What to Look for When Buying a Dump Truck!

Dump trucks are unique conveyances due to the fact that they are the only vehicles that are capable of unloading the material they carry by tilting their load. Now while this vehicle is a one-of-a-kind piece of equipment, it does come in many different configurations depending upon its intended purpose. If looking to buy this vehicle from a dump truck sales proprietorship, the first and most important thing that must be done is to identify the specifications necessary for the job.

The specifications of this vehicle vary greatly. For example, there is a large range of difference between the biggest and smallest type of this equipment. The largest dump trucks, called earth movers, are as big as a building and are used for large quarries. On the other hand, the smallest ones are the size of a pickup truck. The reason for the wide variation in size is that certain applications require certain specifications in order for the equipment to operate efficiently and effectively. That being said, a buyer should also make a decision on which vehicle to purchase based on how it will be used.

The following are some of the important specifications that buyers need to contemplate, as they have a huge influence as to the applications for which the dump truck can be used.


Engine size is a huge factor as to how the vehicle can be used. The power output from the engines can range from 300 to 600 horsepower. Dump trucks that are on the lower end of the spectrum are perfect for light hauling on generally flat terrain, while those with massive engines are perfectly suitable for areas where operators need to haul heavy loads over steep terrain.

Matching the right engine to the job is very important. An operator would not want to be underpowered for the job; however, an owner would not want a large truck driven for frequent light hauls as the operating expense of it could be very expensive.


The type of transmission is also another important thing to consider in this dump truck sales-buying process. The transmission can either be automatic or manual. The advantage of an automatic transmission is that the vehicle is much easier to operate. The downside is that those with automatic transmissions are more expensive and costly to repair, along with the fact that there is certain performance limitations on those equipped with automatic transmissions. On the other hand, those with manual transmissions are more affordable, fuel-efficient, cheaper to repair and can operate on any type of surface since the driver can choose which gear is suitable for the terrain.

Load Volume Capacity

The load volume capacity of these vehicles is determined by the area of the dump bed and the height of the side rails. A standard body length ranges between 20 to 30 feet. The length of the body is critical as it dictates the efficiency of the vehicle. Before buying, it is important for buyers to determine how much load volume per haul the equipment will handle in order to find a dump truck that is equipped with a bed that meets the criteria.

Number of Axles

The number of axles varies depending on the equipment’s rated capacity. Small vehicles are only equipped with one rear axle while heavy-duty ones can have two rear axles along with a third drop axle that can be lowered when hauling the heaviest loads. The number of axles on a dump truck is important due to the fact that most states have regulations on the number of axles to be used for a certain load amount. Before purchasing this equipment, be sure to check in advance on the local DOT laws pertaining to weight restrictions and the number of axles required.

Be sure to check the specifications needed before purchasing this type of equipment to make sure that the vehicle being purchased meets the criteria for its intended use, and to ensure that the buyer knows what to look for when buying a dump truck!