The requisite size of a dump truck is determined by the amount of material to be moved and the equipment available to load the dump truck. An excavator, backhoe or front-end loader is used to full dump trucks larger than two or three tons. A mini-excavator, skid steer or tractor loader is used to fill smaller dump trucks. The most important variable in deciding which type of equipment is best suited for a job -- therefore, which size of dump truck is needed – is the number of tons of material.
A dump truck can usually carry a material equivalent of its own weight. Dry dirt is about one ton per square yard. By determining the square yards of material on a job and dividing that number by the capacity of a dump truck, a rough estimate of the number of trips required can be calculated. If a job requires 100 trips for a one-ton dump truck, using a 5-ton dump truck will reduce the number of trips required by 80%.
Dump trucks are used in a variety of excavation, construction and development project types.
As there is no more efficient means of moving material over the highway, dump trucks are generally required any time material needs to be moved off private property, over the road, to another site.