The Different Types of Dump Trucks
By: Dave Cole
A dump truck is a large truck that is primarily used to transport
material to and from construction sites. Dump trucks are equipped
with hydraulic lifts on the front of the bed so that the material
the dump truck is transporting in the bed can be dumped out on
the ground behind the truck. An open-hinged rear gate at the back
of the bed drops down so that the entire load can easily be
dropped by gravity alone.
Types of dump trucks:
- Standard dump truck
- Articulated dump truck
- Transfer dump truck
- Truck and pup
- Semi-trailer end dump truck
- Semi-trailer bottom dump truck
- Double and triple trailer bottom dump truck
- Side dump truck
- Off-road dump truck
- Winter service vehicles
- Super dump truck
The standard dump truck is usually eight by four feet and the
back bed is mounted onto the full truck. In an articulated dump
truck the truck and the bed are inseparable. The transfer dump
truck is a standard dump truck designed to also pull a separate
A truck and pup is almost the same as a transfer dump truck. It
is a standard dump truck pulling a dump trailer. But unlike the
transfer dump truck the dump trailer has its own hydraulics to
lift the bed and dump the contents.
A super dump truck is exactly as the name describes, it has a
load bearing axle that can haul thirteen thousand pounds. It also
has a straight dump truck with a trailing axle. If configured
right with trailing axles a super dump truck can haul eighty
thousand pounds and carry twenty six tons.
A semi-trailer end dump truck is a tractor and trailer with the
hydraulics built into the trailer. These are unstable when the
trailer is lifted but they do provide fast off-loading.
A semi-trailer bottom dump truck is a three axle tractor pulling
two axle trailers with a dump gate located in the bottom of the
trailer. They dump out the bottom of the trailer, no lifting
involved. This type of dump truck does not work well with larger
materials though and they are somewhat difficult to maneuver
around the drops.
Double and triple trailer bottom dump trucks are like the semi-
trailer bottom dump truck but with more trailers. This is for
fast and efficient dumps spread in rows.
The side dump truck is a three axle tractor with two axle semi-
trailers that have hydraulics that tilt the beds of the trailers
on their sides. This is a quick method of unloading material to
the side of the dump truck. And side dump trucks are less likely
to tip over. But if dumping is stopped before the load is done
dumping, tip-over is possible. If the material covers the wheels
when dumped there is also the possibility of the trailer getting
stuck in the tilt position so you should never overload these
Off Road Rock Truck
The off-road dump trucks are used strictly for heavy hauls of
dirt and mining ores or slag. These dump trucks look like
construction equipment or engineering vehicles. Off-road dump
trucks are more appropriately called "Haul Trucks" by the people
who use them. These are serious machines that dump a lot of
material at once. Some can haul four hundred tons. They can
unload at the rear or from the bottom.
Winter service vehicles are used primarily to dump salt on icy
roads in the winter. They have weights weighing them down for
better traction and they dump salt behind them as they drive.
There are dangers to operating or driving beside or behind a dump
truck in that there is always the potential for flying debris.
Most of the time the back of the dump truck is covered with tarps
but this does not always stop the problem. And these trucks if
not positioned on flat ground, have the potential to tip when off
loading the material from the bed. But little construction or
road maintenance could happen without dump trucks.
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