Types of Construction Trucks

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Different types of construction trucks are used for hauling, dumping and moving a variety of materials. Some construction trucks may be more maneuverable than others. Some may have a trailer to provide more capacity. But whether you're building a bridge or repairing power lines, using the right construction truck will make the job easier and safer, and in many cases, provide better results.

Dump Trucks

  • A standard dump truck consists of a truck cab and chassis with a movable bed mounted to the chassis and hinged at the rear. The bed is raised by a hydraulic mechanism, which tilts the bed away from the cab of the truck so contents in the bed can be dumped.

    A transfer dump truck is the same as a standard, except it has a separate trailer, called the B-box. The B-box has a motor or hydraulic line that powers it on small wheels into the primary, empty bed (the A-box). The B-box has larger capacity than the A-box for holding the sand, gravel, or other material, but maintains the dump truck’s maneuverability.

    An articulated dump truck works well on rough terrain. It has a hinge between the cab and the bed and hydraulic rams for steering, allowing the cab to pivot.

Crane Trucks

  • Crane trucks make it easy to lift, lower, and carry heavy objects.

    You can drive crane trucks on highways, although many of them can only move a few miles per hour. But the convenience of easily transporting a crane without other special equipment outweighs this disadvantage.

    The size of crane trucks varies depending on their load-bearing capabilities and the reach and area covered by the crane’s arm. To decide which crane is right for your construction project, you must determine the weight of the objects that you need to move and what distance you need to move the material from the truck to the destination site.

    The lifting capacity of truck cranes ranges from 14.5 tons to about 1,300 tons.

Bucket Trucks

  • Bucket trucks are used in place of a ladder to transport workers to high, out-of-reach locations, such as for power line work, tree trimming and building construction.

    Bucket trucks include a cab where one worker operates the controls, and a crane-like arm with the bucket at the end where the person being transported stands. The bucket includes a storage area where the worker can keep tools and other materials needed for the job. Some buckets have a top for protection from sun and rain. The bucket is a safe way to raise and lower workers, but the operator should be trained in operating the controls properly.

    Different sizes of bucket trucks are available depending on the height you need to lift the worker to, and the load the bucket will be carrying. To determine what load-capacity you need, you must know the number of people and the total weight you will need to raise and lower for your project.

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  • Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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