Box Dumpers Tips

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What safety issues should I be watching out for with my new hydraulic box dumper?

Your New Hydraulic Box Dumper

The hydraulic box dumper is much like a gantry crane, in that you are required to display safety labels which are in good repair (meaning they are always readable). You'll also be required to conduct safety inspections on the hydraulic box dumper. If a brand new unit appears to have received damage in transit, note this on your bill and contact the company immediately. Don't attempt to operate a damaged machine, or operate the box dumper if unusual noises or other out of the ordinary conditions exist. Doing so may further damage the machine or compromise worker safety.

Is my new hydraulic box dumper a stand-alone unit or does it need any kind of bolting or securing to the floor?

Getting Started With A New Hydraulic Box Dumper

The hydraulic box dumper allows one person to deal with loads of up to 6,000 pounds (depending on the load rating) in a hopper or other container appropriate for the box dumper. When you set up your hydraulic box dumper there are a few important things your setup and maintenance crew should know.

  • The frame of the dumper must be anchored to the floor securely according to the instructions in the manual.
  • It is not advisable to use alternative anchoring methods--the frame is designed to handle its rated load with the recommended anchoring scheme.
  • Do not allow your crews to customize the hydraulic box dumper without first consulting the manufacturer--you may void your warranty, create a safety condition or both! Replacement parts must be manufacturer-approved for the same reason.

Can I use brake fluid or oil in my box dumper?

Maintenance on the Box Dumper

Like any machine, a hydraulic box dumper will need periodic maintenance and safety inspections. Maintenance and repair should only be done by those who are qualified--allowing other personnel to repair the box dumper may void your warranty.

It's extremely important not to use brake fluid or jack oils in the box dumper's hydraulic system. Consult the user manual for the exact type of oil you can use in your machine. Some models are designed to use anti wear hydraulic fluid, and some may require Dexron transmission fluid. Check the box dumper owner's manual to be sure.

What should I be looking for during an inspection of my new box dumper?

Once Your Box Dumper Has Been Installed

Once a box dumper has been installed, it will need to be inspected to make sure the hoses, wires, tubes and limiter switches are in good condition and proper working order. Frayed wires, chafed hoses, hoses that are pinched, damaged tubes or oil leaks are indications that the unit is not in operating condition.

If you notice any of these things during the inspection, make a note on your bill and contact the manufacturer immediately. If the inspection goes well, you'll need to operate the box dumper through several "up and "down" cycles before approving it for regular use.

What tools and accessories will I need to install my box dumper?

Installing a Box Dumper

Box dumpers have specific installation procedures. When you receive your box dumper and schedule it for installation and inspection you will need a number of items to properly install the unit.

  1. The first thing you will need is a forklift to maneuver the unit into place.
  2. You'll also need a masonry drill and the appropriate bits (masonry-rated bits).
  3. Bring a wrench, steel shims and some grout to complete your equipment list.
  4. Depending on the model of the box dumper, you may require additional equipment.

Be sure that your installation crew inspects the machine once it has been properly installed. The inspector will need to fully lower the chute before inspection.

How can I make sure I'm best informed when buying a hydraulic box dumper online?

Online Video Makes Material Handling Shopping More Clear

Buying expensive material handling equipment such as hydraulic box dumpers in the 21st century has become easier than ever because of the Internet. Not only can you peruse hundreds of material handling companies online, but companies are making your shopping easier and more informative by posting online video that demonstrate their products while educating you about specific features. Companies such as and offer this service.

For example,'s 1 minute and 41 second hydraulic box dumper video shows you the box dumper in action and zooms in on important features such as the safety side guard rails that help minimize danger, air bleeder valve, upper travel limits switch which stops the chute at desired heights and the chrome plated displacement style cylinder with internally mounted velocity fuse. This company also posts the owner's manual full of installation procedures, safety warnings and complete explanations of its products. Online shopping has perhaps never been more clear!

How can I cut down on box dumper noise?

Reducing Box Dumper Noise

If you're worried about the noise in your factory or warehouse when you're using material handling equipment such as box dumpers, here are some ideas for reducing it, courtesy of Products Finishing Magazine.

  • Apply sound absorbing material to the outside of tote box dumper hoppers, load chutes and other flat metal components. This reduces the airborne structural vibrations that transmit the noise.
  • Enclose the entire loading and unloading area with a custom-designed fabricated structure built to specific wall thickness dimensions, making sure there are no air gaps. For automated systems, these structures can be automatic sliding doors for barrel shuttle and fork lift entry and exit.
  • Dampen noise of steel barrels by loading and unloading them while they are submerged in solution.

How much will a hydraulic box dumper cost?

Hydraulic Box Dumper Prices

A hydraulic box dumper allows one person to quickly and efficiently tilt and dump materials that weigh up to 6,000 pounds in a hopper or other container. The hydraulic box dumpers are square shaped receptacles with a chute either on the side or the bottom. They are also called "tipsters." These machines are very helpful when emptying the loaded boxes, containers and crates common in factories and warehouses.

So how much will one of these machines cost you? According to, a hydraulic box dumper will cost between $5,000 and $7,000, depending on its lift capacity. Companies who sell these products claim the machines pay for themselves because they:

  • Reduce material handling man hours
  • Lower operating costs
  • Eliminate mechanical down time
If you can't buy the machinery outright, look for companies that will allow you to lease the machinery. If you don't want to pay full price, check out online auction sites such as where you'll find used hydraulic box dumpers listed for less than $5,000. Or do an online search for used material handling machinery and check out Web sites such as and

How do I bleed the air out of my hydraulic box dumper?

"Bleeding" Air From a Hydraulic Box Dumper

So you are using your new hydraulic box dumper and everything seems to be going fine. That is, until your platform starts lowering extremely slow or not at all. You may need to "bleed" the air from the system because air in the hydraulic cylinders could be closing the cylinder's velocity fuse. Here are some symptoms of air in your cylinders, courtesy of

  • jerkiness or bounciness when operating the machine
  • a delay before movement begins when the "UP" control (push button or pedal) is pressed
  • locking of the safety velocity fuses in the lift cylinders when the "DOWN" control (push button or pedal) is pressed, which prevents the unit from lowering
Here are the steps you should take the "bleed" the air from the system:

  1. Fully lower the chute
  2. Remove any load from the chute
  3. Hold a rag over the cylinder's bleeder valve (it looks like a grease zerk) and open the valve about one-half a turn with a 1/4-inch or 5/16-inch wrench. Oil and air will sputter from the valve. Once you see no more air, close the valve
  4. Jog the motor several times, waiting at least 5 seconds in between tries, until the sputtering stops and only clear oil streams from the bleeder valve
  5. Check the level of hydraulic fluid in the reservoir. If the oil is not within 1.5 inches of the fill hole, add oil until it reaches that level. Operate the machine to make sure it raises and lowers smoothly

What options do I have for modifying my box dumper?

Customizing A Box Dumper

Hydraulic box dumpers can have equipment installed for specific material handling operations. One such modification many are familiar with is the hood or seal, which is good for flaky material, grain, or anything that could be discharged into the air when being moved. An important addition to these seals is an internal agitator which can keep material from accumulating within the dumper box. You can also purchase "de-lumping" tools that can be installed to deal with items likely to clump during the transfer process. Other modifications available include the material diverter, which guides material into the receptacle and prevents spilling. If you need a box dumper for specific material, be sure to check the optional equipment; much of it is designed to prevent you from wasting manpower cleaning up spilled material, or items trapped within the dumper.

Can I use a manual box dumper to transport debris?

Manual Box Dumpers And Lung Safety

Some people use manual box dumpers to transfer refuse as well as regular dock and warehouse materials. If you are using a box dumper to shift flaked, powdered, or otherwise inhalable debris, it's very important to use safety goggles and a face mask when operating the dumper. Wood dust, drywall debris, or other fragments are large enough to cause eye and lung damage. Inhaled debris is to be avoided for the same reason that diesel exhaust is bad for the lungs; large particles can do more damage to the respiratory system than the smaller particles in cigarette smoke and some pollution. It's best to use a covered or sealed box dumper for such operations, but when you have no other option, use your safety gear.

Are there other uses for box dumpers besides trash, building materials, and other items?

Hydraulic Box Dumpers For Grain And Feed

Did you know that some box dumpers are designed for grain and similar materials? One example of this is made by a company that includes a system that seals the load after it fills up the box dumper, which then transfers the load into a "feed hopper". This system was created to address concerns over contamination during the transfer process; the seal system protects the grain or feed from dirt and debris as it is moved into the feed hopper. It's an innovative use of technology most commonly associated with warehouse and similar operations. If you are considering using such a system, be sure to purchase one that won't trap the material in crevices, and has "continuous welds."

I overloaded my hydraulic box dumper and now it won't lift. Help!

Hydraulic Box Dumper Safety

Some hydraulic box dumpers have a safety feature that will prevent the unit from being used if the weight capacity is exceeded. Unfortunately, some owner manuals don't describe what to do if this happens! If your unit is frozen because of exceeded capacity you should:

1. Completely remove the load from the hydraulic box dumper.

2. Try to operate the box dumper with no load at all.

3. If this does not work, power down the unit, let it sit for five minutes, power up and try again with an empty load.

If you still can't operate the box dumper, you may need to check your schematic to see if there is an "engage" switch that needs to be reset, or a fuse which needs to be replaced. If consulting the schematic in the owner manual doesn't help, call the customer service number listed in the manual. Your unit may have been damaged due to the excess load, or you may need to be talked through a reset procedure.

What should I look for when inspecting my hydraulic box dumper

Monthy Safety Inspections

If you own a hydraulic box dumper, chances are your manual recommends a monthly safety inspection of the unit. When looking for the usual check of hydraulic fluid, oil, and wear and tear on your the unit's hoses, it's important to check for excess dirt or debris that could interfere with normal operation. You should also inspect the bolts and other fasteners on the unit to make sure they aren't loose or coming loose. The same goes for casters, caster bearings, and mounts for portable units. Stationary box dumpers should be inspected for cracks in the concrete where the dumper is anchored; those cracks are a sign that your anchor bolts may be coming loose.

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