A rotary car dumper or wagon tippler (UK) is a mechanism used for unloading certain railroad cars such as hopper cars, gondolas or lorries (tipplers, UK). It holds the rail car to a section of track and rotates the track and car together to dump out the contents. Used with gondola cars, it is making open hopper cars obsolete. Because hopper cars require sloped chutes in order to direct the contents to the bottom dump doors (hatches) for unloading, gondola cars allow cars to be shorter, thus lowering their center of gravity, while carrying the same gross rail load.
Alternatives to the rotary dump cars are bottom dump cars with bottom doors, and back end hoes which unload gondola cars. The former has the disadvantage that any imperfection in the seals of the doors allows material to spill onto the track.