A dump truck is a class of vehicles designed to transport material between locations. Companies use them in construction, mining, logging, and many other industries that require the movement of heavy loads.
But how much will a dump truck cost your company?
Generally, the average dump truck cost varies between $6,000-$160,000, depending on age, engine size, and loading weights.
Specifically, budget-range dump truck prices range from $60,000-$100,000 new and $6,000-$20,000 pre-owned. In contrast a medium-range model costs on average $120,000-$160,000 new and $20,000-$40,000 pre-owned. Therefore, depending on its condition, you could get better value by choosing a used model rather than a new one if you know what you’re looking for.
Much larger severe-duty and heavy-duty dump truck models carry huge loads. We typically find these in specialist mining applications.
If we look at dump trucks in more detail, we find that there are two main categories.
- Models designed for road use – Usually, these find work in construction sites and long-distance hauling.
- Models optimized for off-road applications – Typical applications involve logging and mining.
Furthermore, we also find that dump trucks have a large body size range depending on their applications. Usually, medium-duty vehicles typically have 12ft bodies, while heavy-duty models have 18ft bodies. However, larger vehicles have additional axles to help support the vehicle’s larger load. Consider this point when calculating vehicle maintenance costs.
Dump trucks also have varying-sized boxes depending on their applications. On-road vehicles have low-profile boxes to allow for overhead obstructions. In contrast, off-road vehicles often have much higher boxes. Therefore, consider the box’s profile when deciding your purchase.
Many factors affect the final price you pay. In this article, we explore all the factors that influence your commercial quote.
Dump Truck Cost Factors
In this section, we consider the various factors dictating the price of your dump truck. However, before we start, you should decide on the vehicle’s primary purpose. Then, consider whether you require a medium or a heavy dump truck.
Will they move loose material such as earth, sand, or gravel, or bulkier material like rocks or logs? You must also decide in what condition you need the vehicle. A preowned truck’s value has already depreciated. So, you can save money by choosing one of these. Furthermore, there’s no need to worry about buying a used model. Usually, they still have a significant lifespan left in the engine. You might have to pay out more for maintenance later on in its life. But, as long as everything operates properly, it’s expected for a dump truck to have a few dents. Furthermore, you can also find reasonable used dump truck prices if you look for reconditioned models rather than a brand new dump truck. And, they usually come with warranties if you buy from a reputable dealer.
Box Shape & Size
A dump truck is a vehicle designed to shift heavy loads, so the box shape and size is probably the primary factor when choosing the vehicle. Only the correct size and shape will allow your driver to have the best possible work experience.
The chosen size depends on what you intend to haul. Long loads such as uncut logs need bodies and boxes to suit. Therefore, dump truck bodies range from 8ft to 20ft, with the longer bodies belonging to heavy dump trucks.
You shouldn’t neglect the box shape either. If you primarily haul loose material, it’s probably best to choose a box with a curved profile. The curve helps the material to flow easily from the upturned box when unloading. Alternatively, consider using a box with a square profile if your priority is to carry as much as possible in each load. Although these are the ideal options, it’s common to use a dump truck for many different load types, so choose the box profile that you consider to be the best.
The axles, along with the wheels and tires, are what support the dump truck during use.
Therefore, it makes sense to consider the axle rating. Moreover, the material you intend to carry will largely determine the rating. You might plan to continually haul large quantities of dense, heavy materials, such as soil and sand. In that case, you need rear axles rated at 40,000lbs and around 20,000lbs on the front. In comparison, a medium-weight dump truck needs an axle rating of around 25,000lbs at the rear and 13,000lbs at the front. Give or take a few thousand pounds.
It’s very important to assess approximately the weight of each load before you choose your dump truck. If you misjudge and overload the box, you can cause a lot of problems. You will make the vehicle unsafe, drastically reduce its lifespan, increase its repair costs, and, more importantly, jeopardize the life of the driver and those nearby.
Other Considerations (Mechanical)
These two factors are probably the most important to keep your dump truck safe and allow it to operate efficiently. But, there are other considerations to take into account.
What type of brakes does the vehicle use? Although most varieties are efficient and last a long time, you must comply with the appropriate legislation and the industry codes in which you work.
Engine size is important too. A dump truck built in the USA will have its engine capacity measured in horsepower (HP). However, imported models show engine power in kilowatts (kW). Don’t panic! There are many online resources for you to convert kW to HP to know what you’re dealing with.
Anyway, remember that good engine power doesn’t just mean high horsepower values. The dump truck will work for most of the time with heavy loads at low speeds, so good torque values are probably a better consideration.
Gearing and transmission are other features to consider. A heavily laden dump truck must cope with difficult conditions such as slopes and poor traction, and the driver must be in control at all times. Therefore, it’s often better to choose manual transmission rather than an automatic. However, there are cases in which an automatic transmission might be useful, such as long-distance travel.
Generally, buy the newest machine at the highest price that you can afford. Also, look out for brand names with a reputation for reliability, as these will help reduce maintenance costs.
Finally, look at fuel efficiency. Although sometimes considered unimportant, when the priorities are to move the load from A to B, remember that fuel savings of a few dollars a day will soon add up.
When choosing and purchasing your dump truck, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of maintenance and manufacturer support. Always try to buy from a dealer or direct from the manufacturer who has repair and spares support policies already in place. For a relatively small monthly payment, they can supply on-site support and emergency repairs. This expense might seem unnecessary. But, if the vehicle has equipment failure and needs immediate repairs, the costs to your project timeline or delivery schedule will be far higher.
Don’t forget that tires are expensive and can cost up to $1,000 each. And of course, you have running costs such as:
- Insurance, which depends on the environment in which you operate.
- And fuel. Dump trucks use a lot of diesel during a working day, especially if they are continually on the go. Typical fuel consumption can be anywhere between 3 to 6 miles per gallon. But, naturally, they will be earning their keep, so you price this into your overheads.
Regular planned maintenance costs of a new dump truck can be quite expensive. And used dump trucks cost even more. But to keep a machine working efficiently, it’s essential.
Buying a Dump Truck: Top Tips
As we’ve already said, choose what type of dump truck you need for the job. If used on roads and working on relatively level construction sites, don’t choose a heavy-duty model. If, however, you intend it to be off-road in industries such as mining, forestry, or oil, then you need a heavy-duty machine.
Find a dealer
Find a reputable dealer that knows what they are talking about and who has your best interests as their number one priority. After all, they want you to buy from them again, so a happy customer is essential. Choose a dealer who asks about your requirements rather than what the vehicle can do. They are the expert and can usually match your needs to a suitable truck almost every time. Dealers that work with your requirements in mind will give you the best value for money. If they don’t, then move on to another dealer.
Inspect the truck
Don’t forget to inspect the dump truck before you buy. You intend to spend a lot of money on this piece of equipment, and you want to make sure you aren’t buying a dud. If necessary, take someone who knows what they’re doing to inspect the dump truck. And, don’t forget to take it for a short test drive. Drive it at different speeds and on various terrains in possible. Drive it as if one of your operators was using it on the job. We can’t emphasize more strongly that the controls and the hydraulics are the two things that must work as expected, without fault. Once you’re happy that everything is at it should be, sign on the dotted line and complete the purchase.
If you’ve never driven the make and model before, and you intend to buy a used model, then you might not have much to compare it to. In that case, try to test drive a new dump truck first to form a baseline comparison. You’ll then know if there are any problems with steering, noises, and vibrations. If you find any faults and know how much money it’ll cost to put right, you are in a much better position to negotiate a deal with the seller.
Top 9 Best Dump Truck Brands & Manufacturers
Below, we’ve outlined some of the best-known dump truck brands in North America. Note, the list is in no particular order.
1. International Trucks
Navistar International Corporation owns the manufacturers of a few different vehicle types, such as International Trucks. They also own the Workhorse brand of motorhomes and step van chassis and produce school and commercial buses. Moreover, International Trucks is one of the most respected brands in the US for heavy equipment.
The company makes severe-duty dump trucks and has two model ranges in this duty:
- HV – severe-duty up to a maximum of 515 HP and 1850 lb-ft torque.
- HX – severe-duty up to a maximum of 605 HP and 2050 lb-ft torque.
You can find out more on the company’s website.
Volvo is a brand name known throughout the world for its high-quality engineered trucks. The company has always had a reputation for reliable vehicles. And, this status extends to its range of dump trucks.
The company’s dump truck range comprises the :
- VHD 300 AF – This type has an easily customized chassis and nine power take-off options.
- VHD 300 AB – has high visibility from the cab and has a great turning radius.
- VNR 300 – This has a lightweight cab designed to make the drivers comfortable and productive.
You can read more about this on the Volvo website.
3. Western Star Trucks
Based in the USA, Western Star Trucks Sales Inc is a Daimler Trucks North America and German Daimler AG subsidiary
The company produces trucks for both on-road and off-road use and allows full customer customization.
One of its heavy-duty trucks, the Western Star 6900, is severely heavy-duty. The tractor has no problem pulling loads of more than 500,000lbs, but it has great maneuverability and durability.
Look on the company website for more details.
Peterbilt Motors Company is an American truck manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty trucks. The business started in 1939 and in all this time has supplied rugged and reliable trucks to suit all applications. Now, the company enjoys about 13% of the total dump truck market share and is a well-known and much-loved brand.
There are five popular vehicles available:
- The Peterbilt 389 range is for on-road medium-duty dump trucks.
- Peterbilt 567 dump trucks have various configurations to suit the customer’s needs.
- The Peterbilt 367 comes as a vocational truck designed to take on many configurations to suit the customer’s requirements.
- The Peterbilt 348 is a medium-duty dump truck. Moreover, it has the high performance typical of this brand.
- Peterbilt 337 trucks are for medium-duty work and can configure to suit different vocational trucks such as dump trucks and many more.
For more information, look on the Peterbilt website.
Mascus.com provides a portal to the used dump trucks available on the market. It sells not only dump trucks but heavy equipment of many kinds. The site handles vehicles from almost new to heavily used, and there are also many new trucks available from dealers. This website is great if you want to find the right vehicle for your company.
See for yourself, look on the Mascus website for the range of entries.
Mack Trucks Inc, based in the USA, originally produced buses and trolleybuses but now specializes in trucks of all types. It is a highly respected company among its customers. Moreover, it allows customization to combine the correct chassis and box and meet your needs fully.
One of their best dump trucks is the Mack Granite truck. It is a powerful and durable vehicle for dealing with many different jobs.
They have a national network of dealers, so if you’d rather visit in person and try out their vehicles, look on the Mack Trucks website for further details.
7. Commercial Truck Trader
Commercial Truck Trader is an online specialist marketplace dedicated to commercial trucks of all kinds.
If you browse their website, you will find a variety of trucks to suit almost any application. The site displays trucks from all over the country, so you will probably find one near enough to visit for a test drive.
If you want to see what’s on offer, visit the Commercial Truck Trader website for more details.
Freightliner is regarded as North America’s most popular semi-trucks brand. Furthermore, it produces severe-duty and vocational dump trucks too.
The company prides itself on building high-quality and low-maintenance dump trucks able to do just about any task. The vehicles go through a rigorous quality control test program to ensure the customer receives exactly what they expect.
The company manufacturers a wide range of dump trucks with varying specifications. Currently, the company makes the following models, with a choice of four different engines:
- M2 106.
For more information on these vehicles, visit the Freightliner website.
The American manufacturer, Kenworth, produces medium and heavy-duty trucks to the Class 8 classification. Although the company started in 1912 as a car and truck dealership, it wasn’t until 1914 that they were the first to install an inline six-cylinder engine into a commercial truck.
In 2015, Kenworth toppled Peterbilt from its position and now has a 14% market share. The company produces several trucks that can be customized to suit a dump truck. In particular:
For more information, visit the Kenworth website.
Maybe your company is looking for a dump truck to fill a role within one of your projects. If so, you’ll need help choosing the correct specification and, perhaps more importantly, ensuring the dump truck costs are within budget and won’t break the bank. Why not let the professionals help?
Why wait? Complete the form on this page to receive 2 or 3 quotes from professional companies that deal with dump trucks. They can help you choose the right vehicle for your needs at the correct price.