4 Fascinating Commercial Opportunities for Pickup Drivers
This is a guest post provided to our editors.
Driving a pickup truck is a way of life. For many of us, our vehicles are an extension of who we are. They take care of the practical elements of our everyday lives — transporting our families and our cargo safely and securely wherever they need to go. They also help us to embrace our freedom; a combination of comfort and off-road capability, they are the perfect companion for adventure.
Is it any surprise, then, that our pickups can offer some excellent commercial possibilities? Their capability of carrying heavy loads on beds, or towing make them the perfect workhorse. Whether you’re considering making your vehicle a tool for a new full time occupation, or looking for a fun and interesting opportunity to get a little extra cash, we’ll introduce you to a few fascinating options to make your pickup a commercial success.
The gig economy is here, and it’s unlikely to be going anywhere soon. Ride sharing services are rising in prominence, providing consumers and drivers alike with new opportunities. However, it may surprise you to find that there are sharing services geared toward the owners of larger vehicles — including pickup trucks.
Platforms such as Task Rabbit and GoShare have noted that there is a gap in the market for those in need of larger vehicles to transport heavier goods, but don’t have access to the bigger, pricier haulage companies. Pickup truck owners can connect with customers via an app, linked by both driver and vehicle’s ability to transport the type of loads the customer requires. One of the benefits these services have over the likes of Uber and Lyft, is that also transporting the customer is strictly forbidden — so no need to engage in a journey filled with awkward small talk!
This represents opportunities for both long-term entrepreneurs and casual drivers. However, it’s worth noting that the requirement for qualifications still applies. For example, you are only able to transport dangerous loads if you have taken the relevant HAZMAT test, and received an endorsement on your CDL. These services are also rightly stringent on the drivers they engage with, and background checks will usually be undertaken.
Local Business Deliveries
If you’re entrepreneurially minded, you can use your pickup to engage with the community of grass-roots businesses in your local area. One of the ways in which small, local businesses need to compete with larger stores and online services, is by providing reliable delivery. This is where you can position yourself to provide a valuable contribution.
You’re unlikely to be able to offer a competitive delivery charge for small items unless you charge a bulk rate for multiple items. Your services could primarily be cost effective to both you and retailers on furniture or large appliances. It will take some research, planning, and some leg work — but this is an opportunity that could see you make a deeper connection with the local business community.
That said, there are certainly opportunities to capitalize on the market dominance of Amazon. Using a drivers on-demand model, Amazon Flex helps to make the online giant’s same day delivery service possible by using drivers who are local to a delivery station to undertake last-mile couriering of goods.
If you’re looking for more than simply another hauling job, your pickup can be a valuable tool in accessing other careers. Many pickup owners are finding that they can build a fulfilling and successful business in the field of landscaping.
Aside from your vehicle, there is a certain amount of investment that needs to go into any burgeoning landscaping business. Perhaps the most significant is a range of safe and reliable lawn equipment. It almost goes without saying, but you should also be armed with the expertise and creativity to use this equipment. Simple ability to mow grass and trim bushes could get you a reputation for a reliable provider of the basics. However, while formal qualifications are not needed to start a landscaping business, in order to make your business stand above others in your field, a certain amount of education is useful. You’ll also be able to offer more expensive niche services, such as topiary or commercial property landscape design.
The more landscaping capabilities you take on, it may be necessary to invest in upgrades for your pickup. For example, offering pond creation services, or designing large garden beds may require you to obtain a trailer capable of carrying heavy stones or concrete. However, for most landscaping jobs, a pickup with a V8 or diesel engine should provide sufficient support.
A job in marketing is not for everybody. Let’s face it, if you’re looking for job opportunities using your pickup truck, you’re probably avoiding an office job like the plague. Who could blame you? Offices can sometimes be a hostile work environment, which no worker should be subjected to. You’re unlikely to have to file HR complaints or get involved in office politics if you spend your days on the road. However, there are options where marketing and pickup driving converge.
Businesses are always looking for opportunities to improve their visibility. Alongside print and TV advertising, some agencies also invest in paying vehicle owners to wrap their ride and turn it into a temporary mobile billboard. Largely one for those who are looking to make some money on the side, rather than a career — pickup owners can get paid upward of $200 per month. However, some agencies will pay higher rates for pickup owners to spend some time driving in a specific location. Obviously, it’s worth considering how comfortable you are driving wrapped in branding; but it can be a useful form of passive income.