Closed for a Family Event on Friday, March 22nd & Saturday, March 23rd!

A Total Dump Trailer Overview

lawrimore goosneck dump trailer

Identifying the best trailers for your job is one of the most important things you can do. It will allow you to have the easiest hauling experience because you will know exactly what you need and why you need it. If you are thinking about purchasing a dump trailer, you will want to consider the size, capacity, features, styles, and brand of that trailer. We can help you there.

What Is A Dump Trailer?

dump trailer with cover

A dump trailer is a type of trailer with an open box bed and the ability to lift the front of that bed to dump the materials out easily. Broken down into the simplest form, these trailers help you take large quantities of materials and deposit them at a different locations. Dump trailers can also include extra features as well, which we will be discussing later! 

Dump Trailer Uses

landscaping dump trailer
Photo credit: Canva

When it comes to dump trailers, you can use them for any number of reasons. Here are a few of the most common reasons that people use and purchase dump trailers. 

  • Landscaping – Getting the tools and materials that are needed for landscaping to the job site can be a lot. With a dump trailer, haul soil, mulch, plants, tools, and more!
  • Garbage Removal – Whether you own a business or work at a company that needs to haul junk, a dump trailer can contain your haul and dump it for you!
  • Heavy Material Transporting – Dump trailers can haul heavy loads of anything that will fit. Whether you are transporting an ATV, canoes, gravel, furniture, or any other heavy materials…a dump trailer can definitely be a good option for you. 
  • Construction – Transporting all of the materials and gear needed to a job site can entail a lot. A dump trailer can be an excellent investment to get you there safely, on -time, and with everything, you need to haul.

Is A Dump Trailer A Good Investment?

dump trailer gooseneck trailer

A dump trailer can be a great investment for those that are going to get good use out of it. If you are purchasing a dump trailer to use two times, it may be less valuable. Are you;

  • Someone who wants to earn extra money by hauling?
  • Someone who works for a company that moves heavier items and equipment?
  • Interested in doing landscaping, hardscaping, or site preparation?
  • Someone that finds themselves moving garbage or waste on a regular basis?

If you answered yes to the above questions or similar ones, a dump trailer would be an excellent investment!

What Is The Difference Between A Dump Trailer And A Dump Truck?

dump truck vs dump trailer
Photo credit: Canva

A dump truck is a vehicle that can move just like any other automobile. It is equipped with a wide bed and a mechanism for lifting your haul out. Dump trailers are equipped with the same things; they just need to be pulled by a vehicle that can handle the capacity. So, how do you know whether to choose: Dump Trailer vs Dump Truck. 

  • Monetary: Dump trucks will be much more expensive because you also pay for everything that makes it an automobile. Certain dump trucks are also much deeper and larger than dump trailers, so they will cost more for that reason as well. 
  • Haul Capability: Do you have a truck or other vehicle that can safely haul your dump trailer? If not, you will have to consider whether purchasing a new vehicle or purchasing a dump truck is the better option. 
  • Licensing: You will most likely need a CDL or similar license if you want to operate a dump truck. Do you have the time to figure that out, or are you ready to get hauling?

How is Dump Trailer Capacity Calculated?

dump trailer weight rating

Dump trailer capacity is calculated in yards or “cubic yards.” The way you figure out the capacity of a particular dump trailer is with this formula:

(length) x (width) x (depth) divided by 27 (this is how many cubic feet are in a cubic yard)

How Many Yards Will A Dump Trailer Hold?

Let’s put the formula into practice. 

If your dump trailer bed is 14 ft long, 6 ft wide, and 3 ft deep…just plug those numbers into the formula. 

(14) x (6) x (3) / (27) = 9.33 cubic yards. 

So how do you know how much you can put in your dump trailer? The yards and GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating – Maximum weight your trailer cannot exceed, including cargo weight) must work together. If you are physically able to fit seven cubic yards of gravel in your dump trailer, but that will exceed the maximum weight…you could damage your trailer. 

What Should I Look For In A Dump Trailer?

gooseneck dump trailer in ky

If you are making a purchase of this significance, you should look for the things that will specifically tailor the dump trailer to you. Make sure to check off this list in order to determine if the hydraulic dump trailer you are currently looking at will work for you.

  • It can handle what I want to haul
  • It is the proper dimensions for what I need/want
  • I have a vehicle that can handle pulling it
  • It has the features I need/want
  • It is up to date on tires, breaks, lights, and other important factors
  • It is listed at a competitive price

Dump Trailer Features

dump trailer ramp storage

There are many different features you can look at on dump trailers. These aren’t always necessary, but they can come in handy when you are hauling and can make the trailer have more pros to purchase!

  • Dump Trailer Sides – It can be in your best interest to decide if you want your dump trailer to be deeper or whether you would rather be able to through things in more easily. If you have higher sides, you can fit more product but have a more challenging time lifting it over the high walls. 
dump trailer hydraulics
  • Dump Trailer Lifting Mechanism – While most, if not all, dump trailers have a hydraulic mechanism that allows for easy lifting, there are different types. The three main styles are:
    • Dual Piston – 2 pistons are underneath the trailer and do the work of pushing the front of the trailer up, so it is suspended above the back.
    • Telescopic Style – This lifting mechanism uses one cylinder, which is generally centered toward the front end of the container. 
    • Scissor Lift – Uses one cylinder to allow a full extension of one side of the trailer bed. This is generally the less expensive and more popular option.
dump trailer extended gate
  • Dump Trailer Gates (Rear + Side) – Another element of personalization in dump trailers is the back and side gates. The first question is, “Are there any side gates?”. These can help with unloading and hauling awkward-shaped items. Next is “What style back gate does this trailer have?”. 
    • Single Door – This option is the simple door that extends the length of your trailer bed. This can make it tough to open, depending on how much room you have. 
    • Barn Style – These doors can be on the side and the back of your trailer. They open from the center and extend half the length of your trailer bed. This makes them a little easier to open than a large single door.
    • Truck Bed Gate – The style opens down instead of out. This allows you to possibly haul longer items (assuming they are secured) and still gives you an easy way of opening and closing your gate.
  • Dump Trailer Ramps – Ramps can be a fantastic resource for your trailer. You can drive small vehicles on and off with no hassle. Ramps can come stored with your trailer, as a part of the gate, or not at all. The best style of ramp is one that can be stored underneath your trailer. Ask the company you are looking to purchase from what style your trailer has.
lawrimore goosneck dump trailer
  • Dump Trailer Spare Tire Holder – Another great feature of certain dump trailers is the spare tire holder. This will allow you to continue hauling should the annoyance of a flat happen while driving. 
  • Dump Trailer Solar Battery – Something needs to power the hydraulic lift on your dump trailer! Now, you can find solar-powered liftgate batteries to make the most of your trailer in the sun. Otherwise, you will need to determine how you are going to charge your battery. 
  • Dump Trailer Covers – If you are worried about products or debris flying out of your trailer when you are hauling, it could be beneficial to grab a cover to attach. This protects whatever is in your bed and keeps everyone else safe on the road. 
  • Dump Trailer Wireless Remote – Does your hydraulic lift come with a wireless remote? This could be really helpful depending on your job site and the proximity in which you want to be to your trailer. 

Dump Trailers vs Equipment Trailer

dump trailers vs equipment trailers

So what makes a dump trailer better to use than an equipment trailer. After all, “equipment” is literally in the name of the one type of trailer. Equipment trailers do not generally have sides, so while they are built to haul large amounts, there is nothing to contain materials. 

When you know what you are hauling, then you can make a decision about which trailer would be right for you!

Dump Trailer Styles

If you do narrow your choice down to a dump trailer, then you can start to look at the different styles of dump trailers. You can still customize these styles, but here are some good generalizations to keep in mind as you pick your trailer!

Gooseneck Dump Trailers

gooseneck dump trailer

These trailers offer the added stability and support of gooseneck trailers, with the capacity and walls of a dump trailer. A gooseneck dump trailer should make for a smooth ride no matter where you need to go.

Hydraulic Dump Trailers

dump trailer hydraulic bed

Hydraulic dump trailers are the same as standard dump trailers in most cases. The mechanism which causes the trailer to lift on one side of the bed is hydraulic. It works when fluid is used to power it by a hoist system. 

High Side Dump Trailer

dump trailer high walls

A high-side dump trailer is one with huge and tall sides. This allows taller items or more haul to fit in the back. Sometimes these can be custom add-ons, but you can also look into a specific trailer with high sides as well. 

Skid Steer Dump Trailer

bobcat dump trailer
Photo credit: Canva

A dump trailer is a favorite for being able to load skid steers or bobcats. The minimum length for a skid steer dump trailer is 14ft. Ensure your dump trailer is equipped with a ramp for easy loading and offloading!

Leaf Box Dump Trailer

A leaf box trailer is one with high walls, a tarp on top, and a blower to take all of the debris from the outside to the inside of your trailer. You can try and DIY this, or you can look to purchase a leaf box dump trailer specifically.

Dump Trailer Sizes


Now that we know the styles and add-ons of dump trailers let’s look at the sizes to see which one will be the best fit for you and your haul.

Mini Dump Trailers

Here are the three most common mini dump trailer sizes. These are perfect for hauling around your property with an ATV or a UTV.

  • 4×6 Dump Trailer
  • 4×8 Dump Trailer
  • 5×8 Dump Trailer

Small Dump Trailers

These are the three styles of dump trailers that are a step above the mini. The 7×14 is going to be one of the most standard sizes for this size dump trailer.

  • 6×10 Dump Trailer
  • 6×12 Dump Trailer
  • 7×14 Dump Trailer

Large Dump Trailers

These sizes are written a little differently because as you get into larger dump trailers, it could vary in width while the length stays consistent. Here are the three most common sizes for large dump trailers. 

  • 14ft Dump Trailer
  • 16ft Dump Trailer
  • 18ft Dump Trailer

Dump Trailer Materials

dump trailer gate

What is the best material for a dump trailer to be made out of? We recommend either steel or aluminum! Let’s examine the differences between these two metal dump trailers. 

Aluminum Dump Trailer

Aluminum trailers are lighter than steel but can still have the same GVWR. This means you can haul more while still having a very strong and durable trailer. Aluminum dump trailers are also naturally rust and corrosion-resistant!

Steel Dump Trailer

Steel dump trailers are heavier than aluminum but are often less expensive. Steel often tends to be more corrosive than aluminum as well.

Dump Trailer Axles

lawrimore goosneck dump trailer

To figure out what kind of axle your trailer currently has, you can check the tag with the VIN on it. That will tell you whether your trailer has spring or torsion axles. The most important thing when it comes to trailer axles is that there are breaks on each one!

Single Axle Dump Trailer

This style of dump trailer is generally smaller. To be a single-axel trailer, your trailer must only have 1 set of wheels. This makes it pretty easy to tell. These trailers are great for smaller hauls, and they take up less space in storage. 

Double Axel Dump Trailer

Double axle trailers have two sets of tires and can therefore haul bigger loads. These are going to be the most common types of dump trailers. 

3 Axle Dump Trailer

Three-axle dump trailers can be preferred over double because of flat tires. If you get a flat on a double axle, you are stuck without a replacement. With a triple axle, you can chain up the wheel and continue on your journey. 

Dump Trailer Weight

The average weight for dump trailers is right around 4,750 pounds. A dump trailer can weigh as little as 1,000 pounds and as much as 10,500 pounds! The average weight for dump trailers would therefore be 5,750 pounds. Don’t forget that the GVWR is the weight, including the cargo, that you should not go beyond when hauling. If you have items for your dump trailer that are heavy in one area, take a look at the above image to see how to place them! To learn more about calculating the weight of a trailer, check out this article!

Best Dump Trailers

xnip2022 04 26 13 17 39

Regarding the best dump trailers currently on the market, we recommend the Lawrimore brand. Each brand will have various models of dump trailers…but we have found Lawrimore Dump Trailers to be high quality! We even have some in stock now!

How Much Is A Dump Trailer?

cropped four winds trailers scaled 1 jpg

In this economy, dump trailers can range in price from $6,000 – $12,500+. This price range is for reputable and durable trailers. If you are interested in a dump trailer in KY, submit a free quote to get your price today!