View Full Version : dump insert or dump trailer?

03-25-2003, 12:43 AM
Do you think I should go with a "Little Tipster" insert for one of my pickup trucks? Or should I trade one of my float trailers in for a dump trailer - maybe a 6'x12'?

I'm currently 90/10 maintenance-vs-installation work, but I'm hoping to (gradually) bring it closer to 60/40. Aside from the obvious greater carrying capacity of a dump trailer, are there any other reasons to favor one over the other for landscaping purposes?

The "Little Tipster" by Del Manufacturing runs $3000 while a dump trailer would be double that or more.

03-25-2003, 04:38 AM

03-25-2003, 07:43 AM
Be aware that the dump insert adds weight to the empty weight of the truck reducing your payload capacity and increasing fuel consumption when empty. You will have neither a fully effective pickup or a fully effective dump.

A dumping trailer is OK for hauling things off to the dump, but very limited in bringing product to a job site. It is hard to maneuver on the best of surfaces and particularly difficult when loaded on soft ground. Think about backing a heavy trail in moist conditions around the back of a property. A light pickup pushing a heavy trailer backward in a turn is not going very far.

Have you considered trading in one of your trucks for a small dump truck? They are versatile, maneuverable, made to carry a load, and easy to drive. Cabover 1-tons with automatic transmissions are really fit the bill.

03-25-2003, 08:18 AM
I live just North of Toronto, and seen a used dump trailer for $2700 CAN$
it looked in pretty good shape!
it's in the Port Perry area, if you want the phone # of the person selling it, send me an e-mail at ian@landscapeople.com

mdb landscaping
03-25-2003, 08:46 AM
i have a 6 by 10 dump trailer and love it. I use it for mulching, hauling rock and leaf cleanups. I can fit 5 yds of mulch in easy... and if i build sides i could get 8 yds. During the fall i put a leaf box on it and use it for leaf vaccing. ive heard many guys say once you put a dump insert in your truck, youve limited your payload capacity by a lot.

03-25-2003, 09:03 AM
I was wathing a tv show a couple of weeks ago and they were installing a kit on a f150 that used an air bag to convert the bed to a dump it looked realy neat and was light weight and I think it had a 3000lb capacity. looked easy to install other than two pieces of the frame that have to be cut to install the hinges

03-25-2003, 12:04 PM
I appreciate the replies thus far. I would agree with AGLA that a C&C little dump truck would be ideal, but I can't see parking one in my driveway (suburban home) and it's not ideal for my snow plowing work in the winter. If I go with a dump trailer, it would also have to double as a float for my maintenance equipment since both trucks are primarily maintenance vehicles at this stage. If going with a dump insert I would have to get heavier loads of materials (e.g. 3/4 stone) delivered to jobsite to avoid making multiple trips, and that expense would be passed on to the customer. Hopefully that wouldn't price me out of the picture when bidding against other (full-time) install companies. On the other hand, a dump trailer would allow me to eliminate delivery costs.

One other consideration is that for now I am renting skid-steers as required. My current floats are not designed to carry anything heavier than a 400 series Bobcat, otherwise I'd have to pay (and pass on the charge) for delivery and p/u from the rental yard. This is usually $50 each way. But then again, even with a dump trailer that can handle the weight of a heavier skid-steer, I'd still have to make a seperate trip for the aggregate.

This is giving me a headache!

03-25-2003, 02:30 PM
On the other hand, a dump trailer would allow me to eliminate delivery costs.

You might save a few bucks on small loads, but if you're getting more than five yards of rock I would have it delivered. When I use to drive tandems for a small construction company, the delivered cost of material was not much higher than pickup cost. Same with topsoil. We could pick it up for $10/yard or have it delivered for $12. We didn't really save any money hauling our own import material. We mostly used the truck for exporting material.

03-25-2003, 08:45 PM
A dump trailer allows you to be more versatile. You will get more uses out of a dump trailer than a dump insert. If you get one big enough, you can also transport your equipment.

03-25-2003, 08:49 PM
a 1 ton cab over with 4 whell drive would work awsome for snow plowing. I have known guys that run them and love them.

03-25-2003, 09:00 PM
When you're referring to a 'cab-over' I assume you're talking about trucks like those by Isuzu or the GMC Topkicks. I'm sure they're great, but wouldn't be ideal for plowing apartments and condos. I also have to park it in my residential driveway each night and it'd be just too big.

Arc Burn
03-25-2003, 09:14 PM
I build custom dump bodies for ton and ton and a half trucks(350,450,550)and can tell you i would be leary of using your factory box as a dump box,way to flimsy,some will disagree but they were not designed for that.

It's a tough call,with the insert you have taken away payload capacity and with a trailer it's awcward in tight spots and i just read somewere insurance rates were going thru the roof on dump trailers(if you insure it).So a small dedicated dump seems like the way to go?

03-25-2003, 09:23 PM

03-25-2003, 11:30 PM
If you take a good look at these Izuzu and Mitsubishi trucks, you'll see that they aren't big at all. The shorter ones can handle a 12' bed on I believe about a 109" wheelbase. They are way more maneuverable than a full size pickup, and Mitsubishi makes a 4wd model that would be great for plowing.

04-22-2003, 03:13 AM
aww...just get a Load Handler for the truck and if you need another trailer someday get one that dumps.

04-22-2003, 08:22 PM
After reserching dump inserts this one was much better for our needs and better GVW.

04-22-2003, 09:30 PM
I've had a 10,000 lb 6X12 dump trailer for 4 years now and don't know what I would do without it. I use it to haul my equipment around with and just about wqhat ever I want. The trailer is a low profile so it make loading a breeze. Compared to an insert you can haul alot more material and more verstile. the only down falls I can see from one is the manuverablity but that can be easliy over come with an experienced driver for the most part. You can't have it all unless you are going to get both then you still have problems with payload. What my plans were since I couldn't afford a dump truck I figured I would buy the trailer then later when I could afford a dump I would use the trailer for a skid steer or to haul extra material behind the dump. I would suggest one thing though If you get a dump trailer ask around about brand names some dump better than others. Some will not dump if the load is mainly towards the front. That is the problem with mine but if you load it evenly It works great. I also wire the trailer to a switch in the cab so I can operate the dump while driving work great for spreading alittle stone on the drive. I'm also thinking of running to heavy leads back to the trailer to run the pumps off of to eliminate the need for a battery back in the trailer or at least to charge it better. I hope this helped out.

Green Pastures
04-23-2003, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by landscaper3
After reserching dump inserts this one was much better for our needs and better GVW.


Is that one aluminum? If so would you mind providing some more information as to who makes it and where I can get some info on one. Website address maybe.


04-23-2003, 07:16 PM
Stainless steel! www.sandspreader.com

04-23-2003, 09:43 PM
I got a 6x12 dump trailer that will carry a bobcat too for just over $5k .

04-24-2003, 11:27 PM
Lots of good responses. I think having to transport a skid-steer probably makes the decision easier since I can't see buying a heavier-duty float, AND a dump insert or dump truck. I think the dump trailer is going to be the answer. I can get a 6'x12' set up the way I want for around 6K.

Unfortunately, it'll have to wait 'til next season since I just upgraded one of my wb's to a rider, and purchased several new pieces of small maintenance equipment to replace old, tired models.

I'll just have to make due this season with my loadhandler (great for mulch, not for stone), and delivery of larger materials and/or skidsteer rentals.

10-17-2003, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by cutntrim
I can get a 6'x12' set up the way I want for around 6K.

cutntrim, is that 6K American $?. Sounds kinda high if it is. It can really pay to shop around.
I just saw a new 7'x14' dump trailer on ebay for $3995.

10-17-2003, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by Promo Lawn Services
I was wathing a tv show a couple of weeks ago and they were installing a kit on a f150 that used an air bag to convert the bed to a dump it looked realy neat and was light weight and I think it had a 3000lb capacity. looked easy to install other than two pieces of the frame that have to be cut to install the hinges

Using the actual truck bed as a dump is bad IMO. With the way trucks are built these days the beds will not hold up long. Older model pickups were made with heavier metal and would work ok perhaps but not the tin can stuff they use now.

10-17-2003, 03:05 PM
I have a Maxi-dump in a 1ton duelly 10,000 dump capacity which is more than I can haul and I can still pull the trailor with tractor and equipment. I love the insert!

10-17-2003, 11:47 PM
I got a 6x10 dump trailer w/ landscape gate last year. Use it all the time. Glad I got it. Can get 6 yds of mulch in it w/o higher sides. Got it from LONE WOLF from Falkville, AL. Good price too.


10-18-2003, 04:24 AM
Its amazing how much more weight a trailer can carry than a half to 1 ton truck.

The main thing for me, would be the weight of the on-truck dump reducing what I could carry - barely a 1/2 cubic yard of gravel.

You could push it, but if you have an employee driving, and there is a injury accident associated with a load over the vehicle's capacity - that's an issue.

The trailer dump allows for business growth many times more than the vehicle dump.

10-18-2003, 05:02 AM
I think you should have both, but the dump insert would be a more practical first choice. I have both dump inserts, and a dump trailer, and I can't imagine doing without either.

Why don't the dealerships sell a single rear wheel dump truck? Is it merely GVW?
I have two f350's with truckcraft aluminum dump inserts. These are my mowing trucks. I'm playing with the idea of selling my dump inserts, taking the pickup beds off, and having dumps custom fabricated for me.

I like the single rear-wheel trucks because we do a lot of residential plowing and I feel they are more narrow and nimble which is important. I sometime wish I could hold more volume than the dump inserts, and I know a lot is lost with an insert. We also tend to dent the pickup bed quarter panels when plowing residentially, turning into a driveway and you the side gets pushed in, etc.

These trucks don't do any heavy hauling, just light debris in the spring, a little mulch, lots and lots of grass, and then they plow in the winter. Does any know of any negatives to installing a dump on a single rear wheel 350?

10-18-2003, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by Strongmd
I'm playing with the idea of selling my dump inserts, taking the pickup beds off, and having dumps custom fabricated for me.

Strongmd, you might be interested in what these guys have then. I think it's at the bottom of the dump trailer page.


10-22-2003, 11:17 PM
I had a dump trailer once, sold it and invested into a one ton dump truck. The best move I made. My point is this I found it a big inconvienence having to take equipment off dump trailer in order to pick up material, after all time is money. So I would recommend a pick up insert. Ideally if you are planning to do more installation work might want to consider trading in one of your pick ups for a dump truck. You can't beat the interrest rates that are offerred today.

10-23-2003, 11:30 PM
I have a dump insert and I will soon get a dump trailer, I would buy a trailer before the insert, Its more $ but more room to use....... Good Luck

10-26-2003, 01:44 PM
Checkout Amerideck at www.powerdecks.com. They make a dump insert that will fit into the bed of your truck and also let all the way to the ground so that you can transport your equipment without the need for ramps to load with. They also make one for ton trucks with a 10,000 lb cap. Flatbed dump insert start at about $2800, boxdump insert start around $3400.

10-26-2003, 01:55 PM
We got ours from Down East www.sandspreader.com
We love the stainless steel dump insert, just going to take the headboard off for winter as a Stainless steel sander to go in for better visibility.

10-26-2003, 04:15 PM

I've had a dump trailer for about 3 years now and will say that it was one of the best investments I ever made.

I went with a 6x10, 10k lb rated. Think it was around $4500.

I pull it with a chevy 2500hd, gasser.

you really can't go crazy, as 3 yds of dirt of stone is pretty much the max, and I mean max. A 3500 series dually would be the best choice for a pulling vehicle, but the pickup works fine. In reality, about 2 yards of heavier materials is all you can safely transport at highway speed using a sw p/u.

As for not being able to get into tough spots, I disagree. I've had it just about anywhere a dump truck has been, and haven't had any real problems. Of course, there's a few areas that a mason dump would of been nice, but overall, I've been very happy with its performance.

I pull around just about everything with it. I often tow my mini-x in it, and also my toro dingo. The low profile of the trailer makes the dingo and trailer a excellent combination. Also, when on a job, the trailer is very convenient as you can easily unload it (low to the ground) and can easily push wheel barrows into the back with now problems. the main reason I bought the trailer was because of the toro dingo. It truly is a awesome combination.

I have a low profile, but will warn you on this as it does have trouble dumping a load...........not power wise, but because it is so low, you have to kind of 'spread' the load out. Can't just dump it in one, tall pile. The wheel over versions are much better in that sense.

Just be careful when choosing a trailer if you are buying a skidsteer.........many skidsteers won't fit into a 6' wide trailer. The 7 x 14 may be the best overall choice if you are planning to move equipment.(you can get most small backhoe/tractors in this one)

Also, mine is a easy dumper brand. single piston. The only time it has had trouble dumping was when I load the hek out of it....like 4-5 yds....then you have to remove some. As for the rest of the time......never had a problem with it dumping. Also, I'm still on the first battery....which has lasted me the whole 3 years.

Be weary of 'cheaper' dump trailers........I know you can get them cheaper on the internet....but be warned again. Someone mentiond problems with wiring, problems with it dumping, etc. etc. This is common among these 'homemade' internet specials. I'd stick with a brand name. Three good ones are Bri-mar, Easy dumper, and US Cargo.

Also, be aware of the tare weight (dry weight) of the trailer. The easy dumper I bought weighs something like 2500lbs.....some of the other 'heavy duty' ones almost hit 5k......this is important to know. I know the easy dumper isn't built quite as heavy as others, but it seems to be holding up very well. The heavy duty trailers may look nice, but keep in mind that know your pulling around another 2-3k in weight.....losing valuable payload space. Just something to be aware of. I'd say stick with the lightest one you can find, as the overall mission is to be moving materials around....not a trailer!

one last thing......i've found the dump trailer to also be nice in that it grows with my business. I'm finally buying a big dump truck, so I won't necessarily be using it to move materials as much......but........I will say that it still comes in very handy.

For many jobs, I find it makes a excellent dumpster. Just leave it on the job, and when it is over, take it right to the dump. From brush, to concrete, to garbage....it works awesome.

Also, for those 'labor' jobs where you can't get a machine in, its nice to have around as you can easily load/unload it by hand. Again, something you can't do with a dump truck.

Finally, in fall, it makes a excellent leaf vac vehicle...maybe as you grow in size, your company will need another vacuum...now you can just set the trailer up with the vacuum and run it all fall. Don't have to worry about tying another truck up then.

10-29-2003, 09:10 PM
I started with a goose neck 16' triple axle dump trailer. I could fit 5 yards of material on it. The goose neck made it easy to get around. The problem I had was that if it would hold 5 yards It would get filled with 6. They can be hard on pickups. The smaller ones probably less so. They are nice, next to zero insurance or maintainance compared to a dump truck. My problem was I was having take the trailer to a job then go back and get an equipment trailer and it was taking too much time. The payload was not large enough either. The slid in dump bodies probably have a place but 1-2 yards of material isn't much. A single axle dump truck is the best solution in this case. If plowing is an issue buy an older pickup with a plow.