Dump truck owners make their money in one of two ways: by working with the dump truck as a driver, or by leasing out the dump truck. The amount of money you can make depends on how many trucks you own, the types of clients you have and how many hours you work. Landscaping companies, building contractors and mining companies often hire dump truck drivers to haul heavy materials to and from the job site. You could also find local opportunities for winter snow removal.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Dump truck drivers make an average of $43,590 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Dump Truck Driver Salary
Dump truck drivers fall under the category of “Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers” as designated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 2016 average pay for drivers in this category was $43,590. Since average salaries can be distorted by one or two people earning an unusually high amount, the industry typically uses "median" figures for earnings. The median figure is the midpoint; half of all truck drivers make more than the median, and half make less. In 2016, the median pay was $41,340, which works out to $19.87 per hour. By comparison, the median salary for all occupations was $37,040. This suggests that dump truck drivers earn a higher-than-average wage.
Digging Down Into the Data
BLS data comprises the salaries reported for employed truck drivers, not those who are self-employed. Dump truck business owners have more freedom to set their own rates. Coal mining, for example, is a high-risk environment. Dump truck owners who work in the coal industry may be able to charge a higher rate than those who work in landscape gardening. Location is a factor, too. For example, North Dakota has the highest concentration of jobs for dump truck drivers. Mean salaries are higher in this state, at $53,720 annually or $25.83 per hour.
Leasing Out Your Truck
Leasing out your truck for others to use is not going to be as profitable as using the truck yourself, since you are not charging for your labor. However, it is a good way of generating some income when there’s low demand for your services. BLS projects that the heavy truck driving industry will grow 6 percent by 2026, which suggests that there is demand for dump truck leasing services. Contact local mining companies, local construction firms and competing dump truck companies to get an idea of daily, weekly and monthly leasing rates in your area.
Deduct Your Expenses
There are certain expenses associated with owning and operating a dump truck that you’ll have to deduct from your gross income. The major expense is the dump truck itself which can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $160,000, depending on the age, mileage, make and model. You will need a commercial driver's license, and there are the usual running expenses including vehicle tax, insurance and fuel. As with any small business, you’ll likely need an advertising budget to attract prospective customers. Be sure to deduct these expenses from your revenue to discover your profit.
Jayne Thompson earned an LL.B. in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “Big Law” firms before launching a career as a business writer. Her articles have appeared on numerous business sites including Typefinder, Women in Business, Startwire and Indeed.com.