Do you want to start a dump truck company? If YES, here is a 17-step guide on how to start a profitable dump truck business with no money and no experience.
If you decide to venture into this industry, you are sure of making huge returns from your investment. This is so because there are loads of ongoing construction works throughout the United States and of course it is dump trucks that are permitted by the law of the US to transport loose materials such as sand, gravel, and concrete et al.
If you want to partake in this thriving industry, then you would need to obtain all the necessary licenses before you can legally launch your dump truck company.
The truth is that, the market is still pretty much open for new investors to come in. Although there are competitions at various levels in the industry, but if you are able to come up with a good business strategy, then you are sure of getting your own fair share of the available market in the industry.
So, if you have decided to start a dump truck company, then you should make sure that you carry out thorough feasibility studies and also market survey. This will enable you properly locate the business in a community or city with the right demography; a location that can readily accept your services.
Steps to Starting a Dump Truck Business
1. Understand the Industry
A dump truck or dumper/tipper truck as it is called in some countries is a truck that is used for transporting loose materials such as sand, gravel, or dirt for construction. In recent time, nearly all dump trucks operate by hydraulic and they come in a variety of configurations, each designed to accomplish a specific task in the construction material supply chain.
No doubt, the dump truck industry plays a very important role in the economy of the world; they provide essential services to the United States economy by transporting large quantities of construction materials, machines, equipment, dirt, rocks, building materials, sand et al over land—typically from manufacturing plants to construction sites and from construction sites to dump sites. As matter of fact, dump trucks are indispensable in the construction industry.
In the United States, dump trucks (large trucks) and bus drivers require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before they can be permitted to operate. The activities in the dump truck industry is regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
They ensure that drivers and dump truck companies adhere to safety rules and regulations and also that potential dump truck drivers undergo special training on how to handle large vehicles before applying and obtaining their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The advancement in technology in areas such as computers, satellite communication, and the internet, have contributed immensely to the growth of the dump truck industry. The advancement in technology is responsible for the increase of productivity of dump trucking companies operations, it helps them effectively monitor their trucks and their drivers and it helps drivers save time and effort.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own dump truck business is that the business is easy to set up and they can easily run the business as a one man show (sole proprietorship) and still generate good income.
Despite the fact that Waste Management Business involves both small operators with just a single dump truck and large operators with a fleet of dump trucks scattered all across the United States, that does not in any way make the industry to be over saturated.
Just like any other business, if you are able to conduct your cost analysis, market research and feasibility studies before launching your dump truck company, you are more likely not going to struggle to grow the business because there are loads of people and businesses out there who are looking for dump truck companies to help them handle their loose materials such as gravel, sand, concrete et al as required by the law in the United States of America.
Lastly, starting and operating a dump truck business can be financially tasking and challenging, but the truth is that it can be rewarding at the same time. One good thing about the industry is that it is open for both big time investors who have the capacity to start the business with fleet of dump trucks and aspiring entrepreneurs who may want to start with just one dump truck.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographics composition of those who hire the services of dump truck companies are not restricted to construction companies and building material sales companies. There is a wide range of both government, corporate and individual clients who cannot successfully dispose their machines, equipment, and dirt without hiring the services of a standard and licensed dump truck company.
As a matter of fact, the target market for a dump truck company should involve construction sites, farmers, corporate organizations, manufacturers and retailers of machines and equipment, demolition and wreckage companies amongst others.
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your dump truck company, then you should make it all encompassing.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
The dump truck industry is one of many industries that is highly regulated by the Federal Government and also an industry that issues license.
Most dump truck companies tend to operate general dump truck services that a standard dump truck company is expected to offer, that is why it seems that there are no niche areas in the industry. But on the other hand, some dump truck companies may decide to major in some key areas or niche areas such as;
- Local and long distance movement of construction materials, machines, equipment, dirt, rocks, building materials, and sand et al
- Heavy duty equipment movement
- Excavators movement
- Bulldozers movement
- Construction equipment movement
- Agricultural equipment movement
- Movement of oil and gas waste products
The Level of Competition in the Industry
No matter the line of business you decide to pitch your tent, you are still going to compete with others and even the government who are into same area of business and dump truck business is not an exemption.
The level of competition in the dump truck industry to some extent depends largely on the location of the business, your niche area of operation and of course the capacity of your dump truck company. If you can successfully create a unique niche for your dump truck company, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.
For instance, if you are the only dump truck company in your location that is into radioactive waste collection and local hauling, you can successfully monopolize the market for a long time before you start having competitions. It is important to also state that the competition in the dump truck industry depends on the scale of your dump truck company.
There are dump truck companies in the United States that are competing with government agencies that are into similar business activities and of course, there are dump truck companies in the United States that can only compete with only dump truck companies.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they treat their patients. These are some of the leading dump truck companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- PRO Transport, Inc.
- SHACMAN Dump Truck
- Con-way Truckload
- Schneider National
- Sierra West Express
- Sinclair Trucking Company
- Southeastern Freight Lines
- Swift Transportation
- Consolidated Freightways
- Covenant Transport
- Celadon Group
- Daseke Inc.
- USF Glen Moore
- Knight Transportation
- YRC Worldwide
- Werner Enterprises
When starting a dump truck business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profit, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start competing at national level.
When conducting costing and economic analysis for your dump truck business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, pricing and promotion.
As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular interval while running your dump truck business. As a dump truck business owner, you just have to have proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profit and be in the frontline of the industry.
It is important to note that truck fueling, servicing and maintenance cost is one of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of a dump truck business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your costing and economic analysis.
This is why standard dump truck companies would prefer assembling in – house maintenance and servicing team as against contracting the maintenance of their dump trucks and tippers to an automobile maintenance and servicing garage.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to start from the scratch as against buying a franchise. Besides, it is easier to start and run a dump truck company from scratch to profitability without leveraging on a known brand name.
People will patronize your services based on accessibility and pricing as against relying on a brand name. Please note that most of the big and successful dump truck companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.
It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success; and of course you can build your own dump truck company to become a successful waste collection and management company in your area of specialization and even go ahead to start competing at national level.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own dump truck company today, one of the major challenges you are likely to face is the presence of well-established dump truck companies in your target market location. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on households, individuals and also start-up construction companies who need the services of a dump truck company.
Some other threats and challenges that you are likely to face when you start your dump truck company are mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), stiff competition, volatile costs, and rising fuel prices.
So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located.
There is hardly anything you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for your good.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a dump truck company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow as some dump truck companies design their business and services for regional market, while others design for national market.
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as a dump truck company.
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale dump truck company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start-up capital and a single dump truck/tipper. But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons.
As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and operate all across the United States of America and perhaps other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
For example, setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your dump truck company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your dump truck company, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your dump truck company so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.
Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business. If you are considering starting your own dump truck business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Bob Troy Dump Truck Services, LLC
- Captain Marvin Dump Trucks, Inc.
- Vitali JT Dump Truck Company
- Xavi Trims Dump Truck Ltd.
- Opel Travis Dump Truck Company
- City Wide Dump Truck Company
- Rolling Starlet Dump Truck Company
- West Side Dump Truck Services
- Glazier Brothers Dump Truck Company
- Intel Dump Truck Company Group, Inc.
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy cover and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your dump truck business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own dump truck business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Equipment and Auto Insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own dump truck company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark.
This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successful run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties. On the other hand, if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operational concepts, then you can go ahead and file for intellectual property protection.
If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subject to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
If you intend starting a dump truck company in the United States of America, you are strongly encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own dump truck company;
- Certification for Solid Waste Facility Operators
- Landfill Operator Certification
- Type IV Waste Disposal Operator or Inspector Certificate
- Animal Waste Management System Operator
- Landfill and Composting Facility Operator Certification
Please note that all standard dump truck companies, especially those that transport hazardous waste are mandated to obtain the appropriate certifications.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation.
If you do, then it won’t be too long before the long arm of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own dump truck company in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for heavy duty trucks
- Appropriate driver’s licenses for drivers (Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Assistant’s licenses for assistants
- Health inspection Certificate
- Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license
- Tax Payer’s ID
- Fire certificate
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard and well equipped dump truck business can be capital intensive especially if you choose to launch a large waste collection and management company with the capacity to service your immediate community and also to engage in waste recycling.
Securing a landed facility, fleet of haulage trucks, building a waste recycling plant and purchase of equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start-up capital, but if you choose to start the business on a small scale with just one haulage truck, you may not have the need to go source for fund to finance the business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan.
If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start-up capital for your waste collection and management business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank/banks
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a business such as dump truck company comes with its own challenges; it is a business that cannot be started in any location of your choice.
As a matter of fact, you will not be allowed to start a dump truck company in a residential estate in the United States of America. The only location you can be allowed to start a dump truck company is in a land designated for dump truck companies and it is usually at the outskirts of town close to construction sites.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your dump truck company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses with the required purchasing power, and a location that has minimal hurdles to cross especially as it relates to securing permits for parking heavy duty dump trucks.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your dump truck business in a location that is difficult to access; a location with difficult terrain, then you must be prepared to spend more on fueling and maintenance of your waste haulage trucks.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a standard dump truck company, you will need dump trucks, tippers and other related equipment that will aid you in carrying out your job. It is important to state that this equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your dump truck company, the size of the dump truck company you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice.
If you have enough capital to run a pretty large and well equipped dump truck company with a enough parking lot for your dump trucks/tippers, then you should consider the option of long lease or out rightly purchasing a land; when you lease, or purchase a land, you will be able to work with long term planning, structuring and expansion.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making that decision. Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard waste collection and management business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;
Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), Admin and HR Manager, Transport and Logistics Manager, Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer), Accountant, Dump Truck/Tippers Drivers and Customer Services Executive/Front Desk Officer.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard dump truck company. Please note that there will be times when you are expected to go out of your way to hire experts to help you handle some job functions
If you are just starting out you may not have the financial capacity or required business structure to retain all the professionals, especially maintenance team, that are expected to work with you which is why you should make plans to partner with specialists in the industry.
The Service Delivery Process of the business
The operation process as it relates to dump truck companies depends largely on their areas of operation and their organizational structure.
Usually, when a dump truck company gets a contract to transport large quantities of construction materials, machines, equipment, dirt, rocks, building materials, sand et al over land—typically from manufacturing plants to construction sites and from construction sites to dump sites. They will first conduct cost analysis in order for them to know the manpower and resources needed to carry out the job.
Once they conclude their cost analysis, then they will deploy the required manpower and machines to execute the job and then they will get paid after successfully carrying out their duties.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small – scale dump truck business is low means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with creativity and innovations if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state or country.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your dump truck company, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company’s profile.
Asides from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in times past as it relates to the dump truck industry. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your services.
Please note that in most cases, when you bid for transporting large quantities of construction materials, machines, equipment, dirt, rocks, building materials, sands et al from corporate organizations/industries, you will be called upon to defend your proposal, so you must be pretty good with presentations.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your dump truck company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to construction sites, farmers, corporate organizations, manufacturers and retailers of machines and equipment and demolition and wreckage companies amongst others in the United States (if you are just starting out, you may want to concentrate on start-ups and smaller businesses).
- Promptness in bidding for transporting large quantities of construction materials, machines, equipment, dirt, rocks, building materials, sand et al from corporate organization.
- Open your dump truck company with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets.
- Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to market your services.
- Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations.
- List your business and products on yellow page ads (local directories).
- Leverage on the internet to promote your dump truck company.
- Engage in direct marketing and sales.
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals).
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people would consider you an expert in the field).
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity has a lot to do when it comes to building a business that is profitable and can last long.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your dump truck company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Install your Bill Boards on strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact corporate organizations and residence in your target areas by calling them up and informing them of your dump truck company and the services you offer
- List your dump truck company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your dump truck company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and dump trucks and tippers are well branded with your company logo.