What Is a Haul Truck?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A haul truck is a heavy duty truck used in construction and mining to carry materials like crushed rock. Haul trucks are similar in design to dump trucks, but tend to be more rugged and also much larger, as they are intended for applications where high volumes of material need to be moved on a regular basis. Several manufacturers produce a range of trucks of different sizes and can customize them by request for particular applications, like working in extremely cold or hot environments where normal models might be subject to breakdown.

A haul truck is used to carry heavy rocks at construction and mining sites.
A haul truck is used to carry heavy rocks at construction and mining sites.

The haul truck includes a cab for the driver and a large hauling bed. The bed may tip to dump loads and can also have doors that open to release the contents. Haul trucks have a very high weight rating and a design that will accommodate extremely heavy loads. Rock, broken concrete, and other materials found around mining and large construction sites tend to be heavy and high volume, making a specialty haul truck necessary.

The design features two axles, with reinforcement and large tires to keep the truck as stable as possible on the job. Most haul trucks are intended for off-road use in environments where the ground may be rough. They have strong shocks and other features for stability, although comfort is usually not high on the list of designer priorities. Top speeds tend to be limited, as haul trucks travel in conditions where they need to move slowly, and increasing speed would require substantial changes to the engine design.

To drive a haul truck, a special license is usually required. The license qualifies the driver for handling heavy vehicles. Employers may sponsor the process of getting a license and can provide training in controlled areas. Drivers can also attend a heavy truck school to acquire experience and learn about laws pertaining to driving heavy trucks. The training usually includes safety precautions, as the moving parts on a haul truck can pose a risk to drivers and bystanders. For example, drivers need to learn how to release a load safely.

On a job site, haul trucks and other heavy vehicles have right of way because they are harder to turn and stop. Light trucks and smaller construction equipment must yield for safety. On hills, any truck going up has right of way. Hardhat requirements are often in force around construction sites and equipment like haul trucks. Visitors to a site must pick up hats at the construction office before they can walk around.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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