How to Start a Dump Truck Business

November 30, 2022

Adam Hoeksema

There are over 490,000 dump trucks in the US according to Zippia, and with the state of the US infrastructure and the recent Infrastructure bills passed by congress, it seems that there will be demand for dump trucks for the foreseeable future.  We do a lot of work with semi truck startups in helping them create projections to get a startup loan, so I was curious about the difference between the semi truck general freight business and the dump truck business.  I wanted to know what it takes to start a dump truck business, how much it would cost and how much you can earn with a dump truck business, so I decided to do a deep dive and research the industry and share with you what I found. 

Here is what I plan to cover:

Dump Truck Business Startup Costs

How Much Revenue can a Dump Truck Business Earn per Truck?

Dump Truck Rates per Hour

Dump Truck Rates per Load

Dump Truck Operating Costs

How Much Do Dump Truck Drivers Make?

How Much Profit Can a Dump Truck Business Earn?

Dump Truck Financial Projection Template

As I research and learn I am going to use our Dump Truck Financial Projection Template to ultimately demonstrate and help calculate how profitable a dump truck business might be.  You can get a quick glance of the summary tab of the template below:

dump truck financial projection summary example

With that out of the way, let’s dive into the research!

Dump Truck Business Startup Costs

The estimated startup cost for a dump truck business is $17,450 according to Dump Truck Dispatcher.  

The typical startup costs include:

  • Down payment for a dump truck
  • Tires
  • Sales Tax
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Permits
  • Initial Marketing Costs

Obviously the startup costs will depend on whether you buy a dump truck with a loan, buy it with cash from your savings, lease a truck and whether you buy a new or used truck.  Here is a bit of research to help you determine the best option for your situation. 

How much does a new dump truck cost?

A new tri-axle dump truck will cost between $100,000 and $180,000 according to Badger Truck and Auto Group

How much does a used dump truck cost?

A used tri-axle dump truck will cost between $40,000 and $100,000 according to Badger Truck and Auto Group

How much does it cost to lease a dump truck? 

A standard sized dump truck that holds 12 to 14 yards will cost roughly $7,000 per month to rent or lease according to

What is the typical down payment percentage for a dump truck? 

Typically a lender will require a 10% down payment for a dump truck loan according to TruxNow.

For our example, I am going to assume that we buy a used dump truck for $60,000 with a down payment of $6,000 and a loan of $54,000 for the remainder of the truck.  You can see how to enter in these assumptions into our financial forecast spreadsheet below:

Next we want to know how much revenue a dump truck can generate for our business. 

How Much Revenue can a Dump Truck Business Earn per Truck?

We estimate that the average dump truck business with a single tri axle dump truck can generate $178,000 in annual revenue. 

We calculated this based on the assumption that a truck could operate 10 hours per day for 5 days per week at $80 per hour.  Below you will find some additional research on how much a dump truck can earn. 

Dump Truck Rates per Hour

The average rate per hour for a tri axle dump truck is roughly $80 per hour in the U.S. based on reports from HeavyEquipmentForums.

The hourly rate for a tri axle dump truck can vary depending on your location, but I found quotes as low as $65 per hour and as high as $95 per hour.  I also found that owners often require a minimum number of hours.  In other words you wouldn’t just charge someone for 30 minutes of time.  It seemed like the common minimum number of hours to charge for a dump truck job was 3 hours.  This would mean that the average minimum job for a dump truck would be roughly $240. 

Dump Truck Rates per Load

The minimum tri axle dump truck rate per load is roughly $160 or double the average hourly rate.  

For smaller, local jobs or residential jobs you might not charge by the hour, rather you might charge by the load.  It seems that a rule of thumb is to essentially have a minimum rate per load and I have seen some owners that will charge as little as double the average hourly rate and some have a minimum of 3 hours or 3 times the minimum hourly rate. 

Dump Truck Operating Costs

The average cost to operate a dump truck is $74.65 per hour according to Dump Truck Dispatcher

Dump truck operating costs include:

  • Fuel Costs  
  • Truck Payments
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Permits and Licenses
  • Tires
  • Tolls
  • Driver Wages
  • Driver Benefits

Now you can enter these operating costs as variable costs on a per hour basis, or some costs as variable hourly costs and some costs as fixed monthly amounts or expenses on a per truck basis.  I have decided to enter in the following as hourly operating costs:

Dump truck fuel cost per hour of operation = $16.78

Dump truck tires cost per hour of operation = $1.67

Dump truck repairs and maintenance cost per hour of operation = $7.04

Dump truck tolls cost per hour of operation = $1.30

dump truck variable costs per hour

I have added dump truck driver wages and benefits of $32.55 as a variable hourly cost as well:

Finally, I have added the following costs as a fixed monthly cost of a per truck amount:

  • Advertising
  • Insurance
  • Licenses and Permits

dump truck business monthly operating expenses

How Much Do Dump Truck Drivers Make?

The average dump truck driver salary is $55,857 per year according to Zippia

average annual dump truck driver salary

How Much Profit Can a Dump Truck Business Earn?

We estimate that the average tri axle dump truck business with one truck can generate $21,658 per year in profit after paying a driver. 

dump truck business profit breakdown

How much can a Dump Truck Owner Operator Make per Year?

We estimate that the average tri axle dump truck business with one truck and an owner operator can generate $79,237 in net income per year. 

You can see below how our projected income statement changes when we take out the salary and benefits of the driver.  If you are driving your own truck you can earn both the profit and the driver wages. 

If you want to forecast your own dump truck financial projections you can grab our dump truck financial projection template to create your own custom projection. 

About the Author

Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.

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