Articulated VS Rigid: How to Choose the Right Truck for Your Worksite 1

Articulated VS Rigid: How to Choose the Right Truck for Your Worksite

When it comes to off road hauling, there are two main truck types: Rigid and Articulated.

Both are similar in the types of technology they use but differ greatly when it comes to application. Rigid Haulers are designed to transport large, rocky and abrasive materials across well maintained roads. In contrast – Articulated Haulers are designed to handle more adverse conditions, and operate on varying grades in any weather.

So how do you pick the right off road hauler for your operations? Generally speaking there are five main considerations to take into account.

1. Ground Conditions

The ground conditions should be your first indication whether a Rigid or Articulated Hauler will be more appropriate. Restricted turning radiuses, narrow roads and slippery grounds will call for an articulated hauler’s ability to manoeuvre itself almost anywhere. Their oscillating and articulating hitch allows them to work in punishing conditions and handle extreme grades with greater stability and traction.

two trucks at a site

2. Size of Jobsite

Jobsites which have large, well maintained roads are more suited to Rigid Haulers. The heavy rear-wheel drive trucks will perform much better on hard packed roads on long-term jobsites such as rock, sand and gravel quarries or surface mines. Smaller jobsites would benefit more from Articulated Haulers. Their versatility and manoeuvrability allows them to navigate tighter working conditions.

truck at a jobsite

3. Type of Material & Volumes Being Hauled

Rigid Haulers are designed to handle large rock, ore and shale – or a combination of free flowing bulky material. The main advantage Rigid Hauler have over Articulated Hauler is their carrying capacity – larger loads over larger areas and faster speeds will keep your cost per tonne down.  If you have a large amount of material to move over a long period of time – a Rigid Hauler could be better suited and more cost efficient.


loaded articulated truck at a jobsite

4. Where Material is Being Dumped

For loads being dumped into a high and wide capacity hopper – use a rigid hauler. When dumping into narrow hoppers, use an Articulated Hauler.


articulated truck dumping load at a jobsite


5. Loading Impact

Articulated Haulers have greater flexibility when it comes hauling a variety of materials under varying conditions. For high impact loads a Rigid Hauler is more resilient and will handle loading impact under a large shovel or drag-line.


rigid hauler at a jobsite

Walkaround Right Front view


It’s important to take all of these factors into account when deciding whether to pick a rigid or articulated dump truck. Rigid Trucks may seem like the more profitable choice with its higher payload and faster cycle times, however, this won’t always prove true. An articulated truck’s 6-wheel-drive and greater traction capability will see it fly through boggy conditions and across various inclines where rigid haulers wouldn’t dare tread.

For more information, contact one of our off-road truck experts here.

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