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Independent dump truck drivers are paid by the haul, by distance and sometimes by the hour. You can get contracts that produce reliable income and a thriving business with your truck. Steady work offsets the overhead costs of truck maintenance and fuel incurred before payday.
Many people start operating a dump truck with a background in company driving. Create a portfolio showcasing past jobs, client or supervisor letters of satisfaction, and a current resume. As you build relationships with potential clients, it helps to stand out from the crowd. Add to your portfolio continually as you land bids. Experienced, reliable and reputable drivers are hard to come by, so put your best foot forward.
National, state, county and city governments are sizable clients for construction-related services, including dump truck drivers. Some projects are large and given to those who have an entire fleet of dump trucks, while others are given to individuals. Your state's Department of Transportation likely has a bidding website where dump truck drivers and other construction companies bid on state listed projects. States often prioritize awarding bids to certified minority- and female-owned businesses. If this applies to you, and your net worth does not exceed $1.32 million, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation to connect with your local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program. When you apply for government dump truck work, this certification combined with your reputation and solid portfolio could very well help you land the bid.
Subcontracting is an excellent way to build your portfolio and get your foot in the door with local contacts in your community. Get government experience without winning a government bid by creating relationships with contractors who are awarded large state government bids. Bid award letters are publicly viewable on your state's bidding website. Make appointments to visit the contractors in person with your portfolio in hand, and then offer your services to help them meet government expectations and timelines. Subcontracting relationships take time to build, so invest in getting to know contractors and their employees. Set yourself apart from the competition with your experience, enthusiasm, flexible availability and generosity. Doughnuts for breakfast or burgers at lunch for a hungry crew are always a nice touch. It does not guarantee you the subcontract, but it does build your reputation in the community with the right people, even if you do not land the bid the first time around.
Bring the same personal touch to non-government contractors who own construction, landscaping, snow removal or waste removal companies. Your dump truck is in demand for everything from hauling mulch, dirt and rocks, to spreading salt on icy roads or assisting in garbage collection. Maintain your truck in pristine condition, and be the solid and dependable subcontractor everyone likes to be around, or being the person they think of first when they need help in a pinch. Be available for last-minute jobs or middle of the night needs in the beginning of your career. Contractors will always remember the times you came to the rescue when nobody else was available and will think of you for regular work.
Individuals need dump truck work, just like larger contractors. Advertise your dump truck business in the local classifieds and on websites like Craigslist. You can haul dirt to fill a hole, bring landscaping rocks to a client's home or assist in any number of everyday projects. Research rates from other local businesses, and go 5 percent below the competition to get your start and pad your portfolio. Leave business cards and personalized pens everywhere you go. Refrigerator magnets are excellent for residential clients. It keeps your name fresh in their mind for future projects. Create a business page on social media sites and have your clients post their stellar reviews and photos of your work where the whole world can see. Use social media advertising options where your budget allows, in order to expand your reach.