Buying a tipper truck is a big investment, with so many things to consider such as whether to buy new or pre-owned, or even hire. Whether hiring or buying pre-owned they both require the same usage considerations as buying new. After all, you will still investing time and money, so must ensure you have a vehicle that is capable of doing what you need both safely and effectively.


Remember not all who sell do so honestly, and whilst this blog relates to car purchases, you may well learn how to avoid a costly mistake.

If you are considering tipper truck hire then using the services of a reputable company will ensure that vehicles are hired in a safe working condition and meet all legal roadworthiness requirements. However, you will need to ask yourself a few questions to ensure that you buy the right vehicle.


Choosing a 4-axle tipper will give two front steering axles and two rear-driving axles. This will provide maximum grip when on difficult ground. It is also important to ensure that the vehicle is able to carry the tonnage that you require.

Tipper truck engines typically range from 300-600 horsepower. It is important to have a good idea of the expected requirements, as too much horsepower will hurt your pocket in terms of running costs. However, on the other hand, you do not want to overwork an underpowered engine, as this will cause damage over time and put undue stress on your engine.

The body of the truck is likely to be made of aluminium or steel. Aluminium will be lighter and therefore likely to have better fuel economy; however, it is possibly not as durable as a steel dump box, which may be more suited to over-sized or heavy loads and transporting rough materials. If you only carry non-abrasive materials, aluminium offers more corrosion protection but greater repair costs. Choose a tipper truck with a dump box that will be suitable for the largest proportion of work that you want to carry out.

Pay special attention to the condition of body frame when you are looking to purchase a pre-owned truck, if the frame shows signs of sagging it may have been used for long periods with very heavy loads and bowing frames are often a sign that the vehicle has limited life left. Opting to get your truck from a reputable dealer will ensure the truck your purchase or hire has been checked over to ensure it is in a condition that will give you the length of use you're looking for.

When it comes to transmission, a choice between manual and automatic may be a factor depending on your needs. Manual transmission offers the option to match engine speed with the task, something not possible with automatic transmission, and this may be critical where difficult manoeuvrability is an issue.   Automatic transmission can offer less operator fatigue on long haul jobs, as there is no manual gears or clutch requiring attention. A third choice that is growing in popularity is an integrated automated manual transmission, which offers efficient energy expenditure so could also be an option.


A general inspection should be carried out any pre-owned truck that you are looking to purchase to avoid potentially large bills later. Carry out visual checks on all joints, axles, lifting cylinders, pumps and reservoir tanks for leaks, as well as listening for unwanted sounds during box lifting. Check that all mechanical parts are working smoothly and without leak or unexplained sounds.

Bringing heavy machinery onto roads and to a work site also requires consideration, many accidents and deaths are caused each year by the use of inappropriate vehicles and unsuitable conditions. It is critical that your site is aware of the safety requirements in both use and their management when a tipper truck is operating on site. All employees and site users must be aware; there are serious risks to both user and associates when vehicles are not operated competently, on safe grounds and with the required inspections and maintenance being carried out promptly.

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