I have a crysteel with fold down sides. I love that option, I use it about everyday. If you were to haul mostly with that body, it would probably not last as long, but I haul only a few loads per month that I actaully dump, the rest of the time it hauls home improvement supplies, so it has held up fine. Nice dropping a side, than either climbing over, or loading out the back.
I just bought a '92 Chevy C-3500 with a 9' stake that dumps. The plate is missing off the rack, but it has a Scott 6 ton hoist.
Power is electric/hydraulic. The gentleman I bought it from did an excellent job of homemade sides and barn doors. Rack has a steel bulkhead with a small window in it.
I have to agree with Geoff, the Gallions leave a lot to be desired, just don't hold up. One other note, my rack has a door in the floor which covers a frame mounted ball hitch for a gooseneck trailer.
We have a crysteel where I work and I agree that it is nice. We don't have the drop down sides, but it does have the 'quick' release tailgate, which so far has worked flawlessly. As easy as opening a truck tailgate. As for durability, I guess only time will tell.
Myself, I have a 12 ft rack body dump, that I have been extremely happy with. Just have to be careful of those 'crazy' loaders at the supply yards who try to fill the whole thing up. The other day, they dropped 10,000 pds of topsoil on my truck and the gvrw is only 10k.....oops.
My next truck will be a drop side model. I'm looking at either a crysteel or maybe one of those new stahl's. Anyone have any experience with the new stahl dump bodys that have the 'smooth' sides? They look real nice, and they have a side drop option, that comes in handy for loading my truck with a dingo.
WE HAVE R/S ALUM. BODIES , THEY R JUNK, LOTS A PROBLEMS W/ P.T.O.'S. WE GOT 2000 KENWORTHS W-900 CLASSICS.MY BOSSES BROTHER HAS A RAVENS, TRI-AX (AIR CRAFT ALUM.)HIS WEIGHS IN AT 21,200. IT ADDS UP QUICK,IF YOUR HOGGIN TONNAGE.RAVENS IS THE BEST AND OBVIOUSLY MOST EXPENSIVE.
As a welder by trade, I'm not qualified to answer the question of what size dump box to get, but I would suggest staying away from aluminum. The weight saving up front is nice, but when it comes time to do repairs aluminum is a lot more difficult to work with than steel or stainless - more difficult to work on = more expensive to repair!