Rigid Frame Dump Trucks
A dump truck is a haul truck generally used to transport loose materials such as sand, gravel, rock, waste rock or debris. The design in the U.S. dates back to 1910. The standard dump truck design today varies slightly round the world but in the U.S. almost always consists of a straight-truck chassis with one front steering axle, which may or may not be powered, and a hydraulically actuated, open-topped dumper body.
Dumping action is performed by raising the forward end of the bed, allowing the material to spill out the back end of the dumper body. This is performed by either a vertically or horizontally oriented hydraulic ram beneath the bed.
The rigid-frame dump truck offers distinct advantages from other types of haulers, such as tractor-trailer dump trucks and articulated dump trucks. It has a shorter turning radius and greater maneuverability than a tractor-trailer, or “semi,” dump truck. And while an articulated truck offers greater mobility over rough terrain and poor ground conditions, the rigid-frame dump truck offers greater versatility over a wider range of applications.
The rigid-frame dump truck can be used both on and off the highway, where ground conditions permit the use of heavy-duty, wheeled vehicles. Its robust design can be configured for specific severe-service uses, such as fitting it with a blade for use as a combination snowplow and salt/sand spreader. It can be configured as a roll-off truck for jobsite refuse containers.
The largest versions of its rigid-frame design are the haul trucks used in surface mines, the greatest of which has a 450-metric-ton capacity.