The most important ingredient to the success of your dump truck business is getting a steady flow of profitable dump truck contracts.
But this can be a real challenge sometimes, so the more strategies that you have at your disposal to get these vital contracts, the better.
In this article, we are going to discuss nine different ways to get dump truck contracts, including some helpful tips and links to resources that you can use to improve the number and quality of your dump truck loads.
I’ve also included a bonus tip at the end, which can provide super passive income from your dump truck when you’re not using it. Definitely stick around for that too!
We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get into it!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
1. Bid on Government Contracts
You can obtain significant work for your dump truck business by bidding on government contracts. These contracts can be at the federal, state or local level and can range in scope and size from very large contracts (requiring a sizable fleet) to contracts that may only require one or two dump trucks (although these are admittedly rare).
So how do you get started?
You can search your state’s department of transportation website to check out potential bidding opportunities. If you happen to be a small business or are female or minority owned, you may enjoy certain advantages during the bidding process as compared to large, non-minority owned companies.
In addition, if you are a smaller operator, you can score government contracts by acting as a subcontractor to a large contractor who has been awarded the government contract. It’s a convenient way to piggyback off the strength and reputation of a much larger and more established contractor.
The key, of course, is to establish good relationships with these types of larger contractors so they’ll use you. You will need to demonstrate both solid pricing, reliability and flexibility to gain their trust. It might take some time until you can build up a good enough reputation to land these subcontracting gigs, so you will need to be patient, but the payoff can be worth it.
2. Use Online Load Marketplaces
You can use online marketplaces to find loads.
One of the best known load boards in the trucking industry is DAT. With over hundreds of millions of loads offered per year, they are a huge platform (and they also happen to offer plenty of dump truck loads as well).
If you want to learn more, I have an affiliate relationship with them where you can get 30 days free.
Click on the link below to take advantage of this no-risk offer.
You can get dump truck contracts for your fleet using online marketplaces like Trux. Using their app, you can search for dump truck loads and track your loads and get paid on a timely basis.
There are of course other online marketplaces as well. For example, you can check out dumptruckloads.com, to get more potential contracts for your dump truck business.
3. Reach Out to Local Builders and Developers
If there is a decent amount of residential housing or other property development in your area, you can contact local builders and developers to see if they need dump trucks to assist in their activities. In many cases, they may have their preferred vendor already, so you will need to be persuasive and offer a compelling deal (including possibly steep discounts on pricing) to get their business.
Of course, after you have established yourself as a reliable and top-notch operator, you won’t need to discount as aggressively, but that may take some time.
4. Reach Out to HOAs
You can use your dump truck to offer snow removal services to various home owners associations during the winter months. These contracts can be quite lucrative and can offer some great income during the colder months if there is consistent snowfall.
5. Reach Out to Landscapers
Builders are not the only companies that need dump truck services.
You can also reach out to local landscapers too. You can get a nice seasonal boost in the spring when landscapers tend to be busiest. Between snow removal and landscaping, you can get some pretty reliable dump truck contracts during those two seasons.
If you round it out with a stable body of construction work throughout the year, you can do pretty well.
6. Reach Out to Mining Companies (If You Are Near One)
Dump trucks are also critical for mining operations.
Someone needs to haul away all of the coal (and other materials, like gravel, cement, etc. that are mined in the US) from the mine. While some mining companies take care of this in-house, there are plenty that choose to outsource this work to dump truck companies.
If you have mines near your base of operations, you can reach out to the mining companies and see if they need your services. Again, be aggressive with your pricing and flexibility in the beginning so you can secure the contracts.
7. List Your Business Online and Get Leads
Governments and businesses are not the only folks who need dump trucks.
There are plenty of people who want to get rid of their junk that rent out dump trucks. For these types of residential contracts, you have to use a different approach.
One of the most effective ways to get residential dump truck contracts is by advertising your services online. Here’s how to do it:
- Set up a Google My Business, so that people looking for your type of business can find you. You want to encourage people to leave good reviews there for you if they like your business. Research has found a strong relationship between the number of online reviews a business and the revenue that it generates.
- Get a great website that draws traffic to your business. You can use the free website offered by Google that we mentioned earlier, but if you really want to draw traffic (and customers) to your website, you may want to hire an online marketing expert to help you optimize your website for traffic and leads.
- Get on Yelp for business and let your customers find you. They are an extremely well-known brand, and many people look there when searching for local businesses. Check them out below to learn more.
Of course, online advertising is not the only way to go. If you want to go old school, you can also advertise in your local newspapers, circulars, or through direct mail, etc.
8. Advertise Through Social Media
Google My Business is a great way to give your business an online presence, but it’s just the beginning.
If you are willing to spend the money, you can advertise your services on social media platforms like Facebook. Yes, you will have to pay for ads, but you can really target people who are looking for the types of services that you are offering.
To learn more about Facebook advertising, check out this article on the topic.
9. Use Your Contacts If You Have Them
If you are already in the business, you will likely have contacts in the industry that you can draw on to drum up business. If people know you are a good operator, that’s worth its weight in gold. Use your good reputation to build your new business.
If you are not in the industry already, get out there and start making contacts. Join relevant associations and talk to people. Make yourself known. It will make things much easier if people know your name when you come around marketing your services.
If all else fails. try to brute force your way. Maybe it means sending postcards to every shipper in your region and letting them know you are available to take loads at a fair price. Maybe it means calling brokers until you find that coveted load.
The bottom line is don’t give up. You’ll get there.
Bonus Tip: Rent Out Your Dump Truck When It’s Idle
Did you know that you can rent out your dump truck when you are not using it? It’s a little known strategy, but it can be a terrific way to generate passive income from your dump truck when it’s sitting idle.
The process is simple. Just list your dump truck on rentalyard.com.
Note: they do have a monthly subscription fee, so it makes sense to do this only if you plan on renting it out enough to justify the cost.
So there you have it – nine great strategies to get dump truck contracts. If you don’t have a dump truck business yet, but want to learn how to start one, check out my step by step beginner’s guide to starting a dump truck business.
If you are curious about other great trucking businesses that you can start on a budget, check out my article on how to start a transportation business with a single truck.