Dump Truck Contracts: Everything You Need to Know
Dump truck contracts make stepping into the owner/operator role and achieving the dream of being in business for oneself much easier. 3 min read
Dump truck contracts make stepping into the owner/operator role and achieving the dream of being in business for oneself much easier. But taking on this role entails much more than simply owning a truck and putting a business name on it. Owner/operators also have to find clients, turn them into long-term customers, and do their own accounting. An owner/operator has to do the work of hauling while maintaining the books all at the same time.
Overview of Dump Truck Contracting
Dump trucks are an essential part of many heavy industries. They are used for:
- Hauling material away from and to construction sites
- Removing debris from disaster sites
- Taking waste to special-use landfills
- Hauling debris generated by demolition projects
Purchasing a truck for any or all of these uses requires obtaining a commercial driver's license and getting special material handling permits or licenses to expand the scope of operation.
Independent dump truck operators are paid by the load or distance and sometimes by the hour. Independent operators have the option to enter into contracts that keep them hauling on a consistent and reliable basis. This gives an opportunity for independence and steady income. A stable work situation helps to pay off capital expenses such as a loan for the truck.
How to Get Contracts for a Dump Truck Operation
Most people who are interested in starting a dump truck operation have previous experience in the field with a list of companies they have worked for. This solid background can be used to build a resume or portfolio to show to prospective clients. The portfolio can also contain letters of recommendations from managers, supervisors, and even former employers that attest to the quality of work of the operator. All of this information represents an operator as someone worth working with and makes him stand out from the rest. Operators that are experienced and reliable can be hard to come by, so selling oneself as a good operator increases the likelihood that contracts get signed.
Some of the resources for contracts include the Department of Transportation for the state, word-of-mouth from previous subcontracting jobs, reaching out to businesses that need hauling services, and contacting landscapers needing heavy debris removed that their own equipment can't handle. Pass out business cards to potential customers and find resources, such as online forums, for advice on how to find work.
Advertising a Dump Truck Business
The best way to let your prospective clients know about your dump truck business is to advertise. Create an advertising plan complete with:
- Business logo
- Business cards
- Stationary with a letterhead
Create advertising materials with a list of prior clients and include their recommendations about the quality of your work. Place ads where prospective clients can easily see them and take down the information. Leave your business cards at the places you frequently visit. Creating a website that lays out services provided and answers questions is another form of advertising. All advertising materials should have the URL printed on them.
Becoming an Owner/Operator of a Dump Truck
In the event you don't have a license for operating a dump truck, you need to obtain a CDL from your state licensing agency. In order to get the license, you need to get training from a truck driving school, which will also help you with job placement afterwards. Gain work experience working for someone else for at least a year. Learning while on the job and from the mistakes of others helps improve your skills.
While working for an operation, start saving money for a down payment on a dump truck that meets your specifications. Balance the pros and cons of buying a used truck versus a new one. Used trucks cost less but may need considerable mechanical work and maintenance to keep running. New trucks, on the other hand, are more expensive but lose their value quickly. Base your purchasing decision on what you can safely afford.
Always protect yourself with a contract when providing a service for a customer. You reduce the risk of a lawsuit against your company and protect your assets.
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