Dump truck or Dump trailer

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by ripple, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    I am sure this topic has been covered but I could use some opions. I am trying to decide between getting a dump truck or dump trailer to do my landscaping jobs. Mainly mulch delivery, firewood delivery, and spring and fall cleanup.
    Can a 1 ton dump truck haul more(weight) than a 12' dump trailer?
    And as far as mulch goes. How many yards of muclh can you get into a 1 ton dump vs a 12' dump trailer?
  2. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    the trailer can carry more weight

    we just ran into the same delima.. and went with the trailer..
    the trailer was less expensive, would have less potential break downs, less to insure, and we did not need an additional driver for it.
  3. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,094

    I had a chevy 3500 dump the insurance was higher then my 2500hd by almost grand a year. I got rid of it and bought a 6x12 dump trailer it had 20 inch sides. I added 2 more feet to them and I can fit 8 yards of mulch in it. With mulch and brush you can load it up ,but with soil its heavy and wont dump if you fill it higher than a foot to a foot and a half. What I like about the trailer the most is if its loaded and after hours at the dump site you can unhook and still use the truck easily.
  4. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    I have been thinking about the same thing lately,and for me the big thing may come down to the cost of the commercial insurance.It seems like it will be cheaper not only to buy the trailer vs. the dump truck up front but in the long run it might be a little cheaper as well.Plus for me I may be in the need for another plow truck next year some time so I could just get a nice 3/4 ton to pull the trailer.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    We went with the trailer for a number of reasons. More volume, higher weight capacity, less maintenance (just hydraulics and brakes really), less insurance, less expensive (for our situation), lower to the ground so its much easier to unload mulch/stone, and much, much more versatile.

    Downside...more wear/tear on the tow vehicle/s, more difficult to manuever...especially in urban areas, can be a pain in the arse to get loaded in some nurseries/landscape supply places cause of the total length of vehicle/trailer combo.

    We use our dump trailer for equipment hauling, carrying pallets (2, might be able to get 3 never tried), mulch, stone, leaf 'box', demolition material removal, etc.
  6. CutRight

    CutRight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    i have a 12' foot dump trailer and i use it for everything, with a 1 ton dump truck you lose payload weight to the weight of the truck in your GVW registration, so a 10,000 lb dump trailer can legally have a payload of about 8000 lbs or so...depends on the weight of your trailer. to be honest iv loaded mine up with 6 tons of top soil for a payload and she took it like a champ. the big CAT loaders at the local mine arent exactly precision machines....well its prolly just the drivers. but they have told me that they love loading my 12' trailer over trying to load the dump body of a 1 ton truck.
  7. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,116

    Both have pros and cons. We went with the truck. Can go places a trailer won't. Hauls as much mulch as you can put in it. (about 8 yds with 4' sides) Will hold 16 yds of leaves with 8' sides. Will carry 4 yds of topsoil. Carries a salter in the winter. Can pull the loader..ect.
  8. lpwhandyman

    lpwhandyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    I remember thinking long and hard on the same question of a truck or trailer. My buddy has a 12' dump trailer and I've helped him on a few jobs when he used it. The downfalls were that it was hard to move around the jobsite connected to a truck, slow to raise and lower, and not to mention I've never had good luck with trailer lights (in the process of switching to LED's). The pros of a trailer were easy to throw stuff in and out being lower to the ground, you can leave it at the jobsite witout the worry of extra drivers. I decided to go with a dump truck because I've wanted one for a while and already having a trailer for the mowers, another trailer for the pressure washer, and yet another trailer for the tools (couldn't pass up that deal for an enclosed trailer from brother-in-law), I just didn't want yet another trailer to hook and unhook. If I had to do over again, would I make the same decision....yes, but maybe a bigger truck. But for where we're at this point of the business, It works great and we have found a niche where we can service those small jobs where we can get in and get out and it works well for us.
  9. ripple

    ripple LawnSite Member
    Messages: 205

    WOW!!! Thanks for all of the great replies! I am fairly new to the site but I am truly amazed at the size and wealth of knowledge here. I do belong to some other forums, but I really like this website. Anyway, I decide on the 3500 1 ton Chevy 1997. It has the pto driven dump which is really fast. The bonus was it already had a plow on it and I was in the market for another plow truck because of the growth in the past two snow seasons. METROLAWN..you are correct I did go pick up a load of mulch and was able to get 7 yds in the dump.
    Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,149

    I have a 6x10 dump trailer with landscape gate. It is great for hauling materials or using for my mowers. The best part is the landscape gate you can run wheel barrels up it to dump in. You can fill the trailer with material and leave it onsite.

    The only regret is that I wish I got the 12ft so I could fit 2 mowers.

    I was going to sell mine but have since decided to keep it

    defintely worth it.

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