A dump truck is a big tool for a big job. Since Tucker Paving Inc. sometimes has a mighty big job to do or several comparatively smaller-size jobs to do at the same time, several dump trucks are in the TPI vehicle fleet.
A dump truck also is a source of great delight. Children love it when one of our team members drives up in a dump truck for a local school show-and-tell or career day or arrives in one of these big rigs for a community touch-a-truck day. It’s wonderful to see the excitement and joy on kids’ faces as they walk around and put their hands on one of our dump trucks and actually sit in a truck cab and get behind the over-sized wheel of one.
It might be interesting for you to learn that dump trucks have been a part of major business and construction, both in America and around the world, for well more than 100 years. What follows are just a few key dates and developments in the history of dump trucks and some facts and figures about these indispensable rigs for road building, hauling, and most other construction tasks.
- A dump truck is used for transporting loose material (such as sand, gravel, or demolition waste) for construction.
- Other names for a dump truck include dumper truck or tipper truck.
- A dump truck has superseded the basic truck design by automating the process of unloading. By automatically tipping the bed, hundreds of cubic yards of loose material can be unloaded at one time.
- A typical dump truck is equipped with an open-box bed, which is hinged at the rear and equipped with hydraulic rams to lift the front, allowing the material in the bed to be deposited (“dumped”) on the ground behind the truck at the site of delivery.
- The dump truck is thought to have been first conceived in the farms of late 19th-century western Europe. Thornycroft developed a steam dust-cart in 1896 with a tipper mechanism.
- In its earliest incarnation before gasoline or diesel engines were created, dumping mechanisms were attached to horse-drawn two-wheel carts often used in coal mines and railroads to haul material. These “dump trucks” were tub-like containers attached to the rear gate hinges.
- The first motorized dump trucks in the United States were developed by small equipment companies such as The Fruehauf Trailer Corporation, Galion Buggy Co., and Lauth-Juergens, among many others, around 1910. Hydraulic dump beds were introduced by Wood Hoist Co. shortly thereafter.
- Dump truck manufacturing companies flourished during World War I due to massive wartime demand.
- A standard dump truck is a truck chassis with a dump body mounted to the frame. The bed is raised by a vertical hydraulic ram mounted under the front of the body, or a horizontal hydraulic ram and lever arrangement between the frame rails, and the back of the bed is hinged at the back of the truck. The tailgate can be configured to swing up on top hinges (and sometimes also to fold down on lower hinges), or it can be configured in the “high-lift tailgate” format, wherein pneumatic rams lift the gate open and up above the dump body.
- In the United States, most standard dump trucks have one front steering axle and one or two rear axles, which typically have dual wheels on each side. Tandem rear axles are almost always powered; front steering axles also are sometimes powered. Unpowered axles are sometimes used to support extra weight.
- The frame used in both new and used dump trucks is specially reinforced to provide added rigidity to the equipment and prevent it from bending or breaking under heavy loads.
- Dump truck sales continue to grow due to the rise in construction activity and increased government spending for roads and highways. Rigid dump trucks are part of the high-value equipment segment that will see renewed sales and will prompt sales figures to reach $89.3 billion by 2020.
A note to local teachers: If you’re planning a show-and-tell day for your students after the holidays, give Tucker Paving a call at 863-299-2262. If our work and staffing schedules allow, there’s a good chance we can be there for you and the kids.