5 Benefits Of Front Load Garbage Trucks That May Change Your Perspective


Front load garbage trucks, also sometimes referred to as front loaders or front end loaders, are a common sight in many urban and suburban neighborhoods. They got their name from the large hopper that loads trash and recycling from the front of the truck body. But what exactly are the benefits of using front load garbage trucks? As cities and waste management companies aim to increase efficiency and sustainability, understanding the pros of this type of truck can lead to informed decision making. This article will explore 5 key benefits that may change your perspective on front loaders.

Improved Ergonomics and Safety

Rear Load Garbage Trucks

One of the biggest perks of front load trash trucks is the improved ergonomics and safety for collection workers. Loading waste from curbside bins into a front mounted hopper reduces heavy lifting, twisting, pulling, and pushing. This helps prevent strained muscles and back injuries. It also minimizes workers compensation claims for companies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, waste collection workers, in general, have higher injury rates compared to other occupations. The hopper and arm on front loaders allow pickups to be performed in an ergonomic motion.

In addition, front load garbage trucks reduce safety issues associated with rear loaders that require workers to walk behind the vehicle. Backing up accidents pose a huge threat to employees on foot. Front end loaders allow optimal visibility and control for drivers while also keeping workers safely inside or beside the cab rather than behind it.

Faster Collection Times

Efficiency is a key goal, whether rubbish removal is handled publicly or privately. Front load waste trucks allow faster completion of routes compared to rear loaders. The automated arm and hopper grab carts in a single motion without requiring an extra team member to operate a lift or push containers. This saves time at each stop. Route drivers are able to pick up more locations each shift.

One waste equipment manufacturer tested front loaders against rear loaders using simulated routes at their testing facility. They found front end loaders averaged 28 seconds faster per stop. Over the course of full 8 hour collection shifts, they collected an additional 12 tons of residential waste. This demonstrates how front load garbage trucks can significantly increase per truck productivity in urban settings with high stop density.

Increased Payload Capacity

Payload capacity refers to how much total weight a waste truck can carry per trip to the disposal site, transfer station, or recycling facility. Front load garbage trucks generally provide increased payload capacity versus their rear loading counterparts. This means fewer trips are required, further maximizing routing efficiencies.

Payload is partially increased due to a lower tare weight, which is the weight of the empty truck body and components. Front loaders weigh less because they utilize aluminum rather than steel tailgates. Aluminum allows the same durability and performance while being lighter. Additionally, since front load trucks carry waste mainly on top of the chassis, it lowers the center of gravity. This allows trucks to stabilize a heavier load. It’s estimated front loaders can handle 2,000 to 4,000 more pounds of waste and recycling materials per trip.

Improved Recycling Capabilities

Many cities now provide separate landfill waste and recycling bins for their residents. Front load garbage trucks are well suited to collect both waste streams efficiently. Split partitioned hoppers allow simultaneous collection of trash and recycling. Route drivers save the effort of switching out carts or bins since materials go into dedicated sections.

Unlike rear loaders, front end models also have the unique ability to transport and dump loose recyclables. This includes brush, yard clippings, wood, metal, electronics, and bulky items. Collection crews simply scoop up piles using the hopper arm and open jaws rather than manual loading. Being able to grab and unload loose materials mixed with traditional bins, increases volumes and diverts recyclables from the landfill.

Lower Operating Costs

Front Load Garbage Trucks

Of course, cost is a major factor when organizations select waste equipment. Several of the previous benefits also translate into monetary savings on ongoing operations. The increased payloads and faster cycle times mean fewer operator hours, fuel consumption, and maintenance expenses. Training operators is also cheaper since the automated operation reduces skill level needed versus using a rear loader team.

Additionally, front loaders have just one main hydraulic arm and hopper to maintain versus the compaction components on rear loaders. Repair costs on simpler systems are reduced. The lighter aluminum tailgates also last longer before needing replacement. All of these operational factors contribute to lower overall expenses during the lifecycle of front end garbage trucks.


In conclusion, front load garbage trucks have unique advantages compared to traditional rear loaders. Specifically, they improve worker ergonomics and safety. They also enable faster collection times, increased payloads, better recycling capabilities, and lower operating costs. As cities grow and waste volume expands, front loaders appear better suited to meet demands efficiently and sustainably. They bring benefits to public works departments, private waste haulers, collection crews, and residents alike. Considering these key perks provides perspective on why front load trash trucks are becoming the new industry standard.


What is the difference between front load and rear load garbage trucks?

The main difference is rear load trucks collect waste into a compactor at the back of the chassis, requiring a worker to stand behind and load materials into the hopper. Front load trucks have an arm and hopper that scoops and dumps bins from the front alongside the cab, keeping workers safely inside.

How much more payload can front load garbage trucks carry?

On average, front loaders can carry between 2,000 to 4,000 more pounds of waste and recycling per trip compared to traditional rear loaders. This leads to fewer trips to dump materials for increased efficiency.

Why are front load garbage trucks safer?

Front loaders improve safety by eliminating worker exposure behind the truck where vision is obscured, and backing accidents occur. The automated arm also reduces heavy lifting injuries. Drivers have better visibility of the pick up process from the truck cab as well.

What companies manufacture front load garbage trucks?

Some of the top front garbage truck manufacturers include McNeilus, Bridgeport, E-Z Pack, Labrie, New Way, and Heil. These brands offer industry leading front loaders for waste and recycling collection for municipal and private hauler routes.

How long do front load garbage trucks last?

With proper maintenance and limited corrosion from landfill payloads, front load garbage trucks typically last between 7-10 years before replacement. Important components like hydraulic cylinders and wiring harnesses tend to have a lifespan in this range under heavy use conditions.

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