Dump Truck Design 101 – What Do I Need to Know to Buy a Dump Truck?


A dump truck can be defined as a vehicle used for the transportation of different types of loose materials such as sand, gravel, dirt, etc. This truck is typically equipped with a hydraulically operated dump bed with a hinged back. If you are locally searching or on the internet looking for dump trucks for sale, you might be surprised by the sheer number of types, configurations, and sizes that are available for purchase. So before heading out to buy one of these trucks, it is important to determine what design will best suit your work requirements.

When choosing a commercial dump vehicle for your business, it is important to know that these trucks come in various designs depending on their particular application. You need to take into consideration if the design is suitable for your work requirements. They are categorized based on bed types and style of dumping as well as the number of axles, the terrain for which it is better suited, the design of the body frame, and most importantly its capacity.

In this article, for those of you looking for dump trucks, let’s look at some of the different types of truck designs to determine which dump type is suitable for your business.

Standard Truck

The standard dump truck design is a truck frame mounted with an open box bed that can be raised via a hydraulic pump located between the cab and the dump body; the tailgate on the end is typically hinged. The standard truck is single bodied with one front axle and one or more rear axles, either powered or not powered. The short wheelbase of the standard truck makes the truck more maneuverable than other dump vehicle types with higher capacity. It is ideally suited for road driving with a good variable capacity.

Transfer Truck

A transfer dump truck is basically a standard dump truck that pulls a separate trailer which can also be loaded. When the main dump box is empty, the secondary trailer will roll onto the empty main dump box to dump its load, thereby maximizing payload capacity without sacrificing maneuverability.

Super Truck

To solve the payload restriction in some states, the super dump truck is equipped with a trailing axle. The trailing axle is retractable and is used only when the payload is over the maximum payload limit. The trailing axle is designed to carry the extra weight of the payload, distributing the weight to a much wider ground area in order to meet the load limit.

Semi Trailer End Dump Truck

The semi end dump is a tractor-trailer combination where the trailer has the hydraulic hoist. It is advantageous because of its large capacity as well as its ability to rapidly unload. The disadvantage is that it can be unstable when the dumping location is uneven as well as be difficult to back up.

Semi Trailer Bottom Dump Truck

The semi trailer bottom truck is similar to the semi trailer end truck in basic design. The trailer differs by having a clam shell type dump gate in the belly of the trailer. This gives this truck the ability to lay down material in a linear row. In addition, this version is maneuverable in reverse. The disadvantage is that it is limited as to the type of spreading activity that it can perform.

Semi Trailer Side Dump Truck

This truck is also a tractor-trailer design with the trailer equipped to allow the dump body to tilt onto its side and spill the material being carried to either the right or left side. It is much more immune to tipping over when dumping unlike the semi end dump which is very prone to tipping over. The side dump can tip over if the dumping is stopped prematurely.

Articulated Dump Truck (ADT)

Standard trucks and trailer trucks with their rigid frames joining the cab and the dump body into basically one unit are great for most paved road driving applications. On uneven and rough terrain conditions, the weight of the payload can cause undue strain and fatigue on the frame. Such work conditions are better handled by an articulated truck. An ADT has a hinge between the cab and the dump box yet, unlike the semi trailer designs, the cab is a permanent fixture and not a separate vehicle.

As you can see, the design of the various types of commercial dump vehicles greatly affects the truck’s ability to function in different hauling and dumping situations. Being familiar with the different designs is imperative if looking to purchase a dump truck in an unstable economy. Study the different types, do your homework, and select the best truck for your business!


Source by Christopher M. Hunter

About the Author