Making money with your pickup truck and trailer has never been easier thanks to the interconnected and accessible nature of the internet.
One of the most desirable parts of taking on work that involves using your pickup truck is that you have flexibility. You don’t have to take the gig if you don’t want to and can pass on jobs that aren’t worth your time. If you are really good at what you do, word of mouth will spread with very little advertising.
If you own your own vehicle and need easy ways to make some extra side money, check out these top 11 ways you can learn how to make money with a pickup truck and trailer.
1. Junk clearance services
I’ve never met anybody who hasn’t at some point had to go to the local landfill to get rid of their unwanted stuff. But I have met even more people who don’t have the right type of vehicle to do the job properly.
Once you take off the dumping fees, fuel, and vehicle maintenance you could end up on a pulling in over $50 dollars an hour. That soon adds up over a week!
2. Yard supplies delivery
Homeowners will often want to remodel their yard or home but won’t be able to get their supplies delivered without a pickup truck.
You might be able to find people who need plants delivering, sacks of stone and sand, gravel, and other bulky and heavier items.
They might also need to pick up some large rental tools such as cement mixers, digging tools and other items needed for a landscaping project at their home.
3. Moving services
People are always moving home, and in cities with colleges you will get lots of students constantly on the move, but who don’t need a large truck or removals firm.
College students are a great market as they won’t have a full house of items that have taken years to accumulate, but instead possibly just a room of gear they need transporting. Just enough to fit in a pickup truck or trailer in fact!
You might also find people who need bulky items moving. In fact, if you do end up earning money with your pickup and trailer in the removals niche, here are two guides I wrote you might be interested in:
4. Towing service
If you own a pickup truck that can tow heavy loads (for example, a Ford F250), you could offer towing services.
There will always be customers ready and waiting for a man with a pickup to help them tow boats, trailers, and other items from point A to point B.
Make sure you are that guy.
Just make sure you calculate what your GVWR and GVWR are before you start towing!
5. Firewood deliveries
In those cold and wintery places, you’re going to find people who need firewood delivering on a consistent basis.
Contact your local firewood companies and strike a deal with them.
Alaska would be one such place where this market could be huge. Click here to see how you can winterize your pickup in the state of Alaska.
6. Snow plowing services
And whilst we’re on the subject of cold places, you could make extra money with your pickup truck by offering snow plowing services.
You will need to make an investment though; you will need to by a snow plow attachment which could cost as much as $3,000 dollars.
However, if you’re one of the only guys in the local area with a plow, you’re never going to be out of money-making opportunities once the cold weather hits.
7. Furniture and appliances
I speak from experience on this one, as I drove to a furniture store in my Acura MDX, only to get the flatpack back to the car to realize I couldn’t fit it in. If only I had driven my pickup truck that day!
People make this mistake all the time.
But after doing it once, it’s a mistake they don’t tend to repeat. And these are your target customers with whom you can make money with your pickup truck and trailer.
8. Retail deliveries
Amazon might be the biggest name in the retail space right now, but there are thousands of other businesses out there competing for a piece of the pie. And those businesses need reliable drivers to take their goods from the warehouse to the customer.
Contact your local retail stores to see if they need a pickup and trailer delivery person to join their team.
9. Display ads on your pickup truck
A lesser known side money hustle for pickup truck owners is to display ads on the vehicle.
It’s easy to do, but you will need a pickup truck that’s in a good condition, as companies won’t want to advertise on heaps of junk.
All you do is drive around on your daily business, but with ads attached to the side panels, or occasionally with larger ad banners in the truck bed or trailer.
At night, the ads will even light up. You can see which truck bed lights I recommend elsewhere on the Truckomize website.
10. Rent your pickup truck out
Don’t think that the only time you can make side money with your pickup truck and trailer is when you’re in it. Nothing could be further from the truth!
You might be able to find a small vehicle rental company in your area looking for trucks with your spec. Alternatively you could set-up your own truck hire company – it could be the start of something big.
11. Use gig economy websites
Over the last couple of years, a number of websites have started up that let potential customers connect with pickup drivers to do jobs for them.
One of the best is called Shipperoo. You sign up and then people can contact you to do a removal or transportation job for them.
Shipperoo take a small commission, but it can lead to a constant stream of money-making opportunities.
What to charge customers for your services?
When you first start out, charge a flat hourly rate for your services, but don’t forget to factor in fuel and maintenance costs to this charge.
Most pickup truck owners who are earning extra side money with their truck and trailer will charge between $30 and $40 dollars for each hour.
Don’t be tempted to charge by the mile, as that won’t take into account the time you will spend loading and un-loading your pickup.
Until such time you might want to switch your side hustle into a legitimate business, get paid in cash. Upfront.
Making things more “legit”
Whether you’re looking for just some additional side income with some extra money, or perhaps want to turn your pickup truck business into something more serious, you should consider being “legit”.
I am not a tax expert, and am not offering you any financial advice, but just think about what could happen if you start to make big money with your pickup truck and trailer.
Here are some additional ideas that relate to your original question “how to make money with a pickup truck”, with notes on how to take things to the next level legally and business wise.
Step 1: Form a Business
Having a verifiable fictitious business name that you can emblazon on checks, business cards, and advertise on the Internet is a great way to spread the word.
Customers are proud to tell others that they had their work done by some fancy sounding snobby place. If they can brag about the quality of care that they received and make it seem like something special, others will remember the name.
When choosing a business name, you should retain honesty and simplicity in what you do and come up with something smooth and memorable.
Yet, business names like Ron’s Landscaping can seem too personal and intrusive. It doesn’t have a ring of professionalism but appears to be more of a hobby with a legal tax number. You will see these types of poorly named businesses in many small-town areas.
Occasionally, you will find that these businesses are not as small and personal as they may sound because they were eventually incorporated and backed by business partners after so many generations.
The better choice is to always make a turn-key business that does not revolve around you personally. Instead of using the name Ron’s Landscaping, you can elect for something like Greener Grass Landscaping.
This would be more memorable because it plays off that old cliché that the grass is always greener on the other side. This has more of the catchy upbeat spin that entertains the mind while providing a simple truthful narrative of what you do.
Having a business name established also opens up the possibility for receiving tax breaks and other discounts when you purchase materials for your business.
If you are working in a high-liability field or have a lot of assets at risk such as homes, boats, and expensive cars, you may want to incorporate to protect those assets as separate from the business.
However, you may have more tax benefits using the sole proprietorship model because you can deduct your mileage and other items from your taxes.
In your first years of work, however, you will probably find that your overhead costs and investments back into the business outweigh any net profit. Or, at least it may seem that way on paper, wink, wink.
Step 2: Find business insurance
If you are an expert in the field that you are trying to earn side money in, you should be able to convey this to an insurance adjuster who has some personal connection to and knowledge of the industry you serve.
For example, if you are calling around for insurance quotes and an adjuster happens to have a father who also ran concessions trailer from the back of his truck, they may have confidence that this is a low-risk business model and have no qualms about selling you a discounted monthly insurance rate.
You should be able to find insurance of minimal coverage for less than $100 a month in many areas of the country.
Step 3: Advertise the type of work that you do
It is good to know the region that you are dealing with and whether people are open to independent handymen or small sole proprietor type businesses without much investment in the community.
In areas with more of a big city vibe, it can be hard to establish trust and accountability without a stable location.
Most businesses thrive on the convenience and exclusivity of the products or services offered because it is all supply and demand.
This means that you should only start a business where you have an exclusive niche and you’re able to provide a convenience with little or no competition.
Social media pages and a website are a must, as well as advertising in local circulars. They are free but depend on advertisers to fund the regional paper. These are usually good because the quality of advertisers and local issues draws interest.
Business cards and other opportunities to concisely state what you do so special should also be explored.
The name of the game is generating positive press by paying attention to details and being professional, no matter what type of job it may be.
Being professional doesn’t mean being overly serious and cold, however, and should be understood as simply getting the work done and carrying out your business in a reliable and organized manner.
You will meet some people that you click with better than others. And some customers will appreciate your services more than others because they recognize your talents.
Step 4: Build your brand
Whether you do landscaping, tree cutting, pest extermination, plumbing, HVAC, construction, automotive repairs, hauling, towing, run concession trailers, or move furniture and equipment, you need to keep on doing whatever you do very well.
Study the trade and immerse yourself in whatever online resources are available that may improve your skills or virtual experience.
Researching topics of common problems in your trade can help you figure out how to solve these problems when you encounter them.
For example, if you are a landscaper and a certain type of weed is common in your area, you may want to do research into what herbicides are particularly effective for this particular weed that won’t hurt the grass.
It helps to have a formal education or professional experience doing the trade that you are pursuing. Take on part-time work with another professional outfit that does HVAC, plumbing, landscaping, etc. to learn the tricks of the trade.
If you are not busy yourself, you can fit time in your schedule to learn even if it is at a trainee pay grade.
Your end game shouldn’t be to make fast cash but to help others and to use what income that you receive to invest in building a stronger business whenever possible.
Thanks to the internet of things, it is no longer a struggle to connect interested buyers with the services that they desire.
And if you own a pickup and trailer, the people who will need your services will be huge.
Your pickup truck can work for you and could be your ticket to a number of entrepreneurial side jobs that depend on hauling, towing, or off-roading your way above the competition. In this case, the customer base is anyone with a car or SUV who simply isn’t equipped to do the type of labor that a pickup truck can.
I hope that this guide has given you some ideas on how you can earn some side money with a pickup truck and trailer. These side ventures that may lead to loads of extra dollars when you aren’t doing your day job.
And with any luck, you can make your pickup truck gig your day job over time and finally give your boss the goodbye.