What Is a Dump Truck?

When people hear dump trucks, they typically think of the big yellow rigs used to haul dirt and gravel. However, dump trucks come in various sizes and can be used for more than just construction projects. Homeowners can also use smaller versions of dump trucks for their projects.

Dump trucks are primarily used to transport loose materials, such as sand, gravel, or dirt, for construction. The truck’s bed can be tilted to dump out the materials, making it easy to unload and transport them.

When purchasing a dump truck, it’s crucial to consider the size and weight capacity you will need for the projects you’ll be using it for, whether you’re a construction worker or a homeowner.


Types of Dump Trucks

Several types of dump trucks are available, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Standard Dump Truck: This is the most popular type of dump truck. Standard dump trucks have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 19,500 pounds or less and can carry approximately 14,000 pounds of payload. They come in various sizes, with the one-ton and three-quarter-ton dump trucks being the most common. One-ton dump trucks have a short wheelbase and can carry around 12,000 pounds of payload, while three-quarter-ton dump trucks are slightly larger and can carry about 14,000 pounds.
  • Tandem Dump Truck: Tandem dump trucks are similar to standard dump trucks but have two axles instead of one. This means they can carry more weight than standard dump trucks. Tandem dump trucks usually have a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less and can hold about 20,000 pounds of payload. Two-ton dump trucks are the most common type of tandem dump truck. These trucks have a wheelbase of about 20 feet and can carry approximately 18,000 pounds of payload.
  • Articulating Dump Truck: Articulating dump trucks are similar to tandem dump trucks but have an articulating hitch that allows the truck’s bed to pivot. This makes them more maneuverable than tandem dump trucks, enabling them to dump their load without backing up. Articulating dump trucks usually have a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less and can carry about 20,000 pounds of payload. Two-ton dump trucks are the most common type of articulating dump truck. These trucks have a wheelbase of about 20 feet and can carry approximately 18,000 pounds of payload.

Importance of Dump Trucks

Dump trucks are essential for many businesses as they can haul large loads or bulk materials. Their hydraulic lift makes it easy to raise and lower their beds, making it simple to dump their contents. Dump trucks are commonly used in construction and mining operations, as well as in landscaping and other commercial applications.

Dump Truck Speed

The speed of a dump truck depends on its size and type. The two largest dump trucks in the world, Belaz 75710 and Caterpillar 797F, have a top speed of 40 to 42 miles per hour. However, due to their heavy loads, most dump trucks have a maximum speed of 25 to 35 miles per hour. Maneuvering large dump trucks at high speeds can be challenging, making it advisable to keep your speed relatively low.

How Big Is a Dump Truck?

When transporting large amounts of material, a dump truck is an indispensable piece of equipment. However, the size of a dump truck varies depending on the type chosen. Standard dump trucks are typically 16-18 feet long and have a carrying capacity of 16-19 cubic yards of material.

If you require a larger carrying capacity, you can opt for a 20-22 feet long dump truck that can hold 22-26 cubic yards of material. For the most extensive jobs, ultra-class dump trucks, which are 30-32 feet long and can carry up to 40 cubic yards of material, are the best option. You can select the perfect dump truck to meet your needs with several options.

Why Do Dump Trucks Drive With the Bed Raised?

Dump trucks are primarily designed to transport loose materials such as sand, dirt, gravel, and demolition debris. The lowered bed makes it easier to load these materials and transport them to their destination. However, when the bed is raised, the materials are protected from the elements.

This is particularly critical when transporting materials like sand, dirt, and gravel, as these can easily be washed away by rain or wind. As a result, dump trucks are often parked with the bed raised to keep the material dry and secure when not in use.


Dump trucks are essential to many businesses because they transport large loads quickly and efficiently. However, it is vital to drive these trucks cautiously as they can be difficult to maneuver at high speeds. If you are still determining the dump truck size you require, seek help from a professional. With several options available, they can assist you in selecting the best truck for your needs.

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.