The development of the new or used dump truck of today began during the first portion of the 20th century. Due to the increasing number of commercial and residential property construction at that time, there was a need for equipment that was versatile enough to transport construction materials on public roads yet also be capable of unloading by just a few workers. Due to those needs, the dump truck or tipper was created.
The first tipper had a very simple concept; this involved a box hinged at the end of a truck chassis that could be manually lifted using a cable and pulley system. This simple design proved to be very effective and has continued to evolve ever since. This truck continues to be one of the most highly employed pieces of heavy-duty equipment used for transporting loose material, both on and off road. With so many variations for every application, it is also one of the most diverse types of heavy-duty equipment.
From a simple hand-cranked dump bed, the dump truck has been adapted for use in various operating conditions. Some are geared to meet strict weight limits on highways, while others are used exclusively for operating on muddy terrain. It can be purchased new and it is also possible to purchase a used dump truck. Following are some of the design variations of this vehicle.
- Standard Dump Truck – This basic design utilizes a standard frame that is reinforced for additional stability. A metal bed is hinged on the rear end of the frame and a massive hydraulic ram lifts the bed during unloading. It either has a double or a single axle, depending upon its intended capacity.
- Super Dump Truck – This variety can be considered as a huge upgrade to the standard design. This vehicle is created in a way that allows it to carry more material without going over the strict weight limits on highways. To achieve this, the chassis is equipped with three to six axles. It even has a trailing axle that can be lowered during a heavy hauling job.
- Bottom/Side Dump Trailer – Unlike conventional tippers that unload by lifting the bed vertically, the trailer bottom releases its cargo by opening a hatch at the bottom of the bed. The side dump trailer is another variation of the original tipper. Instead of lifting the trailer vertically, the bed simply swings to one side in order to empty its cargo.
- Off-Road Dump Truck – This type of vehicle is used exclusively on gravel and muddy terrain such as found at mining sites. There are many features that set this model apart from its road traveling cousin. In order for it to survive under extreme driving conditions, off-road dump trucks have higher ground clearance and are equipped with massive diesel engines and all-wheel drive that powers large mud tires. It cannot be driven legally on public highways due to its sheer size of and poor road handling capability. They are often transported in parts and have to be assembled on the job site before use.
Except for the off-road dump truck, all of these models are designed to meet strict weight restrictions on highways. By designing the bed to be very long, it effectively spreads the weight of the load over a longer acceptable distance.
Despite the wide variations of this truck, it still retains its basic functions of transportation and speedy cargo removal. It is a very unique and useful vehicle whether a new or a used dump truck and it has hopefully been shown how similar yet different it can be!