What Is A Roll Off Dumpster?

October 15, 2020

Roll off dumpsters are basically really big portable trash cans. They are called "roll offs", because of the type of truck that delivers them. The dumpster just "rolls off" the back of the truck and onto the driveway or street where the dumpster is ultimately placed.

Another type of truck that carries these dumpsters is called a "cable truck". The dumpsters are secured on the truck and loaded and unloaded with a big steel cable, hence the name. These trucks were used much more in the past, and they are not as safe or as easy to use as the more modern roll off trucks. Most modern dumpster companies build their fleet with what are called "hook trucks", and that is what hauls the modern day roll off dumpster (as seen in the image above). These trucks have a large hook on the back that just hooks the dumpster in the front and rolls it on and off the back of the truck. These hook trucks provide for safe, easy and quick delivery of the roll off dumpsters, and usually they can be maneuvered into very specific spots.

There are normally about six (6) different sizes of roll off dumpsters - 10 yard, 12 yard, 15 yard, 20 yard, 30 yard and 40 yard. The term "yard" references a cubic yard, which is how much each dumpster holds. An easy way to remember how much debris can go in a container is to think of a standard size pickup truck bed. A 10 yard dumpster can hold about four pickup truck loads, a 15 yard can hold about six, a 20 yard can hold about eight, and a 30 yard can hold about twelve pickup truck loads.

You can throw out almost anything in a roll off dumpster. They are great for disposing of large items - items you cannot just set out with your weekly trash.

Typically people use roll off dumpsters to discard:

  • household trash - old furniture, mattresses, chairs
  • residential remodel trash - tile, carpet, flooring, shingles
  • landscaping - rock, yard waste, sod, dirt

There are a few things you cannot put in a dumpster. Some of those things are chemicals, refrigerators, paint, car batteries, gasoline, tires, and more. See our website for a complete list of what cannot go in a roll off dumpster.


Roll off dumpsters are large, portable trash cans that homeowners and contractors can rent to dispose of large items. They "roll off" the back of the truck and can be placed almost anywhere you would like. They make it easy and convenient to dispose of trash from landscaping, remodel projects, or just cleaning out rooms in your house. If you are looking for a roll off dumpster rental, let Trash Daddy Dumpsters help you out!