Hook Lifts Australia Vs Roll Off: Which Dump Truck Is Best For Your Needs?

When it comes to dump trucks for hauling and transporting materials, as per experts like West-Trans, two popular options are hook lift trucks and roll off trucks. But what exactly is the difference between these two types of dump trucks, and which is better suited for your specific needs? This guide examines the key features and uses of hook lifts Australia and roll offs to help you determine the best choice.

What is a Hook Lift Truck?

A hook lift truck, also known as a hoist truck, is a versatile dumping truck outfitted with a specialized hydraulic hoist system. This allows different types of detachable open-top containers to be picked up and secured to the truck’s chassis for transport. The containers are dumped using the truck’s hoist mechanism.

Hook lifts are ideal for hauling material like construction debris, aggregates, dirt and brush. Common container sizes range from 10 to 40 cubic yards. Key benefits include:

  • Interchangeable containers for hauling different materials. The truck chassis stays the same while different container types can be attached as needed.
  • Fast loading and unloading. Containers can be securely attached or detached in under a minute using the integrated lift.
  • Ability to dump material from containers using the hoist lift.
  • Lowered center of gravity and evenly distributed weight improve stability.
  • Durable construction for long service life with minimal maintenance.

What is a Roll Off Truck?

A roll off truck operates by rolling on and rolling off open-top containers using a winch system located on the back. The container sizes often range from 10 to 40 cubic yards capacity. Roll off trucks are predominantly used to transport loose materials and debris to landfills and transfer stations.

Key attributes of roll off trucks:

  • Truck remains stationary while the winch mechanism rolls containers on and off.
  • Ability to haul different materials using interchangeable containers.
  • Quick loading/unloading of containers compared to manual lifting.
  • Containers have a rectangular shape which provides maximum volume.
  • Dumping requires separate equipment like a tipper. The truck itself does not dump loads.

Hook Lift vs Roll Off: Key Differences

While both рroviԁe а flexible wаy to hаul аnԁ remove сontаiners, there аre some notаble ԁifferenсes between hook lifts аnԁ roll offs: 

  • Loаԁing/Unloаԁing: Hook lifts рiсk uр аnԁ ԁetасh сontаiners hyԁrаuliсаlly. Roll offs use а winсh system to roll сontаiners on аnԁ off the сhаssis. 
  • Dumрing Methoԁ: Hook lifts use the truсk’s hoist to lift аnԁ ԁumр the сontаiner сontents. Roll offs require seраrаte equiрment to tiр сontаiners. 
  • Mаneuverаbility: Hook lift truсks аre more nimble with tighter turn rаԁiuses. Roll offs require more sрасe to mаneuver. 
  • Aррliсаtions: Hook lifts аre iԁeаl for сonstruсtion, ԁemolition аnԁ reсyсling. Roll offs foсus on lаnԁfill/trаnsfer stаtion mаteriаl trаnsрort. 
  • Uрfitting Costs: Hook lift uрfitting is generаlly more exрensive thаn roll off uрfitting.

Choosing Between Hook Lift and Roll Off Trucks

So which type of dump truck is right for your business? Here are some key factors to consider:

Types of material being hauled – Hook lifts work well for construction debris, aggregates, scraps. Roll offs focus on waste transport.

Dumping needs – Hook lifts can self-dump loads using the hoist. Roll offs require a separate container tipper.

Maneuverability requirements – Hook lifts offer better turning capability in tight spaces.

Upfitting costs – Roll offs have lower upfit costs overall compared to hook lifts.

Versatility needs – Hook lifts allow swapping different container types easily for varied loads. Roll offs are best suited for simple container transport.

Industry/region standards – Certain industries and geographic areas favor one type over the other.


Hook lift trucks provide maximum versatility and maneuverability for use in applications like construction, demolition, recycling and aggregate hauling. Their integrated hydraulic lifting and self-dumping capabilities allow flexible use with varied containers.

Roll off trucks are predominately used for transporting waste containers to landfills and transfer stations. They focus mostly on hauling standard open-top containers efficiently using a roll-on/roll-off winch system.

Evaluating your unique material hauling, dumping and maneuverability needs will determine whether a hook lift or roll off truck is the best investment for your business.

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