How to choose a new dump truck

How to choose a new dump truck

Choosing a new dump truck can be difficult. You have to take many aspects into consideration, such as the size of the engine, the load-bearing ability of the body and tyres, as well as what equipment you will need to buy to accompany it.

You will have to look at a wide variety of Volvo equipment and trucks before you make your final decision, so be sure to go in with a definite list of the specifications that are most important to your needs. Below are some top tips to follow to choose a new dump truck for any project.

What engine do you need?

When looking for dump trucks, you will need to consider what sized engine you need based on the jobs you will be performing. For example, heavy load work will need a dump truck with an engine horsepower of 300 to 600 horsepower.

Trucks with a lower horsepower are ideal for lighter loads, so be sure to base your engine choice on what type of work you will be doing on a daily basis. Volvo equipment is suitable for any engine and any horsepower, so you do not have to be concerned about not being able to use it. Take into account how many times a day you will be moving a load and how heavy it will be when looking at the engine of your dump truck.

Take a look at the transmission

The transmission of a dump truck is either manual or automatic. The choice you make will depend on a number of features, including who will be driving the truck and what type of terrain you will be driving over.

While manual transmission provides better performance thanks to the wide range of gear options, the automatic transmission has a flexible torque converter. Manual does allow you to control the gears based on the truck’s speed, which can be highly useful when transporting a load across a long distance. Whereas automatic transmissions are good at reducing the strain of the driver having to change gears each time.

Evaluate load volume capacity

This is arguably one of the most important aspects of choosing a dump truck. You will need to carefully consider the load volume capacity of the body as the truck will be used to haul different volumes of loads to and from your mine, constructions site or even farm.

It is better to buy a dump truck that can carry slightly more than your load needs, as this will allow you to account for any loads that might be heavier than usual. If you are only transporting one type of material, such as gravel, then the volume and weight of the load will be similar every time you move it. However, if you are removing rubble from a construction site, the load volume will be different each time, meaning the load volume capacity will need to suit this.

The comfort of the cab

The happiness of your dump truck driver is important to the success of any job, and so you will need to look at the comfort of the cab in your dump truck. There are many pieces of Volvo equipment you can purchase or add to the dump truck to make the exterior easier to manoeuvre, but you need to start by ensuring the comfort of the cab.

Ensure that the driver’s seat is comfortable enough to sit in for a few hours every day and that the odometer, speedometer, gauges, signals and lights are in working order. You will also need to ensure that the driver can clearly see the road from their seat, and adjust it accordingly if need be. Bring the dump truck to a stop and use the lifting control mechanism to raise the dump box, checking for the smooth operation of the lifting cylinders and rods.

How many axles are there?

For heavy loads, it is essential that there is a minimum of two rear axles. You will need to check, however, what the legislation is about dump trucks and the number of axles they need to have for different loads.

If you will be hauling heavier loads, you might need more axles to ensure that there is less wear and tear on the tyres. While you can have more installed to help to distribute the weight, it is better to choose a dump truck that already has the correct number of axles. This will save you time and money, and will ensure that you are operational when the truck is needed for the job site.


Choosing a new dump truck does not have to be difficult. If you look for a few key aspects, such as the horsepower of the engine, the number of axles the truck has and what the load volume capacity of the body is, you will be well on your way to owning a new dump truck. Remember to ensure the comfort of the cab so that your driver is alert and awake while driving and choose the transmission to suit your needs.

Photo by bristol lad

Authored by: mjones

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