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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get a cheap/older dump truck for doing jobs around the acreage, hauling gravel, garbage runs, moving things, etc. I see lots of older grain trucks in pretty nice shape going for fairly cheap. I know I want a steel box but not sure what the difference is between a grain truck and a dump truck. I'm looking mostly at 70s era 1 tons. Are the boxes built weaker an grain trucks? One I saw pics of looked like the back didn't open wide, is that normal? I realize gravel is way heavier than grain and have no expectations of hauling more than about 2-3 yards at a time. Anything else I should know about using an old grain truck as a dump truck? Do they lift as high?

Thanks!
 

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In my experience, the difference often the materials that the box is built of. Dump trucks are simply built beefier and usually have thicker steel with stronger reinforcements and a more powerful dump cylinder. I have even seen a lot of old grain trucks with wooden sides... this would not work well for gravel unless you intend to spread it all over the place. Go with a real dump body or plan on doing some heavy-duty reinforcing.

Off topic, but a great way to load firewood into a dump truck is with an old hay elevator.

Another thing to consider is the engine. I would not recommend an older diesel that far north if you plan on using it in the winter. For the last two winters down here in Northern Michigan, we have had a minimum of two continual weeks of sub-zero (-18*c to you) temperatures where even a diesel running treated fuel would gel up within an hour of being shutdown. Daytime highs in the negative single digits (think-19 to -22*c) and nighttime lows cold enough frostbite exposed skin in minutes... it hits a point where the windchill is superfluous so you ignore it. I had the only running dump truck on our road for nearly a month last winter because mine is a gasser and I made a little extra coin delivering firewood and hay because of that. I guess what I'm getting at is when the firewood is running low and it is -30 outside, the last thing you want to do is spend an afternoon outside trying to coax an old diesel to life.
Even running gasoline, cold weather can be brutal on other parts of the truck. My dump truck is mostly a '77 Ford F350 with a 390 and a 4-speed stick-shift... the 85w-110 oil in the transmission turns into peanut butter when it is really cold and I often have to let it warm up for at least 15 minutes just so I can shift the darn thing.

Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Probably won't move at all in the winter. Everyone here heats with natural gas. We have WAY more gas than trees. I kinda figured that a dump truck would be built heftier than a grain truck but since I'm just using for myself I'm not too worried about having to take smaller loads.

I'll definitely be getting something with a steel box though.
 

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Dump?

Many of the grain trucks here locally weren't actually dumps. The grain elevators had lifts and most people just had a box on the truck, not a dump as extra weight meant less capacity.

Now most of the farmers are using tractor trailers with hopper bottoms. Except for the expense, it's the best of both worlds. Lighter weight, self dumping and no lift required.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These are all older trucks that dump.
 
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