What Is A Dump Truck? (Type, Price, and Size)


What Is A Dump Truck?

Curious about what a dump truck is? It’s a valid question, especially considering the vital role these vehicles play in various industries. Whether it’s a bustling mining operation or a large-scale construction site, the humble dump truck stands out as the key player capable of efficiently moving massive amounts of material.

In its simplest form, a dump truck is a vehicle equipped with a spacious, open bed or box at the rear. This bed is connected to a hydraulic system that can lift it at its hinge, effectively transforming it into a convenient ramp. This ingenious design allows the dump truck to effortlessly unload its cargo, saving valuable time and reducing the need for excessive manpower.

You’ll come across dump trucks in different sizes and configurations, ranging from the familiar trucks you see on highways to specialized versions specifically tailored to meet the unique demands of specific industries or tasks. Their versatility makes them an indispensable tool across a wide array of sectors.

How Does A Dump Truck Work?

At the heart of the dump truck is its bed or box. It’s here that the dump truck’s primary function, to move and unload large amounts of materials, happens. But how does a dump truck work?

The dump truck bed is attached to a hydraulic lift system. When the system is activated, the rear part of the bed lifts up while the front remains attached to the main body of the truck. This transforms the bed into a ramp, allowing the materials inside to slide out under the force of gravity.

The lifting action is typically powered by one or more hydraulic rams. These rams use the principle of hydraulic pressure – fluid under pressure in a confined space – to create a strong lifting force. This allows the dump truck to lift even a full load of heavy material.

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By making use of hydraulics, dump trucks can quickly and efficiently unload their cargo, reducing the time and manpower required at job sites. It’s this simple yet ingenious functionality that makes dump trucks an irreplaceable part of many industrial operations.

What Are The Different Types Of Dump Trucks?

Dump trucks are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and understanding the different types of dump trucks can be critical when making the right choice for a specific task.

  1. Standard Dump Truck: The most commonly seen variant, the standard dump truck, consists of a full truck chassis with a dump body attached to the frame. The dump body is raised by a hydraulic ram lift that is mounted forward of the front bulkhead, typically between the truck cab and the dump body.
  2. Transfer Dump Truck: These are a unique type of dump truck that includes a separate trailer with a movable cargo container, which can increase capacity without compromising maneuverability.
  3. Articulated Dump Truck (ADT): Designed for rough terrains and harsh conditions, the ADT has a hinge between the cab and the dump box. It has robust wheels and a very flexible drive system, making it perfect for off-road applications.
  4. Side Dump Trucks: As the name suggests, side dump trucks can tilt to the side, providing the advantage of being able to deposit material in a linear heap or in tighter sites, especially where access is limited.
  5. Super Dump Truck: With a payload capacity of 19-26 tons, these trucks are equipped with a trailing axle, a load-bearing axle rated as high as 13,000 pounds. This type of dump truck offers the ability to carry larger payloads with the same maneuverability as a standard dump truck.

What Are Typical Dump Truck Hauling Rates?

When it comes to dump truck hauling rates, it’s important to note that these can vary significantly based on several factors. These include the type and size of the dump truck, the type of material being hauled, the distance of the haul, and the specific area or region.

On average, you can expect to pay between $60 to $80 per hour for a standard dump truck. This rate can increase for larger or more specialized trucks. For instance, a super dump truck, due to its larger size and increased capacity, can command rates upwards of $150 per hour.

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Long-term contracts or large projects may offer flat-rate pricing, which typically provides cost savings over hourly rates. It’s always recommended to get a detailed quote based on the specifics of the job to ensure accurate budgeting.

How Big Is A Dump Truck?

The size of a dump truck can greatly vary depending on its type and purpose. They range from small, one-ton models that are perfect for landscaping and minor tasks to enormous industrial-sized models capable of moving tons of materials in a single trip.

1. Dump Truck Yard Size

Dump truck yard size refers to the volume of material a dump truck can carry. This is also known as the truck’s “payload capacity.” The yard size can give you a clear idea of the dump truck’s capacity and help you gauge whether a particular truck is suitable for your needs.

A standard dump truck, for instance, can typically haul between 10 to 14 cubic yards of material. However, larger vehicles like the super dump trucks can carry up to 26 cubic yards. This increased capacity makes these trucks indispensable on major construction sites, in mining operations, or any other project requiring the movement of large volumes of material.

2. What Is Dump Truck Height?

The dump truck height is another critical measure to consider. The height can influence where the dump truck can operate, as it must be able to clear bridges, overpasses, and other potential overhead obstacles.

Standard dump trucks are usually around 7 to 8 feet tall. However, this height can increase with larger and more specialized types of dump trucks. An articulated dump truck, designed for rough terrains, may stand 9 to 10 feet tall.

Remember, the size of a dump truck – whether in terms of yard size or height – is a significant factor to consider based on the specific requirements of the job at hand.

How Much Is A Dump Truck

Determining how much is a dump truck involves considering several factors. The type, size, features, and even the age of the truck can significantly affect its price.

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New standard dump trucks can cost between $100,000 to $150,000. More specialized trucks, like the super dump truck or articulated dump truck, come with a heftier price tag, often costing several hundred thousand dollars.

On the other hand, used dump trucks can be a more affordable option. The price for used dump trucks can start as low as $30,000, depending on their condition and age.

Final Thoughts

The importance of dump trucks in various industries is undeniable. These versatile vehicles, with their significant hauling capacity and unique unloading mechanism, make construction, mining, and waste management projects more efficient and manageable.

The size, types, and prices of dump trucks vary widely, catering to different needs and budgets. Whether you’re in the market for a dump truck or just curious about these hard-working machines, it’s clear that they play an integral role in our modern industrial landscape.


Q: How does a dump truck work?
 A: A dump truck uses a hydraulic system to lift its rear cargo bed, allowing it to unload materials quickly and efficiently.

Q: What is dump truck height?
 A: Standard dump trucks are usually around 7 to 8 feet tall, but this can vary depending on the type and purpose of the truck.

Q: What are typical dump truck hauling rates?
 A: Hauling rates can range from $60 to $150 per hour, depending on factors like load capacity, haul distance, and the type of material.

Q: How much is a dump truck?
 A: The cost of a dump truck can vary significantly, with new standard models costing between $100,000 to $150,000. Used trucks can be a more affordable option, with prices starting as low as $30,000.

Jackson Reid
Jackson Reidhttps://truckbedguide.com
With a wrench in one hand and a trucker's hat on my head, I've been knee-deep in the world of trucks for over a decade. From tinkering in greasy garages to cruising down open highways, my life has been one big trucking adventure. I've hauled, repaired, and revved up more rigs than I can count, and now I'm revving up your truck knowledge with articles that'll steer you right.

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