Dump Truck vs Dump Trailer – Which is Better and Why?

When unsure about picking either a dump trailer or a dump truck, you should focus on the benefits and drawbacks of each. Making this contrast will help you find out which one works better for your needs and demands – and it will also help you find the right one.

Are you ready to learn more about dump trucks and dump trailers so you can possibly choose the ideal option later? Then come and find out!

What are Dump Trailers?

Imagine a trailer, now add a hitched dump tub behind. That’s what a dump trailer is. Some trailers come already pre-assembled, so they are designed from the factory to work as dump vehicles. Both are pretty useful, and they offer lots of opportunities.

You need to consider that dump trailers tend to be really tall and broad. However, they work mostly for light loads. Yet, it all depends on the construction and overall purpose of its design.

Some can be small, while others can be large and tall. It all depends on demands, but you can always pick different models according to what fits better with what you need. Apart from that, you can sometimes choose the dump trailer apart from the vehicle, so that’s a plus in versatility.

If you want to learn more about dump trailers, you can keep reading about their advantages and disadvantages below:

Benefits of a Dump Trailer

You’ll want to know what makes one of these the right choice. Here we explain its main features and why they are worth considering:

  • Size

Dump trailers are large and offer broad beds. This means you can pour a lot of loads inside without problems. Yet, the real advantage comes from the wide range of sizes you can pick from. Some trailers are as small as 8 feet while others can reach up to 30 feet easily.

  • Lifting Mechanism

A trailer comes with a lifting mechanism just like any vehicle for dumping loads. However, the mechanism of a trailer tends to be a little simpler than other options, especially when compared to trucks.

  • Vehicle Choice

One of the main advantages of a trailer is that you don’t have to pick a vehicle and stick with it forever. Instead, you can get a dump trailer and attach any kind of truck or vehicle to move it around. And that’s a massive benefit for those who sometimes need to travel vast distances and sometimes just small distances with loads.

  • Affordability

Most dump trailers are pretty cheap when compared to their pre-assembled alternatives. One of the main things to consider is that dump trailers only refers to the part where the load goes. When you say dump truck, you refer to the whole vehicle, including the bed.

So, yes, trailers are more affordable and more straightforward in that sense.

Disadvantages of a Dump Trailer

As well as it has excellent benefits to consider, dump trailers may come with some things you may not like. Here are a few of them:

  • Hard to Control

Controlling a trailer, especially a large one, can be a hard job. Actually, pulling a trailer around and using it to dump heavy loads requires lots of experience and skill with a vehicle.

Generally, they take a lot of time to learn to control correctly and sometimes may become a problem if they aren’t properly used.

Another reason this happens is that the brakes and the axles on trailers are separate from the ones in the vehicle. Sometimes, the trailer doesn’t even come with brakes or axles itself – so that makes maneuverability and control even harder.

  • Less Stability

Most trailers tend to have the issue of little stability. Especially when trying to dump something using the lifting mechanism, trailers may not hold too well and cause strong vibrations and lots of instability. Sometimes, this process may even lift the whole vehicle a little, which can be dangerous.

This mostly happens with the largest trailers with hefty loads, but it’s still possible in small ones. So, it is essential to know this before getting one.

What are Dump Trucks?

The design of a dump truck is similar to a trailer but shorter and smaller. They are useful for the same purpose, bringing heavy loads from one place to another. However, trucks do the job slightly different, providing excellent results for heavy but small loads.

Dump trucks usually possess technologically advanced lifting mechanisms, but it all depends on their construction and design.

But you have to consider that most dump trucks are only one piece. This means they come already pre-assembled and you won’t have to pick between different vehicles to make it work. But this comes at the cost of not being able to change the dump size if needed.

Down below, you have more specified information about dump trucks. Keep scrolling to learn in-depth about them:

Benefits of a Dump Truck

Dump trucks are the favorite choice of many people around the world, here we’ll explain why:

  • Strength

Most dump trucks are made with unique constructions that make them stronger than other options and capable of working with any kind of load.

You can quickly pour anything on a dump truck as long as it looks feasible and it will probably dump all of the content without problems. You can even carry up to 14 tons of weight depending on the size of the truck.

This happens mostly because dump trucks are complete machines. You won’t be able to take the vehicle apart from the dump mechanism. This, obviously, makes a dump truck much more reliable in the long run.

  • Stability

Following the integrated design of a dump truck, you could also say it won’t tip or lose any balance while dumping loads.

These machines are engineered to hold as much weight as the whole lifting mechanism, and motor of the vehicle can handle. No more and no less than that – so it’s improbable a dump truck will tip or lose stability while holding lots of weight.

  • Easy Maneuverability

Controlling a dump truck is way easier than managing a trailer. Here you’ll need to consider the brakes, as trucks come with an integrated one with the whole mechanism of the vehicle. The same happens with the axles and the entire lifting system.

Controlling one of these is not easy still, but way simpler than controlling a trailer. Someone can quickly learn to operate one of these in a matter of days.

Disadvantages of a Dump Truck

Yes, a dump truck sounds impressive in many ways – but it may also come with a few downsides. Here are a few of them:

  • Cost

A dump truck is often up to five or ten times more expensive than dump trailer. This makes it an excellent choice only for those who can afford it and will get the most out of it. Otherwise, a dump truck may not be the best idea.

  • No Versatility

While you’ll be able to hold lots of weight and all kinds of loads, dump trucks are limited to their size and length. This means you won’t be able to carry more load than it can and changing or replacing the dump trailer will be impossible to do.

So, if you need to load just a few hundred pounds so you can easily use a small dump, you won’t be able to do any change and instead use whatever the truck offers. It doesn’t matter if it is too much or too little, you’ll be stuck with that.

Comparing Dump Trailer vs Dump Truck Features

It’s important to know the advantages, disadvantages, and proper use for each type of dump. However, it is also key to know how they differ in specific aspects. Here are a few to consider:

  • Weight Capacity

While a dump trailer will be able to bring lots of weight depending on its size and construction, it will be a little hard to operate. Sometimes they can be slightly dangerous to use with heavy loads.

In contrast, a dump truck may also provide lots of weight but with limitations because you won’t be able to replace the load capacity. Luckily, they are strong enough to hold tons of weight without having any negative effect.

  • Control

Dump trailers are hard to move around and use in tight places. As they tend to be big or at least offer the chance to change beds for large ones if needed, they are also more difficult to handle, especially in small spaces and difficult terrain.

Dump trucks don’t have this problem. Trucks are easy to use, stable, and typically small enough to move in tough terrain safely. Even when dumping, trucks have a strong build that allows easy control.

  • Dumping Mechanism

The machinery of both trailers and truck is pretty similar. However, you should know that there are several types of dumping machines out there.

For example, dump trucks often have the usual hydraulic mechanism that uses pistons to lift the dump box backwards. But you can also find cylinder mechanisms that lift the bed a little and push the content from the inside to the back to dump it.

In dump trailers you will mostly find hydraulic mechanisms but completely attached to the vehicle. The most common is the scissor lifting mechanism that uses gravity to dump the interior by tipping the bed vertically.

But there are many types of dumping methods out there, so this is subject to the design and specific construction of the truck or trailer.

Normally, dump trailers have the best dumping mechanism as they use gravity-down machinery that uses less power. However, dump trucks are often much more durable & reliable mechanisms that also do the job faster,

  • Price

The cost of trucks and trailers differs in different ways. For example, large trailers tend to be way bigger than large dump trucks, so they can be more expensive.

However, trucks can be a little costlier due to stronger construction and more reliable dumping mechanisms.

We could say that if you go for a dump trailer, you are likely to find a more affordable product. If you go for a truck, then you are likely to find the most expensive ones.

But of course, the largest trailers can be significantly more expensive than trucks in some cases. So it depends. As a general rule, trucks are the priciest.

Bottom Line – Which One to Go For?

As you should know already, it all comes down to the job’s needs. But overall, we could say that trailers are better for anyone who needs more weight capacity, while trucks are better for those who want safety.

So, if you want a vehicle for dumping that works for different types of loads, go for a trailer.

But if you want something stable and easy to use, a dump truck would be your choice.

Also, remember trailers tend to be more affordable than trucks, and that can be a decisive factor.

Whatever you go for, just make sure it fits your demands and requirements. If you do this, you’ll be choosing the perfect dumping machine.

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