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By Larry Walton
Not all hauling and dumping operations call for a purpose-built dump truck. Sometimes a pickup works better for tighter spaces and smaller loads, and for landscapers whose crews waste time off- loading debris and bedding materials by hand.
Converting a pickup to a light-duty dump truck can be a great solution, and using a dump-bed insert, like the Dumper Dogg from Buyers Products, can make that an easy, economical upgrade.
Available in carbon steel, stainless steel and polymer, each Dumper Dogg unit comes fully assembled with the hoist and hydraulic pump already in place.
“Stainless steel is the ideal solution for landscapers who also do snow and ice control because the snow and ice melting agents are very corrosive,” says Dan Doerr, Director of New Product Development for Buyers.
But the poly unit, which uses the same tailgate as the carbon steel model, is our favorite because it keeps installed weight minimized, maximizing material payload.
I was in Ohio to track the installation and operation of an 8-foot Dumper Dogg polymer dump insert unit. Installation was quick and easy. It involves simple steps such as removing the tailgate, sliding the unit into the bed, anchoring it and connecting the wires to the battery.
When the guys finished the install, we headed straight to a landscape material supply yard, took on two yards of mulch, tarped it with the optional tarp kit and made a delivery to a residential project. The dump operated flawlessly right out of the box.
Here’re the basic steps. (If you want to see the detailed step-by-step photos, go to propickupmag.com, click on the “Tech” tab, and then “How-to” to see the Dumper Dogg install.)
Options and upgrades should be considered in your dump bed purchase decision. For instance, a manual safety bar to hold the bed in the “up” position for maintenance is very handy.
Another option to consider is a double-pivoting tailgate, which allows you to spread the load instead of dumping it in one big pile.
Look for controls with long cords, or wireless connections for convenience of operation and mobility for the operator.
Other options include tarp kits, wall extensions and steel window protectors (like a built in headache rack).
Options like these come in handy to keep mulch and debris from flying out of the bed, which is a sure way to get ticketed – or a the least raise the ire of motorists following behind.