Finding the right tipper truck for sale is usually harder than with other types of trucks. The nature of the work involved with most tippers means that they are more likely to have been bashed around somewhat.
A life on building sites or roadworks with a rocky payload being dropped from a height makes life tough for many tippers.
That said, tippers are designed to carry out these tasks.
If well maintained, you will find plenty of excellent tippers for sale at Truckpages that have many more years and miles left in them at a fraction of the price of a new truck or trailer.
You can find tippers from just 3.5 tonnes GVW – like a Transit or a Sprinter – to the 7.5 tonnes workhorse right the way up to 8×4 8 wheel tippers with bulk waste or insulated tipping bodies.
For the newcomer to buying a used tipper truck or trailer we have put together a short guide. Click on the link under the page title to view more information.
First of all, let’s take a look at the types of tippers across the weight range.
These types of tippers – as with most are typically bought for local work. This means that usually they will be fitted with steel dropside bodies. There are some available that are totally or partially made from aluminium. The upside to aluminium is the lightness and therefore improved payloads it affords, but the downside is that they are typically less durable than their steel counterparts. This is true across all the weight ranges of tipper trucks & trailers.
A typical application for these tippers will be for local builder’s merchant deliveries or general building work. For more specialist applications you will see the tippers fitted with cages on top of the dropsides. These are used for horticultural applications – tree felling, general gardens maintenance or waste collection and recycling.
Often these tippers will be fitted with a tow hook as they will have been towing a chipper for tree work or a small compactor or generator for small road repair work.
Take a general look around the body to check for any repairs that have not been made correctly. Pay close attention to the inside of the cab as they are likely to have taken a bashing in certain industries. Teams of road repair workers are not famous for their gentle touch and this will extend to the time spent in the cab.
Make sure that you fully test the operation of the tipping body. It is ideal if you can test these loaded – not always possible at a truck dealer’s site, but maybe if you are buying directly from an operator.
An even more specialist truck is a 7.5 tonnes tipper with a small crane attached. This turns the truck into a really flexible workhorse – although you will really require the use of a crane and not be loading up with anything heavy because at 7.5 tonnes GVW there will not be a great deal of payload left with a heavy tipping body and crane with all the relevant hydraulic rams, piping and reservoirs.
Buying a larger 4×2 tipper doesn’t differ greatly from their smaller 7.5 tonne siblings, with the exception that the drivers are likely to be more professional since they will all need an HGV licence. Of course, this is not guaranteed so it is important that you give the same checks to an 18 tonner as you would for a smaller tipper that can still be driven on a car licence with grandad’s rights.
At 18 tonnes GVW it is unusual to find many tippers – the incremental investment needed to operator a 26 tonne 6×2 tipper is not significant, but the additional payload makes all the difference. The 18 tonne examples have been used for first life operation typically in municipal activities, they may well have had a snow plough fitted to the front.
At this weight there may be some examples that have a crane fitted – usually with a grab bucket. At Truckpages we have a separate category for these – we call them ‘Grabloaders’ These are used for roadside repairs where holes have to be dug and a site cleared quickly.
The cab will usually be a day cab – this is to save on weight and maximise the payload size for a given wheelbase. The shorter the overall length the more manoeuvrable.
If you are involved in light quarry work, but especially in roadworks, then the three axle 6×4 , 26 tonne tipper is for you. With the double drive, the truck can cope with fairly uneven and slippery terrain but is compact enough for manoeuvrability on site.
For tarmac and other similar uses where sheeting the load is required, make sure you find a used tipper with an ‘Easy sheet’ system installed and that it is working properly. These systems make the day to day operation much more straightforward and safer as the load can be secured at the press of a button. Again, particularly for tarmac work, check the insulation on the body. An insulated tipper will keep the contents (Tarmac etc.) at their ideal temperature for longer when on route.
Many of these used 26 tonne 6×4 tippers are sent abroad for the export market.
These are the real workhorses of the construction industry. Clearing large sites, large scale roadworks – in fact any large-scale construction project will see 8-wheel tippers at their full 32 tonne capacity running around.
Payload is king, so a lightweight body is useful for this, but beware – the lighter the body, the greater the chance of damage. This is the decision you will need to make as a truck buyer – the trade-off between aluminium and steel bodies. The former is lighter, but the latter should last longer.
Not only is payload important, but so is turnaround time to get loaded and tipped. Here an easy sheet system to cover the load and an onboard weigher could save valuable time and therefore money. As with all of these ancillaries, make sure that they work perfectly as you will not want an additional repair bill.
8 wheel tippers are the enemy of urban cyclists. It is these types of trucks that seem to be involved in the majority of accidents involving cyclists. Because of this there are a number of additional safety features built into trucks that help the driver. The CLOCS scheme (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) has a series of guidelines to help operators to minimise risk. Download a copy here:
If there was a one answer fits all to this question there would only be one tipper chassis manufacturer in Europe. As it is, every manufacturer is targeting this market sector. What we can talk about are the most popular manufacturers – perhaps a conclusion can be drawn from this?
On the Truckpages website, where thousands of trucks of all types are advertised for sale, the most popular 8×4 tipper chassis is a Scania, followed by Volvo then DAF and Mercedes-Benz. MAN and Renault still play a part, but we see very few Iveco 8 wheel tippers coming up for sale.
What is meant here is a tipping semi-trailer, but in the UK, it is rare that we would use a drawbar combination for tipper operation, although it is a thing in continental Europe. Due to stability issues when tipping, we do not see tipping trailers on building sites too often – this is the domain of the 8-wheel rigid tipper.
The industries that use tipping trailers are waste and recycling. High cube trailers and relatively safe surfaces means that transferring bulk waste is more efficient using a tipping semi-trailer.
Bulk feeds are another area that takes advantage of the additional payload on offer – 44 tonnes gross train weight, as opposed to 32 tonnes with a rigid with only a reasonable increase in unladen weight.
Worth mentioning the walking floor or moving floor trailer and the ejector trailers. These perform a similar role to the tipping trailer, but they are more stable as they do not actually tip. The cargo is unloaded either by a ram that moves down the body (ejector trailer) or by the floor moving in such a way that it slides the load out of the back of the trailer. These are found often in the waste and foodstuffs industry.
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