There are some serious benefits to owning your own dump truck business. Whether you want a fleet, or just want to do your own thing, you got to make money. Being an entrepreneur means you have to go out and find work.
How to get jobs
Get a job! Finding work can be difficult for newbies, which is why many owner/operators with experience make the switch easier than it is for the beginners. Don’t stress, here are 5 tricks to get going on work.
Pick up the slack
Call some outfits that do landscaping supply, and builders too. They might get backed up and need a freelance driver. If they don’t need the work, ask them their busiest time of year and leave a number with them. They may become regulars.
If you drive by a site, look for the sign for who is building, call that number! Who knows, you may get a subcontract for someone doing a big job for the government.
Road contractors and gravel pits. You’re going to have to drive up to the scales and be nice. On one forum, a veteran recommends pulling up to the scales with a box of donuts and asking if they need anything hauled. Again, just cause there is nothing now, doesn’t mean there won’t be in a month.
When I was a tower hand I built 1,400 ft tall broadcast towers. We always needed gravel. One of our guys drove our 14 ton forklift way in the mud. It was a muddy muddy week in Kansas. A dump truck driver who lived near by drove past and yelled out the window “want some gravel? I can bring back a load in 3 hours!” We paid for the gravel, the haul, and we spread out the gravel.
If the work ain’t coming, you got to do something. There are companies out there that claim to give 80% of the haul rate. Jobsintrucks.com is one place to look. Check them out here:
Department of Transportation
Dump truck driving for the Department of Transportation provides some good work for dump truck drivers. This is done through subcontracting. It’s a lot of big companies that are doing this, so if you’re looking to find a big company doing this, I recommend this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3szmSH1Ncvk&t=266s
What David is telling us here is that he searches the USDOT number found on a truck, checking the company size, and calling them. If they are willing to outsource to you, boom, you just found work.
Work extra hard to keep in good relations with the people you meet. There is always more work, but these circles can be small, so don’t get yourself blackballed by doing a poor job. You guys know this already, but to those newbies, make this your goal. Customer satisfaction is king in any business.
The Uber app of dump trucks?
Let’s talk TRUX. This app connect truckers, contractors, and material providers to build an efficient system for completing dump truck jobs.
In the land of business, brokers are the storks, creating new work and placing it in your lap. They can be expensive, and if you’re new you may not be inundated, but it’s worth experimenting with at the least. Here are just a few options for brokers to reach out to:
Not so common
Most dump truck jobs are hourly. Most. Being able to create your own jobs is another task in its own. You might be paid by the tonnage, if you’re working for most companies, with contract, you are what’s known as “key to key” or maybe even “gate to gate”. This means you get paid when you leave the jobsite, and payment stops when you get back. But no matter what, you’re going to have to make sure you find a job that pays travel time, something difficult in the industry.
A Couple of Downsides
A few downsides to owning/operating your own truck. These are the obvious ones, but you should still consider it. No job is without some cons, but nothing has more risk than being your own boss.
If your truck breaks down, you pay. You can’t ask anyone of your customers to pay it for you. You can use your insurance, but we really recommend you have some auto experience. If you own a pickup, you’ll save a ton of cash by going and getting that $80 part and doing it yourself. If you have a new truck, this will be less of a worry.
This may not be a big deal to a lot of us, but it’s worth mentioning. If you have medical bills, it is handy to be getting employee benefits. For you, your wife, or your kids, it is something to consider.
There are many ways to get work as an owner/operator of a dump truck. Many of these tactics require a hustle, so you’re going to have to get in the circle. There are apps to help you find work, as well as websites that can give you full-time work as an owner and operator.