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Are There Different Types of Dump Trucks?

Dump trucks play a crucial role in our mechanized, modern lifestyle. The dump truck serves a crucial role in keeping the cogs of our society going by transporting vast amounts of material for:

  • Construction sites
  • Road construction
  • Food transport
  • Mining

Dump trucks come in a variety of sizes and have different systems, depending on their intended use. Most dump trucks may go on public highways, but some are too huge and must be used solely onsite. End dump trucks, side dump trucks, and bottom dump trucks are all types of dump trucks. The following sections will go into detail about each type of dump truck and its uses.

Standard Dump Truck

The standard dump truck is a versatile vehicle with a wide range of modern industrial applications. Ordinary dump trucks use standard truck suspension combined with a dump-enclosed spot.

The principal method is a single hydraulic piston located under the front of the dump box near the truck cab. This piston uses water power to raise the front of the dump box, lower the back of the dump box, and allow the load to slide out the back end.

The second approach for lifting the dump box involves using a hydraulic piston located on one or both sides of the dump box to raise and lower the weight. The dump truck’s tailgate can be top-pivoted or base-pivoted. It can also have its own pressure-driven mechanism that lifts the back end up when the load is being dumped.

These dump trucks are roadworthy and can drive on standard streets and highways because they use a standard truck chassis. Standard dump trucks have excellent mobility but struggle to navigate soft soil and uneven terrain at certain building sites. As a result, normal dump trucks are used for:

  • Residential construction sites
  • Roadway construction
  • Farming operations

Super Dump Trucks

A super dump truck is a semi-truck trailer dump truck with an additional trailing axle towards the trailer’s end. It is called a super dump truck because of its increased carrying capacity. When the truck is empty, the trailing axle can be lifted off the road. This lowers the taxes imposed on vehicles with a certain number of axles. The hydraulic system on this kind of dump truck moves the trailing axle to extend further to the back of the trailer and connect with the pavement.

This distributes the truck’s load across a larger area, enhancing the permissible transporting capacity of these vehicles. This enhances their payload capacity per trip and, as a result, their benefit per load.

Winter Weather Dump Truck

Dump trucks are frequently used as snow-clearing vehicles in areas that get heavy snowfalls. These are regular, large dump trucks that have been modified to work for clearing snow and dealing with other weather issues.

To move snow across the road, a snowplow blade (with a sharp edge) is attached to the front of the truck. The dump box can pass as an extra force that is used to assist the truck when it is pushing a large or heavy load of snow. The dump box can also be used to transport salt, which is spread on roads to prevent ice development on the surface.

Transfer Dump Truck

A transfer dump truck is like a normal dump truck. The only difference is that a transfer dump truck has had its dump box replaced or modified. The transfer dump truck is capable of transporting materials or other heavy equipment.

A transfer dump truck has a standard dump truck as its base and pulls a separate movable cargo container on a trailer. The separate trailer is then pulled within the body of the main truck. The transferring process looks something like this:

  1. The trailer’s cargo container moves forward on its own frame and travels into the transfer truck’s dump box.
  2. The trailer’s cargo container is then locked into the dump box of the transfer truck and transported to the dumpsite.
  3. The trailer (now without its cargo container) can remain in its current location while the transfer truck carries the cargo container and its load.
  4. The dump truck can lift its dump box with the trailer’s cargo container fastened inside, to dump the contents of the load in the predetermined area.
  5. The cargo container can then be returned to the trailer and transported back onto the trailer from the dump truck.

These vehicles are built on standard dump truck frames, making them suitable for use on normal roads and expressways in and around towns and cities.

Side Dump Trucks

Side dump trucks allow you to unload their contents from the side of the dump box. The dumping mechanism for these trucks can be configured in a variety of ways.

These trucks are often semi-truck and trailer combos with the dumping mechanism built into the trailer rather than the truck. Side dump trucks commonly tow multiple side dump trailers to increase the amount of freight hauled in a single trip.

Side dump trucks include a hydraulic system at the front and back of the dump box that rotates the dump box on its midline axis. This movement tilts the dump box aside, dumping the load over the box’s edge.

Normally, this mechanism may twist the dump box to the left or right, enabling the dump box to be cleared out on one or both sides of the truck’s trailer.

Side dump trucks do not have this problem; however, they are prone to spilling if the dumping process is interrupted. The load should also be dumped at an appropriate position to prevent the contents from falling on or around the truck’s wheels. Side dump trucks can transport big or heavy loads, and the unloading mechanism is faster and more efficient than most other dump trucks.

Haul Dump Truck

Haul dump trucks are enormous and capable of hauling between 40 and 400 tons of material every load. The load’s limit will be determined by the size of the truck. The majority of haul dump trucks have twin axles, although larger models can have up to three axles.

Because of their size, these heavy-duty trucks are not intended for usage on public roadways and are limited in their jobsite use.

Two unloading options are available for haul dump trucks. The most common is the standard hydraulic front lift of the dump box, which shifts the dump box for the load to fall out the back.

A rear-eject mechanism is a more uncommon technique. A push plate is located within the front surface of the dump box. When the hydraulics are actuated, this plate travels toward the back of the dump box, ejecting the contents from the back of the vehicle.

Semi-Truck Trailer End Dump Truck

Semi-truck trailer combinations can also be adapted to function as dump trucks. These vehicles are hauled by regular semi-trucks; however, the trailer is customized to have a dumping capacity.

The term “end dump” refers to the loading of freight from the trailer’s backside. An exceptionally powerful hydraulic piston at the front of the trailer is used to lift the front end and dump the load. The hydraulic system on a semi-truck trailer end dump truck has a higher lifting capacity than most other dump trucks. This is because of the length of the trailer itself and the hefty loads they are used to transport.

While the size of the piston is beneficial in raising the dump box to dump the load, its length also implies that it is vulnerable to damage. Operators of these trucks must exercise caution when dumping their load to avoid damaging the hydraulic piston. The hydraulic piston may twist, causing damage to the lifting mechanisms if any of the following occur:

If the vehicle becomes unstable during the offloading procedure, the entire truck may roll over.

The semi-truck dump truck can handle standard streets and highways. This is why it is ideal for moving or transporting heavier loads to and from worksites. However, the trailer does not have drive wheels to assist the truck in rough conditions. Therefore, dump trucks are not ideal for rugged terrain or soft ground construction sites.

Semi-Truck Trailer Bottom Dump Truck

A semi-truck trailer bottom dump truck is similar to a semi-truck trailer end dump truck. The things that differ are the shape of the trailer and the dumping technique. Bottom dump trucks are likewise called belly dump trucks since the freight is dropped from the base of the dump box.

The size and shape of the dump box are critical to the dumping mechanism. The appropriate dump box ensures that the entire load is dumped with very little cargo remaining inside the dump box. A clamshell plan refers to the slanted edges of the dump box to the central lower regions of the dump box.

The cargo is stored underneath the dump box when the lower portion of the clamshell is opened. This dump method allows the truck to go forward while keeping the load in a straight line.

These dump trucks are frequently used to transport cereal grains for agricultural or food production, but they can also transport sand for development.

Articulated Haul Dump Truck

The body, or frame, of an articulated dump truck, is separated into two sections:

  1. A tractor component that contains the cab.
  2. A dump box in the shape of a trailer.

The two pieces of the chassis move independently, giving the operator more flexibility and control.

A rigid dump truck is a standard dump truck with a one-piece frame. The frame of a rigid dump truck is one continuous piece of metal. The cab and dump body are both positioned on top of the frame.

In contrast, an articulated dump truck features, as its name suggests, an articulated frame. The truck’s cab is attached to the front component of the chassis. The dump body is attached to the rear component. The pivot point in the articulation joint allows the two components of the chassis to move independently. This articulation joint is placed right behind the truck’s cab.


Dump trucks are unique due to their compelling size and versatility in transporting loads. Dump trucks are also important vehicles that help to propel our mining, industrial, and construction industries.

They work to accelerate the development and transportation of materials and equipment. There are many different types of dump trucks, each having a different design with unique and useful features.

Due to the size of the loads these trucks can move and offload, construction, horticulture, and mining can keep up with the ever-increasing demand for faster turnarounds.

If you are in need of dump truck training check out our online course today.