A dump truck is a common sight all over the country, on construction sites of all kinds, dump trucks are used to get rid of unwanted materials, and we are all familiar with them. Large trucks with an open and flat load area for ease of loading on site, especially for the common skid steers, backhoes and excavators.
Once loaded, dump trucks deliver material to the required destination and offload, usually through a mechanical process. This can be the entire load area tipping up to slide the load out of the back, or in some cases a clamshell design, that opens in the middle, dropping the load below the truck. Although dump trucks come in many sizes, the largest ones are still road legal, and whether they are the fixed style or with an articulated chassis for maneuverability, they work and drive very much like most large trucks that we are used to do.
There is another kind of dump truck however, known as rock trucks. These are much, much larger, and although they operate on similar principals, are very different machines indeed. Holding loads from between 100 to 300 tons, they are far too heavy for roads, and such is their size, you will only see such trucks on very large sites, such as quarries or other mining applications.
In fact, these behemoths are so large that not only are they not road legal anywhere, they cannot even be transported in a single piece. Instead, they are constructed in a way that allows them to be broken down into several parts, reassembled when on site at the next job. The can be powered by mechanical engines, or even use electric power, and while all rock trucks have extremely large wheels in common, the exact number again varies depending on the load and environment.
Rock trucks, despite their size and huge load hauling capability, can be fragile, and require smooth surfaces to drive on, a fully loaded machine encountering a large bump can crack its chassis very easily. The rock truck then, is a machine that is found only in very specific environments, tailored very much to its needs.
In that right environment, rock trucks are exceptional moving machines, carrying huge loads that would require dozens of dump trucks to match, and for a heavy machine operator, such vehicles represent a unique challenge that many enjoy.
While the main difference between a dump truck and a rock truck is size, underneath they are very different machines, requiring different skills to master, bit for those looking for a unique opportunity, driving rock trucks has a lot to offer.