From excavation to hauling, dump trucks are an integral part of a construction site. The best dump truck for construction purposes is one that suits your needs. There are basic parameters such as hauling capacity, speed, manufacturer and type. Weight restrictions of specialized hauling vehicles on bridges and highways also should factor into your choice.
Finding the Right Dump Truck
Safety is one of the foremost features you will need to consider. Making sure a dump truck meets all safety requirements, both federal and state, is essential.
Dump Truck Types
Dump trucks can be divided by type and each has particular uses and, in some cases, limitations.
- Standard dump trucks have a truck chassis with a dump bed attached and a vertical hydraulic lift at the bulkhead. These trucks have an axle at the front and additional axles at the rear. The maneuverability is good except on soft soil.
- Transfer dump trucks are standard trucks with separate trailers that haul a container filled with sand, gravel or other substances. This combination increases hauling capacity without affecting the ability to maneuver. It is possible to add multiple containers; however, states may prohibit this based on weight limits. Checking on state regulations before adding cargo containers at a particular job is important.
- Side dump trucks allow dumping to either side using hydraulic rams and have a two-axle semi-trailer with a three-axle tractor. Such trucks have the ability to carry heavy loads and unload quickly. Although this type does not tip over readily, it can if dumping is stopped before it is finished unloading. Maneuverability is limited.
The carrying capacity is the weight and volume since moisture must be incorporated into the final payload. Trucks that carry a heavy load might be restricted from certain areas due to weight as per federal and state laws.
The standard dump truck has a tight turning radius. These trucks work well when space is a factor. Standard dump trucks can move in reverse easier than those with multiple trailers.
Choose a Manufacturer
Once you have decided on the type of dump truck you need, choosing a manufacturer is next. The safety record and integrity of a manufacturer has much to do with your choice. Another practical consideration is if a dealership is located nearby.
- The Caterpillar660 standard dump truck has a Cat® CT13 Engine with 365-475 horsepower at 1700 rpm. It is a diesel 4-cycle engine with an inline 6-cylinder and has 4.96-inch bore and a 6.54-inch stroke. The CAT660 has a direct injection combustion system with a 2400-pound engine. The truck has six speeds forward and one reverse. The clutches are electro-hydraulic fully modulated, multidisc and oil-cooled. This manufacturer is well known for building quality trucks.
- The Ford F-650-750 SD Pro Loader XL comes with a 6.8L V10 Gas Engine making it cost-effective. It has 457pound-foot of torque and up to 362 horsepower and a 6-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive. The gears are able to handle additional torque. In manual mode, you have the control you need. The wheelbase ranges from 158 to 260 inches depending on the model.
- Volvo invented the articulated truck. It continues that tradition with the A25G and A30G models. Low fuel use and the ability to do heavy-duty work combines with the Volvo engine, while wet brakes on the axles let this dump truck plow through mud as though it wasn’t there. Differential locks are 100-percent lockable for major traction as all tires have the same speed of rotation. It also comes with a suppression system in case of fire that automatically activates water nozzles and has automatic and manual operation, allowing the driver time to get out and prevent more damage to the truck.
Checking Out Weight Restrictions
Specialized hauling vehicles are restricted on certain roads and bridges due to weight. When looking to the purchase of a new or used dump truck, it is important to make sure using them on access roads and bridges is possible.
It is essential to learn about safety factors and equipment regulatory features as part of your training. Other courses offered by the Massachusetts Contractors Academy may help in acquiring information used every day in other areas of construction. Among the many courses offered, a building inspector course is available for online study.