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Thread: Need some dump truck advice

  1. #1
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    Need some dump truck advice

    I am hoping you guys could help me out. Work has been really slow and things may have the potential to pick up soon. So I have been looking at dump trucks lately. I know it doesn't make the most sense to purchase one without having the work sold but, after a puckering ride in my duramax pulling a case 580 ( only 15 mi but very stupid). Even pulling my cat 267b is a bit much for the truck. I suppose the issue is a pintle and empty trailer weight of 4300.

    Onto the dump truck my issue is what size. I have found a no rust 1980's international 33000 single wheel for 5000. But, my concern is it is not big enough. I know I have a pond job where I will need to bring in at least a 12 ton excavator and if I have a dump I will have the 20 ton trailer to go with it. But, is this to much for the truck? I don't want it to be pushed by the trailer. Of course on the other hand it is more home owner friendly, getting into tight spaces.

    I have also seen a few tandems for between 5000-7500. They are not in quite as good of shape but I keep thinking I will regret a single axle's small size. Essentially, I will have the same problem I have now. I think a tri-axle is out of the question because of insurance. I was quoted about 6500 a year.

    I have looked at registration costs between the single and tandem, difference is about 450 a year. The difference in insurance is about 1500, 3000 for the single and 4500 for the tandem. Insurance seems outrageous.

    I am hoping to have made a decision and picked one up by the end of April for summer work. I know my budget is kind of small but I feel like if I lose my butt on it at least its not 20 grand.

  2. #2
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    My advice is if your going to be hauling a bunch with the dump bed, get a tandem. Haul more and less trips.
    If your going to be using it more as a tow rig, get a single axle with a good motor.
    Budget being the main concern.

  3. #3
    Senior Member stumpjumper83's Avatar
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    I was in the same boat as you, pickup wasn't cutting it, and I went to a medium duty single axle dump, and I like it. Mine is an '88 ford f800 diesel, 10' bed, 30k gvw. Motor is a ford 7.8 @ 240hp I believe, and a 5x2 tranny. My trailer is electric braked and I don't need the trailer brakes to stop the truck, but it is nice to know that they are there. I'd be comfortable pulling 15 ton with mine on an air braked trailer, not sure on 20.

    As for hauling materials, I use my single to ferry dirt around the job, or short hauls, but if I need materials I have a trike bring them to me, unless I only need 8 ton or something.

    If I had to pull 20 ton every day with a single axle dump this is what I'd do.

    I'd buy a 400hp or better single axle road tractor w/ jake, put a pintle hitch on the back, take off the 5th wheel and put a 10' dump box on the truck. The larger cab, and air ride seat and jake would be nice...

    I've had a gas c-60 dump with a 350, 5x2 tranny and hydraulic brakes and I'm not going back. Was only getting 5.5 mpg compared to 12, had no power, and couldn't stop for nuttin, but the truck was cheap... GO DIESEL & AIR BRAKED.
    Last edited by stumpjumper83; 03-10-2011 at 09:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    There is some good input being provided and I really appreciated it. I was really hoping for a response that the tandem would out pull and carry more weight. Thereby making it the de facto choice. Maybe I am missing something. In my local market I always see tri-axles for commercial and small single axles for homeowner delivery. I to have had these problems dealing with local yards. I can buy as much as I need (takes two single axles to deliver so I pay twice for delivery. Other aspect I buy a tri load for less the two singles now I have 8 tons more than I need. I would like to bridge the gap taking on larger projects from more affluent customers. I do have a few in the works where it would be 25 tri-axles worth of dirt to be moved and some with 5. I have found a niche for the single wheels but the job will be drawn out because of access. This is not acceptable for the homeowner. We need to be in and out. Right now I feel like I am on the verge of getting something productive going I just need someone to point me in the right direction. What I don't need is someone whispering over my shoulder "that 267b is a great deal you should get it" with no experience and all my money on the line. I need you guys to school me hard.

    I have a business plan I just keep going over the hauling and dirt removale and timeframe. Breaking it into finances as to where to allocate the money which would have the highest return and allow me to continue to grow. I guess somewhere in my head the tandem is the best truck if I can find a good one. I only get one shot at this with the way the economy is everything has to come out of my pocket. Ideally this dumptruck should spear head enough work for me to bring on an operator and a laborer. This would allow me to get out and find more jobs not just have to work them all.

    Once again Thanks for all you help and please keep it coming. The local RB auction is coming up soon and I want to make a decision by then. No matter what it is it will be a stick, diesel, and have air brakes.
    Thanks again.
    Last edited by tbone1471; 03-10-2011 at 10:39 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stumpjumper83's Avatar
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    You can go to a tandem if you want, plates are more, insurance is more, but they do haul more. If you do get a tandem, get a 16' box, that way if you decide that you need the legality of capacity you can add a tag axle. Some of the tandems, older especially have 12' boxes, that will not leave you any better off than a single axle.

    Watch your motor size and front axle weight, and check for double frame. Alot of factory tandems are a little low on power, 250-300 instead of 400-500 hp, and a 12k front instead of 18 or 20. Sometimes they converted tractors and didn't double the frame up.

    Now with single axles, sometimes you can duck under cdl requirements, making drivers cheaper and easier to get. But that means that you have to go hydraulic braked... pro's and cons...

    Remember you can always hire several trucks for the day when you need them...

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    I'm not familiar with the 3300 series IH trucks. I have seen 4300s in singles and tandems. IMO a single axle treuck will be enough truck to pull a 10 ton GVW trailer but not 20. If you are going to pull the 10 tonner I would want air brakes. I pulled my Cat 416C (weighs 18,000# as equipped w/buckets) with a GMC Kodiak for a couple years. The truck had a 16' flatbed dump with a 32,200# GVW, air brakes, 10 SPD trans. with a Cat 3208 diesel (non turbo-way slow). I never felt that the truck was getting pushed around by the backhoe & trailer. I think you will find a lot more good used S/A trucks than tandems. Along with all the higher costs that have been mentioned, by you and others, is the fact that it will cost much more to repair if, no, WHEN you have to repair it. For what you have budgeted for a tandem you are talking bottom of the barrell trucks, IMO. Many have made a market with the smaller trucks (usually coupled with skid steers, but backhoes too) and, as it has been said already, you can get rental tandems or tri-axles if the job requires them. If this is your only shot (as you have stated) I suggest buying a higher quality truck for less (the S/A) as you will be the least efficient if you are broke down or red tagged by the local authorities.

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    Sorry, what I meant was the gvw of the single axle is 33000. I think the truck might be a 1900 or something similar? I want it to be air brake and cdl I have already jumped through all the hoops. Also it dramatically cuts down on a "buddy" borrowing it since he doesn't have a cdl.

    I am really looking at this as a short term purchase. If I purchase the truck as cheap as possible and it only last 2 years if it has proved my plan than I could see parting with much more money to buy a better truck. I hate paying people to move equipment it is so expensive, i know why but one time it cost me 350 to move a back hoe about 5 miles. That was outrageous and I have never dealt with that company since. This is the main reason I need as much gcvw as possible on a shoestring budget.

    The international I am looking at had a sticker on the back that said 15 ton max tag trailer weight. With the 312 and trailer weight I feel like I am really going to be pushing it. Also, won't getting the balance correct on the trailer be more critical with a single axle. There is not much dot enforcement out here. Maybe five times a year. They closed our local weigh station. But, I still want to be legal and more importantly safe.

    Do you know the costs associated with adding the dump bed to a road tractor? Obviously it would have to be used to keep the cost down. And i guess it should already be equipped with a wet kit. I think they go for much less than dumps. One question about this, I was quoted about 500 a year for a road tractor not pulling a trailer. I don't suppose I could sneak that by the insurance guy if it was a converted dump as it is a tractor not pulling a trailer.

    Thanks again for the assistance.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator CM1995's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpjumper83 View Post
    Now with single axles, sometimes you can duck under cdl requirements, making drivers cheaper and easier to get. But that means that you have to go hydraulic braked... pro's and cons....
    NO that is not correct. Under the Federal Rules you DO NOT need a CDL for an air-braked truck under 26K GVW. It's a myth that any truck with air brakes requires a CDL, just the trucks over 26,001 GVW

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone1471 View Post
    Do you know the costs associated with adding the dump bed to a road tractor? Obviously it would have to be used to keep the cost down. And i guess it should already be equipped with a wet kit. I think they go for much less than dumps.
    I have seen new 10' dumps advertised between $5K-9K on Truck Paper. Some included all the parts and installation and others varied. I would think that you could find a much better deal on a truck already "put together" in this economy instead of putting one together. You would have at least $5K in the truck, $5K in the bed and another $1-2K in hitch, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbone1471 View Post
    question about this, I was quoted about 500 a year for a road tractor not pulling a trailer. I don't suppose I could sneak that by the insurance guy if it was a converted dump as it is a tractor not pulling a trailer.
    The only way that I have gotten around the dump truck insurance was running a flatbed dump. Actually my insurance agent purposely listed them as "flatbeds" and didn't mention the dumping part, saved a nice % on the insurance (I don't recall exactly how much). But I wouldn't put a dump bed on a bobtail and only insure it as a bobtail. If something goes wrong and the adjuster sees the dump bed, you could have problems.
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  9. #9
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    I would shop around for different insurance companys. Ive got a 94 triaxle rated at 76500, can pull a 40 ton tag, and my insurance minus collision is 2800 a year, and its insured to travel and haul out of state which involves the insurance company to fill a mcs 90.

  10. #10
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    I went to a local truck insurance broker as allstate, which I have all my other policies doesn't do commercial trucks. At least that's what my allstate agent said. The broker said progessive had the best rate at 7300 a year with commercial registration and 6900 with farm plates. That just seemed a little out of hand.

  11. #11
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    My insurance is through progressive. Is that truck insurance or truck and general insurance combined. When i first got my truck and i was staying local i had state farm insuance and it was 1400.00 a year. My insurance limits are one million, my state minimum is 750,000.00 so im above. You might want to try state farm as not to many people know that they started to write commercial trucks now. The only thing i dont have is collision on my truck that would be another 600. MY truck is a 94 pete 379, dont know if thats why but dam there expensive where you are.

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    Last edited by jmac; 03-26-2011 at 01:08 PM.

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    That quote was for truck insurance only. It was a million dollar policy which I think is what PA requires. It did include collision but that was only an additional 75. I spoke with a guy who runs a new tri-axle Pete and he said he was paying a little over 7000. This is the biggest downside to a truck. There is a ritchie bros auction on Tuesday so, I guess I will see what I can get for a decent price. They have close to 100 tri axles so the 10 tandems I am hoping should be pretty cheap.

    If it doesn't work out I have found a tandem in Ohio and one in North Carolina. I am just concerned with the transport back to PA. Trucking looks like it will be close to 2000 on UShip. I would like to drive it but I don't want to pay sales tax in the state I buy it then have to pay again in PA or go through trying to explain to the DMV that I already paid another state's taxes. Same thing with buying it at RB in Maryland. Anybody know anything about transit permits?

    I hope to be bringing something back within the next two weeks. I found another decent single axle with an L10 cummins. But, for some reason I just feel more comfortable having another axle. Maybe its just a mental thing from always being overloaded in a smaller truck.

  14. #14
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    DFC you are right about the air brakes but I think you need a CDL if you hook up to a trailer.

    I was looking or a tandem to pull my 15t excavator, most of my moves are close and the ground pretty flat. I am back looking at a single with air brakes and a 20t trailer. The savings on plates and insurance are more than enough to drive a little slower and hual less. I am not wanting to be a truck driver, and can have a semi deliver materials much cheaper anyway.

  15. #15
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    I ended up picking a tandem up yesterday at RB 1987 ford ltl 9000. It is quite the piece, it was pretty cheap. But it dose have a decent chassis which looks like it only needs an axle seal and steer tire. Its a cummins NTC350. However, when I previewed it on Monday everything looked ok. Then on Tuesday after bidding it had a miss and was puking oil out the dipstick tube..... I don't get how I could miss a puddle of oil on the ground after running it for 5mins.

    I think I may have just thrown away a bunch more in motor work. I am really hoping it is a clogged breather and not rings or a broken piston. I priced parts for an in-frame and I can do it for about 1200. Or, should I just buy a junk yard motor? Worst case scenario it needs an in-frame. I have never done a motor this big or pulled and pressed sleeves. Anybody have any troubleshooting advice or repair wisdom.

    Please, somebody save my piggy-bank.

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