How to Find Dump Truck Loads and Jobs
Depending on your perspective, driving a dump truck may seem like a dirty job or a rewarding career path. By owning and operating your own truck, you can pave your path to financial flexibility and freedom. Whether you are an experienced trucker or you are new to the trucking field, the following guide will help you get started as an owner-operator.
Getting licensed, buying your truck, and setting up your business is only the beginning. Once you are officially in business, you have to find loads and contracts. The good news is opportunities for dump truck owners abound. If you are new to dump trucks, check here how to start a dump truck business.
1. Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Before you set out to find loads, determine the best types of loads for your company. You will improve your efficiency and maximize profits by targeting compatible jobs. One of the most important factors will be your truck's load capacity. You should also determine your target cost per mile and the radius within which you plan to operate. Be sure also to consider other factors that are important to you.
Depending on the types of loads you plan to haul, your business will need the proper insurance policies. Your local state laws will dictate the required minimum coverages. Visit our Dump Truck Insurance Page to learn more about insurance coverages for dump truck owner-operators. Once you have determined the best types of loads for your business, you will then be ready to begin the search for loads and contracts.
2. Use Dump Truck Load Boards
If you are like most owner-operators, your objective will be to stay busy. Load boards are perhaps the most popular way dump truck owners consistently find work to do. Similar to freight boards, dump truck load boards are websites that connect truck owners to clients who need their services. You can use any combination of the many load boards that are currently in existence on the internet. Most importantly, you should stick with reputable sites. The top five load boards are:
- 123 Load Boards
Utilizing load boards can be an incredibly effective strategy. Most boards include a function that allows you to focus solely on the types of loads you want. You can typically save valuable time by filtering search results by truck type.
3. Get Government Contracts for Your Dump Truck Business
Government contracts can provide steady streams of work for your dump truck business. Most state governments operate bidding websites where contractors can learn about contracts. The websites will also provide information on the required procedure for submitting bids. Trucking contract opportunities are typically listed on the state's Department of Transportation (DOT) website.
You can register your company to do business with the government at the System for Award Management site. There are also several other ways you can find government contracts. The following strategies can not only help you find government contracts, but they can also help you win more government projects.
Seek Opportunities Through the Small Business Administration (SBA)
You can find government contracting opportunities through the SBA. The agency offers a website called Subcontracting Network, also known as Sub-Net. Primary contractors post opportunities for subcontractors on the website. Owner-operators and other smaller businesses who are looking for loads may become subcontractors. The database is organized by state.
Visit Search Contract Opportunities
Most government trucking opportunities are listed on the Search Contract Opportunities. Currently, there are more than 32,000 active listings on the website. All listed opportunities are not specifically for dump truck businesses. Nevertheless, you will find a substantial amount of opportunities. Register for the website by providing your company and personal information. Identify yourself as a "vendor" in your registration profile.
Find Opportunities on the General Services Administration (GSA) Website
The GSA provides cost-effective transportation services to government agencies. On the website, truckers can find trucking opportunities that call for Request for Offers, or RFOs. The Freight Management Branch has the discretion to determine which RFO is will approve. Once a trucking company's RFO is approved, the trucking company must agree to abide by the Standard Tender of Service (STOS). This written agreement specifies the relevant terms, conditions, and any associated supplements.
4. Find Local Construction Zones
Construction sites always generate debris. Therefore, construction zones often translate to opportunities for dump truck owner-operators. If you follow these steps, you might find some interesting dump truck contracts.
- Search for construction zones within your service range.
- Contact your local government, and ask which companies have contracts for each area of interest.
- Make contact with the construction companies provided.
- Inquire about whether they are looking for subcontractors.
Most larger construction companies seek out trucking companies that operate multiple vehicles. Nevertheless, owner-operators can also win contracts by contacting construction companies directly. You may be able to get smaller projects by using this method.
5. Reach Out to Local Builders and Developers
If your area has recently experienced a housing boom, builders and developers may be your ticket to steady business. Builders and developers need dump truck service providers to assist with cleanup at various stages in their projects. Companies often have their preferred contractors.
You may need to be persuasive and offer a clear comparative advantage when selling your services. If there is a plethora of development work going on in your area, there may also be plenty of hauling work to go around. You may even find a surplus of opportunities with top local development companies.
You may feel tempted to offer steep discounts, but doing so may not be necessary. Demonstrating your reliability is often more important to construction companies and developers.
6. Reach Out to Local Contractors and Landscapers
Local landscapers and home renovation contractors often require the help of dump truck companies. These small businesses rely on waste removal services for several reasons. Renovators need trucks to haul off obsolete fixtures and construction waste. Landscapers need trucks to remove yard waste and assist with general cleanup. Reach out to local contractors in your area to offer your services. Partnering with a busy contractor or landscaper may also yield a steady stream of work for you.
7- Reach Out to Homeowners Associations
Many new residential communities work with private dump truck companies. These privately owned trucks handle their regular garbage and recycling pickup. Aside from trash pickup, garbage truck owner-operators also provide seasonal services. Yard waste pickup and snow removal are popular services that keep dump trucks busy all year. HOA contacts can be attractive income generators. The right HOA can provide consistent income during seasonal slowdowns.
8. Use a Freight Broker
Freight brokers act as intermediaries between shippers and carriers. Similar to over-the-road truck owner-operators, dump truck owner-operators also use freight brokers' services. These services connect them with opportunities. Brokers facilitate communication between shippers and trucking companies. Having a broker as the neutral middleman ensures a smoother process for both parties.
Shippers enjoy working with brokers because the broker serves as a single point of contact from start to finish. For truck owners, freight brokers generally provide the advantage of route optimization. They can also minimize "empty" miles and make the trip more profitable for the trucking company.
9. Offer Your Services to Your Community
Many of your best opportunities may be within your own community. Local nonprofits may have the need and budget for hauling services. A property owner may require debris removal during a renovation or after a tenant moves out. Tell everyone you meet about your business.
Oftentimes, people within your community will have a need for your services. Those who may not need your services will likely know someone else who has an interest in doing business with a company like yours.
10- Get Visibility and Work on Your Own Network
If you feel like you have a limited network, there are several ways you can expand awareness about your dump truck business. Create social media profiles for your new business. Engage with the accounts of businesses and individuals who are your ideal customers. Be sure to share informative, yet personable information about your company. Consistency is the key to growing your company's social media profiles.
Create an aesthetically pleasing, functional website for your business. If you will be designing the site yourself, consider simpler, easy-to-navigate designs. DIY web hosts provide beginner-friendly templates to help you get started. Be sure to include your contact information in a prominent position on the website. If you would like customers to contact you via email, create a separate email account for your business.
Be sure to list your business with popular search engines like Google and Yelp. Top search engine Google offers the Google My Business listing service that allows you to create a landing page for your business. On your page, you can post photos, your business hours, updates, and other information.
Your customers can also leave public reviews, which will boost confidence in your business and attract new customers. We recommend creating your Google My Business listing before you create your website.
The setup process for Google My Business is relatively straightforward. As an added bonus, your listing page will serve many of the same functions as your website in the meantime.
Google My Business is free to use and will only require an investment of your time to create and maintain your listing. Make regular updates to your listing. Regular updates will improve visibility in Google's search engine.
Similarly, Yelp is a popular business search engine that can help attract potential customers to your business. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Yelp page to attract new customers and boost confidence.
Do not limit your business presence to online platforms. You may also opt to reach potential customers through more traditional means. Posting ads in trade publications, newspapers, and local circulars can be highly effective. Running a mail campaign by mailing business postcards to every shipper in your region may prove to be very effective.
Some of the best business connections are formed through face-to-face contact. Attending trade events can place you in front of shippers and potential partners. These potential customers are more likely to have a lasting impression of your business if you meet them face-to-face.
Try the aforementioned strategies, and determine which are most likely to work best for your business. The sky is the limit when it comes to promoting your dump truck business. Seize every opportunity to communicate with others about your business. Always be on the lookout for potential contracts and partnerships. Immerse yourself in the industry.
You will find the right business opportunities and relationships that will take your company to the next level. CoverWallet has the information you need on dump truck insurance coverage and business strategies to help you succeed as an owner-operator.