Pickup Dump Beds 101
Are you using your pickup truck to its full potential? Adding dump capabilities to your pickup truck will take your setup to the next level, allowing you to tackle a wide variety of tough jobs without breaking your back or the bank.
The dump truck market is expected to grow significantly in the next decade, as the government plans to invest more money in infrastructure and transportation. Make sure you’re ready to take advantage of dump truck business opportunities by converting your pickup truck or installing a dump bed!
Introduction to Pickup Dump Beds
There are many advantages to turning your pickup truck bed into a dump bed. A dump bed conversion will typically reduce the manual strain of unloading heavy material and allow you to carry more material because of extended high sides. Furthermore, a dump bed conversion can save you money compared to purchasing or renting a full-on dump truck for your fleet.
Pickup Dump Bed Conversion Options
There are several truck customization options to add dumping capability to your pickup truck:
- Replace the existing pickup truck bed completely with a dump bed
- Convert the existing pickup bed into a dump bed
- Install a dumping bed inside the pickup truck bed, which is the easiest of the three options and the least permanent
We’ll explore these options in greater detail in the sections below, so keep reading to figure out which is right for your truck, your business, and your specific needs.
Pros and Cons of a Pickup Dump Bed Insert
As previously mentioned, installing a dump bed insert is probably the easiest way to convert your pickup truck into a dump truck. Dump bed inserts are made to fit pickups of different sizes, including short- and long-bed pickup trucks.
On the plus side, dump bed inserts offer great flexibility because they can be easily removed or transferred to a newer pickup truck if you decide to upgrade in the future. Furthermore, unlike replacing the pickup bed completely with a dump bed, inserts are easy to install and allow you to leave your existing bed intact.
On the other hand, inserts (usually made of steel or aluminum) add weight to your pickup truck and can therefore reduce your payload capacity. At the end of the day, you have to decide whether the extra weight is a fair price to pay for the added convenience and versatility.
Kit Options for Pickup Dump Beds
If you choose to go with a dump bed insert, you may want to purchase a dump bed kit that comes with all the parts you’ll need.
In order to determine which dump bed kit is best for your pickup truck, you should consider the following details:
- The make, model, and year of your pickup truck
- The weight limitations of your pickup truck (your gross vehicle weight rating)
- How you plan to use the dump bed and what material you will be hauling/unloading
- Your truck bed length
Most dump bed kits are either hydraulic, electric, or some combination of the two. Dump bed kits are often divided into light or medium-duty, based on their lift capacities (which can range anywhere from 2 tons to 12 tons). Dump bed kits tend to come in two lengths, to fit either a standard 8’ pickup bed or a short bed pickup.
You can also choose between steel and aluminum dump bed inserts. Although steel is extremely durable and heavy-duty, it’s usually 2.5 times denser than aluminum – so opting for an aluminum insert instead can help keep the weight of your truck bed to a minimum.
Dump Box and Bed Lift Kit Options
A dump box insert with sideboards and a lift kit can increase your cubic yard capacity and allow you to transport more material. The higher the siding, the more space you’ll have to transport bulk material. Some dump boxes come with additional truck accessories, such as tie-downs or box toppers to help secure loose material.
Pickup Dump Bed Insert vs. Full Conversion
A full conversion entails removing the pickup’s stock bed entirely and replacing it with an aftermarket dump bed. While this can help maximize your payload capacity by sidestepping the need for a heavy insert, it’s not easy to reverse the conversion, so it limits your flexibility. It also completely alters the look and feel of your pickup truck, for better or worse.
Pickup Truck With Dump Bed vs. Dump Truck With Dump Body
Before you decide to purchase a dump bed insert for your pickup truck, you should consider the potential ROI of investing in a full-on dump truck to replace your pickup truck altogether or expand your fleet.
While a dump bed insert provides some great benefits and maximizes the versatility of your pickup truck, it doesn’t have the same capabilities or capacity as a true dump truck with a dump body. As previously mentioned, inserts can eat up valuable weight capacity, limiting how much you’re able to haul.
Yet another option to consider is a dump trailer. Of course, for this to work, you will need a pickup truck that is able to tow the trailer, but you can often carry more in a trailer than in a dump bed insert. The downside is that a dump trailer can make maneuvering and parking your pickup more difficult.
Pickup Dump Bed Recap
As you can see, there are many ways to go about adding dumping capabilities to your pickup truck. To learn more about dump bed kits, dump boxes, and lift kits, and to thoroughly explore your many options, contact our team at Pacific Truck Colors and request a free quote. We specialize in truck customization and can help maximize the versatility of your pickup truck with a dump bed replacement, conversion, or insert.
Once your dump truck conversion is complete, check out this article with helpful tips on how to start and operate a dump truck business!