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What’s The Difference Between Tipper And Dropside Vehicles?


When choosing the right HGV vehicle to hire, there are a number of contributing factors including size, payload, number of passengers, certain features you require as well as other potential factors. It might be surprising that some people may not be aware of the differences between such vehicles. 

In this article, we will discuss the main differences between two popular types of HGV vehicles, the tipper and the dropside. As a leading tipper and dropside hiring company, we want to help you make the right choice when deciding on which HGV vehicle to hire. Should you hire a tipper or a dropside commercial vehicle? Continue reading to learn more.

Body Type

A tipper van is a light commercial vehicle with a flatbed body including sides and a tailgate that are ideal for enclosing and transporting free-flowing materials. Tippers have an under-floor tipping system that allows you to mechanically elevate the rear of the vehicle at an angle for easy tipping and unloading. A dropside van is another light commercial vehicle with an open flatbed body. It doesn’t have an under-floor tipping system but it has sideboards that can be opened and dropped to allow for easy loading and unloading. 


Tippers tend to be more popular with light construction companies and landscaping businesses, this is because they make transporting building aggregates, garden waste and other similar materials easier. On the other hand, a dropside vehicle tends to be more popular within the construction and scaffolding industry as they make it easier for carrying heavy materials including bricks and scaffolding poles. Its detachable sideboards allow people, forklifts or cranes to easily get access to the materials directly.


The payload in a commercial vehicle is one of the factors to consider when deciding between a tipper and a dropside vehicle. A tipper has the ability to carry a variety of loads and equipment with a payload which can range from a minimum of 3.5 tonnes to a maximum of 32 tonnes. Depending on the model, dropside vehicles  generally are more capable of carrying a higher payload. The only drawback is, as we already mentioned, a dropside body can’t be elevated to load and unload goods like a tipper.

Hire Tipper and Dropside Vehicles From ND Brown

Now that you understand the main differences between a tipper and dropside vehicle, it’s time to time to choose the right model. At ND Brown, we have a wide fleet of HGV vehicles available for hire including tipper and dropside options. We would be happy to help you choose the right model for your requirements. 

Our tipper and dropside vehicles are fully insulated, reliable, well-maintained and equipped with many other features including spring assist sideboards, cages, towing equipment, single or double chassis, grab handles, reverse cameras and more.

If you are interested in hiring a tipper or a dropside vehicle for your line of work, please contact us at ND Brown. We offer both short and long-term hiring contracts with accessible sites across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

About ND Brown

ND Brown Ltd is a specialist independent truck rental and sales company of over 40 years’ standing. Owned and operated by the same dedicated management team since its inception, ND Brown’s efforts are focused on supplying the utility, civil engineering, municipal and highway maintenance industries with high-quality modern HGV vehicles for both short and long-term self-drive hire.

From our sales division, we also sell a wide, but specialised range of new and used commercial vehicles.

Please call us on 01902 791991 or email us on