty five feet in length with units being supplied in as many configurations of cubicles, cubicals with handbasins and urinals as imaginable.

Generally speaking, trailer mounted portable toilets start in size with 1+1 units, i.e. one cubicle with handbasin for ladies and one for gentlemen. Larger trailer mounted units can accomodate configurations such as three cubicles and ten urinals or three cubicles for ladies with three cubicles and two urinals for gentlemen.

It is also possible for this type of portable toilet unit to incorporate disabled toilet facilities. The configurations really are endless.

There is, as one might expect, a large range in the quality of trailer mounted units. The most basic units are to be found at festivals and less grand events whilst the more top-end units are supplied to corporate events and promotions, weddings and up-market gatherings - indeed VIP units are often to be seen behind the scenes at important events and are an important feature in any kind of outdoor corporate hospitality.

Trailer mounted portable loos can be either re-circulating or connected to the mains.

A general rule of thumb is to allow one portable loo per hundred guests at an event although one per fifty guests is probably a more comfortably generous guideline.

Portable toilet units should always be delivered to an event in a scrupulously clean condition with the supplier operating to stringent health and safety and British Standard regulations.

Trailer mounted units can be supplied with hot handwash basins which can be non-mains connected as they come with fresh water supplied which is then heated either from the on-site power supply or by generators.
Depending on the level of luxury required, it is even possible to hire portable units containing cubicles with infra red taps - to say nothing of the DVD facilities offered by other types of units!

Cubicles with baby-changing facilities are also available. These type of specialist units are an optional requirement and - when considering hiring such a portable toilet - it should be borne in mind that this will take over a cubicle although baby changing facilities can be incorporated in a disabled portable toilet unit.

It is compulsory for disabled toilets to be provided at public (ticketed) events although this is not a legal requirement at private events.

A general price indication for the hire of portable toilets for events would be from around £200 for the supply of both a ladies and a gentlemen tardis portable toilet with prices for the hire of trailer mounted portable loos ranging from £500 to £1,000 depending on the specification of the unit and whether it has been provided by a local hire company or a larger regional/nationwide supplier, in which case transportation charges will need to be taken into account.

Whilst the focus of this article has been the supply of portable toilets for outside events it should be noted that portable toilet hire companies are equally adept at supplying loos for indoor events, often on a bespoke basis.

A good portable toilet supplier can build rooms in an exhibition or conference centre - or at any other type of indoor venue - containing up to 20 cubicles per room with each room being able to accomodate up to one thousand people. Indeed, portable toilets are often to be found at conference venues where they are especially appreciated by delegates where break-out times can necessitate many people requiring their facilities at the same time.

The top ten tips and things to consider when booking portable toilets for an event are as follows:

1. Decide how many guests will be attending the event to determine the number of units that will be required.

2. Remember that the caterers and ancillary event staff will need to use the loos as well so add these to the guest list when calculating your loo requirements. Alternatively, ask the portable toilet hire company to supply a trailer mounted unit outside for the caterers. For larger parties where there are more staff it is important to supply them with their own loos.

3. Ensure that the venue location is a level site. This is an essential requirement for obvious reasons that it would be both indelicate and unnecessary to mention!

4. Check if the location of the venue has a power supply. It should be noted that a power supply is not necessary for the hire of tardis units.

5. Check if the venue's location has a fresh water supply. It is always good if a fresh water supply is available as this can be used to top-up both tardis and trailer-mounted units, if necessary.

6. Decide if disabled and/or baby changing units are necessary.

7. Decide if an attendant is required to clean and maintain the loos.

8. Determine whether an interim service will be required. For more than one event at the same venue, e.g. where a wedding is taking place on the Saturday with a further reception on the Sunday, it may well be necessary to empty and replenish the units for the next day.

9. Decide which type of loos are required. As explained above, different portable toilets are more appropriate for different events and demographics.

10. Is the event inside or outside. The location of the event, i.e. whether the event is to be held at an outside location or an inside venue, will require different decisions to be made in choosing the most appropriate type of portable toilets required.
About the Author
Jon Stebbings works for www.partyoffers.co.uk, the UK online events directory. More information on portable toilets can be found in the Partyoffers directory
which is at http://www.partyoffers.co.uk.
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