What is a dump truck bed liner?
Plastic bed liners for dump trucks offer extraordinary value to their operations.
They provide dump truck beds with a protective layer that increases the truck's life span.
Reduced material stickiness
After each working day, the dump trucks are required to be thoroughly cleaned before their next job.
However, since certain materials stick to the inside of the truck bed, the cleaning process is difficult until the bed of the trailer is not covered with a liner.
A dump truck bed liner reduces the problem when, while dumping, the materials stick to the interior of the dump trailer's bed.
For example, plastic bed liners have a low coefficient of friction which dumps freely the material out.
Reduces equipment damage
Depending on the hauled materials, it’s common for a dump bed to sustain heavy damages.
For instance, large rocks and big pieces of debris roll around and bang into the bottom or sides of the bed, which leaves large dents in the bed and makes it more susceptible to tears or rust.
That leads to expensive repairs and an increased frequency of maintenance.
But by installing a bed liner serves as a protective cushion that reduces the damage.
Improved jobsite safety
The decrease in dumping angles resulting from using a liner helps keep the nearby workers safe.
The higher a truck bed needs to lift to unload materials, the greater the risk of tipping on the back or the sides. That puts the truck driver and every worker in the vicinity in danger.
Installing bed liners on the dump truck reduces the need for high lifting to dump the material avoiding hazardous situations.
Cuts back on corrosion
Proper bed protection minimizes the risk of rusting.
When the metal in the dump truck tears, it becomes exposed to the open air, which leads to the oxidation process.
That starts to eat away your equipment slowly and weakens the metal to the point of potential failure.
Corrosion is among the leading causes of machine breakdowns in all industrial fields. As such, the steps for avoiding it are crucial for long-term reliability.
What are bed liners made of?
Plastic bed liners for dump trucks need to be the toughest of the tough.
As such, you want your bed liner to consist of some of the strongest substances available to you. With products that possess higher durability and resistance to many common types of damage, you can keep your truck in better condition overall.
HMW-PE or, also known as, high molecular weight polyethylene is incredibly resistant to cuts and abrasions.
Its increased molecular structure allows for more durability during use.
That is why this form of plastic is commonly used for tools related to food preparation, such as cutting boards.
HMW-PE is also often made into conveyor belt components to help reduce wear on parts.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit less effective at limiting friction with certain items and tends to be relatively soft when compared to other forms of the material.
Make sure to look out for products that use UHMW-PE, which stands for ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. That kind of bed liner tends to be more flexible, durable, and tough in terms of strength.
That is the dominant difference between UHMW-PE and HMW-PE. With more molecules to bind the surface together, it does an even better job of reducing abrasion damage and can even resist impact damage from large, heavy objects.
UHMW is a plastic resin that takes any shape when melted.
Once it cools, it forms an impact- and abrasive-resistant barrier.
This material also has a high melting point, making it capable of transporting heated materials such as hot asphalt and scrap metal.
What types of materials can a heavy duty bed liner handle?
For anyone transporting raw materials regularly, investing in a truck bed liner is essential.
These protect the dump truck's bed and helps your cargo to slide easily.
Here is a list of materials a heavy-duty liner can handle:
Aggregate material is a collection of loose fragments or particles of sand, gravel, rock, etc. These materials are prone to creating dents in regular beds.
Protecting your truck with a bed liner eliminates unnecessary wear and tear of the vehicle.
That is vital if you eventually want to sell your vehicle.
Topsoil and dirt are both handled as well.
The plastic of our truck liners is both a great barrier from the metal and far better releasing.
That protects the truck from moisture in the soil, keeps organic particles off the bed's floor, and prevents from creating corrosion.
Concrete and large pieces of rock are two materials commonly used in the construction and infrastructure industries.
Asphalt is among the most useful materials in the construction or infrastructure industry.
Asphalt’s raised temperatures and sticky texture can contribute to a few mechanical problems, and it may damage the trailer bed.
Preventive damaging measures
Load the materials correctly
Heavy materials pose the most risk to your equipment when they’re in motion.
So, dropping them into the bed is one of the primary instances where you’re more likely to sustain dents or tears.
For this reason, make sure that you’re loading these materials slowly and arrange them in such a way that they can’t move around during transit.
Avoid reckless driving
Heavy materials may damage the dump truck bed while transporting it recklessly to the construction site.
It's vital to adopt a safe driving practice to minimize extra movement in the truck bed. That means driving at the designated speed, making slow and wide turns, and indicating the turn way before changing lanes.
Clean your dump truck equipment
Before taking on a heavy-duty material like asphalt, for example, make sure to clean the dump truck from top to bottom.
Even finer materials such as dirt and gravel can leave some debris behind. When this happens, the asphalt combine with them, it forms a buildup that is difficult to remove.
So, wash your bed liner and the rest of the vehicle after finishing a job. It can save you a lot of trouble overall.
How to clean a dump truck bed liner?
After transporting gravely and sticky construction materials around all day, the bed of your dump truck would be dirty.
In fact, even those who have fitted their vehicle with quality bed liners might still need to clean their truck's bed.
Sweep away loose debris
The first step in cleaning your dump truck liner is to sweep away any dirt or lose materials that stuck around from the last delivery.
That helps remove most of the dust before the rest of the cleaning process and prevents it from getting in your way.
For larger-model vehicles, use a tall-handled broom for a general sweeping.
Don’t worry about getting all the smaller areas, as that'll be handled in the next steps.
Power wash the trailer bed liner
The next step in cleaning the dump truck bed liner is power washing it with clean water.
That is how you reach all the small nooks and corners of the bed that you couldn't get to with the broom.
Power washing removes the remaining debris and dislodges stuck materials in the bed itself.
The 5 different ways of truck bed liner installations
Dump truck bed liners come in many forms, but the final decision lays on the truck owner, who knows how the truck will be used.
Choosing a bed liner for your dump truck or trailer comes down to its price, look, durability, and convenience.
If you’re serious about hauling anything in your truck bed, a spray-on bed liner is the best choice.
Here are the 5 most common truck bed liner options:
- High-pressure spray-on
- Low-pressure spray-on
- Plastic drop-in
- Bed mat
- DIY roll-on
1. High-pressure spray-on bed liner
These days, most spray-on bed liners are made of polyurea, polyurethane, or a polyurea/polyurethane hybrid and are applied at high pressure and high temperature using specialized equipment.
High-pressure spray systems typically yield the best protection.
A spray-on bed liner is applied either with a spray gun or painted.
2. Low-pressure spray-on bed liner
Low-pressure or cold spray-on liners are applied at a low temperature and lower pressure.
Usually, by examining the bed liner's appearance and texture, you can tell the difference between a high-pressure applied bed liner and a low-pressure applied bed liner.
Low-pressure systems look and feel different. Usually, they come with a rougher and more inconsistent texture.
These bed liners take longer to cure and often have less resistance to damage from impact or abrasion.
3. Drop-in bed liners
Less common but still in use are the plastic drop-in liners that ride on the inside of the truck bed and protect the truck bed from light damage.
A drop-in bed liner is made of plastic and drops in the truck bed.
This option is affordable for people looking for a quick solution. But this option is not the best choice for long-term protection. Debris and moisture can get trapped under the liner scraping off the paint and exposing the bare metal underneath - a breeding ground for rust.
As a cheaper alternative to spray-on liners, drop-ins offer limited utility but sacrifice aesthetic and installation. This option is better for owners who use their truck bed only sparingly and wish to remove the liner down the road.
4. Bed mat liner
Usually made out of rubber or foam, a bed mat is a drop-in liner modeled to fit a specific make or model of the truck.
This is the option for folks who want a softer liner for impact absorption or hanging out in the truck bed.
While a bed mat offers a knee-friendly buffer between your truck bed and rough cargo, it’s installed just like other drop-in liners. And that means loose material can get trapped underneath the liner and actually scuff the truck bed. If those scratches aren’t fixed your truck bed will continue to deteriorate over time.
Also, most bed mats can’t be repaired if seriously damaged, only replaced.
Every few months the bed mat needs to be removed to clear away small debris, sand, dirt or moisture that can build up under the liner and cause issues.
5. DIY bed liner
Arguably more affordable than other options for truck bed protection, do-it-yourself bed liner products are appealing for those looking for a quick and easy bed liner solution that can be installed at home.
Roll-on products aren’t as thick as other bed liner options – just 25% the thickness of a spray-on liner.
So, if you plan on using your truck, expect to reapply your roll-on liner a few more times to cover up those inevitable scratches and cracks spending more time and money in the process.
This option requires your effort and time to apply the bed liner by yourself.