The dump truck industry is a part of one of the biggest industries across the United States, and it is steadily growing. If you’re looking to start a dump truck services business, you’ve come to the right place. Building your own business is no easy task, but if you apply yourself with the right effort and dedication, the outcome will be well worth it.
You can have your dump truck company up and running in less than a month, acting as a truck driver yourself or leasing out your truck to use for jobs, or both.
Dump trucks are contracted through many jobs in the construction industry, so being able to operate and have trucks available are extremely useful in growing a business and making a profit.
Before deciding whether or not this is the plan for you, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of developing a dump truck company.
Because this industry is big, this means the competition is also. Consider other local companies running in your area to determine if you find it worth the effort to go up against these competitors. Try not to let this deter you. With the right marketing techniques and pricing, you can become a strong competitor yourself.
Another con to be considered is that this job can often be seasonal. Dump trucks are not typically needed throughout colder months, so this could be a hindrance in making profits later in the year. However, you may consider investing in a snow removal plow to utilize your truck during inclement weather to earn even more business. Be sure you’re able to cover the needed costs, as well.
Many necessary expenses go into building your company, but even basic components such as fuel prices and maintenance costs can be especially high for dump trucks. Dump trucks get around 5 to 6 miles per gallon; this is just something to keep in mind.
One of the great things about this business is that it’s in high demand everywhere, all across your state you see construction sites and potential customers, so there’s no need to move. You can start your own company at any location you wish, so stick with your local area to save on startup costs.
Another benefit of driving dump trucks is that you’ll be working mostly normal business hours if you’re operating the truck––no worries about having a crazy schedule or driving through the night (except maybe with snow removal). Dump truck work is typically a business of short hauls.
Finally, with the proper work and determination, running your own dump truck company can lead you to great profits. With this being said, let’s discuss money.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dump truck drivers make an average salary of $43,590 a year––a mean among a broad range of profit. An owner-operator can earn around $130,000 or more, but this comes with more experience, and wise thoughtful decision making that leads to a successful business.
Your role in your trucking company will also affect your salary, depending on whether you use the truck yourself or lease it out to others.
Leasing a truck out is typically not as profitable as using it yourself considering you’re not charging for your labor. Although, you can still lease out your truck to generate more income when there is a low demand for your services. Your commercial auto insurance, which we will dive into more later, will need to include coverage for leasing to others. This is an added cost to you that must be considered in the price to rent your truck.
When determining your overall profit margin, it’s important to calculate and deduct all expenses associated with operating your company, especially starting out.
To get your business up and running you need to at least meet your basic requirements: buying a dump truck, obtaining your license, and having the proper commercial auto insurance.
To operate your dump truck, the Department of Transportation will require that you obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which we’ll go into further detail about later. It might be best to build experience by starting out with another company and working as a dump truck driver; practice makes perfect.
One option, if you already have a dump truck, is to lease on with a solid company as an owner operator. Be sure it’s a company that can keep your wheels moving and get you all the experience you can ask for.
After gaining this experience, and when you’re ready to officially begin developing your own company, your next step is to purchase your dump truck if you haven’t already. Prices of these trucks depend on the truck’s age, bed size, and engine, and there are many types to look into. Choose your truck based on your financial ability, and ensure the new truck has a clear title and working hydraulic equipment.
Buying the dump truck will most likely be your largest expense starting out. It’s okay to begin with a used truck that better suits a cheaper budget. Buying a new dump truck, paying all that money or starting with that much debt, is a burden on a new business, a burden that can be avoided by going with a good used dump truck.
With these minimum requirements, you’re well on your way to becoming a successful dump truck business owner.
Your Business Plan
The first step for any wise and successful business owner is to establish a detailed business plan. This will assist with the overall launch process and will be beneficial if showing to potential partners or investors such as a bank. Your dump truck business plan should include an overview with your mission, business goals, ownership, and vision. Search Google for a sample business plan.
A good business plan should provide your product and what service offerings you will utilize, as well as your plan of operation including office location, assets, equipment, and any other logistical details.
In your business plan, you should also show an analysis of industry market research and competitors. It should display trends and competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as how your hauling services benefit and surpass others. Include your sales and marketing strategies to explain your target market or target customers.
Finally, provide a financial plan with estimated startup costs, profit and loss estimates, cash flow and balance sheet, and any other necessary financial resources. This is not as difficult as it sounds. A simple Google search for a New Business Balance Sheet will show you just how simple it is.
Once this is complete, you’re one step closer to officially owning your own business; however, this isn’t possible without necessary registration and licenses.
To begin, pick your business location for registering your company. You can easily register in the state you’re living in. Later on you may consider looking elsewhere if you’re planning to expand to other locations with more advantages or opportunities for growth.
Next, choose your legal structure for your dump truck business entity to determine taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements. Your primary options include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).
It’s recommended that new business owners obtain an LLC since it offers liability protection, along with personal assets protection, and pass-through taxation without being as complicated to form as a corporation. It’s quick and cheap. This is the step where you’ll choose a business name.
During this process you’ll get an employer identification number (EIN) through the IRS. If you choose sole proprietorship as the structure of your company then you can use your social security number in place of the EIN. I do not recommend using your social. There may be jobs that require you to have an EIN. It’s too easy to obtain even if you’re gonna go at this as a sole proprietor.
Business Checking Account
I recommend that you open a bank account for your business to ease the process of paying taxes and other business operating costs. This will also help you track your income and keep your personal and business accounts separate. Comingling your personal and business accounting is a surefire way to not know how well you’re running your business finances.
Commercial Driver’s License
Your ownership of your dump truck company isn’t complete without necessary licenses and permits. As stated previously, you will need to obtain a CDL. You need to determine which is best suited for what you’ll be hauling; a class A or class B license
The class B license allows drivers to operate a single vehicle with a gross weight that exceeds 26,000 pounds. This weight is the average for standard dump trucks, according to Badger Truck and Auto Group, so a class B is necessary for your business operation. However, if you will ever be pulling a trailer with the dump truck and the trailer weighs more than 10,000 pounds, you’ll need the Class A license. Dump trucks often pull heavy machinery.
Let me word that another way, the class A license holder can drive a dump truck and have in tow a trailer weighing over 10,000 pounds, while a class B holder can drive the truck but cannot have a trailer over 10,000 pounds.
In addition to your CDL, you may need state-level licenses and local county and/or city-based permits and licenses. Licenses including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties will be needed, as well. Not adhering to legal requirements is the best way to not succeed in business. Nothing will shut you down quicker than the government.
Another thing to consider when building your business is to invest in business insurance. More specifically commercial auto insurance. There are a variety of insurance types available, but some include general liability, business property, equipment breakdown, and professional liability. Worker’s compensation insurance can be useful if you plan to hire employees for your company down the road. An all-in-one insurance plan you can utilize is a business owner’s policy (BOP), which can include a combination of any of these insurance types.
Your local government will require that you at least have a commercial auto insurance policy. Most of the other policies are optional until you hire employees. Commercial auto policies is something we specialize in at TheGannAgency.
Pricing and Marketing
Now that your small business is official, it is time to develop your own prices and begin attracting new clients. Looking into other dump truck companies will assist you in pricing. Starting out, you can set your prices slightly lower, maybe around 5% less than other local dump truck businesses. This will help to attract local consumers to your cheaper servicing costs.
It’s also important to develop a marketing plan to spread the word about your new and promising company. To start out, you can build and develop a website consumers can access to view your services, costs, and possibly get to know you a bit also. A website can be as simple as 1 page and cost very little, sometimes even free. Or, you can utilize social media platforms such as Facebook and even Instagram. Local pages and advertisements reach a broad audience, so this can naturally attract new clients.
Use pictures to tell your story to potential clients. This will help attract new business without the pushy sales slogans.
Unique selling propositions may also help your business stand out against competition and attract buyers, and these can be marketed through your website and social media accounts. Establishing your unique brand and sharing your story with the world is essential to running a successful company.
Building your client base is important, so use the free tools available to you to market your company effectively. As you grow you can sink more money into your online presence.
As your client base grows and your business becomes more popularized, you may consider expanding. If you have started out from a home office or smaller building space, you may need to expand to a bigger facility with growth.
If your business does grow sufficiently, you will not be able to do everything on your own. Consider hiring people to assist you in your work. Employees including dump truck drivers, dispatcher, manager, and a marketing rep may be necessary to aid you in growth. You’ll also need to invest in more supplies, equipment, and trucks to meet the demand of this growth.
You Can Do This
Starting a new business can be overwhelming and scary, but with the proper actions and dedication, it can be done. It is never easy, but the outcome of committing to this process will exceed any expectations once you are successful. Overall it will be worth every bit of stress and pressure experienced in the startup.
With these requirements met, you will have officially started your own dump truck business. The pros of starting a dump truck business greatly outweigh the cons, so if you’re willing to devote the time and energy into owning your own company, you won’t regret it. However, it is crucial to follow each step and meet every requirement necessary in order to build a profitable dump truck business.
Gain experience, develop a plan, purchase necessary trucks and equipment, begin marketing your services, register your company to pay taxes, open a bank account, receive any licenses and permits needed, and continue to market your company. With these actions met, you will have effectively started a dump truck business.