The construction industry has been experiencing an upswing lately. Around my city, lots of buildings have been popping up. I’d be willing to bet that in a few years time, my city will look pretty different from the way it is today. And that’s a good thing. The great thing about this boom is that it doesn’t just include huge construction developments. Even smaller project like residential construction is booming.
If you happen to own a dump truck, this boom presents a good opportunity for you. Larger contractors will only higher bigger fleets, but you can still go for smaller construction projects. If you’re a solo driver, I suggest you go for the latter.
Below are some ideas how you can ride this construction upswing and make a decent income with your truck.
Things You’ll Need
A Dump Truck
Let’s start with the obvious one: a dump truck. If you have one, awesome. If not, you’ll have to buy one. Brand-new dump trucks can get pricey. New models can go well over $150,000. If you’re only starting out, or don’t want to pour all your money into acquiring a new truck, you can get a second-hand one.
Prices for second-hand models can be all over the place, depending on factors such as age, brand, and mileage. A used truck in decent condition will set you back around $20,000. I’ve found trucks for as little as $10,000, but buyer beware! Those things might need a lot of maintenance and you may end up spending more than you set out to.
Commercial Driver’s License
Driving a truck will require a commercial driver’s license. If don’t have one already, you’ll need to factor in the time and money you’ll be spend applying for one. Also take note of your local regulations. Some localities will require you to take training and tests before you can legally start offering your services.
Because you’ll be offering your services, you will have to apply for a small business permit. That means you’ll need either a tax ID or an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Just to be sure, consult the IRS first. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Advertise Your Services
Simply parking you dump truck outside won’t be enough to get clients. You’ll need to advertise. And that also means preparing business cards and official letterheads.
The dump truck game is highly competitive. With all the drivers out there, I think clients make up their minds based on initial impressions. That means you’ll need to create ads that inspire confidence in your services.
You can take out ads in the local newspaper, radio station, and bulletin boards. You can also stick posters in places that allow it. Make sure you place your posters in high-traffic, high-visibility areas.
You can also advertise online. Use both social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and online bulletin boards (Craigslist). If you’re creative you can even do regular “life on the road” updates, or talk about the construction projects you’re working for.
Projects to Aim For
Chance are, you’ll be taking whatever jobs walk in the door. And that’s cool. That’s the nature of being a service-oriented business. You advertise, and people hire you for whatever relevant job they need done.
But you can still aim for some specific types of projects. Below is a list of projects that I think are either the most lucrative, or easiest to find.
1. Local Construction Projects
If you’re starting out in the dump truck game, start small, and start local. Local builders and contractors generally have smaller requirements, unlike larger construction firms which may need an entire fleet of trucks.
The most common type of job I’ve gotten from local construction companies is hauling debris. Both construction and demolition creates a lot of junk that isn’t needed. They will hire you to take these materials, either to a landfill or to a recycling facility.
2. Public Works Projects
Not all projects involve construction. Sometimes, your town or city might need trucks to haul excess snow or garbage. So keep an eye out for municipal projects that you could pitch your services for.
Dump truck drivers are in high demand in the landscaping industry. Landscapers always need trucks to haul soil, rocks, and sometimes plants to and from job sites.
Try advertising in landscaping stores. You could even talk to the shop owner and become their accredited, go-to trucker.
4. Truck Leasing
As with every business, there will be lean times. During these periods, your truck will be dead weight. By leasing out your truck, you can at least make money off it even if you yourself don’t have any clients.
Reminder: make sure you put in your advertising materials that you’re open to leasing your truck.
A dump truck business requires a significant financial outlay. But once the ball gets rolling and client start coming in, it can be fairly lucrative. If you roll your earnings back into the business, you can even acquire more trucks, eventually building a fleet. And that’s where the big money lies.
So this is definitely a legit way to make money. If you’re up for it, give it a go!
This is my review based on my trucking experience. Now it’s your turn to share. Have you tried driving a dump truck for business? Have you tried any other types of trucking?
Let’s hear your stories!