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Dump truck made from a semi tractor

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by Andy1845c, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Electrician
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    Southern Minnesota
    Hello all,

    Some of you probably saw my topic in the main forum about driving a dump truck cross country to get it home. I decided for a variety of reasons to pass on this truck and it got me thinking about a hair brained idea I have had for a while about making a custom dump truck out of a tractor.

    I've read some posting on other forums about this and general consensus is its not the greatest idea due to most tractors not really being built on heavy enough frames and that they are often geared higher then what a dump truck is.

    But in defense of my idea I want more of a contractor box/flatbed/utility dump. Not something that would be loaded to the gills over and over everyday. I also would be the only one driving it.

    A couple reasons this sounds like a fun project to me are-

    I could find a cool older tractor to convert, just because I like them
    I could get a bigger engine and more gears than are typically found in a small contractor dump truck
    I could easily pull any tag trailer I wanted.

    I am thinking of keeping my eyes open for something with a wet kit, longer frame, double frame if I can find one and spring suspension. I would look for a tandem axle to get the length but could drop the front axle if I wanted. I have done some reading on that and it sounds like as long as you don't lengthen the driveshaft too much its ok.

    Has anyone done something like this? Anyone have any thoughts on the idea to share?
     
  2. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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  3. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    I would guess that 75%-80% of the tandem dump trucks here in this area are converted road tractors. Some still have the sleeper on them, and thus a very short dump bed. Most have a plate on the back of the cab where the sleeper was removed. They are a common site here, hauling dirt and asphalt loads.
     
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  4. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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  5. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    I bought an old plow truck with a dump box for 8K. Double frame and very heavy duty. Just looking at used trucks and dump boxes with hoists would have cost a lot more. I think you'll save money and frustration finding something already set up as a dump truck. Not that it can't be done but could eliminate some headaches.
     
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  6. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Andy are you looking for more a larger contractor/tool/dump type setup? Something that is normally found on F450/550 trucks?

    I've thought about the same thing. Down here Florida Tank lines sells off their Mack Pinnacle tractors on a regular basis, some are in good shape with 300-500K miles. A friend of mine bought one for his concrete business to pull a lowboy from time to time and it's been a great truck for the money. These trucks can be bought at auction around $15-20K and we won't put 10-15K miles a year on a truck moving equipment.

    The idea I have is put a non-dumping flatbed on it, fuel tank, grease keg, air comp., tool boxes and still have a small flat bed space to haul buckets and such. All we need is a pintle hitch to pull our 54K tag and move all our equipment except for 321/325, which I gladly pay a local lowboy to move.

    Just a thought I've had.
     
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  7. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    An older grain truck might be a good option too. Lots of them have low miles because they were only used a few times a year.
     
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  8. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    If your trying to build a bob tail dump truck a road tractor will work air suspension wont kill you it will just have maintenance but that's assuming your not overloading and you stay on actual roads and not jeep trails

    If your going to be doing actual dump truck work then adhere to the thread truck shop listed
     
  9. Andy1845c

    Andy1845c Well-Known Member

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    Southern Minnesota
    Thats a great thread. I've only read about half so far. Thank you for posting the link.

    I have never seen a dump with a sleeper. Thats wild.

    Honestly I agree with you Dave. Its usually better to just buy what you need. The issue I am having is everything in my price range is pretty rough. Patients might land me a nicer older truck, but when I window shop trackpaper.com I see a lot of newer trucks that are nice but well out of what I would spend for my use, and the newer ones have all the expensive emissions and electronic engine controls. Would prefer to stay away from both.
    The older trucks are beat to hell mostly. Usually real rusty. Interior beat up with holes drilled all over. I want something I can take some pride in. Not that I can't fix up a beat up truck, but that gets tiring too.

    Yep, pretty much. I'd like to be able to haul more weight and pull a tag trailer with air brakes though.

    There are a lot of those around here you can get for a song at auction. Most have hydraulic brakes that need to be completely rebuilt and small gas engines. A lot are otherwise nice low mile trucks though. Agreed 100%.
     
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  10. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Sometimes you have to wait. It seems like people hold on to older dump trucks.
     
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  11. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Agree with ALL the above and made several comments on the posts listed. HEED The advice as Standard Tractors do not convert well, not conditional to what you intend to do wit the machine.
     
  12. LN Pipeline

    LN Pipeline Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered a hooklift truck?
     
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