Dump trucks and mining equipment

Mining dump trucks productivity, safety, and efficiency are among the most important factors contributing to the unit cost of mining, and measuring and comparing them is one of the best ways to identify room for improvement.

What would the mining industry be without the dump truck?

With a design that has long played a vital role in the mining business.

Although the history of mining trucks began before the combustion engine, modern innovations have kept “dump trucks” useful and in demand.

In fact, there are nearly 50 manufacturers around the world working to meet the needs of the industry.

Productivity is the primary concern of every mining operation. Nowhere is this more true than in open-pit or underground mining operations.

Technologies are changing the way mines address those challenges by taking into account everyone who works in and around the mine.

Dump trucks and mining equipment
Dump trucks and mining equipment
mining dump truck

Dump trucks sizes

The variety of sizes isn’t the only thing that changed the course of dump truck history. In the 1920s, winches and lift gates also became hydraulic. During the following decades, mining trucks evolved even more.

Super dump trucks have a loaded axle that can be lifted, allowing them to carry a larger “super” payload than typical standards.

Also, transfer dumper trucks are capable of pulling an additional dump trailer that has its own engine. Also, altering the rear dump function on some trucks made them more useful in special conditions.

For example, some dump trailers have a bottom dump feature that empties the load through a dump gate under the trailer. Side dumper trucks dump their contents to the right or left side of the trailer.

Rolling trucks unload the dump bed from the vehicle frame, rather than the cargo it contains.

Types of dump trucks

Off road dump trucks

The off-road dump truck category includes only two sub-categories: ADT and rigid haulage trucks. Off-road dump trucks aren’t just trucks that drive off-road; they are not legally allowed on the roads.

On-road dump trucks

On-road dump trucks have capacities in the 20-30 ton range and encapsulate the nine remaining dump truck types:

  • Standard truck
  • Superdump truck
  • Transfer truck
  • Truck and pup
  • Winter service vehicles
  • Side dump truck
  • Semi-trailer end dump truck
  • Semi-trailer bottom dump truck
  • Double and triple trailer bottom truck

Off road dump trucks

Rigid dump trucks

Smaller rigid haul trucks, on the other hand, have capacities of around 60 tons. At the larger end, these trucks have capacities of up to 500 tons.

They are used exclusively in mining applications, while ADTs are used in earthmoving, road construction, heavy civil applications, quarrying, and mining.

Rigid Dump Trucks have been developed to efficiently transport resources excavated at large-scale mines around the world.

Among these, the dumper truck boasts one of the largest loading capacities.

Rigid trucks are better suited for operating at longer-term job sites with well-maintained haul roads, which provide a lower tire rolling resistance, such as a limestone quarry, rigid trucks can typically offer a lower total cost of ownership.

A graded surface, such as found in mining applications, is another area in which a rigid dump truck is best suited, they also typically have larger capacities than ADTs.

A rigid frame is chosen for those jobs that could last years or decades, such as at a quarry.

They are only rear wheel drive, so they need constant manicured haul road and grades. They can handle 15 to 20% grades, but the sweet spot for a rigid frame is about 10 to 12%.

Rigid dump trucks
Rigid dump trucks

Articulated dump trucks

As mentioned, articulated dump trucks have a center point of articulation; rigid haul trucks don’t. The articulation allows for greater maneuverability on rough terrain, but they can’t haul as much as rigid haul trucks.

Manufacturers of articulated mining trucks typically make models in the 25-45 ton capacity range, and a few, international manufacture models in the 10-30 ton capacity range.

What is articulated dump truck?

A rock truck, or articulated dump truck (ADT), is made up of two parts: the front section of the tractor and the rear section of the truck or trailer. The two pieces are connected by hydraulic cylinders. This allows the rear section of the trailer to move horizontally relative to the front tractor. This creates a more dynamic movement for the trailer to unload at angles or around corners.

Articulated dumper trucks are ideal for rough terrain and for driving over an unfinished construction site. An articulated miming truck can travel on city roads to transport materials if necessary.

Articulated dump trucks

Dump truck brands

Many companies have played an important role in the history of dump trucks.

If you are looking for the best dump truck manufacturer, there are many to choose from. The top 5 are a combination of recognized names from around the world in trucks, construction and technology. Starting with American companies, they include:

  • Caterpillar
  • Kenworth
  • Hitachi
  • Scania
  • Volvo

More on this story

Is a dump truck considered heavy equipment?

Is a dump truck considered heavy equipment?

Heavy equipment means such construction machinery as backhoes, dump trucks, and front-end loaders.

What is heavy equipment?

What is heavy equipment?

If you are new to construction and drilling, it’s important to understand the types of equipment that will be used on the job.