Important Considerations When Purchasing a New Dump Truck


Important Considerations When Purchasing a New Dump Truck

What are you considering when buying a new dump truck?

Dump trucks are increasingly complicated vehicles with many features that can affect the truck's performance and price depending on your choices. Therefore, determining what you will be using the truck for beforehand is vital in helping you decide what your fleet needs to be productive, reliable and profitable.

Features of a dump truck to consider 

Before purchasing a dump truck, two of the more critical questions to answer are what and how much payload the truck is expected to carry and on what type of terrain the truck will typically be operating. 

The amount of horsepower needed for your dump truck will largely be influenced by answering the above questions. An easy way to overspend is by buying a dump truck with an engine with more displacement and horsepower than what is really needed. A typical dump truck engine can range from 425-520 horsepower. However, payload-sensitive applications or flatter terrain can require less engine displacement and horsepower than typical engine specifications that dealer inventory stock trucks will offer.

Knowing what materials you will be hauling with the dump truck can also affect the body material and thickness that you choose. While some contractors may choose to buy vehicles with lightweight aluminum bodies to reduce the truck's tare weight, this is not a good option for those looking to haul materials such as rocks, demolition debris or other aggressive materials. In those cases, a sturdier, steel dump truck body constructed with ¼” AR450 steel is better equipped to handle the abuse of those loads.

It is also essential to know a dump truck's gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR. GVWR is the maximum operating weight specified by the truck's manufacturer. State and federal laws limit the gross vehicle weight, or GVW, based on how many axles a dump truck has and the distance of spread between those axles. The more axles, the higher the GVWR and GVW allowed; so, if you need to increase the truck’s payload, understanding the state and federal GVW laws where you operate is vital to keep in mind.

How many tons of payload the truck can legally carry will determine the cubic yard size of the dump box needed. Purchasing a dump truck with a sufficiently large enough dump body without adding excessively to the tare weight will affect the productivity and profitability of every run.

When it comes to transmissions, the options are manual, automated or automatic. While there are pros and cons with each type, more trucks today are being built with automatic transmissions, and for good reasons. The automatic transmission eliminates the wear and tear of the clutch of the manual and automated transmission, and it is the easiest to drive, making it less fatiguing for the driver or operator. It also allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel, increasing safety. Additionally, the automatic transmission actually increases the engine torque in first gear to make the truck perform better when operating off-road and in soft soil conditions. Finally, these transmissions are more often the driver’s personal preference, making recruiting and retaining good drivers easier.

Talk to the Autocar Team 

There is so much to know about the newest technology of truck specifications and what considerations are important in choosing which dump truck is right for your business. Talking to a dump truck specialist at Autocar, LLC is your next best step and is totally free of charge. Suppose you are not 100% sure about what you need. In that case, Autocar will learn the unique demands of your business and application. Then, together, we can build a truck for your business needs that is more productive, more profitable and custom-built just for you rather than being adapted from a chassis a dealer just happens to have sitting in stock. Every vehicle that Autocar makes is built for your specific business and your application; this is just part of the reason why our trucks are Always Up .  

Buying any Autocar truck also means that you will have access to the Always Up command center, staffed by people directly connected to the team that built your vehicle, for your truck's lifetime – not just a warranty period. No matter what, our technicians are prepared to personally work on any issue you have until you say it is resolved, providing over-the-phone assistance, replacement part ordering and training.

For your next dump truck, we recommend the Autocar DC-64D Dump Truck. With the most durable cab structure in the industry, chassis and engine options that provide the best performance, better fuel economy and lower operating costs per mile, the DC-64D is an absolute workhorse. The Autocar dump truck will continue operating while other brands are in the dealer’s workshop and can work in the harshest conditions and longer than any other.

Learn even more about us and our trucks at