The dropsides is a venerable truck, having been around on the nation’s roads for many decades. It is one of the earliest forms of truck and is still around probably due to its versatility. The design of the dropsides is pretty simple. Essentially, it can be regarded as simply a flatbed truck with a little added security for the load. In addition to the flatbed itself, the dropsides has containing walls to the rear and the sides. These are usually fairly modest in depth, allowing easy opening and access to the load.
The dropsides can be loaded and unloaded from the sides or from the rear and even from above. This makes it extremely flexible when planning routes compared to box vans, which need to be loaded and unloaded in order from the rear. It also makes the dropsides potentially quicker to unload, with many forklifts able to unload from all sides at once. The ability to unload from the sides can also make the dropsides a popular option for site work, where access can be tight. Many dropsides take advantage of their open nature by including an onboard crane. This can make them extremely efficient on multi-drop routes, as they don't need to wait for a forklift to become available for unloading to take place.
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Hino 300 Series 3815
2008 | Dropsides | 7500kg
Fitted with a 6.0 Metre Aluminium Triple Drop Side Body, 3 Seater Cab, Electric Windows, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Digital Card Tacho, Euro 4, LEZ Compliant, Payload = 3,800 kgs. On Steel suspension. The gearbox is an 6 Speed Manual. The engine is rated at 148 BHP. Please quote ref: HIDR7825
Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 3C11
2009 | Dropsides
3.5 TON GROSS 13 ft 6 ALLOYS DROPSIDE BODY NO TACHO REQUIRED Rigid Trucks
Mercedes-Benz Axor 1823
2005 | Dropsides
18 TON DROPSIDE BODY COMPLETE WITH REAR MOUNTED ATLAS TEREX 105.2 CRANE AND BLOCK GRAB Rigid Trucks
Mercedes-Benz Axor 2528 Dropside
2005 | Dropsides | 26000kg
choice of two 2006/ 2005 Mercedes Axor 2528l, 6 x 2 truck, low mileage, 160000mls,call mike for further details
The very versatility of the dropsides does, however, impose limitations. Because it is open, the loads on the dropsides are exposed to the elements. Clearly, this can be addressed by ropes and sheeting, but it can still make the dropsides unsuited to carrying delicate goods. The open nature of the dropsides also makes it less secure and loads are open to the gaze of potential thieves. Again, this makes it less suited to carrying valuable loads when the truck may be left unattended, either for short breaks or overnight.
Many dropsides will therefore find a home in the scaffold yard or builder's merchant, where loads such as aggregates are ideal for the dropsides characteristics. Aggregate loads are usually pretty impervious to the weather and are not valuable enough or light enough to make attractive targets for thieves. They are also well restrained by the sides and rear of the truck. Some dropsides come with tipping bodies to make short work of unloading these aggregates. The dropsides is also ideal for palletised loads, such as paving or bricks.
The sides themselves may be constructed from aluminium to save some weight, and care should always be taken to examine their condition when buying a used dropsides as repair or replacement can be expensive.
The dropsides comes in a variety of axle configurations, lengths and weight ratings. You will also find them with all sorts of cab types, from standard day cabs to crew cabs and sleeper cabs. It is a simple body type and is relatively easy to maintain and repair. With no real specialist equipment (assuming no crane or tipping body), a used dropsides should give years of excellent service. Being simple and relatively cheap, the dropsides truck lends itself well to the used-truck market. It is also extremely versatile and able to operate in many environments.
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