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Live Load vs Dumpster Rental vs Dump Trailer

It can be overwhelming when you find yourself surrounded by large amounts of junk or construction debris that needs to be removed. Whether it’s an accumulation of years of stuff stashed in the basement or garage, jam-packed shops or garden sheds, piles of construction or renovation debris, or household junk and trash, clearing up and clearing out is a big job.

And if you have a large enough load to warrant using a dumpster, how do you determine which is best for you? We’re going to look at three kinds of dumpsters and the benefits and disadvantages of each of them:

Live Load Dumpsters

Live load dumpster is the industry term used to describe a dumpster rental that shows up, gets loaded immediately, and then leaves the premises. We take pride in providing this service with our trucks for special projects, and our team of junk removal experts can consult with you to determine the best fit.

A Live Load Dumpster

You can choose between loading a live load dumpster yourself while the driver stays on site, or you can request the live load dumpster company provide the labor. If you go with us, our professional crews are trained to move as quickly as possible to speed up your project and get the debris out of your way.

Pros And Cons Of Live Load Dumpsters

Here are the notable pros and cons of live load dumpsters.

Live Load Dumpster

Pros of live load dumpsters:

  • The costs of any permits won’t come out of your pocket.
  • Laborers can be provided to load the dumpster, saving your back wear and tear.
  • Any laborers provided by the live load company are professionals and work quickly and efficiently, using all the necessary equipment and instruments unique to the job.
  • A live load dumpster is ideal for jobs where space or extra logistics are a factor. Issues like limited access, no parking, or if a customer doesn’t want their driveway blocked can be considered.
  • Flexible enough to work for almost any job site inside the live load dumpster company’s service area.
  • Live load dumpsters are the most discreet type of dumpster and don’t draw as much attention to the work being done as other types of dumpsters or dump trailers.
  • All expenses are included in the removal fee.
  • It’s easy to build the expense into project costs with a reliable quote.
  • Live load dumpster companies often assist with cleanouts and sorting different types of junk for removal.

Cons of live load dumpsters:

  • Live load dumpsters can be more expensive to hire depending on the amount and the type of junk and debris you need to have removed.
  • Other types of dumpsters can be more suited for your project if you need to work slowly over time and have the free space to site a dumpster for longer periods of time.
  • Poorly quoted live load jobs can result in extra costs if the crew needs to return with an empty dumpster to remove all the materials and debris onsite.

Of course, your experience with live load dumpsters will only be as good as the company you hire. It’s important to read their online reviews and research to ensure they are an accredited business.

Dumpster Rental

Rental dumpsters are delivered to your house or site on the date you requested them and will then stay in place until fully loaded. Once the dumpster is full, you can call and request it is picked up.

Usually, rental dumpsters are roll-off dumpsters. The most common sizes for rental dumpsters hold 10 to 40 cubic yards of junk and debris. Each size of dumpster has its own weight capacity and is based on the type of debris you’re getting rid of.

A Dumpster Rental

A typical 10-yard dumpster holds two to three tons (4,000 to 6,000 pounds). Just note that if your load is considered “heavy debris,” you’ll need to rent a special trailer with a 10-ton weight limit.

A 20-yard dumpster typically can hold three tons (6,000 pounds). This size is the most popular type of rental dumpster as it suits a wide variety of projects, including room renovations, home cleanouts, and larger landscaping jobs.

A 30-yard dumpster can usually hold up to three-and-a-half to five tons (7,000 to 10,000 pounds) of weight. This can contain 150-180 13-gallon bags of household trash or 1,750 to 2,500 square feet of hardwood flooring.

The largest size dumpster is a 40-yard dumpster which can typically hold between five to six tons (10,000 to 12,000 pounds) of garbage and debris. That’s the equivalent of 144-188 4×8 sheets of drywall or 10,000 pounds of loose yard waste.

Pros and Cons of Rental Dumpsters

Here are the notable pros and cons of rental dumpsters.

A Rental Dumpster

Pros of rental dumpsters:

  • You can pay to rent a dumpster for as long as you need it, allowing you to load the dumpster as you demo, build or renovate your project.
  • If you fill the dumpster before you finish getting rid of your project’s junk and debris, the dumpster rental company will pick up the full one and replace it with an empty dumpster.
  • You can choose larger 30 to 40-yard volume dumpsters for bigger jobs.
  • Renting a “heavy materials” dumpster for concrete, asphalt, rocks, stone, etc., tends to be cheaper than the cost of a live load dumpster.

Cons of rental dumpsters:

  • You’ll need to apply for a permit which can take time and adds to the cost of the rental.
  • You’ll need to provide the labor to load the dumpster, which could divert your skilled laborers from jobs that could earn more.
  • You’ll need someone to coordinate the scheduling and placement of the rental dumpster, which can be time-consuming depending on the job site.
  • You’ll be responsible for any trip fees incurred for a failed delivery and pickup.
  • Your customers or neighbors may be inconvenienced by having a dumpster taking up extra parking spaces or creating an eyesore in the neighborhood.
  • Rental dumpsters can get filled during the night by “fly dumping.” This adds unforeseen costs to your project.

You’ll want to make sure you get the right size of dumpster for your job so you don’t have to worry about exceeding the specified weight limit. When loading the dumpster, try to fill the container evenly. It’s important not to overload the dumpster or place items above the height of the dumpster box.

The weight of an empty dumpster is between 3,750 and 6,500 pounds, depending on the size of the box. You won’t be charged for this weight, only for the weight you add to the dumpster over its empty weight.

Dump Trailers

Dump trailers tend to be smaller in size than the standard 10 to 40-cubic-yard rental dumpsters. There are three common types of dump trailers: channel frame, I-beam frame, and tubular frame.

Loading a Dump Trailer

Channel frame trailers: These types of trailers are typically the cheapest to rent or purchase, but they do have the weakest frame type. Often seen in smaller dump trailers, the trailer is three-sided, which allows the supports to slide inside the channels in the frame and is connected by bolts.

I-beam frame: Longer trailers, I-beam trailers are usually considered a “middle-ground” frame. They’re mid-expense with a mid-strength frame and get their name from the two or three I-beams that run lengthwise to the box and provide support.

Tubular frame: These are the strongest frame-style dump trailer and also the most expensive to rent or buy. The tubular frame is entirely closed (unlike a channel frame trailer) and is most often used in small to medium-length dump trailers.

Pros And Cons Of Dump Trailers

Here are the notable pros and cons of dump trailers.

Various Trailers

Pros of dump trailers:

  • You can rent a dump trailer for the specific time you require its use.
  • You can buy a dump trailer if the cost for multiple rentals outweighs the purchase cost of a new or second-hand dump trailer.
  • The rubber wheels on dump trailers can cause less damage to a property.
  • Owning a dump trailer allows you to use it whenever you need to.
  • You can fill it as full as you like with whatever materials you need to get rid of.
  • You can load smaller loads at different sites and condense the travel costs into one trip to the dump or landfill.
  • You have full freedom to move the dump trailer wherever you need to pick up junk and debris.

Cons of dump trailers:

  • You need to supply all the labor required to load the trailer.
  • You need to have a skilled driver with a CDL license to move the dump trailer from site to site. A CDL license can cost between $3,000 to $7,000, depending on which class license you require.
  • You’ll need to own (or rent) a vehicle capable of towing the dump trailer equipped with a proper hitch.
  • You’ll pay for gas to move the dump trailer.
  • You’ll need to pay for the registration and extra insurance on both the towing vehicle and the dump trailer.
  • You’ll pay for all the wear and tear on the dump trailer and the towing vehicle.
  • You will be responsible for all liability costs if the dump trailer damages someone’s property or if any items fall out of the trailer and damage someone’s property.
  • You’ll need to ensure that your junk and debris are sorted before it goes to either a landfill or a material recovery facility.
  • If the trailer is left overnight unsupervised, you could find someone else’s junk has been added while you weren’t looking. You’ll be responsible for the extra fees unless you can find the culprit.
  • You are responsible for paying all dumping and landfill fees.

The average price to rent a dump trailer “ranges from $60-$150 per day,” according to They also predict the average price of purchasing a dump trailer to range from $3,000-$15,000, depending on where in the country you live and the trailer’s size, type, and condition.

They also calculate the difference between renting a dumpster versus renting a dump trailer. A “typical dumpster rental ranges from 7-10 days…and the average price of a 20-yard roll-off dumpster ranges from $268-$657.” Renting the same size dump trailer for the same amount of time would cost between $600-$1,500.

Call Us at Junk Relief

At Junk Relief, we specialize in offering live load service. We take just about anything, and we do all the heavy (and light) lifting.

From pianos and pool tables to construction debris and cleanout services, here’s a list of the junk we can help you get rid of:

Indoor junk removal:

Outdoor junk removal:

Commercial waste removal:

Construction debris removal:

Electronic waste:

Large removal projects:

We know that not everything you’re getting rid of isn’t truly junk, and it could happily go to someone who needs it. In order to benefit the environment and those in need, we are proud to say that we rehome and recycle as many items as possible. Items are evaluated and brought back to our warehouse for distribution, rehoming, and recycling.

Junk Relief Junk Removal Service

For the fastest guaranteed price estimate, please text photos to 312-800-1940 or email We promise to deliver:

  • Upfront, no-obligation quotes with no hidden fees
  • Full service – all fully-licensed and insured labor included
  • Choose from same-day, next-day pickups, seven days a week

We’re Junk Removal Specialists with 15 years of experience, and many of our employees are career Removal Specialists. We’re lucky to have them!

We always talk about prices beforehand, so there are no surprises, hidden fees, or extra charges. The best way to get a good deal and compare junk removal prices accurately is to know the price before your pickup and what’s included to avoid hidden fees.

We stick to the number we say on the phone. We guarantee the costs will never be more than our given estimate, as long as it’s the same items as we saw in your booking photos and we talked through during our call.

We only take payment once you approve our removal work, and the area looks like the junk was never there. Our team will have a tablet ready for credit cards, check, or cash. No need to run to the ATM.

Our customers find Junk Relief to be a feeling of pure relaxation in knowing your home or business is clear of unwanted items and clutter. At the end of the day, there’s no work for you to do and, best of all, no messy cleanup.

Thanks for working with us. We are happy to make you a customer for life!


Joe Weidman

Joe is a Chicago native, born and raised in Elmhurst. He founded Junk Relief more than 10 years ago and has worked with more than 20,000 homeowners and businesses throughout Chicagoland. His passion for starting a business in junk removal stemmed from seeing the need to do things differently. He prides himself on his company's model to provide unexpectedly professional service.


If you’ve got junk in Chicago or the Chicagoland Suburbs, we can help. CALL US or TEXT US at (312) 800-1940.


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