Tipper Trucks: Traditions and Innovations

February 25, 2018


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The history of a tipper truck, a vehicle that is considered to be indispensable for bulk cargo haulage, started in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Traditionally, tippers are divided into 2 types according to the body configuration that influences the scale of its operation.

The trucks that belong to the first type (known as standard) empty their beds at the rear of the vehicle. The mechanism includes the hinges, mounted at the rear end of the chassis, and a single massive hydraulic ram, fixed under the front of the body. The hinges hold down the bed and allow it to be raised vertically, while the hydraulic ram provides enough force to lift the bed at a steep angle.

Standard tippers can be successfully used on condition that the sites have plenty of space around. While the dump bed is unloaded only through its rear end, operators need to maneuver to find the right position for unloading.

When the location is space-limited, it’s reasonable to take advantage of a three-way tipper that represents the second common type of tipper trucks. As it comes from the name of the category, the three-way structure allows a vehicle to be unloaded on three sides: the rear, right and left. The exterior design of this type is similar to the previous one. Bulk material is transported in a metal box and stability is provided by a reinforced frame. The difference lies underneath the dump bed. The unloading options are possible due to four hydraulic rams, equipped with cross joints to arrange movement. Lifting two of the hydraulic rams from the right side of the chassis allows the bed to tilt to its left and vice versa. And tilting the bed to its rear is performed by those two hydraulic rams that are fixed behind the cab.

According to practical applications tippers are divided into road network models and off-road versions. The latter category includes regular-sized trucks, heavy dump trucks (also called as haul trucks) to serve in high-production mining and heavy-duty industrial environments, and articulated haulers to transport loads over the roughest terrain.

The latest innovations in the development of tipper trucks are topical for mining industry. The largest truck manufacturers are involved in the R&D project intended to promote the use of autonomous mining tippers and boost business advantages.

The innovated trucks are fully fitted out construction vehicles, able to navigate and operate with entire autonomy both above and underground. GPS technology and numerous sensors permit continuous reading of surroundings, navigating obstacles (either fixed or movable) and gathering other necessary data to determine route sand ensure traffic safety. On top of that, the system makes it possible to plan a route ahead of schedule and to change it automatically on the move in case of a suddenly arisen need for revision.

The project is claimed to improve productivity and fuel economy in the mining sphere and to perfect autonomous technologies before expanding its use on public roads.