What You Need to Know About Dumper Trucks

37149248 – driver view from the cockpit of a truck on the road

The sheer breadth of different HGV types in use today can be surprising. There are a lot of more specialised vehicles sharing the road with your average delivery lorry! Today there are more than 50 sorts of HGV on the road, each one with a specific job and its own licensing requirements. We spend a lot of our time here concentrating on delivery lorries and forklifts, so it’s only fair to shine a little spotlight on a different sort of common specialist HGV. The dumper truck performs tonnes of work (literally!) in construction and public service.

If you train yourself to drive a dumper truck, you’ll never lack for work. They handle everything from rubbish hauling to the delivery of building materials. Here’s a broad overview that will expand your understanding of the subject.

Dumper Truck Types

‘Dumper truck’ is a rather diverse family of vehicles that includes a lot of more specialised sub-types and require a C1 licence. The sorts of jobs you find on this site that call for dumper truck drivers frequently make use of the following specific vehicle types:

  • Rigid Dumper Trucks

Used for larger loads and especially common in construction work, rigid dumper trucks are both fast and sturdy. They make endless trips between construction sites and materials yards. Their limited manoeuvrability confines them to open roads, though; they’re rarely used in more confined spaces or on rougher terrain.

  • Articulated Dumper Trucks

These trucks take over once materials have been delivered to a construction site. They have lighter load limits than their rigid brethren, but they can easily handle all sorts of terrain challenges. Driving an articulated dumper truck calls for significant amounts of skill; you should expect to see professional training and a fair degree of experience as a prerequisite for a job driving these trucks.

  • Tracked Dumper Trucks

Tracked dumper trucks are designed to master even the roughest conditions; they tackle not only rough ground but also inclement weather with ease. Tracked trucks are especially useful in the earlier stages of a construction project, as their heavy tracks flatten out rough ground in their wake. When employed properly, tracked dumper trucks have a positive impact on the safety of a construction site.

  • Mini Dumper Trucks

Each of the varieties described above also has its smaller version. Mini dumpers are convenient for smaller jobs and can be driven by anyone with a category B license. Mini dumper trucks are expressly designed for simple operation.

This is just a sampling of the overall dumper truck family, and depending on vehicle weight and equipment, specific types may require additional licenses for operation. These four classes cover the majority of dumper trucks being used today.

Picking the Right Licence

Many dumper trucks require nothing more than a standard CAT B license. If you passed your primary test on or after January 1, 1997, you already have CAT B coverage. You probably shouldn’t rely on this alone if you intend to make a career out of driving dumper trucks, though! A CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) license is virtually required to find employment as a full-time dumper truck driver. You’ll also want to look into acquiring a CAT C license, this is obligatory for any vehicle weighing more than 3500 kg – a category many dumper trucks fall into. Larger dumper trucks are especially common on larger commercial construction sites.

Earning Potential

A career behind the wheel of a dumper truck can be a very rewarding one. You get to watch new buildings take shape and help build new homes. You’ll also be earning respectable compensation! Glancing at drivers’ job listings will make it easy to see what reliable dumper truck drivers can earn as well as gauge the demand for them. Qualified and prepared dumper truck drivers typically earn between £23,000 and £35,000 in a year. This includes both drivers working on teams and those who operate independently.