When searching for a new or used dump truck, buyers need to find the right model for the job to be done in order to have greater work efficiency and safety. Dump trucks are actually more complex than what they initially appear to be, especially when it comes to the physical bed emptying part of the process. What is not always known is that there is more than one type of these vehicles that is available for purchase. Depending on the needs of each buyer, a side discharge truck may be preferable over a standard, rear version.
Rear vs. Side
The dump truck that is most commonly seen in use as well as the one that is used by most companies is the rear emptying model. With this vehicle, the bed can be elevated by the use of hydraulics that allow the contents to pour from underneath the bottom of the unhinged tailgate. Rear dump trucks are well equipped to handle most jobs; however, there are some situations where it is difficult to use this discharge version such as when working in tighter areas or with overhead power lines. Side dump models use a tilting base that is raised hydraulically from the side, allowing for contents to be discharged from the vehicle without the bed reaching too tall of a height. These types are usually found on an articulating chassis; the dump bed is separate from the driver cab which is beneficial in a number of different ways.
Side Discharge Safety
Standard rear dump trucks have a number of safety issues of concern if not operated correctly. The two most significant concerns when using these vehicles is accidental contact with live overhead electric lines when the bed is raised and the possibility of a vehicle tipping when dumping an unbalanced load. Both of these concerns have been addressed and both can be avoided with the use of side discharge models, making them ideal for non-standard use or in situations with less than ideal working environments such as working on uneven ground. Because the bed can lift up only as far as its width rather than its length, the center of gravity rarely changes to the point where the truck tipping over sideways is an issue. Additionally, since the bed only lifts as high as its width, there is little chance of accidental contact with power lines.
Side Discharge Efficiency
Besides the numerous safety features that come with the use of a side discharge dump truck, companies that own them have experienced improved efficiency as well. Not only can these units haul just as much or sometimes more than their rear-discharging counterparts, they are also easier to unload and can complete the job in tighter spaces.
Because the bed can be lifted until it is completely upright, something that is impossible with a standard rear dump truck because of the threat of tipping over, bed contents are more completely discharged. This is especially convenient when hauling wet or sticky material as well as other loads that are hard to remove from the beds of standard dump trucks.
Another feature of these vehicles is the ability to dump while the unit is slowly moving to be able to spread out material over an area. Since operators do not even have to leave the cab to raise the bed, work is completed more efficiently with many more loads being delivered in a shorter period of time.
Before making a new truck purchase, it would be worthwhile for buyers to consider whether or not a side discharge version of this truck would be more useful. With more options for safe dumping as well as the increased ease of use, these vehicles can help streamline any construction process!