A box truck also referred to as a straight truck, box van, or cube van, is a truck that features a chassis cab truck and an enclosed rectangular cargo area.
These trucks tend to be 10–26 feet long and can range from Class 3 to Class 7 (12,500 lb. to 33,000 lb. gross vehicle weight rating).
Most often, these trucks come with a roll-up door (just like a garage door) at the back that gives drivers or loaders access to the cargo area. Anyone who must have rented a decent-sized U-Haul or Penske will have handled a box truck.
A new box truck will cost around $25,000 to $45,000 for a light-duty class 2 or 3 truck, and larger box trucks will cost more.
If you do not have that much capital to acquire a brand new truck, then you should consider going for a used one. In the United States, used box trucks with 200,000 miles can be found within the $5,000 – $10,000 range.
Box trucks are becoming very popular these days for people looking to haul “less than truckloads”, and these loads are witnessing massive demand owing to the growth of the e-commerce industry.
These trucks can be used to deliver packages, furniture, bulk food items, and other cargo that needs local delivery. Unlike a semi, you can operate a box truck (if you choose the right type), without a CDL.
Box Truck Business ideas?
If you have a box truck and you are eager to make money, here are top business ideas to consider
Moving Services for College and University Students
This remains one of the best businesses to start with a box truck. Although moving services are always in high demand, they most often peak during falls in college towns.
Have it in mind that you can generate sizable income by just being the muscle for students moving on and off-campus. Note that entrepreneurs who are comfortable with moving heavy furniture should consider starting this moving service.
Mobile Hair Salon
One of the many benefits of a fully mobile hair salon is that the owner doesn’t have to contend with rent expenses. With a box truck, you can start a business that allows you to take appointments wherever you go. However, before starting a mobile hair salon, there are things to consider.
One of them is licensing, and you may have to undergo a written and practical exam where hairdressers are required to cut, style, and color at the very least.
Lawn Care and Landscaping
According to industry reports, the services offered by these businesses will still witness very high demand, and it is a perfect business to consider if you already have a box truck and wouldn’t mind getting your hands dirty. The industry barrier to entry remains low and depending on your state, you may not need additional certification or licensure.
Local and Office Moving Company
Many people are also looking for local moving help that only requires manpower to move a bedroom worth of furniture. Therefore, you can easily start a new local moving company with a smaller van. Local movers (also known as intrastate movers) tend to move loads within the same state and usually within a radius of 100 miles.
These types of moving companies charge by the hour (around $30 per hour per mover). Note that the average cost of hiring two men and a truck for a short-distance move will be around $110 and $150 per hour. Local moving companies don’t need a USDOT number and are under the authority of state laws and regulations of the state they operate in.
According to reports, the growth of e-commerce has bolstered the growth of the delivery service market, and this kind of business can genuinely be started with a box truck.
Although a good number of larger stores have their courier to turn to, small businesses barely have and they remain your ideal target audience in this line of business. Also note that you can cater to retailers such as hardware stores, appliance shops, or local furniture stores.
Italian Ice Stand
If you are eager for a good food business to start with your box truck, here is one to consider. Aside from the low start-up costs, it remains a favorite amongst younger clients, especially during the summer. Note that to start this business, you only need to add an ice shaving machine, ice, cups, and a variety of syrup flavors to your box truck. Remember to consider high-traffic locations, like pools, parks, and beaches.
While you may not need any specific licenses to transport personal horses for clients with a box truck, you will surely need equine or bovine experience to ensure your potential clients trust your ability to successfully transport their animals.
In addition, you will also need to be quite conversant with the livestock transport regulations for crossing state lines. A good number of states have at least minimum requirements of certain infectious tests (including a health exam) and/or vaccinations for entering their state.
If you have a good box truck, you may want to look into the Amazon Relay Partnering Program. Note that to haul freight for Amazon through Relay; you will need to register through the self-service onboarding portal. After receiving your application, Amazon will reach back to you within 2-4 business days.
But once approved, you can then start using the load board to find, book, and assign work. The load board makes it convenient to locate loads that suit your specifications and truck.
This is another good food business idea to consider if you already own a box truck. These sorts of stands are perfect for festivals, local fairs, and shows, and also at piers and beaches. However, right before you start, you must carry out your research and find good locations and upcoming events in your area to make sales.
This is a very competitive business to venture into, therefore, ensure to stand out from the vast crowd. You should also consider offering “spiked” lemonade for adult consumers, as long as they show proof of age. Don’t also forget to get a proper business license and Permits before anything.
Mobile Billboard Business
Note that your box truck can be turned into a mobile 3D display case and you can make money offering mobile billboard services. You may or may not have the skills required to start and manage a mobile billboard business. If you don’t, the good news is you can learn.
Have it in mind that a good part of running this business is common sense. Other things required may include management skills and strategy, which would be best handled by getting the right information before proceeding. Then, as time goes on, you will have the skills and confidence to move forward.
Inflatable Bounce House Business
This business is more suitable for individuals who won’t mind working on the weekends, and are physically fit to deal with heavy inflatables. While you don’t need much to start this business, you need to enjoy working with children and also have a solid business sense, coupled with a good understanding of the insurance policy you need to purchase.
Note that the demand for inflatable bounce houses has grown exponentially over the past 10 years and the business is expected to sustain good growth potential moving forward.
Box Truck Rental Business
If you have the needed capital and resources, starting a box truck rental business can get you on the path to a comfortable financial future, especially if you have the tenacity necessary to be successful in this line of business. Your ideal clients will be those who need a vehicle to transport their belongings from an old address to a new one. You will have to provide them with a moving truck and some basic moving equipment.
With a good and well-fitted box truck, you make yourself available to customers where they already are — at the beach, a park, or near great summertime activities like beer festivals and concerts. However, don’t forget that you will need to obtain vendor permits, licenses, and official government sign-offs. The permitting process can take some time; therefore consider this when making your business plans.
Specialty Moving Company
In this line of business, your ideal clients will be those who have valuable and delicate things for relocation such as wine collections, artwork, or antiques, and want them to arrive safely. A good number of them may also have heavy and difficult-to-move items such as pianos, pool tables, or safes, and will want to seek the expertise of professionals.
However, you will be expected to know the right way of handling these hard-to-move objects. Ensure to research your location to know the right licenses and documents needed to run this business and don’t forget to carry adequate insurance to protect both you and your business.
Dedicated FedEx Route Business
In the United States, note that you can buy a FedEx delivery route that covers a designated territory. Have it in mind you will make money for each delivery made within that territory. Another thing is that you won’t have to bother about getting contracts or loads for your box trucks.
FedEx takes care of all that because they give you packages every single day – all you have to do is make sure they all get delivered on time. Once you have a manager and reliable drivers, the day-to-day operations of this business can be run without your involvement.
This is another business you can start with a box and make good money considering that it comes with a minimal start-up budget, high-profit margin, and minimal food prep. This business also boasts of a low entry barrier because you won’t need any catering experience to venture into the business.
In times past, these businesses only attracted the most health-conscious consumers; however, their mass appeal has grown massively owing to a heightened interest in wellness. In recent times, healthy living and nutritious diets have become more popular than ever, making this one of the best businesses to start.
A snow removal business is a very vital service in cold winter climates. If you are eager to make good money in the winter with your box truck or looking to offset a business that is slow in the winter, like a landscaping business, this is a good business idea to consider.
When you start your business, you can genuinely identify an unmet need in your area, develop your services and policies, and start to profit off of the winter storms the area receives.
Ice Cream Truck Business
This is a very lucrative business idea to consider especially if you enjoy working with children, don’t mind a lot of alone time, and have a fondness for frozen treats. It is also a very flexible business that can be run part-time, aligning with your yearly schedule.
Expect your initial capital to be quite high depending on the model of box truck you intend to use, though your earning potential can also be around $5,000 per month.
Junk Removal Jobs
This sort of business generally involves driving, lifting, and loading a lot of heavy items. A good portion of larger junk removal jobs will also include cleaning out garages, storage units, and basements full of junk that haven’t seen daylight in decades. Once you are done picking up the items, you will have to decide what to do with them.
Truth be told, shopping during festive and holiday periods can be a very daunting and tiring task. When you put into consideration the long lines and queues in Walmart and other shopping centers, you can start a business that helps busy people with their holiday shopping.
Note that you can take up gift buying, food shopping, and clothing shopping while the person relaxes at home and watches TV or whatever they need to do during the holidays. You can easily use your box truck to ensure you deliver these items to your clients effectively and reliably.
Mobile Paper Shredding Business
Aside from having a facility where businesses can send documents to be shredded, you can also start a mobile paper shredding company and take your industrial paper shredding machine on your box truck to your client’s office. Your clients will bring in the documents/papers to be shredded, and these documents will be shredded in their presence (under the clients’ supervision) before being transferred to paper recycling sites.
Hotshot trucking has become a popular way for folks with trucks to make money as a side-hustle or full-on career, especially since drivers are not expected to acquire a special license to haul loads below 10,000 lbs. Before leasing your box truck to a hotshot company, ensure you understand the legal procedures for leasing.
Note that this will ensure you don’t get scammed or ripped off. Also, remember to put together a lease that both parties must sign. Don’t forget to keep copies of all vital documents in case of a disagreement between you and the hotshot company.
Have it in mind that most stores that sell fishing baits tend to be situated far away from popular fishing sites and are only open a few hours a day, you can achieve success in this industry by offering those interested in fishing easy and convenient access to the bait and other fishing accessories.
Have it in mind that this business can be started overnight and will require little or no overhead. Note that with a little hard work and a good insight into the habits of your fellow fishing aficionados, you can generate good cash and substantial profit very quickly.
Anyone who must have had their vehicle break down on the highway or anywhere inconvenient will surely understand just how daunting this can be. With a box truck, you can set up a towing business to help people in this situation. You only need to buy some equipment like a tow cable and chain bridles with J-hooks.
25. Mobile Bartender Business
These bartenders move to various event locations, setting up any place the event coordinator or customer asks them to. A good number of them offer full-scale services—including alcohol, signature drinks, glassware, and staff—while some will need the client to make available the alcohol and wine. To run this business legally, it is imperative to understand all the laws surrounding alcohol sales and use in your state.