Side VS End Dump Trailers, What’s The Difference?


Dump trailers have a great variety that will always impress you. Its usage and convenience have made it the best choice for dumping and loading materials. However, you will encounter two types: side dump trailers and end dump trailers. In this blog, you will encounter differences between both trailers. So, let’s start the blog.

Side dump trailers VS end dump trailers – their differences

side dump trailers
end dump trailers

1. Working principle

What is a side dump trailer? This is a question you will always ask. In fact, it is named according to its unloading capacity. The mechanism involved in a trailer is to lift and unload different materials. It works through hydraulic rams that tilt the trailer to the left or right and then unloads the cargo. This feature helps to unload quickly without affecting the balance of the trailer. It is worth mentioning that there is no need to deflate the air ride suspension before unloading. This makes the whole operation very smooth.

What is an end dump trailer? Well, the trailer works on the principle of suspension. The working mechanism is the difference between an end dump trailer and a side dump trailer. Instead of tilting, end dump trailers are suspended in the air for unloading. When the unloading process begins, you will be surprised that half of the trailer body stays on the ground. Meanwhile, the other side hangs in the air. The end dump trailers have higher sides than side dump trailers. So it has a greater load capacity.

2. Capacity

Both trailers come with sides. A side dump trailer has lower sides than the end dump trailer. The higher the sides are, the more capacity of load a trailer can carry. Hence, the side dump trailer capacity is lower due to this feature. The capacity differs when you compare the side dump trailers with an end dump trailer. The side dump trailer allows you to carry less load than the end dump trailers.
To understand the capacity of the trailers properly, you will come across an example shared here. For instance, if an end dump trailer is a 36-foot-long vehicle, its capacity is about 36 cubic yards. This differs if you compare the capacity feature with a side dump trailer. Probably only 23 cubic yards. It gives you an idea that at any cost, the end dump trailer capacity is greater than the side dump trailer.

3. Material

The specific material works with the trailers because a typical side dump trailer has a steel body. Hence it prevents the trailer from rusting. On the other hand, the end dump trailers come in an aluminum body.

4. Stability

A side dump trailer is more balanced than an end dump trailer. That’s because the load tilts off the trailer instead of hanging at height.
Certain risk factors are always a part of these trailers. What risk could associate to end dump trailers? As the trailer begins its unloading, it is always challenging to watch. That’s because the load of the trailer moves entirely to the end of the trailer. Hence there are always chances that the trailer might lose its balance and trip off at any time.

5. The applications of the trailers

What kind of material could both trailers carry? So let’s guide you.
A side dump trailer can carry all kinds of semi-liquids. Then you could use it for excavation purposes. In addition, it can transport fine stones and rocks. For quick load or unloading stuff, a side dump trailer is better. This leak-proof trailer carries different kinds of liquids. These trailers promise to deliver the highest output results with excellent efficiency.
Whereas the end dump trailers usually carry solid material. For example, it can carry construction material which includes concrete, rocks, sand, etc. Then you could use it for the landscaping of the agricultural land. Do you know why it cannot carry liquids or semi-liquids? That’s because the trailer comes with gates that could cause leakages. Further, the end dump trailer works best for carrying heavy and rigid loads. Their heavily designed body allows them to work in this way.

6. Where can trailers be unloaded?

The end dump trailer is best if the area could be more confined. Side dump trailers can’t unload in tight spaces, and they are trendy in the Midwest but can only be used in specifically defined places.

7. Prices

It is excellent if you are looking for end dump trailers for sale and side dumpers. The following query you would ask is about their prices. Well, the prices of the trailers cannot be defined. The reason is that prices depend on manufacturers’ models, features, etc. However, an average answer to the prices is that the side dump trailers for sale are cheaper than the end dump trailers.

8. The cycle duration of the trailers

As discussed above, the end dump trailer takes longer to discharge the load than the side dump trailer. A side dump trailer cycle’s duration is less or equal to 20 seconds. On the other hand, the cycle of the end dump trailer is less than 120 seconds. By reading their cycle times, it is sure that the end dump trailers require more time than a side dump trailer.

How to select the best dump trailers?

end dump trailer

You can select the dump or side dump trailer with the factors approved below.

  • Capacity

Look for the capacity of the trailers. Remember that the load you fill in the trailer should match the trailer’s capacity.

  • Material

Choose the best side dump trailer or end dump trailer in the suitable material. Aluminium is the best material and is durable as well as lightweight.

  • Lifting principle

The core component of the trailer is its lifting principle. Select the side dump trailers for sale that come with the smooth mechanism of hydraulic cylinders.

  • Number of axels

You would varieties of designs in the types of dump trailers. Hence every design either has one axle or two axles. The number of axles you choose in a design reflects the weight of the load it could bear.


The argument of side dump trailers VS end dump trailers is extended. However, their differences can make things easier for you. After the complete comparison, you can choose whatever is suitable for you.

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