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Aluminum vs steel dump bed weight

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by powerjoke, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    I am putting together another dump and while looking for a 17' steel bed I ran across a good used aluminum miller bed,

    My question is what is the weight diff going to be between the alum and for example an ox-box with a sub frame (found one of those as well)

    Ill have to line the alum bed with wood in order for it to hold up for what we do but quite honestly I am tired of 32k tri axle trucks.

    The Pete 379 I have has a 7900frt and 7600 rear weight and I was hoping to build a tri under 25k. I plan on putting a light 12k steerable instead of our regular 20k dual as well.

    Does anyone have any input on the Miller beds ? I have never been around an alum bed before

    Most of my trucks have ox bodies and to be honest I have not been that impressed with them, the floors and cross members are pretty weak.

    I don't plan on this truck being a demolition truck so let's not start that debate either lol.

    Pj
     
  2. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    If the price on the aluminum bed is rite and it is not a welded up mess I would say go for it and look at installing a polly liner in the floor for hauling dirt & stone. I still favor steel beds for durability but I understand your thoughts on keeping the truck light as possible.
     
  3. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    It has a liner that comes with it but not installed, I can buy the bed for 6k

    I haven't laid eyes on it yet but I agree with you on the whole weld/breaks/repairs thing, we have spool guns and tig welder but I don't really want to get into any repairs, I need the truck on the road as soon as possible.

    It is interesting you bring up the liner thing, I notice most all alum beds have a liner, is it because stuff will stick worse than steel or is it just trying to protect it against abrasion ?

    Edit: I have also wondered about mirror stainless on the floor, I know it is expensive but it would be tough as nails

    Pj
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
  4. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    What kind of bed is this, the description states plastic but what's the purpose ?
     

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  5. FMD

    FMD Well-Known Member

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    That looks like a Rieter dump bed. It should be 1" thick HDPE plastic. Should have a water tight seal on the tail gate. I think they are still in business. I seen a lot of construction companies use these bed.

    Smooth floor
    The floor wont puncture
    Matieral slides easy.
    UV resistant
    No painting needed
    It bolts in an out fo easy maintenance.
     
  6. johndeere123

    johndeere123 Well-Known Member

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    The biggest annoyance I have with aluminum is getting it welded, but since you have the gear, I'd say go for it. unless you plan on hauling a lot of +6"
     
  7. qball

    qball Senior Member

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    Lindahl brothers in Chicago runs a pretty good size fleet of aluminum dump trailers. We would routinely beat the living snot out of them and they held up pretty well.
     
  8. 06Pete

    06Pete Well-Known Member

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    I have run a 30' aluminum trailer for a demo trailer for about 8 years I had a poly liner in front and filled in with oak boards where it was wore through. This trailer has hauled it all from light brush to heavy stumps and a couple loads of steel to the scrap yard. It is still in good shape and has held the swing gate better than some steel bodies I have had. I would try the aluminum bed as for 6k you can get a few years and still have good scrap value if it doesn't work like you want. My 378 with a steerable lift axle and 17' benson steel body weighs 27300 and I thought that was heavy I couldn't deal with 32k on a triaxle.
     
  9. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    That sounds like a good price if the bed checks out.I use a spool gun on aluminum bed repair, rebuilt several beds & trailers with it plus a few roll-overs. Thats even better that the new liner comes with the bed. The poly liner both helps with abrasion & sticking in the bed . Im sure you will like the liner.Good luck with the project Pj.
     
  10. glenlunberg

    glenlunberg Senior Member

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    I would go to aluminum trailer because like the other said, it can carry lots of heavy loads. I think this is the best option for you.
     
  11. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    I ran a mix of square aluminum and square and half-round steel dump trailers for years. I figured a steel bed for a square 24' trailer to be about 4000 lbs heavier than aluminum, but I specced my aluminum stuff for lightweight.

    The aluminum beds I had were capable of hauling 3" steel mill slag day in and day out with no problems, but for bigger stuff I sent a steel trailer.

    I tried a few liners, but didn't normally use them. The only downside I really saw to them was that they had to be installed right or material would build up behind them. If I was going to haul light demo debris or 6"- in an aluminum trailer occasionally I'd use a thick liner. If I was gonna haul heavy debris or riprap I'd use a steel bed.
     
  12. ptrdozing

    ptrdozing Member

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    We have always run aluminum Miller and Brady boxes. The biggest problem we have is people who think they can load over or five foot sides with their small skid steers or greenhorn excavator operators. Other than that we haul anything in it, ya just have to be smart about loading it.

    I do need to mention though we weld our own aluminum so for us a few cracks is not a big deal.

    Also you'll want to put an experienced driver on that truck if your stockpiling loads real close to each other. Aluminum gates break a lot easier than steel when shoved into the pile your dumping against.
     
  13. Aussie Leroy

    Aussie Leroy Senior Member

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    We run all ally bodies on our Truck and Trailers we save about 2.5 metric ton in tare weight, We manly cart asphalt and crushed rock over 1 year make alot more money, only asphalt goes cold alot quicker

    The only trouble with plastic bodies is Asphalt will melt them!!! Cheers Leroy