How to Select the Best Self Dumping Hopper for your Warehouse

How to Select the Best Self Dumping Hopper for your Warehouse

8 minute read

What is a self dumping hopper, and what are they used for in a warehouse setting?

A Self dumping hopper (sometimes called a dump hopper) is a large container used to store and transport waste materials in commercial and industrial settings. These hoppers are most often constructed out of steel for increased durability and load-carrying capacity. As opposed to regular dumpsters, self dumping hoppers come with a release latch that allows for the waste to be easily dumped out and closes when the load is dumped. They attach to a forklift for easy transportation and dumping of materials. They are convenient to use and can be operated by a single person. Casters can also be added to the hopper for increased mobility. Commonly used in warehouses, self dumping hoppers allow for the proper disposal of waste materials and are an integral part of waste management on the job site.

Self-Dumping Steel Hopper, 1.0 Cubic Yard, 6000 lbs Capacity

Self-Dumping Steel Hopper, 1.0 Cubic Yard, 6000 lbs Capacity


Excellent for handling heavy, bulky scrap, in-process materials, castings, wood and metal chips, recyclables and sludge.  Sealed watertight for wet or dry use Positive, locking latch prevents accidental dumping Safety chain secures hopper to the handling vehicle Ships fully assembled… read more

American Storage and Logistics is your source for affordable and high-quality Self Dumping Hoppers in Michigan. Based out of Grand Rapids, MI, we ship to anywhere in the United States! We carry a large selection of durable, steel self dumping hoppers. See our inventory on our website.

How to choose the right self dumping hopper for your warehouse?

Dump hoppers come in many different sizes and load capacities, and can be constructed from different materials for various applications. Plastic or aluminum hoppers are lighter and quieter. Whereas, steel hoppers last much longer and can handle heavier loads. Steel hoppers are typically used in industrial and warehouse settings. They are great for handling heavy, bulky scrap, in-process materials, castings, wood and metal chips, recyclables, and sludge. American Store and Logistics carries high-quality Meco steel hoppers made in the United States.

The size and construction of the hopper you will need depends on your business and unique needs. Here are a few other specifications to consider when purchasing a self dumping hopper:

Load Capacity

Self dumping hoppers come in various load capacities. Light-duty hoppers with around 2,0000 lbs capacity are used for lighter materials such as cardboard. Medium-duty hoppers have around 4,000 lbs capacity, and heavy-duty hoppers have around 6,000 lbs capacity and can be used for scrap metal, concrete, and other heavy industrial materials. Our hoppers range from 2,000-6,000 lbs load capacity. 


Another important specification to consider is the size of the hopper. This includes the exterior dimensions, as well as how many cubic yards of material the hopper can hold. The size of the hopper you need depends on your space and how much waste material your warehouse produces. The biggest convenience of hoppers is being able to collect waste in one area without having to constantly empty the trash. So, make sure to purchase a hopper that is large enough for your application without being too big for your space. At American Store and Logistics, our self dumping hoppers range from 0.5 to 3 cubic yard capacity. 

See the table below for more information on the specifications of our self dumping hoppers:

Self dumping hopper specs

Timeframe & Delivery

What is your timeframe for getting a self dumping hopper? American Storage and Logistics offers unrivaled convenience when shopping for warehouse solutions. Check out our website for a hassle-free online shopping experience. If you are located in the Grand Rapids, MI area, you can take advantage of our same-day local delivery and local pickup options. We pride ourselves in getting your order to you safely and on time. Visit our website to learn more about our delivery and shipping options.

Key Features to Look for When Purchasing a Self Dumping Hopper

  • Self dumping hoppers should be sealed watertight for wet or dry environments, keeping your warehouse clean and safe from debris. 
  • Pay attention to the thickness of the steel. The steel gauge will determine how heavy-duty the hopper is. The thickness of the steel increases with lower gauges and that means higher durability. All of our hoppers, including the lower capacity ones, come with a 7 ga steel base for increased durability.
  • Some self dumping hoppers have a lip on the top that increases rigidity and eliminates sharp edges. All of our hoppers come with a 2” lip around the top.
  • Hoppers come in different colors. Bright colors are great for increased visibility and workplace safety. Our hoppers come in a long-lasting orange enamel finish.
  • Some self dumping hoppers include a positive, self-locking latch to prevent accidental dumping. This is a nice feature that will prevent accidents.
  • The safety chain is an important component as it secures the hopper to the handling vehicle.
  • Make sure that the hoppers have the correct openings for your forklift. Our hoppers are equipped with 2-1/2"H fork openings.
  • Some hoppers can be stacked when not in use. If you are limited in space, this would be a nice feature to have.

self dumping hopper features


Self Dumping Hopper Accessories

Hinged Lids

Lids are an optional feature on Meco self dumping hoppers. They are great for preventing waste materials from falling out during transportation and will keep contamination to a minimum in your warehouse. Keep in mind that they need to be factory installed. So, please specify that you would like to add on a lid during the order process. There are three hinge options to choose from:

self dumping hopper lid


Casters add mobility to your dump hopper and free your forklift. They can be installed at any point and can be found here on our website. The casters we carry fit all of our hopper sizes and can support up to 6,0000 lb capacity. They come in two swivel and two rigid combination. 

If you need assistance with installation, please contact our Customer Service team at 866-690-5392.

Stainless Steel Caster Kit for Self-Dumping Hoppers

Stainless Steel Caster Kit for Self-Dumping Hoppers


Add casters for mobility and free your valuable fork truck. Set of 4 bolts on to bottom Available for all hopper sizes 6" x 2-1/2", 6,000 lb capacity Two swivel, two rigid combination All wheels have roller bearings Swivel casters… read more

Safety Tips for Using a Self Dumping Hopper in a Warehouse

At American Storage and Logistics, your safety is our number one priority. It is good practice to educate your employees on how to operate self dumping hoppers before use. You can refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s website for guidelines on safe hopper use. Here are a few tips for safely using self dumping hoppers in a warehouse:

  • Inspect the hopper before each use to make sure that it is in good condition. The latch should be functional and the container itself should be intact.
  • Make sure that everyone using the hopper is aware of its load capacity. Hoppers should not be filled beyond their capacity for safe use. Also, the materials should be packed in a way that will not allow for them to fall off during loading and transportation. Some hoppers will come equipped with a lid to prevent materials from falling off during transportation.
  • When using a forklift to pick up the hopper, ensure that the forks are correctly positioned in the fork pockets. They should be placed as forward as possible without coming out of the front side.
  • The safety chain should always be secured to the transporting vehicle before attempting to move the hopper.
  • Make sure that the forklift’s mast is tilted back, and the hopper is elevated before moving.
  • Do not operate a forklift fitted with a hopper if the ground is sloped. This may cause the weight to shift and for the equipment to tilt over.
  • Check that the hopper’s latch has gone back to the locked position when it is not being emptied.

self dumping hopper on forklift

Selecting New versus Used when Buying a Self Dumping Hopper

If you are in the market for a self dumping hopper, you have the option to purchase a new or a used one. There are pros and cons to either, and the best decision is guided by your needs and budget. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding between a new or a used self dumping hopper:


One of the main determining factors is price. Buyers can get deep discounts off of the sticker price when they purchase a used hopper. However, used hoppers are often sold as-is. As a buyer, make sure to do your due diligence and find out about all defects before purchasing a used hopper.


Make sure to ask questions about the age, use, and condition of the hopper before making a decision. Ensure that the latch mechanism is functioning correctly, and the container is intact and waterproof. If there are any other features like casters or a lid, these should be inspected as well.


Another difference between a used and a new self dumping hopper is the warranty coverage. All of our new inventory comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. 

We are always getting new items added to our inventory. Check out our website for the latest selection!

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