How Does a Hydraulic Dump Truck Work?


Hydraulic dump trucks use hydraulic hoist systems to lift the bed of the dump truck when it needs to be emptied. Princeton University defines "hydraulic" to mean something that is moved or operated or effected by liquid, such as water or oil.



  • According to NASA, hydraulic pumps work on Pascal's law. Pascal's law states that "when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container." In short, force is applied to one side of incompressible fluid, to move the mechanics on the other side of the fluid.

Truck Types

  • Standard dump trucks are built on a truck frame mounted with an open box bed that is raised via the hydraulic pump. Standard dump trucks have a short wheelbase which makes them maneuverable. Semi end dump trucks are similar to tractor-trailers that use a hydraulic hoist system. These trucks have large capacity and can dump loads quickly.


  • Photo Credit dump truck image by Leticia Wilson from mining truck image by max blain from tractopelle et camion image by Unclesam from
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