Like a tuxedo T-shirt, pickup trucks let everyone know you are here for the party, but also to get some work done if necessary. They are a staple of American independence and attitude.
The best part is, there are tons of ways to make money with your pickup truck. You probably already know quite a few of them. So in this post I’m going to give you some ideas you might not have thought of.
3 Ways To Make Money With A Pickup Truck
Help With Debris Removal
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get started working and making money with your pickup truck is to offer debris removal services. Typically, you don’t need much equipment and you can set your own prices
Who pays for debris removal?
- Construction companies
- Event organizers
You never know why a homeowner might need debris removal. Maybe they are a DIYer and just finished a kitchen remodel; maybe they are moving from a place they lived for decades and have a lot of stuff they can’t (or won’t) bring with them; maybe they just put in a swimming pool and need all the dirt hauled out.
Handymen are hard to find for small jobs, and to be honest, some of them are outrageously expensive because they have to pay for things like business licenses, liability insurance, health insurance, and other costs of doing business. As a single dude with a truck, you can put your services on Craigslist for cheap to get your first couple jobs.
As someone that owns a truck, I'd just do it myself, but for the Prius and Honda drivers out there, suddenly, a owning a truck seems like a smart life choice!
Construction sites generate a lot of trash. Things like wood, broken equipment, concrete and metals are often piled up until the end of the job. When the job reaches its deadline, companies look to hire folks with pickup trucks to come in and haul off all the debris.
Depending on the company and the job, don't assume that employees will want to (or be able to) do the work. A lot of times you just need that first job, and do it well, for a good price, and you could be getting phone calls from other companies needing similar services. Get your name out there!
Cities and States
Cities, large or small, are almost always working on something. They generate construction and demolition debris daily, especially large cities like L.A. or New York. Disaster relief is another reason cities (or states) need to pay for debris removal. After hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the city hired pickup truck owners from Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida to come in and haul off debris created by the hurricane.
Keep up on city events like parades, celebrations, and other temporary projects as well. When browsing the newspaper or online news sites, think outside the box. No one is going to write “pickup truck driver wanted ASAP”. The core principle of any business is helping someone. Look for places where people need help, and offer it.
What You Need to Get Started?
The truth is, you really don’t need much to get started with this. The truck is your main asset. However, things like shovels, hammer, prybars, an axe, and maybe a sawzall could be useful too. You're going to need to break up that junk to get it to fit in the bed. Chances are, you already have most of that stuff laying around already (you are a pickup truck owner after all).
You may want to print up some business cards soon as well, just so people have your name and number on hand. You can usually get a pack of cards made at VistaPrint.com for $5-$10. That's not a bad price for starting your own business!
Start A Moving Service
How many times have you been asked to help people move? Your friends, family, even people you barely know will ask for your help moving from place to place if you own a pickup truck. Geeze, suddenly you're mister popular 😐
Of course you are sort of obligated to help them, but it’s nice when they kick you a bit of cash for helping out isn’t it? Remember, helping people is a great way to make money. Of course, your close buddies won't give you more than a six pack for helping, but for “friends of friends”, you gotta man up and ask for some money.
Well, that is exactly how most businesses start out — they start small and typically the first customers are friends and family. So if you have already been asked to help your friends and family move then you are well on your way to operating your own moving service.
But you can absolutely go beyond that and put ads in the newspaper and online. When I lived in Riverside, the guy who moved out to make room for me paid two college kids $250 to move his stuff. That's not bad for an afternoon of work. Of course, you have to count gas in there, and if you have anybody help you to get the job done quickly, but it's still proof that you can make a decent wage doing this.
When folks are in a pinch and don't want to pay big dollars for professional movers, nor do they want to spend the money to rent a Uhaul (plus they are unable to do the heavy lifting by themselves)….well, you get the point. You can be really useful in this situation. Just try not to scratch the furniture!
How to Get More Customers?
Obviously you won’t build a profitable moving business by servicing only your friends and family. You need to expand. In any business, word of mouth is the best way to gain new customers. So the first thing you would want to do is ask your friends and family for referrals. Facebook is a great way to start. My friend sold her car in 24 hours from a Facebook friend connection, so there's no reason the same thing couldn't work for starting a business like this.
Depending on how big your circle of friends is, I have no doubts that you can land a few new customers with this one method alone. Be sure to ask all your new customers for referrals too.
Another easy way to find new customers is to look for signs of a move in your area. If you happen to be out and you see a garage sale, stop and ask them if they need help moving anything. Maybe they aren’t moving but it’s likely they know someone who is. “Cold calling” like this can be a little embarrassing at first, but you need to decide how serious you are about landing clients. Also, some of the garage shoppers may be moving into a new place, so maybe leave a business card with the owners.
If you don’t happen to land any new customers from that, remember, always ask for referrals. Offer folks a finder’s fee, or a percentage and you are sure to get new customers. People start caring more about helping you make money once they get a cut. It's just human nature, lol.
Another sign of a move is a moving truck. If I was trying to start a new moving business I would not avoid houses with moving trucks parked out front. In fact, I think you could turn those folks into customers pretty easily. Just because they have a moving truck doesn’t mean they can afford it for as long as they need it. Or maybe they'd like to get the job done in a weekend rather than take an entire week.
Moving trucks have lots of limitations like mileage, hours and fuel. Movers often underestimate how much stuff they have to move. So when they rent a truck that has to be back by a certain time, or stay under a certain amount of miles, the last thing they want is to realize they have “one more load” — a load that is likely to cost them much more than they hoped.
So when you show up, offering your help, chances are your rates are much cheaper than the cost of keeping the truck. Never underestimate the power of possibilities in any situation, and there's nothing wrong with asking.
Remember to get business cards, or flyers though. That way you have something to give everyone you talk to, whether they need your services at that moment or not. It's a numbers game. Response rates are typically low, but that's true for a lot of industries, including things like selling home security systems, real estate, and other things you get flyers in the mail for.
How Much Should You Charge?
It really depends on what your time is worth, plus, just use common sense. If you are just starting out getting your first few clients, you need to focus on overdelivering value. Get some positive reviews under your belt first. But don't undercut yourself. Calculate for gas, and what is a price you can charge that will pay the bills you need to pay, and eat. Working for $10 a day isn't going to help you build a sustainable source of revenue.
Learn About Scrapping
Scrapping is a good option for anyone with a pickup truck. The best part is you can do it in addition to everything else mentioned in this post.
Scrapping is a term used for metal recycling. There are plenty of ways to make money recycling. But scrapping is a little different, because you are going to focus on metals only.
The process is pretty simple.
The first thing you need to do is locate a salvage yard (or scrap yard) in your area. Next, just load up your truck with metals and bring it to them. Most scrap yards pay cash, and they pay immediately, with the exception of copper.
Metal scrap yards pay by the weight and the type of metal. For example, aluminum pays more than iron, and copper pays much more than aluminum. Not all scrap yards pay the same rates. So you will want to find the closest one and/or that pays the most.
You can make money by scrapping alone, if you choose to. But if you combine this with one of the other methods in this post you will probably find more metal to scrap. People that are moving often throw out old appliances, and construction sites are full of metal. You would do best to combine these.
How Much Can You Make?
Scrap metal prices change all the time. They fluctuate with the price of fuel. And like I said before, each yard sets its own price. The prices will offer vary from state to state and town to town. Here are rates for some types of metal as today, March 13, 2016.
You can check sites like this one to get rates, but you will get the most accurate rates by calling your local scrap yards.
Maximize your Results With The Internet
With a pickup truck, you can to a lot more than just collect garbage. Actually, the gig economy is thriving, and there are lots of options to make money with your pickup truck leveraging these apps.
What you may not have considered yet is that having a website will help you tremendously. Most people working side gigs don't take themselves too seriously, and just ask friends and family for references, or maybe post an ad on Craigslist.
That means any type of web results in small cities or towns are basically zero competition zones, no matter what industry. There is a massive opportunity to promote yourself by building a simple website with a list of your services and your service area.
These days businesses simply must have a website. It doesn’t matter if you are a large company or one guy driving around in a pickup truck. Having a website makes you more professional, trustworthy and easier to find.
As a millennial, if I need something, the first place I turn to is the internet. If I needed to move and didn't have a pickup, I'd type into Google, “Help moving pickup truck”, “moving help in my city” something like that. Owning your own website, even a tiny simple one, means I might pick you to help me move. Competition in smaller cities is usually pretty low!
Sure, Craigslist ads are a great way to start, and can land you jobs for sure. These types of posts require constant reposting weekly or even daily. Plus, nobody wants to get murdered from a Craiglist creep. A website goes up, and stays up, and can get traffic 24/7…even when you're sleeping or at work! Plus you can link your social media channels to gain trust and authority from potential clients.
Can You Make Passive Income With Your Pickup Truck?
The truth is, this article has barely scratched the surface of all the ways you can make money with a pickup truck. Trucks are versatile, which is one reason everyone loves them. Trucks, truck parts and truck activities are huge markets with a potential for even bigger profits.
Having a website makes it easier for people to find and pay you, but there is more to it than that. You can turn your website into a money maker too. While you are out making money with your pickup truck, your website could be earning passive income. How?
Well one option is to place ads on it. Using display ads that pay you per click is an easy way to get a little extra money in your pocket. But selling related products through affiliate links can turn your website into your main business. That's a subject for another article (see below), but even writing about how to fix trucks, or following truck news could be a source of income. Eventually, you won’t have to use your truck for anything but picking up girls (or dudes, whatever)
A website dedicated to one of those topics, or one of the many others related to trucks could earn you passive income for years to come.
Affiliate marketing is what I used to build my online businesses. It’s simple. You sign up for affiliate programs (free) like Amazon’s, Auto Zone’s, 4-Wheel Parts’ or any other one you can find. They give you a unique affiliate id and link, which is tracked so that whenever a purchase is made you get a percentage of the sale.
Sound cool? See how everything works in detail.