How Long Is a Garbage Truck?

Garbage trucks are a vital piece of equipment in waste management, but what are their dimensions, and how much waste can they hold? Let’s explore these questions below.


How Long Is A Garbage Truck?

Garbage trucks can vary in length depending on their capacity and the type of truck. Rear loaders and front loaders are the two most common types of garbage trucks. Rear loaders have a large compartment at the back of the truck for loading garbage, while front loaders have a smaller compartment at the front. On average, a garbage truck is 20-25 yards long and can hold about 16-20 tons of garbage, equivalent to 4,000-5,000 pounds of capacity.

How Tall Is A Garbage Truck?

Most standard garbage trucks are between 10 and 12 feet tall. However, the height can vary depending on the specific model and design. Roll-off trucks, which are larger and have additional features, maybe slightly taller. However, the height of a garbage truck can also be affected by its load, as it may increase when full of waste.

How Much Trash Can A Garbage Truck Hold?

The amount of trash a garbage truck can hold depends on its type. Standard garbage trucks can contain approximately 30,000 lbs of compacted garbage daily or up to 28 cubic yards. This amount of waste is a testament to the importance of these vehicles in keeping our cities and towns clean and free of rubbish.

What Is a Front Loader Garbage Truck?

A front-end loader garbage truck has hydraulic forks on the front that lift garbage bins and dump their contents into the hopper. This type of truck is very efficient and can quickly collect large amounts of refuse. Front-end loaders are often used with rear-end loaders, which compact the garbage in the truck.

How Wide Is a Standard Garbage Truck?

The average garbage truck is between 20 and 25 yards long and has a width of 96 inches. These dimensions can pose challenges when maneuvering in tight spaces, such as residential neighborhoods with narrow roads and parked cars. Additionally, the size of a garbage truck can make it difficult to negotiate turns, particularly when carrying a heavy load. As a result, city planners must route garbage trucks along streets that are wide enough to accommodate them.

How Much Does a Rear Load Garbage Truck Cost?

Rear loader trucks are famous for their efficiency and durability; municipalities and businesses often use them. While the initial cost of a rear loader truck may be high, they are a wise investment that will save money in the long run. Rear loader trucks can cost anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000, depending on the size and features. When choosing a rear loader truck, it is essential to compare prices and features to find the best value for your money.

How Wide Are Roll-off Trucks?

Roll-off trucks are a type of garbage truck used to haul large quantities of waste, such as construction debris or household junk. They are distinguished from other types of garbage trucks by their wide rails, which allow them to carry much larger loads. The standard width for roll-off trucks is 34 ½ inches. At the same time, some companies offer models with broader or narrower rails, depending on the needs of their customers.

The Person on the Back of the Garbage Truck 

The driver’s helper is the person who rides on the back of the garbage truck during its route. This individual’s job is to pull homeowners’ garbage cans to the side of the truck, dump the trash into the back of the truck, and then put the garbage cans back.

Driver’s helpers play a crucial role in keeping the garbage trucks on schedule, ensuring that each stop is made promptly. Additionally, driver’s helpers often assist with other tasks, such as tarping loads and cleaning up spills. While the job can be physically demanding, it is also very rewarding to know you are helping keep your community clean.

The Back of the Garbage Truck 

The back of the garbage truck is typically called a rear loader. Rear loaders have a large opening at the rear of the truck where the operator can throw trash bags or empty the contents of containers. The operator usually stands on a platform at the back of the truck and uses a joystick to control the robotic arm that grabs and empties the containers.

Rear loaders typically have smaller compartments than side loaders and cannot carry as much waste. However, they are faster and more efficient at dumping waste, making them popular in busy cities.


Garbage trucks are essential to waste management and come in various sizes and styles. By understanding the person on the back of the garbage truck and the back of the truck, we can ensure that our cities are better equipped to handle their trash.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.