Most of us tend to use the term ‘garbage truck’ and ‘dump truck’ interchangeably. Yet both types of trucks are not the same. So what is the difference between a garbage truck and a dump truck? Read on!

What is the difference between a garbage truck and a dump truck?

Garbage trucks and dump trucks are similar only in the sense that they are both trucks that are used to carry loads. But they both serve different purposes. 

A dump truck is a truck that has a wide range of uses. They are used to carry heavy loads like sand, bricks and other construction material. They are also used for transporting coal, tree branches and other heavy material. 

But on the other hand, a garbage truck is a truck that is specifically designed and used for collecting and transporting garbage from the locality. A garbage truck is often owned by the municipality and is used exclusively for carrying solid waste. You will never see a garbage truck carry any other type of load. 

Garbage trucks and dump trucks are a common sight wherever we live. Often, both types of trucks pose a high risk of accidents. This is because they have large blind spots and have awkward dimensions. Trucks cause many road accidents and casualties, especially when speeding or taking bends. It’s always best to exercise caution when sharing the road with trucks. 

While there are many differences in function between a dump truck and a garbage truck, a dumpster can also be utilized for transporting garbage and vice versa. But that is not its primary function and is a deviation from the norm. 

The operation processes of a garbage truck and a dump truck also set them apart. Garbage trucks follow scheduled routes that are usually allocated by the municipality. They make regular trips to and from certain areas, collecting and transporting garbage to recycling centers or landfills. 

But a dump truck usually does not follow a routine. They work on demand in construction and mining sites, carrying whatever load that needs to be transported whenever necessary. 

Garbage trucks and dump trucks also have several key differences in the way they are built. Dump trucks have larger capacities and stronger frames to support the weight they carry. Off-road dump trucks have large, heavy-duty tires and robust suspension systems. These enable them to navigate through rough terrain and challenging environments like mines.

Types of Garbage Trucks

A garbage truck is also known as a trash truck or a waste management truck in some parts of the world. Different types of garbage trucks have specified designs for wastemanagement, but they all serve the same purpose; to collect garbage from households and buildings and transport it to an appropriate place.

 Three of the most common types of garbage trucks are front loader, rear loader and side loader. 

A front loader garbage truck has a hydraulic mechanism in the front that allows it to lift and empty large trash bins into its storage compartment. 

A rear-loader garbage truck will have a hydraulic compactor at the back. The hydraulic compacter will compress the waste to maximize its capacity. These types of trucks are used mostly in highly residential areas.

A side loader garbage truck will have an extendable arm on its side and can lift empty bins into the truck.  Read this for more information about the types of garbage trucks. 

Types of Dump Trucks

A dump truck is also known as a tipper truck. A tipper truck is mostly used in construction and mining sites and to transport materials to and from these areas. One of the key features of a dump truck compared to a garbage truck is its hydraulic bed. The bed of the truck can be lifted from the front or side, and its contents can be dumped into a designated area. 

Dump trucks come in many different shapes, sizes and types. The most common types include the standard dump truck, the articulated dump truck and the off-road dump truck.

The standard dump truck has a rigid frame. It has a hydraulic mechanism at the front so that it can raise its bed and dump its contents. These trucks are sturdy and dependable.

An articulated dump truck or ADT has a hinge between the cab and the dump box. This gives the truck greater maneuverability even on rough terrain. 

An off-road dump truck is designed especially for heavy-duty operation off the road. This type of truck is commonly used in mining sites or large construction projects. Read this for more in-depth detail about the types of dump trucks. 

Risks involving garbage trucks and dump trucks

Driving trucks and sharing the road with them are associated with many risks. These include;

  • These trucks need much more distance than a smaller and lighter vehicle to start and stop.
  • Shifting debris or loads from a garbage or dump truck makes them more prone to lose their balance and roll over. 
  • Trucks are open-sided and are even loaded beyond their capacity at times. So debris can fall over from the sides and cause a hazard to other motorists.
  • Trucks can carry hazardous and toxic loads or waste and thereby cause danger to people around. 

In conclusion: What is the difference between a garbage truck and a dump truck? 

Garbage trucks and dump trucks may have a few similarities, but they differ in their primary functions and the type of loads they carry. A garbage truck is used to transport waste, and a dump truck is used to carry heavy debris, coal and heavy construction material. It is important to understand the key differences between both vehicles if professionals and individuals are to manage the efficient execution of their tasks. 

Also read: Which metal is the most valuable when recycled?

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