Dump trucks are an important part of our mechanized, modern life. From hauling large quantities of material to and from construction sites, road building, food transport, and mining, the dump truck plays an important part in keeping the cogs of our society turning.
Dump trucks come in a range of sizes and dumping mechanisms, depending on the intended purpose of the truck. F650 as a dump truck are end dump trucks, side dump, and bottom dump trucks. Most dump trucks can travel normal public roads, while others are too large and can only be used onsite.
What Are Dump Trucks Used For?
The dump truck has a surprising history that predates the invention of many other commercial vehicles. The Thornycroft vehicle company developed a steam-driven garbage collection vehicle in 1896, with an effective tipper mechanism to dump the load.
The first motorized dump trucks were developed in the USA in 1910, and shortly after this date, the use of hydraulics saw the expanded use of the dump truck across many industries. The demand for dump trucks exploded during World War I, which accelerated the development of these vehicles to produce high-quality, heavy-haul, automated dump trucks.
By 1920, these trucks were firmly established in the mining industry and road construction. Hydraulics has remained the primary mechanism for lifting the dump box to deposit the truck’s load where required. Modern dump trucks still use this technology, including side dump trucks and belly dump trucks.
1. Standard Dump Truck
The standard dump truck is a versatile vehicle with many industrial uses. They can range in size from a small payload capacity of around 10 tons to a large payload capacity of around 35 tons.
Standard dump trucks use a standard truck chassis but incorporate a dump box mounted in place of a cargo-carrying bay. The dump box is elevated by one of two methods.
The first method is a single hydraulic piston situated under the front of the dump box near the truck cab. This piston uses hydraulics to lift the front of the dump box, lower the rear of the dump box and allow the load to slide out through the tailgate.
The second method of lifting the dump box is with hydraulic pistons mounted on either side of the dump box, raising and lowering the load.
The tailgate on these dump trucks can be top-hinged, bottom-hinged, or have a hydraulic system of its own that lifts the tailgate out of the way when the load is dumped.
Since these dump trucks use standard truck chassis, they are roadworthy and can move around on standard roads and highways in and around our cities.
Standard dump trucks offer good maneuverability but cannot negotiate soft soil and off-road conditions at large construction sites. Consequently, standard dump trucks are mostly used for residential-type construction sites, road building, and agricultural-type applications.
2. Winter Weather Dump Trucks
Locations that experience heavy snowfalls in either regularly make use of dump trucks as snow-clearing vehicles. These are standard, heavy-duty dump trucks that have been modified for working in this capacity.
A snowplow blade is fitted to the front of the truck to push snow off the roadway. The dump box can carry a load used to balance the truck when it pushes a heavy load of snow at the front.
The dump box can also be used to carry salt, which is spread on the roadways to prevent ice formation on the road surface.
3. Transfer Dump Truck
A transfer dump truck is a standard dump truck with a modified dump box. The transfer dump truck can transfer a load box from a specially designed trailer into its own dump box.
The load box from the trailer rolls forward on its own chassis on rails and into the truck’s dump box. The trailer load bay is secured in the truck’s dump box and transported to the dumpsite by the truck. The trailer can be left in its current location while the truck transfers the load to the new location.
The dump truck can elevate its dump box, with the trailer cargo box secured inside, and dump the contents at the required location. The trailer cargo box can then be returned to the trailer and transferred out of the dump truck back onto the trailer chassis.
A variation of the transfer dump truck is the truck and pup, with the difference being that the trailer, or pup, has its own hydraulic system, allowing the trailer to self-unload if required.
These trucks are all built on standard truck chassis, making them capable of operating on all normal roads and highways around towns and cities.
4. Semi Truck Trailer End Dump Truck
Semi-truck trailer combinations can also be configured to be used as dump trucks. These vehicles have standard semi-trucks as the hauling power, but the trailer is the modified part of the combination with the dumping capability.
The end dump means the cargo is dumped from the trailer’s rear end. The length of these trailers and the massive loads they carry require a very powerful hydraulic piston at the front of the trailer to lift the front end and dump the cargo.
The size of the piston makes for an impressive sight when lifting the dump box to expel the cargo, but its length also means it can easily suffer damage.
Operators of these trucks need to exercise care to not damage the hydraulic piston when offloading. If the dump box is overloaded, has an unevenly distributed load, or is offloaded on uneven ground, the hydraulic piston could bend, damaging the lifting mechanism. If the truck is unbalanced during the offloading process, the entire truck can overturn.
The semi-truck dump truck is useful for the large loads that can be transported and because the truck can navigate normal roads and highways.
These dump trucks are not suitable for rough terrain or soft ground construction sites since the trailers do not have drive wheels to assist the truck in these conditions.