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Roll Off and Front Load Dumpsters: What's the Difference?

Dumpsters come in many different shapes and sizes, but there are two main types: roll off and front load dumpsters.
Knowing which kind you need depends on the debris you have and how often you'll need to dispose of it.

Roll off dumpsters are large, open-topped containers used for one-time jobs like construction projects or home cleanouts that generate high volumes of debris. Renting a roll off dumpster is considered temporary dumpster service.

Front load dumpsters are smaller, lidded bins used for regular trash service at businesses — you'll see these dumpsters behind any restaurant or store. Front load dumpster services are also called permanent dumpster services.

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A Full Breakdown of Dumpster Types

Roll Off Dumpsters

Front Load Dumpsters


Designed to "roll off" the back of specialized trucks to make carting bulky or large amounts of waste simpler.

Designed to be picked up and emptied by the hydraulic arms of front load trucks.

Typical Rental Period

7-10 days

Adjustable contract length

Service Type

Temporary or Ongoing Dumpster Service

Permanent Dumpster Service


Between 10 and 40 cubic yards of waste

See all roll off sizes

Between 2 and 8 cubic yards of waste

See all front load sizes

Weight Limit

Between 4,000 and 12,000 pounds

Between 400 and 1,600 pounds

Common Uses

Junk Removal


Yard Waste

Event Waste

Property Management


Retail Stores


FAQs About Dumpster Types

What are the two main types of dumpsters?

What's the main difference between roll off and front load dumpsters?

What's the difference between temporary, ongoing and permanent dumpster services?

What's the smallest dumpster I can rent?

Get Expert Roll Off & Front Load Dumpster Services

Whether you’re tackling a major construction project, a home garage cleanout or weekly trash collection for your business, we can help. For over a decade, we've helped thousands of homeowners and business owners get the right waste solutions for their cleanup needs.

Variety of Sizes

We offer a number of residential and commercial dumpster sizes nationwide for cleanup needs big and small.

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Nationwide Coverage

Our network allows for maximum availability so you can get as many dumpsters as needed to get the job done.

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Quick & Efficient Service

Our easy online ordering, efficient hauling and responsive support teams will keep your waste management on track.

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