How To Start a Dump Truck Business

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Image of people working behind a dump truck

Starting a Dump Truck Business: What You Need To Know

Dump Truck Business Overview:

A dump truck driver’s job involves transporting loose materials such as sand, gravel, coal, or dirt to various building sites.

Operating large vehicles calls for good driving skills. The driver must drive through sometimes dangerous conditions and safely deliver their payloads.

If you own as few as three dump trucks you could start your own contracting with mining companies, local construction firms.

Most workdays involve travel, either locally or longer hauls. In between stops on long trips, drivers will typically stop at rest areas or truck stops to fuel up, grab a bite to eat, or catch up on some sleep.

A dump truck driver works on a strict schedule that requires loads to be picked up and dropped off on time. Owners who do not do their own driving typically spend the day taking orders from customers, securing materials and dispatching drivers. There is also a great deal of paperwork to maintain as well as other administrative duties.

Skill Set:
  • Handle the necessary machinery and trucks adequately
  • Maneuver a trailer pulled behind a truck
  • Calculation of fuel, mileage, driving logs
  • Long-distance truck-driving
  • Vehicle maintenance is not necessary but a plus
  • List of Common Business Skills
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

Hours vary greatly according to cargo delivery schedules. Truck drivers may drive all hours of the day or night, holidays, and weekends.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
  • Dump Truck and pup
  • Trailer dump trucks
  • Semi trailer end dump truck
  • Semi trailer bottom dump truck
  • Side dump truck
  • off-road dump truck
  • First-aid kit
  • Fir extinguishes and other safety equipment
  • Truck tarps
  • LoJack or other vehicle security measures
  • GPS
  • Vehicle alarm system
  • CB radio
  • Log software
  • Dispatch units and service
  • Loader such as a backhoe
  • Essential office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:

See our list of common business expenses

Licenses:

You will need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

See Our Page on Licenses and Permits

Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

Bare essential – The average startup cost may vary from a few thousand dollars if you already have a lot of the equipment to hundreds of thousands of dollars if you want new, top-of-the-line equipment. You can start off small and expand your crew and equipment as you grow.

The cost to get started depends on the size of operation you plan to run. An operation with one dependable dump truck will cost you at least $50,000; a larger fleet and establishment could cost as much as $250,000.

Tips & Considerations:

Insurance is a must! You want to make sure you are covered for the following:
  • Injury
  • Sickness
  • Lost wages
  • Medical Costs
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Death
  • Collisions
  • Rollover
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Cargo

Before traveling, a driver must perform a routine check-up on their vehicle and equipment, taking note of the brakes, tires, lights, oil, etc. Plan to spend about an hour loading equipment and cargo. At the end of the driving day, make sure all receipts are kept secure and logs are accurate.

Pros and Cons:

The Pros:

  • You have the advantage of being your own boss and setting your own hours
  • Healthy Market depending on your area
  • Expandable
  • Moving the operation is fairly simple (as with another state or province).
  • Commercial drivers are fairly abundant as you grow your fleet

The Cons:

  • Work may require many hours driving
  • May have to work on holidays and weekends
  • Depending on the services you provide, you may have to handle toxic substances
  • The equipment that you work with could be potentially dangerous
  • The majority of the work other than actual driving is done outside
  • Can be a somewhat dirty job.
  • Can be expensive to start
Type of Customers:

Construction Companies

Landscaping Companies

Renovation companies

Regular people needing soil, clean etc.

Revenue:

Dump truck driving is a great way to earn a living. Those who posses the skills or are looking to get into the business would do well to seize these opportunities. Revenue is determined by haul and distance.

Resources:

Courses:

U.S. Truck Driving Schools

Free Truck Driver CDL Training

Equipment and Supplies:

Big Truck Equipment

La Pine trucks

Cottrell

Forums:

Dump Truck Drivers Job Forum

Associations:

American Trucking Association

Truckload Carriers Association

Books:

The Truck Blue Book (online)

Software:

Fog Line

Other:

The Trucker’s Guide to Fuel Efficiency