“Best purchase ever. My only regret with this is not buying one 4 years ago when I started my business” – Dump trailer business owner.
So, how do seemingly ordinary people print money with these unflattering vehicles?
How does a dump truck business work?
A dump truck (or trailer) business is a service-based business that provides value in transporting and delivering large, bulky items that are otherwise difficult to move. Dump trailers move just about anything ranging from household junk to animal dung, and dump truck services typically operate within a designated mileage service area. The type of trailer you choose will determine how flexible or selective your dump trailer business is likely to be. For example, you can purchase a skid steer with the right attachments if you’re a dump truck business owner specializing in local land clearing.
To run a successful dump trailer service, you must start from the area of greatest need. Your first step toward success is proper research in your local area and number crunching to ascertain where the demand is, and how much money you can actually make as a local dump truck company. This is important to avoid investing heavily in dump trailers that generate no revenue.
The rest of this article will guide you through how to start a dump trailer business that makes you good money.
Steps for making money with your dump trailer business
- Choose the right dump trailer for your heavy loads
It goes without saying that if you’re getting into the dump truck industry, your choice of dump trailers is one key move that can make or break your business. You should research different dump truck models and decide whether buying or leasing suits your needs because your chosen dump trailer size directly affects the capacity of the loads you can efficiently transport. As a dump truck owner-operator, you must be knowledgeable about your vehicle’s hitch rating, towing capacity, and GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).
As a general rule of thumb, most dump trailers are manufactured to a standard length of 14 feet. It is essential to ensure that your truck can effortlessly handle loads without putting excessive strain on the engine. By understanding and adhering to your trailer’s limits and towing capacity, you can prioritize safety and extend the longevity of your equipment.
What to look out for when buying a used dump trailer
Before buying a used dump trailer, you must do your due diligence, exercise caution and carefully check to look for any signs of wear and tear. If possible, visit with a qualified mechanic to evaluate the vehicle. Additionally, consider whether renting out or selling the dump trailer would be more advantageous for your company. To make an informed choice, consider the local market’s demand, maintenance costs, depreciation, and possible income sources. Leasing offers flexibility, while buying allows you to build equity over time. Prioritize reliable, fuel-efficient, and durable equipment to minimize maintenance costs.
- Pick a suitable business name and localityWhen it comes to your business strategy, choosing the right name is important. Aim for a memorable, professional, and industry-relevant name. Conduct a thorough search to ensure your chosen name is not already in use and register it with the appropriate authorities.Likewise, it’s essential to locate your business in a suitable area. Find a location with easy access to major routes, ample parking, and enough space to accommodate your equipment. Ensure your company complies with the requirements by checking the local zoning laws. Obtain all required licenses and permits to conduct business legally.
- Get the required insurance, business licenses, and permits
Dump trailer operators offer a unique and specialized service that can include risky tasks like transporting large quantities of loose materials, assisting with debris removal on third-party property, or transporting various materials across local distances or interstate routes. As with any other industry, if you’re running your own business, it is important to secure liability insurance that meets your specific needs to protect your new dump truck business. This insurance coverage will provide you with the necessary financial security and peace of mind as you carry out your duties as a dump trailer operator. In addition, check your local authority for any businesses or licenses you need to operate in your region. Also ensure that your driver (if you’re not driving yourself) has a commercial driver’s license.
- Do your numbers
Befor you start a dump truck trailer business, you’ll need to crunch your numbers to determine whether you are operating at a profit or loss. First, you’ll need to figure out your start up capital expenses. This includes the cost of your new truck, website, license, permits, and everything else you need to open your doors. New dump trucks typically range from $100,000 to $200,000, while used ones cost between $50,000 and $100,000. Additionally, you must invest in equipment such as trailers, safety gear, and maintenance tools.
Then you’ll need to figure out your operating expenses – the recurring and regular expenses that you’ll need to make to keep your “doors” open. These include items like rent, equipment, inventory, marketing, payroll, taxes, insurance, miscellaneous costs, and any funds allocated for research and development. By calculating your operating expenses, you can accurately assess your financial standing and effectively make informed decisions about managing your business.
With time, ongoing expenses will include fuel costs, insurance premiums, maintenance and repairs, and employee wages if you decide to hire drivers. Managing these expenses efficiently will be crucial for ensuring profitability. Dump truck drivers earn around $40,000 to $60,000 annually, depending on their experience and working hours. By optimizing your expenses and securing contracts, your trailer dump business has the potential to be highly profitable.
- Set your prices
Figuring out how much to charge for your services is critical to your dump truck business plan. Extensive research is a good starting point for setting your prices. Find comparable services in your area, and call them to gauge their price points. Also reach out to supply stores to figure out the cost of consumables that are necessary for the job. This will help you determine what prices to set your services at, to stay competitive yet comparable to other providers in the market. Striking this balance will enable you to confidently set your pricing and attract customers to your dump trailer delivery business.
When setting your prices, also take into account factors such as your minimum load size and the distance traveled. You should decide whether to charge by the hour or by the load, and whether to base the fee on the weight or quantity of the materials you are transporting.
You will also need to factor in mileage costs, as well as and equipment wear and tear. By carefully considering all these variables, you will avoid pricing yourself out of the market while keeping your costs competitive.
- Set up billing, payments and a Business Account
Unless you’re running a charitable organization, receiving payments are a critical part of any business, including a dump truck business. You need to think about how to bill your clients, and also accept payments from them as a respectable dump truck business. The possibilities for payment acceptance are endless, but first, you need a business account.
A dedicated business account important for streamlining your finances, helping you keep track of income and expenses, and making tax filing and financial management more efficient.
If you’re starting a dump truck business, here are some tips you might find helping for opening a business account:
- Do your due diligence. Don’t just register with the first option that comes your way, but carry out research to ascertain the best-suited bank to your needs. Compare different account options based on fees, features, and convenience.
- Keep important documents handy to save time – business name, structure, EIN, licenses, and proof of ID.
- Take some time to familiarize yourself with account features such as automatic payments and check ordering.
A dedicated business account will help you keep personal funds apart from business funds, maintain accurate financial records, and effectively manage the finances of your dump truck business.
You can also invoice, request and receive payments by connecting your business bank account to various payment portals – Paypal, Square, Quickbooks, Venmo, Stripe, and more. You can quote customers over the phone or by e-mail, and simply send a link for pre-payment. This will eliminate the need to chase payment after delivery, allowing you to focus on delivering your core services.
- Market Your Dump Truck Business EffectivelyOne of the best customer types to have when running a delivery service is the customer who repeatedly needs your services. Especially when starting out, this customer type will save you tons of marketing dollars in the long run. So seek out this customer type, and pursue high-quality contracts with them. For example, you can pursue a contract with a home renovator in a certain area, so you take priority for handling all their junk removal jobs. Large chain stores that specialize in lawn and garden supplies are another example of potential long-term clients. You can also consider supply and feed stores, nurseries, sod and turf companies, construction sites, and landscape supply chains. A few high-quality contracts from these types of businesses could provide you with a steady stream of delivery work. In fact, you may even find yourself needing to expand your operations quickly to keep up with demand.The first few weeks after you start a dump truck business, you should register with directory-style websites that connect dump truck businesses with potential customers. For example, directories like Google My Business will help you get a steady stream of dump trailer jobs and increase your business visibility. You can also network with construction companies, landscaping firms, and other potential clients to build strong business relationships. You can go a step further and create a simple, professional website that showcases your services, contact information, and testimonials from satisfied customers. You should also utilize social media platforms to engage with your audience and share relevant content. With time, you can invest in eye-catching branding materials such as business cards, flyers, and vehicle decals to promote your business locally.
If you’re looking to focus on particular sections of the market, here are some dump trailer business ideas that can help you niche down:
Top niche dump truck business ideas
- Specialist building materials transporter for the construction industry
- Snow removal service
- Offer landscaping companies supply transportation services
- Offer junk removal services
- Dump trailer rental services
- Start a waste-hauling business
- Truck rental business
Running a successful dump truck business entails more than the basic pointers listed above. Here are some additional valuable tips to boost your chances of success.
Stay updated. Staying updated on market trends and regulations is essential. Monitor the market and know when it’s time to sell a dump trailer that has become outdated or no longer meets safety requirements. This will help you stay competitive and efficient in your operations.
Hire trained drivers. Hire and train reliable drivers with proper licensing and experience to ensure safety on the road and timely delivery of goods, and implement a preventive maintenance program that includes regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspection of parts to avoid breakdowns and extend the lifespan of your vehicles.
Leverage technology. You can use technology such as GPS tracking, fuel monitoring, and telematics systems to optimize routes, reduce idling time, and improve fuel efficiency.
Diversify your income streams. Another stream of income can be found in diversifying your services by offering additional hauling and transportation options, such as flatbed trucks or tankers, to meet the changing market demands. Also consider collaborating with other businesses or joining industry associations to gain access to new opportunities and resources for growth.
By implementing these additional tips along with the previously mentioned processes, you can increase the success of your dump truck business. I hope these guidelines will give a well-equipped boost to starting your own trailer dump business and pave the way for success.