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Equipment allowance

When you report payroll and pay premiums for unregistered subcontractors and they provide certain types of equipment to fulfill the contract, you may be eligible to claim an equipment allowance. The equipment allowance is subtracted from the total contract value, offsetting costs incurred to operate and maintain the equipment.


A construction contractor hires a backhoe operator who provides a backhoe as part of a $10,000 contract. The backhoe operator is not registered with WorkSafeBC. When the contractor pays for WorkSafeBC coverage for the backhoe operator, the contractor can report $6,000 as the labour value because there is a 40 percent ($4,000) equipment allowance for backhoes.

Contract value Equipment allowance Total assessable earnings
$10,000 40% $6,000

Equipment allowance by equipment type

Equipment type Examples Allowance
Chain saw
  • Chain saws as used in forest industry and line-cutting contract only
Medium equipment
  • Single-axle motor vehicles used in the trucking/delivery/courier industry*
  • Motorcycles used in the delivery/courier industry
  • Single-axle trucks used for construction cleanup
  • Pilot cars
  • Light-duty excavating equipment such as backhoes, front-end loaders, and bobcats
  • Mobile welding units
  • Oil-well servicing equipment such as wireline fracturing, hot-shot service, ambulance/first-aid service
  • Agricultural equipment such as tractors, hay balers, harvesters, combines, and hoof trimmers
  • Horses used as part of a horse-logging contract
  • Boom boats as used in the forestry industry
Heavy equipment
  • Skidders, feller bunchers, grapple loaders, or similar heavy equipment used in the forestry industry
  • Tracked earth-moving equipment such as bulldozers and excavators
  • Graders
  • Dual-axle trucks such as logging trucks, tractor-trailer trucks, dump trucks, and oil rig transport trucks
  • Oil-well drilling equipment
  • Mobile cranes

* There are no equipment allowances for crew transportation equipment such as pickups and crummies

Need more information?

If you have any questions, please contact our Employer Service Centre.