Tom Haug


Articulated dump trucks are the most common trucks used in off-road construction job sites in the US because they can handle moving loads carefully over rough terrain. These heavy-duty trucks can also be referred to as articulated haulers or rock trucks, and were invented to transport enormous loads around open construction sites in extreme conditions.

What Is an Articulated Dump Truck?

Every articulated dump truck has two separate components: the front section and the back section. The front section (known as the tractor) is connected to the back-dumping portion (known as the hauler or trailer) by hydraulic cylinders. Articulated dump trucks are six-wheel drive, which helps create a tighter turning radius and allows the truck to dump at narrow angles or in tight corners.

With a low center of gravity, large tires, and wide frames, articulated dump trucks are perfect for offsite projects with severe environments. These conditions may include steep inclines and uneven ground with soft soil or frozen slippery surfaces. An articulated rock truck can also drive on public roads to transport materials if needed.

What Can an Articulated Dump Truck Be Used For?

Articulated dump trucks are ideal for a wide range of mining, quarry, and construction projects. The main functions of articulated dump trucks are hauling, moving, and dumping materials. However, the dump on the trailer can be replaced with a water tank, concrete mixer, or container to best fit the contractor’s needs. Additionally, rock trucks can be used as semi-trailer haulers, hook loaders, cranes, or serve as wood chippers.

What Are the Top Brands and Models for Articulated Dump Trucks?


Scotland-based Terex created the world’s first off-highway dump truck. Terex has come a long way since 1934 and now specializes solely in manufacturing articulated dump trucks that are robust and reliable. Terex offers two articulated haulers: the TA30 and TA400. Due to its increased payload, capacity, and engine power, the Terex TA400 has quickly become one of the most popular models in the market.

Terex TA400

The Terex TA400 is a heavy duty, high-capacity vehicle with an energy-efficient engine. This Terex haul truck features a 41.9 US ton payload capacity and offers increased control and safety by combining its transmission retardation systems with impressive exhaust brakes and enclosed oil-cooled multi disc brakes on all six wheels. Terex articulated dump trucks maintain traction and momentum through the most demanding job sites with their flexible drivetrains. They are also fuel efficient and reduce operation costs due to their powerful gear shifting. Additionally, Terex dump trucks allow technicians to easily perform maintenance and offer less downtime with ground-level test points, a hydraulic tilting cab, and an electronically actuated hood.


In 1966 Volvo made the world’s first series manufactured articulated hauler, the DR 631 Gravel Charlie. Over 50 years, they have had nine iterations of Volvo articulated dump trucks and have produced over 75,000 rock trucks. Their latest model, the Volvo A60H, is known as the world’s largest articulated hauler.

Volvo A60H

The Volvo A60H has evolved to become bigger and bolder, built on the Volvo technology of articulated steering, all-wheel drive, and differential locks.

These Volvo Articulated Dump Trucks have a 60.6 t payload capacity and offer “pure uptime” through the truck’s sturdy design, easily accessible service points, and Volvo’s extensive dealer network. This Volvo rock truck can maximize return on investment through fuel efficiency, technology, and data tools to help optimize operations and lower maintenance costs. These rock trucks increase productivity through 100% off-road performance, Volvo’s technology, and huge payload capabilities. The Volvo A60H provides an exceptional operating environment with a spacious cab, increased control, simple operation, and safety.


Caterpillar has the largest global presence among manufacturers in the heavy equipment and machinery industry. Caterpillar serves 191 countries across the globe and has over 4 million products out in the market. CAT offers seven different models of articulated dump trucks ranging from 26.5 tons to 45.2 tons payload. One of their most popular trucks is the CAT 725.

CAT 725

The CAT 725 has been revamped using guidance from operators around the world to simplify operation and improve comfort and features a new roomy cab design. These CAT articulated dump trucks provide 26.5 t payload capacity and straight-forward operation with a combined hoist and transmission lever to cater to a wide variety of operator backgrounds. This Caterpillar rock truck delivers better fuel economy with fewer maintenance costs while maintaining the same response-time and power. It also improves performance through upgraded acceleration and speed performance on grades.

Conclusion: Which Rock Truck is Best for You?

After learning more about articulated haulers or rock trucks, you may realize that you need one to increase efficiency on your job site. Meridian can help you determine which articulated dump truck is right for your business to enhance your operations. To get started, contact our material handling equipment specialists at +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected].