At TARS ltd, we have provided site clearance and haulage services to commercial and domestic customers across Essex and Suffolk. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, we’ve been asked many questions about our vehicles. 

In this article, we will explore the key difference between tipper lorries and grab lorries.

Table of contents (click a title to jump to a section):


What is a Tipper Lorry?

A Tipper is a 32-tonne 8 x 4-wheeler lorry with a buck capable of holding up to 20 tonnes of material per load and requires machine loading. The buck tips up at about a 45-degree angle to unload the material.

What is a Grab Lorry?

A Grab is a 32-tonne 8 x 4-wheeler lorry with a buck capable of holding up to 16 tonnes of material per load. Grabs do not require self-loading as they have a hydraulic arm with a bucket attached, hence why they got the name “Grab Hire” as the bucket essentially grabs the waste. The buck can tip at a 45-degree angle or unload the waste using the hydraulic arm. The arm has a reach of 6m and can only operate from the side of the lorry.

Pros of Tipper Hire


Tippers can hold up to 20 tonnes of material, compared to 16 tonnes on the Grab. So, if you have a large-scale job, you will require fewer loads with a Tipper.


Tipper Hire is cheaper than Grab Hire as it requires self-loading. 


The turnaround on Tippers is much faster, as loading and unloading is faster than using the grab arm. They are much better equipped at shifting large volume jobs.

Learn more about Tipper Hire Services.

TARS Yellow Grab Lorry

Pros of Grab Hire


The grab arm can reach over obstacles, walls and fences, providing the driver can see the heap of waste. 


grabs can load/unload the lorry themselves, saving you from hiring or buying expensive machinery on-site. The arm can also empty the material into multiple heaps, making it easier to spread.

Split loads

Grabs can bring two different types of material on one load and can be carefully unloaded to keep the materials segregated, rather than tipped into one big heap where the material would end up mixed together.

Learn more about Grab Hire Services.

Which one is for me?

TARS Tipper Lorry


Tippers are ideal for large sites, bulk orders, and sites with self-loading machinery. As a result, tippers are frequently used on construction sites, serving commercial customers.

Grab Hire Lorry TARS


Grab lorries are suited to small sites with difficult access. This is because they can reach over obstacles like walls and fences. Grabs are popular amongst domestic clients.

About the Author

Total Aggregate Recycling Solutions Ltd (TARS) are a family-owned and run business with over 30 years of experience and growth in the haulage and recycling industry. We supply our customers with innovative waste recycling solutions.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, please get in touch with our friendly service team by visiting our contact page or by calling us on 01206 307030.

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