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Thread: Starting a dump truck business

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    NHHunter is offline Member
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    Default Starting a dump truck business

    I was thinking of starting a dump truck business. But I am very nervous about going into business for myself. Id love to. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Do owners have time to find jobs, handle finances AND run the truck. My wife could get us health insurance if need be. I just really dont know what to expect How do you go about getting work and keeping your truck going?

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    If you have to ask then your not ready to start a dump truck company. Maybe someone like marylandkw will come by and give you some advice i would but dont feel like typing it all.
    Truck Driving an occupation consisting of hours of boredom interrupted by sheer terror!!

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    Here's a link to lots of other past threads on this very subject:

    http://www.classadrivers.com/phpBB2/...=237537#237537
    If you can't shift it smoothly, you shouldn't be driving it.

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    Mack2 is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default Re: Starting a dump truck business

    Quote Originally Posted by NHHunter
    I was thinking of starting a dump truck business. But I am very nervous about going into business for myself. Id love to. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Do owners have time to find jobs, handle finances AND run the truck. My wife could get us health insurance if need be. I just really dont know what to expect How do you go about getting work and keeping your truck going?
    Where are you located?

    Oh and for a truck one word. MACK provided it is a RD.

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    Thinking and researching is a major first step.

    It is very hard to find work, do paperwork and run the truck. I won't lie to you I have better than 2 hours of office type work most everyday. And that is after anywhere from 12 to 18 hours in the truck.

    There are no load boards for dump trucks (for the most part) so everything is mainly word of mouth. Who do you know?

    Splitshifter gives what appears on surface to be disgruntled trucker advice but you might do good to listen to him. He said that business was so good he sold all his trucks and went to work for someone else.

    Dump Trucking is alot about right place, right time, right price.

    Maintenance can be challenging. It is significantly more than your typical OTR O/O. But the revenue can be much better as well. If you have never driven a dump truck you stand a better than average chance of tearing something expensive up rather quickly.

    Best way to break into dump trucking is to work for someone else for a few years, get some contacts and make your mistakes on their equipment. Then if you still got the bug, go for it.

    Splitshifter posted a link to two other links and the search function of this board can provide you some good information. If you find any questions unanswered, come back and ask away. There are lots of Dump Truckers on here more than happy to help.

    Mack2, I need to get you up here to see a real dump truck, A KW W9 :lol:
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

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    MKW wrote:
    Splitshifter gives what appears on surface to be disgruntled trucker advice but you might do good to listen to him. He said that business was so good he sold all his trucks and went to work for someone else.
    Not disgruntled at all, I loved being in the business, but when you have to compete with people who obviously have no business sense and will run their trucks for whatever crappy rate is offered, it becomes darn near impossible to turn a profit.

    I ran older trucks and kept them well maintained, I didn't have big truck payments every month, and I did just about all the mechanic work myself, unless it was something that required specialized tools or equipment that I didn't have in my own shop.

    Then every spring you'd see several people go out and buy brand new fancy dump trucks and offer them up for hire at dirt cheap rates.

    The newcomers sometimes would only last 1 season before going belly up, victims of their own ineptitude.

    But the constant stream of these cutthroats had the effect of keeping truck rates artificially low for everyone.

    Maybe it's not like that in your locale, I certainly hope it isn't, but I just wanted to clarify my motives for discouraging people from getting in the dump truck business right now.

    I was in the business for 19 years and I tried to do it the right way, but in the end, those 18 hour work days made no sense anymore because I could make more money working for someone else.

    Now I am working for a union excavating company as a mechanic, with full union benefits, and when I go home at quitting time, I can forget about work and actually have a life.
    If you can't shift it smoothly, you shouldn't be driving it.

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    Ian Williams is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splitshifter

    Not disgruntled at all, I loved being in the business, but when you have to compete with people who obviously have no business sense and will run their trucks for whatever crappy rate is offered, it becomes darn near impossible to turn a profit.

    Then every spring you'd see several people go out and buy brand new fancy dump trucks and offer them up for hire at dirt cheap rates.

    The newcomers sometimes would only last 1 season before going belly up, victims of their own ineptitude.

    But the constant stream of these cutthroats had the effect of keeping truck rates artificially low for everyone.
    I suspect that lakeside here in Reno has done just that. They leased a nice big fleet of Yellow Peterbilt dump trucks and were always hiring.

    Now that spring is upon us and dirt season is open I'm seeing far fewer of their sets that last year. I came close to working for them last year when I was getting jerked around on the extra board june of last year.

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    Mack2 is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marylandkw
    Mack2, I need to get you up here to see a real dump truck, A KW W9 :lol:
    I know a W9 is nice but is it really what a first timer needs? We have a couple of Freightliner Classics that are really nice but I don't know if they would beat a W900.

    I'm guessing you are from Maryland are you any were near Brandy Wine?

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    Hey Splitshifter, I was merely pointing out that on the surface you might appear to give a disgruntled opinion but your advice is always well thought out. No disrespect was meant. After all we need multiple view points for this board to be worthwhile.

    Mack2, Don't live even close to brandywine but I go all over the state on a fairly regular basis. I do anywhere from 500-600 miles a day and never leave the state. So I cover an awful lot of ground.
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

  11. #10
    floored Guest

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    I really wish people would post what area they are in when asking if they should start running a dump truck, lol.

    My business is doing good. My truck runs as a transfer truck and also as a ten wheeler. What one of the other guys said is very true, finding work takes a lot of work on your part, there are no load boards for dirt haulers.

    To answer your question, I'd ask people who run dump trucks in your area and see how they are doing and who they work with, do your research locally instead of online because there are so many different factors to consider for every area.

    BOL

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    marylandkw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by floored
    I really wish people would post what area they are in when asking if they should start running a dump truck, lol
    Amen to that. Thats another thing about dump truckin', every state is a little different. If you brought that transfer dump out here on the east coast, people would look at you like you where crazy. And if I tried to run my nice shiny aluminum body in Colorado I would never work. And a tandem in RI can carry 68000 pounds and less than 55000 pounds in MD. Brokers in California and many round these parts have never heard of one.
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

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    Mack2 is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marylandkw
    Quote Originally Posted by floored
    I really wish people would post what area they are in when asking if they should start running a dump truck, lol
    Amen to that. Thats another thing about dump truckin', every state is a little different. If you brought that transfer dump out here on the east coast, people would look at you like you where crazy. And if I tried to run my nice shiny aluminum body in Colorado I would never work. And a tandem in RI can carry 68000 pounds and less than 55000 pounds in MD. Brokers in California and many round these parts have never heard of one.
    And your tri axel from MD would have one heck of time hauling 18 tons here in NC. Are quads here in NC gross 69,000lbs but in VA they only gross 55,000lbs. :shock:

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    jegzus is offline Board Regular
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    And here in PA my steerling tri-axle could gross 73,200. :lol:

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    marylandkw's Avatar
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    I can go 70,000 on my tri and that means 23 tons day in and day out.
    Paranoia is nothing more than the pathological habit of paying close attention.
    All ideas in this communication are sole property of the voices in my head. (C) 2006, "The Voices" (TM)

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    Mackman's Avatar
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    jersey is 80,000 on a tri
    Truck Driving an occupation consisting of hours of boredom interrupted by sheer terror!!

    "All the coolie carriers suck. Log 70, work 80-100, paid for 50." - the Great ColdFrostyMug



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    serbie is offline Member
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    I know you can get yourself set up with the state/city/town you live in snowplowing/snow removal during the winter. But it's not guaranteed. Business is more geared to who you know. I'd start calling excavating companies now to see if they contract out. Company I worked for paid a few guys something $80+ an hour. The company is no longer in business from what I hear.
    Don't drive like an ass!


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    NHHunter is offline Member
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    Thanks to everyone who responded, I am from Berlin, NH. I guess you are all right, I do need some XP driving for someone else before I go on my own

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    serbie is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHHunter
    Thanks to everyone who responded, I am from Berlin, NH. I guess you are all right, I do need some XP driving for someone else before I go on my own
    Ohhphh... No disrespect but Berlin is in no mans land lol. I used to pick up Ford vehicles at Berlin City Ford. Not sure about the dump biz up there, but would imagine what ever needs to be hauled via dump truck, there is already a company and or O/O moving it. Could be wrong though. Don't give up.. keep looking into it, you find it's easier then we think. Will never know till you try right?!
    Don't drive like an ass!


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    SoCal79 is offline Member
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    I know zero about East coast trucking but my method has always been to keep older (paid for) trucks especially when starting out. I don't care where you live dump truck work is seasonal so during the bad times and believe me there will be bad times, you need to be able to tough it out and having no truck payment makes it alot more pleasant. Coming in cold with zero experience in the buisness, you are setting your self up for failure. Drive for someone,do more than just drive learn about the equipment,learn about the costs,most of all make friends so when you do get your own truck you can use those pals as hookups for work. It takes a long time to get to the point where you can work pretty steady,just be dependable and flexable and roll with the punches,don't quit at the first major disaster,stick it out,even if you have to park it and ride out the bad times someplace else.

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