If you already own a truck, starting a hauling business is possible to do with almost no money upfront. If you’re willing to put yourself and your vehicle through some heavy lifting, making a profit by starting a hauling business is also easier than you’d think!
Local hauling businesses are in high demand and with the right tools, your hauling business can get instant access to paid jobs instead of having to hunt them down.
If you’re ready to choose your own hours and paycheck, keep reading our guide on how to start your hauling business and for effective ways you can drive demand in your area.
Your Complete Starting a Hauling Business Plan:
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- Invest in the Right Truck or Van
- Get the Right Equipment
- Evaluate Your Growth Strategy
- Register Your Hauling Business
- Consider Being an Independent Contractor
- Research State Licensing Requirements
- Purchase Liability and Commercial Insurance
- Market Your Hauling Services
- Start Your Hauling Business as a PRO Loader
- Frequently Asked Questions
Invest in the Right Truck or Van
The most important piece to your hauling business is the truck. You can start pocketing money faster by leasing a used truck instead of purchasing a brand new one.
If you already own one, is it capable of carrying 2,000 pounds? While you can use half-ton vehicles to transport large items like furniture, you cannot safely haul more than a few items.
One-ton vehicles like box trucks can easily make you more money since they’re capable of hauling much more, and therefore will be a greater return on investment.
Also, take into consideration the cost of insurance, reliability, power, and fuel efficiency. Hauling businesses require a lot of time on the road so a well-rounded and fuel-efficient vehicle will help lower your costs.
While one-ton pickup trucks are beefed up and can pull a massive amount of weight, they have terrible fuel economy and are expensive so they’re not the best choice for a long-lasting hauling business.
Cargo vans are a good choice as they can haul up to 3,500 pounds and have around 404 cubic feet. Minidump trucks are the easiest to unload once you are finished for the day. These are best for large cleanout projects including residential and commercial jobs.
However, if you want to regularly take on large local hauling, delivery, or moving jobs, your best investment is a box truck. See below for box truck sizes and their hauling capacity:
- 12-foot truck: Haul up to 3,100 pounds and 450 cubic feet.
- 16-foot truck: Haul up to 4,300 pounds and 800 cubic feet.
- 22-foot truck: Haul up to 10,000 pounds and 1,200 cubic feet.
- 26-foot truck: Haul up to 10,000 pounds and 1,700 cubic feet.
Does your truck fit our vehicle requirements?FIND OUT ❯
Get the Right Equipment
While your truck is your main piece of equipment, in order to get jobs done efficiently and without hurting yourself, you should also purchase things like dollies and bungee cords.
This equipment will help you prevent damage to the items you are hauling and therefore many future headaches and legal disputes.
If you’re hauling things like refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances, you will want to purchase an appliance dolly. You’ll also need basic tools for disassembly jobs if you’re helping remove bulky furniture items that may not fit through doors.
Other types of hauling equipment you may want to get are the following:
- Hand Truck
- Bungee cords
- Ratchet straps
- Moving blankets
Evaluate Your Growth Strategy
Thinking about growing in your city and getting not just one truck but two? It’s good to consider this early in the game since, for every new truck you invest in, you open up an additional revenue stream for your hauling business.
🏦 You can apply for small business loans or grants to help you purchase trucks, tools, hauling equipment, and cover other costs of starting the business such as getting the business license.
Keep in mind however that the more your truck(s) costs, the more hours you’re going to need to put in just to stay on top of payments before making any profit. Make sure you’re servicing an area where there’s enough demand to supply your investments.
If you don’t want to purchase a new truck right now but need more cubic feet, you can also make a smaller investment and attach a trailer to your current vehicle.
Check out the following trailers that you can use to expand your cubic feet:
- Dump Trailer
- Utility Trailer
- Enclosed Trailer
Register Your Hauling Business
If you are starting a company where you have your own branding, website, social media, marketing team, etc. then you will want to register your hauling business at this point.
A business license, put simply, is essentially a tax receipt given by your city. If you’re going in with partners, look into registering as an LLC. Laws vary by state, so check out local resources such as the chamber of commerce, city clerk, zoning and planning department, or other local offices to assist with registering your hauling business.
💼 The nationwide average to purchase a junk removal business license is between $50 – $400.
Consider Being an Independent Contractor
As an independent contractor you are considered self-employed and will then be paying self-employment taxes. You can still be hired by another company or person to do a job, but how you go about completing it is determined by you.
Starting a business as an independent hauler gives you earlier and easier access to jobs in your area because you can offer your services through gigs listed on websites like Craigslist or make more money by signing up to be a Loader for free access to junk hauling jobs in your area with logistics companies like LoadUp.
In some cities, independent contractors can operate their business by paying a low fee to the city they’re servicing. However, other cities may not require a business license and instead ask you to obtain a permit to conduct business.
Unlike W2 employees, you don’t have an employer withholding taxes from your paycheck and you will instead need to pay the IRS money at the end of the year.
Research State Licensing Requirements
If you plan on operating locally within the same state, look into your local requirements for operating an intrastate commercial vehicle and for your type of hauling service.
Depending on what you plan on hauling, the size of your vehicle, and your state regulations, you may need to obtain a commercial drivers’ license.
Also familiarize yourself with your state requirements for the items you plan on handling. If you plan on working in the junk removal industry and maybe hauling hazardous waste, you need to be aware of proper disposal processes in your county.
🤔 Wondering how to start a junk removal business specifically? Check out our detailed guide!
Purchase Liability and Commercial Insurance
Next, you’re going to need to get commercial insurance to protect your vehicle, along with liability insurance to protect your business. Investing in insurance policies for your hauling business gives you peace of mind and opens more doors as it builds trust with customers.
Independent contractors working with apps like the LoadUp Driver app are often given the option to be assisted with liability insurance for jobs referred through that platform.
🏷️ The average cost for $1 million general liability coverage is between $450 – $1000 per year.
If you’re planning to work completely independently then you should get in touch with a commercial insurance broker to choose the best insurance option for starting your own independent hauling business.
Market Your Hauling Services
Now that you’re all set to provide hauling services, you need to build your customer base!
With long-established, competing hauling services like 1-800-GOT-JUNK, College Hunks, and, yes, even LoadUp, you’ll want to make really smart business decisions at the beginning.
You can start the affordable route and just spread the word with friends, family, and referrals but eventually you’ll want to invest some money in marketing and advertising.
However, the most cost-effective to get your hauling company’s profits growing from the get-go is by joining a gig-referral app like the LoadUp Driver app as an independent hauler.
While most hauling gigs are lead-based, meaning you still need to seal the deal before making money from your time and effort, the Loader app only provides paid-for jobs.
Don’t Waste Time On Hauling Leads
The way it works is when a customer books with us, we give you 60% of the profits for every job your hauling business completes. When jobs are booked online or over the phone, they go into the app with the payout listed, and you can accept as many jobs as you want and even assign them to team members.
As a Loader, you are still your own independent business but are simply completing jobs in your area that were booked through our system and are up for grabs on our Driver app. We’ll never tell you how to do your job, where or when you work, or how many jobs to take.
🤑 Wondering how much money you can make as a Loader? Find your potential earnings here!
Being a Loader is a no-contract, no-money-down opportunity for you to accept more, higher-paying jobs and make a better living with your own hauling business.
If you have just one truck, starting out as a Loader can get you your sailor’s legs.
But if you’re more interested in being a multi-truck hauling business and have your sights set on being a nationwide hauling service, our Exclusive Loader Program can get you there.
Start Your Hauling Business as a PRO Loader
The Exclusive Loader Program offers serious haulers help with marketing and job generation without taking a single ounce of ownership of your business.
We simply take care of the marketing for our PRO Loaders so you can focus on completing jobs professionally and steadily grow your hauling business instead of wasting time with dead-end leads, marketing mishaps, upset customers, or late invoices.
Benefits of the Exclusive Loader Program:
- VIP dispatch support
- Higher payouts per job
- Exclusive rights to zip codes
- Increased business opportunities
- Boosted advertising in your zip codes
While being a Loader you still get access to our jobs, as a PRO Loader you get a guaranteed increase in the earning and growth potential of your hauling business.
If you’re not sure you’re ready to invest in zip codes near you and have your hauling business take ownership of them, start out as a Loader!
We’re confident that once you see the increasing advantages of providing hauling services in your area through our app, you’ll find the drive to join our Exclusive Loader Program, grow into a PRO Loader, and expand your own hauling business into a nationwide fleet.
Ready to start your own hauling business? SIGN UP ❯