How Many Wheels Does a Garbage Truck Have?

Garbage trucks are ubiquitous and essential in maintaining cleanliness in our cities. However, do you know how they work and what types are available? In this blog post, we will answer these questions, discuss the proper name for a garbage truck, and delve into the force exerted by these vehicles.


Types of Garbage Trucks

Garbage trucks come in different types, including rear, side, and front loaders. The rear loader is the most common type, and it features a cab at the front of the truck and a compactor at the back. The truck lifts the dumpster from the rear and empties it into the back of the truck. The side loader lifts the dumpster from the side of the truck and dumps it into the back. On the other hand, the front loader features a cab in the middle of the truck and a compactor at the front. It lifts the dumpster from the front and empties it into the back of the truck.

Size of a Garbage Truck

The size of a garbage truck depends on the type of truck. Rear loaders and front loaders are the most common types. The average rear-loader garbage truck is 28 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 13 feet high, while the average front-loader garbage truck is 32 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 14 feet high. Garbage trucks need to be massive to hold a lot of waste. An average rear loader can hold up to 16 tons of garbage, while the average front loader can hold up to 18 tons.

Proper Name for a Garbage Truck

A garbage truck is formally referred to as a waste collection vehicle. However, it goes by different names, such as trash truck in the United States, refuses truck, dustcart, junk truck, bin wagon, or bin van elsewhere. This truck is primarily used to collect and transport waste.

Force Exerted by a Garbage Truck

Garbage trucks must exert significant force because they must compact waste into a small space. They do this using hydraulics to lift the dumpster and empty it into the back of the truck. Most refuse trucks have two large bore cylinders that power the compactor plate at the rear of the container body. When selecting a hydraulic compactor, one should consider the total force exerted by the cylinders and the compacting plates and the pressure at which this force is exerted. Other crucial factors include the speed of cycle time and lift height.


Garbage trucks are an essential part of our society, and they help keep our cities clean and safe. They are powerful machines that come in different types and sizes. Ask your local refuse company or municipality if you’re curious about how garbage trucks work.

Onboard computers now provide real-time information about many aspects of refuse truck performance, including payload weight, estimated arrival time (ETA) at the transfer station or landfill, actual vehicle weight, fluid temperatures, efficiency settings, and other critical functions. Operators receive visual and audible alerts when preset limits are exceeded to make necessary adjustments during their routes to optimize productivity and minimize vehicle wear and tear.

Combined with global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices, onboard computers have revolutionized solid waste management operations by reducing costs and maximizing efficiencies throughout the entire collection process from start to finish.

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.