Dump Truck

  The Earthforce Backhoe is very slow, about 5 mph. Its bucket is about 1/2 yard. I need to move about 20 yards of dirt about 100 yards. Doing some math (200yds/trip times 40 trips divided by 5, carry the knot, divide by seconds, start over . . . ), I figured it didn't matter what the math said, I need a dump truck. GMC Logo

  I'd looked at lots of dump trucks since November 2008. I started by looking at the ones between $200 and $1000. After finding that those weren't so nice, I shifted my budget up. I found some more, but they still weren't so nice either. I involved my Pop in helping me with the search. He found this one in Willamsburg Va., at Charlie's Antiques, in Williamsburg, VA. Since arrival, it has been involved in many projects, including the Front Wall, the Machine Shed Pad, and the Courtyard Drains. More recently, its been involved in building the Patio in 2010 and the West End of the Front Wall in 2011. It has had several mods, including a Fuel Tank adjustment after a trip to the Mulch Hole, a New Tire, and a Bed Patching. Dump Truck

  As Delivered Here's the truck the day after it came home (May 2, 2009). It has those funky pipes at all four corners of the bed. It seems it should be a logging truck. Charlie seemed to rarely use it. Seems customers buying handcarved statues and antique rare rocks don't want them dumped off a four foot high dump bed onto the driveway. My brother and nephew broke loose a couple of the stuck pipes (my nephew calls them Bazookas) with some wd40 grease, elbow grease, and sledge grease.

  Here it is in the stoneyard as rendered by my pop's little camera phone. Not bad. This is the picture that convinced me to take a look. After considering the drop sides on another truck, I figured a flat bed would be handy for moving other palleted loads that I could move around with the Earthforce Backhoe. At the Stone Yard

  Interior The beautifully appointed interior. It has a vintage thin-rim steering wheel. That way, the five or ten degrees of free play in the wheel is amplified to about two or three feet of motion at top speed (59mph). It has an Allison Automatic Transmission so that my wife and daughter can drive it easily. There's a switch someone put in next to the red light to the right of the key. Don't know what that does. Note the cup holder.

  A closer look at the transmission shifter. It has a Chelsea PTO, made by Parker Hydraulics. Since its an auto, you have to put the transmission in drive before shifting the PTO or it will grind. Then, after shifting back to N, you can use those huge levers (right of the tranny) to lift the dump bed. The left lever is for the dump. The right one is for the wet line, which would be called "auxiliary hydraulics" on a backhoe. There's another switch on the dash that may do something. There's also a fuel can and tool box I brought along for the ride home. Chealsea PTO

  Dual Wheels These are Goodyear tires. All four rear tires match. They are half-on-half-off road tires. The rears use Dayton Rims. That means the tires are mounted on universal rims. Then the rims are bolted onto a star shaped inner wheel. It has mud flaps. It also has a giant hydraulic fluid resevoir for operating the wet line hydraulics. That's what the other hydraulic lever in the cab does.

  Once it was home, I pulled out the Bazookas and started building the sides. First, I cut down some 2x4s for the uprights. Then I took the 10' long, 6" boards and started screwing them in the uprights. The bed is 10' long. Sometimes the vertical 2x4s are separated by 24", sometimes they are 28", sometimes 31". I made them close to vertical by making the tops the same distance apart as the bottoms. Simpler math than above. Building the Sides

  Finished Sides Finished sides. Kind of Clampett-esque. I'll figure out how to do a tailgate sometime later. May need to weld.

  Seems I haven't pointed out who makes this truck. Its a GMC 7000. Has a Detroit Diesel 8.2L with Allison Automatic. Has 9.00Rx20 tires. Gigantic dump cylinder. Two 50 gallon saddle tanks. It has a metal cab body, not fiberglass. That way it rusts instead of shreds. GMC 7000

  Real Use Finally, at work. After stockpiling some clay and gravel scrap next to the driveways from the Driveway Relocation project, I was finally able to get rid of it. I had thought I would keep it there until I needed fill on the front wall project. But I didn't know when that would be.

  Here's the truck with a load. I figure that is about 9,000 pounds of damp clay and gravel. Its based on the dirt being about 18" high by 7' wide by 7' long. Given its a 2' x 7.5' x 10' bed (struck), that's an OK estimate. With a Load

  Taking a Dump Dumping its load. It works well. I first have to put truck in Drive or Reverse to shift the Chelsea PTO into gear. Then pull on the big lever to the left. That dumps the dump. Because there is no PTO action in Drive, the bed won't lift if I try to drive (unless its down hill in neutral).

  The new tail gate. This is made of same thing the sides are. Two-by-fours sandwich the ends of the sides, with the outside ones screwed on. Then the inside ones are part of the gate. They pivot on the 1/2" pins located at the four gate corners. Tail Gate

  Gate Hinge Detail Detail of the gate hinges. Note the inner 2x4 goes to the top of the sides where the 1/2" pin inches. The three black head screws in the gate 2x4 are simply to secure it prior to real screwing from the other side.

  With the new tailgate, I can get mulch. This is two 5 yard buckets, with the bulk of bucket two sliding off on the way home. I probably have 7 yards on here for the price of 10. Works good. In my state, you don't have to have a covered load if it is forestry products. Mulch is ground forestry product. Load of Light Mulch

  Back with Forestry Product The view from cars approaching from rear before they pass because this is such a slow truck. But because its forestry product, no tarp is necessary. Than goodness the tailgate pins hold.

  Another Dumping experience, this time "57's" (that's gravel-speak for gravel). I set the lever to dump, got out of the truck and watched it happen. Lucky the truck didn't tip over or drive away. That would embarrass me. Note how tailgate didn't break. This was "4 ton." Not "4 tons." You don't pluralize anything in gravel-speak. Click to Enlarge

  Click for Enhanced View A proper dumping view. This is the first day of dumping. This is the start of the fill for the Machine Pad. This baby earned its keep by moving fill at over 5mph, the max speed of the Earthforce EF-3.

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