Dump trucks or dump trailers are used to transport waste/dirt or construction materials such as gravel, coal, and chippings. Usually, dump trucks (also called “dumpers”) feature a big open bed hinged at the rear and equipped with a hydraulic lift mechanism that lifts the front side of the bed to unload/dump the content.
Different types of dump trucks are used for different purposes, mainly construction and waste management. In some countries, dumper trucks are referred to as tip/tipper lorries or tipper trucks, or simply tipper.
Most dump trucks can be used on regular roads, while some are meant for use in construction sites only.
Now, let’s quickly learn more about the different dump truck types we have!
Different Types of Dump Trucks
1. Standard Dump Truck
Standard dump trucks are the most basic and commonly seen dumper trucks; they are merely a truck chassis with a dump body mounted to them. A vertical hydraulic ram is mounted under the front area of the truck’s bed/body; this hydraulic arm raises vertically with the press of a button from the cab area.
Also, standard dump truck beds are hinged at the back, while the tailgate may be designed to swing up (on top hinges) or fold down (on lower hinges).
Dump truck configurations are two, three, and four axles, depending on the intended usage. Standard dump trucks are categorized by their shorter wheelbase, which makes them more maneuverable than bigger ones.
2. Semi-Trailer End Dump Truck
Semi-trailer end dump trucks are pretty popular in the US and Europe. This type of dump truck is built with a tractor-trailer combination, where the trailer part houses the hydraulic hoist. Mostly, this dump truck type features a 3-axle tractor that pulls a 2-axle trailer with dual tires (as in the US) or single tires (as in Europe).
One of the reasons why this dump truck is getting increasingly popular is due to the large payload support.
But then, semi-trailer end dump trucks are very unstable when the bed is raised to dump its content, so they are not the best to use if the dumping location is off-level or uneven. However, some models feature an articulated arm (stabilizer) to keep it steady during dumping.
3. Side Dump Trucks (SDTs)
As the name hints, these dump trucks remove the content of their beds through the sides; some of this type of dump truck remove content on either side, while some other models only bend one side. There are various configurations for the dumping mechanism on these dump trucks.
The hydraulic rams on these trucks tilt the dump body onto its side to spill the material content. One of the main benefits of side dump trucks is that they unload faster than other types.
Side dump trucks are usually built as a combination of a semi-truck and trailer, with the dumping mechanism built into the trailer, so it doesn’t rely on the truck.
Unlike standard dump trucks and other types of dump trucks, side dump trucks come with two hydraulic mechanisms installed at both ends – at the front and rear of the dump box.
The dump mechanism swivels the dump box from the center, tilting the box to the left or the right. Most people find this type of dump truck safer and better, but you’d mostly see them being used by mining companies.
4. Transfer Dump Truck
A transfer dump truck is basically a standard dump trump with a modified dump box. On transfer dump trucks, the dump box is connected to a separate trailer; the truck pulls the trailer, which has a movable cargo container (the dump box) attached to it.
This dump truck is mainly used for gravel, construction aggregate, asphalt, and other materials.
The design of transfer dump trucks is a bit complex; the load box from the trailer rolls forward on its own chassis on rails into the truck’s dump box. This type of dump truck offers higher payload capacity without sacrificing maneuverability. There are other configuration options for transferring dump trucks.
5. Super Dump Truck
A super dump truck features an additional trailing axle installed towards the end part of the trailer. This type of dump truck is used for moving heavier loads, hence the name “super dump.” Superdumps are mostly used in western US states.
The additional axle can be lifted off the road when the truck is empty, which saves you some tax fees. Super dump trucks are most commonly used for asphalt and concrete paving; they are categorized by the trailing axle, a liftable, and load-bearing axles rated up to 13,000 pounds.
6. Semi-Trailer Bottom Dump Truck
Semi-trailer bottom dump trucks are similar to semi-trailer end dump trucks but use a different trailer mechanism and a different offloading method.
Also called bottom hoppers or belly dumps, this type of dump truck work with a 3-axle tractor pulling a 2-axle trailer with a “clam-shell-type” dump gate situated in the belly of the trailer.
One of the main advantages of this type of dump truck is its ability to dump materials in a linear heap. Also, these trucks are easily maneuverable in reverse.
The cargo carried by this type of dump truck is dumped from the belly or bottom. The shape of the dump box and bottom dump mechanism allows for everything contained in the dump box to be emptied completely.
7. Double and Triple Trailer Bottom Dump Truck
This type of dump truck features a 2-axle tractor that pulls a single-axle semi-trailer plus another one or two full trailers; if it pulls one additional full trailer, it is a double bottom, but if it pulls two, it’s a triple bottom.
Drivers of this type of dump truck do not need to leave the cab or stop the truck entirely before dumping the content.
Double and Triple Trailer Bottom Dump Trucks may be used for hauling dirt, rock, and other materials; the configuration may differ in different countries owing to the number of axles supported in the country.
8. Winter Dump Trucks
These are simply the type of dump trucks used in clearing snowballs during the winter season. Winter dump trucks are majorly standard dump trucks or transfer dump trucks specially designed for use during winter, especially in places where it snows heavily.
Also, winter dump trucks are built to offer higher strength than regular dumpers. Usually, these trucks feature a snowplow blade at the front to remove snow from the roadway. The dump box is designed to carry heavy loads to balance the truck when it uses the front snowplow to push heavy loads of snow off the roadway.
9. Haul Dump Truck
Haul dump trucks are usually large vehicles capable of hauling over 400 tons of material per load. The actual load capacity depends on the size of the truck.
However, most haul dump trucks are built with twin axles – larger ones may have up to three. Basically, haul trumps are not meant to drive on public roads due to their size and weight, so they are restricted to onsite usage.
Haul dump trucks may have two offloading mechanisms – a traditional hydraulic front lift and a rear-eject mechanism. This type of dump truck is used in heavy mining operations and construction sites where heavy materials are used – this is due to the heavy-duty build of haul dump trucks.
10. Roll-Off Trucks
A Roll-off truck features a hoist and subframe and nobody. It is mainly used for carrying removable containers. This is considered a dump truck because the containers it carries are loaded on the ground, then pulled back onto the truck’s subframe using a winch and cable.
At the dump site, the hoist raises for the container to slide down the subframe. Roll-off truck containers have rollers that help to move the containers frontward and backward.
11. Off-Highway Dump Trucks
This type of dump truck is used on construction sites because they are mainly heavy-duty trucks. Off-highway dump trucks can carry heavy construction equipment.
Bigger ones – in terms of size – are strictly used off-road for heavy dirt hauling and mining jobs. This type of dump truck has two subtypes: rigid frame and articulating frame.
These are the common types of dump trucks used in different countries and regions. The design may differ slightly in some countries. Some dump trucks are not meant to drive on regular roads due to their weight capacity – so they don’t damage the roads.