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When choosing a trailer, there are two popular choices: end dumps and side dumps. This comparison chart highlights the differences between end dumps and side dumps so you can make the most appropriate selection for your operation.

Compare safety features, materials and placement, cylinder replacement costs, sidewall dimensions, cycle times and resale value.

End Dump Trailers: Standard Trailer Design with Several Disadvantages

End dumps have been on the market for a long time. When backing up or unloading, the operator’s view is obstructed by the tub. During the dump cycle, the front end of the tub must be lifted high enough to empty everything inside, fully exposing the cylinder. The unit can become unstable due to loads shifting or gaining momentum while dumping. End dumps are not watertight, limiting the type of materials that can be hauled.

Side Dump Trailers: More Stable and Versatile

Side dumps were first developed in the 1990s as a solution to tipover issues with end dumps. Side dumps unload by tilting to the side, hence their name. Rugged side dumps can haul almost any material from fine sand to boulders and debris to waste sludge, silage, and other agricultural products. They offer the added convenience of being able to dump from within the truck cab with clear sight lines. The side dump trailer’s design is watertight. When used with a tarp, this allows for an even wider variety of materials

Side Dumps versus End Dumps Comparison Chart

For superior stability, easier unloading, faster cycle times, choose a SmithCo side dump.

SmithCo Side Dump End Dump
Better sight lines SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: N/A
Windrow with ease SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: No
Watertight SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: No
Breakaway kingpins SmithCo Side Dump: Not necessary End Dump: Reduces damage
in tip overs
Dump on uneven grades SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: No
Max exposed cylinder Length SmithCo Side Dump: 3 feet End Dump: 35 feet
Cylinder replacement costs SmithCo Side Dump: $1,700 est. End Dump: $4,500 est.
Haul large boulders with ease SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: No
Haul large debris with ease SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: No
Cycle Times SmithCo Side Dump: 15-20 seconds End Dump: 120 seconds
Reduce weight on the fly SmithCo Side Dump: Yes End Dump: No
5 - 10-year resale value SmithCo Side Dump: 5 year = $50,000
10 year = $45,000
End Dump: 5 year = $36,000
10 year = $20,000
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Differences between side dumps, end dumps and belly dumps

When determining what the best dump trailer is for your application – side dump, belly dump, or end dump – it’s important to have an understanding of the engineering behind each. If you’ve been constrained in your operations due to the limitations of your trailer, you might just find that a side dump opens new doors for you.

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