From Tailgate to Table: Starting Your Own Profitable Pickup Truck Business
Owning a pickup truck provides endless business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a lucrative venture with low startup costs.
Whether you want to make some extra money on the weekends or are ready to launch a full-time small business, using a pickup truck can be a great way to make money.
With nothing more than a reliable truck and some basic tools and equipment, you can get your own delivery service, landscaping business, or mobile repair operation up and running. The versatility of a pickup truck allows owners to transport equipment, haul waste, make deliveries, provide services, and much more.
This article will explore the wide range of money-making businesses resourceful pickup truck owners can launch using their hard-working vehicles.
From creative side hustles to essential local services, we’ll cover 21 businesses you can start with a pickup truck and how to get rolling on your entrepreneurial dreams. Whether you want to earn some extra cash or are looking to make a full-time living, your pickup truck is the perfect vehicle to drive you to success.
Starting a business with your trusty pickup truck provides almost limitless opportunities. Here are the key takeaways:
- A pickup allows you to start a mobile business with minimal upfront investment. Just need the truck, basic gear, and insurance.
- Hauling, delivery, transportation, and mobile services are all options. Provide services conveniently on-site.
- Creative ventures like mobile advertising, thrift resales, and garage sales are possible too.
- Take advantage of your truck’s cargo and towing capacity for hauling debris, junk, boats, etc.
- Enjoy the flexibility of being your own boss and building your own small business.
- With a hardworking pickup and some hustle, you can be on the road to financial success.
Turn your pickup into revenue – the opportunity is yours for the hauling!
Types of Pickup Truck Businesses
I. Delivery and Transportation Businesses
From food delivery services to professional animal transportation, pickup trucks provide the perfect mobile platform for delivery and transportation businesses.
Here are some of the top options for enterprising pickup truck owners:
1. Food Delivery
One of the most popular and lucrative delivery businesses you can start is food delivery. Options include:
- Pizza delivery – Many local pizzerias hire their own drivers. You provide the wheels while they supply branded signage for your truck.
- Restaurant meal delivery – Partner with local restaurants to deliver their food to hungry customers. Apps like Uber Eats make this easy to manage.
- Mobile food trucks – Take your food directly to the people by operating a food truck. Cater events, set up at busy locations, or drive a daily route.
- Low startup costs – Just need a truck, insurance, and delivery bags.
- Make your own hours – Ideal side hustle with a flexible schedule.
- Earn tips – Food delivery drivers often receive tips making hourly pay higher.
- Steady demand – People always need food delivered.
2. Grocery and Package Delivery
Offer on-demand delivery of household essentials like groceries, pharmacy items, and Amazon orders.
With services like Instacart, DoorDash, and Uber, it’s simple to sign up as a driver. You provide the pickup truck and cold storage bags or blankets while the service provides order assignments.
- Easy to start – Just sign up on apps and start accepting orders.
- High demand – Grocery and package delivery saw huge growth during the pandemic.
3. Appliance Repair and Delivery
Start a mobile appliance repair business and offer delivery and installation services using your truck.
Services like GoShare and uShip connect drivers with people needing large items transported. You can also market directly to local appliance repair shops to partner on deliveries.
- Flexible schedule – Take jobs when it fits your schedule.
- Specialized service – Leverage your appliance repair skills.
- Good earning potential – Large item delivery pays well.
4. Furniture Delivery and Assembly
Help people conveniently receive large furniture purchases right to their door.
Partner with local furniture stores to provide delivery and assembly services. You can also list your services on TaskRabbit to get hired directly by customers.
- Steady demand – Furniture requires regular delivery.
- Earn assembly fees – Get paid extra to assemble items.
- Gain loyal clients – Local stores may offer ongoing work.
5. Animal Transportation
Safely transport pets, horses, and other animals for owners.
Market to local stables, breeders, shelters, and directly to pet owners. Your pickup truck provides the perfect enclosed space for animal transport.
- Flexible schedule – Choose your own hours.
- Rewarding work – Help owners and their beloved animals.
- Low operating costs – Just need a covered truck and some basic supplies.
6. Boat Transportation
If you have a pickup with towing capacity, start a boat transportation service.
Market to local marinas, dealerships, and directly to boat owners who need their vessels trailered.
- Seasonal business – Great summer income.
- Niche service – Less competition in this specialty.
- Flexible hours – Take jobs on your own schedule.
With the right truck, licenses, and marketing, delivery and transportation businesses provide excellent startup options for enterprising owners. Take advantage of your pickup’s capacity to haul goods and deliver services conveniently.
B. Mobile Services
In addition to delivery, pickup trucks enable a wide variety of mobile services right from your truck bed. Turn your truck into a full-fledged business on wheels with these creative ideas:
1. Mobile Locker Truck
Operate portable storage lockers from your pickup for convenient on-demand storage.
Rent lockers to customers in busy areas like apartment complexes, offices, and event venues. People can securely access their belongings without having to carry them around all day.
- Unique business model – Offers a useful, specialized service.
- Scalable – Start small with a few lockers and grow over time.
- Portable – Move your truck to high-traffic locations.
2. E-Commerce Order Fulfillment
Provide outsourced order fulfillment for online businesses from your truck.
Offer services like inventory storage, order processing, packaging, and shipping. List your mobile fulfillment services on sites like ShipBob to connect with e-commerce businesses.
- In-demand service – E-commerce is growing rapidly.
- Flexible scale – Accommodate small or large clients.
- Mobile convenience – Ship orders from anywhere.
3. Junk Pickup and Removal
Take advantage of your pickup’s hauling capacity by starting a junk removal service.
Market to homeowners, realtors, construction crews, and businesses that need debris, furniture, appliances, and waste removed.
- Steady demand – Home and business owners regularly need junk removed.
- Flexible schedule – Choose your daily jobs and routes.
- Environmentally friendly – Much of what you haul can be donated or recycled.
Transport your mowing equipment, tools, plants, and materials conveniently in your pickup to offer professional landscaping services.
Offer lawn mowing, landscape design, maintenance, planting, hardscaping, and more.
- Lower overhead – No need to pay for a separate work truck.
- Productive – Bring everything you need for efficient work.
- Professional image – Arrive for jobs in a branded, well-equipped truck.
Pickup trucks allow mobile entrepreneurs to bring their services directly to customers for added convenience and efficiency. Take your business on the road and stand out from less-mobile competitors.
C. Miscellaneous Pickup Truck Businesses
Beyond transportation and mobile services, pickup trucks can also enable a wide variety of miscellaneous business ventures. Here are some creative ways to start businesses with your truck:
1. Garage Sale Business
Become a professional garage sale organizer and operator.
Offer to host sales for clients – driving to pick up items, organizing and pricing everything, running the sale, and even donating/removing unsold items afterward.
You can store and transport all needed supplies in your pickup and tow a trailer for large hauls.
- Flexible schedule – Work weekends or whenever suits your schedule.
- Good earning potential – People will pay for your organizational skills.
- Opportunity to resell items – Resell any valuable unsold items yourself.
2. Mobile Advertising
Turn your pickup into a rolling billboard by selling advertising space on your truck.
Small businesses looking for unique promotional opportunities may pay for you to drive around with their branding. Park strategically near their location when not driving.
- Creative concept – An eye-catching marketing approach.
- Earn passive income – Get paid just to drive around as usual.
- Flexible terms – Sell daily, monthly, or long-term ad space.
3. Metal Scrap Collection
Use your truck to start picking up and hauling metal scrap for recycling.
Check for local scrap metal prices to determine what is worth collecting. Then start making the rounds to businesses and homes that may have metal waste.
- Untapped niche – The scrap industry is huge but fragmented.
- Eco-friendly – Your business keeps metal out of landfills.
- Decent payouts – Certain metals can pay very well per pound.
4. Thrifty Reseller
Source second-hand goods from yard sales, auctions, and thrift shops to resell for a profit.
Use your pickup to hunt for underpriced items, then relist them online or at your own pop-up shop.
- Low startup costs – Just need inventory and selling channels.
- Money saving skill – Learn to spot valuable hidden gems.
- Flexibility – Sell part-time or full-time from anywhere.
5. Firewood Sales
Deliver bundles of firewood right to customer’s doors using your pickup truck.
Source wood from local tree services or cut timber companies and split/bundle it yourself. Advertise your delivery services locally.
- Seasonal income – Demand peaks in cooler months.
- Renewable resource – Sustainable product that regenerates yearly.
- Lucrative – Firewood can sell for $200-500 per cord.
With a little creativity, a pickup truck can enable a wide range of miscellaneous side businesses. Turn your truck into a roving billboard, wood delivery service, thrift store on wheels, or more with these unique concepts.
D. Hauling and Cleaning Services
With their large cargo beds and towing capacities, pickup trucks are ideal for launching hauling and cleaning businesses. Consider these opportunities:
1. Junk Hauling and Removal
As mentioned earlier, offering junk removal is an excellent service business for pickup truck owners.
Market yourself to handle the removal of:
- Old furniture
- Yard waste
- Renovation debris
- Foreclosure trash-outs
- Eviction clean-outs
Create a website and list your services on directories like 1800GotJunk to gain customers. You may also partner with realtors, apartment complexes, and contractors.
- Constant demand – Junk accumulates constantly and needs removal
- Satisfying work – Help people reclaim space by removing messes
- Decent earnings – Hauling pays well and you can recycle/salvage items
2. Pickup and Delivery Service
Offer convenient pick-up and delivery of items for busy clients.
Market yourself for quick “fetch” tasks like:
- Picking up takeout orders
- Getting groceries or pharmacy items
- Retrieving items from the hardware store
- Returning packages and items
Advertise on errand service sites like TaskRabbit or directly to busy parents and professionals.
- Flexible schedule – Choose your own availability
- Good for part-timers – No need to commit to full-time
- Varied tasks – Enjoy the changing to-do lists
3. Towing Service
If you have a heavy-duty pickup, start hauling and towing vehicles, machinery, and equipment.
Market yourself to:
- Auto shops needing towing
- Construction companies moving equipment
- Farmers needing vehicles/machinery transported
- Boat owners needing vessels trailered
Make sure to get proper licensing, insurance, safety gear, and certifications.
- 24/7 service potential – Towing customers need help anytime
- Satisfying work – Provide roadside rescue
- Great full-time income – Busy towing businesses earn $50k+
4. Odd Jobs and Errands
Offer general labor services by marketing yourself as the “pickup truck helper.”
Assist clients with tasks like:
- Moving furniture/boxes
- Hauling lawn waste
- Picking up bulk items and supplies
- Cleaning out garages and properties
- Running errands
List on TaskRabbit or advertise locally as a handyman able to haul, lift, retrieve, clean, build, etc.
- Flexible – Choose your jobs and availability
- Gain experience – Exposure to various niches
- Meet local business owners – This could lead to regular work
5. Pressure Washing
Add a pressure washer attachment to your pickup and offer mobile wash services for:
- Commercial buildings
Tow a tank of water and you have an instant mobile cleaning business.
- Relatively low startup costs – Just need a pressure washer and supplies
- Recurring revenue – Many services needed monthly/yearly
- Easy add-on service – Bundle with other offerings like junk hauling
Take advantage of your truck’s ability to haul and tow by offering convenient removal, delivery, and cleaning services. Help improve people’s lives by hauling away clutter and messes.
Benefits and Considerations of Starting a Pickup Truck Business
Launching a business with your pickup truck provides some excellent advantages compared to other ventures:
- Low startup costs – Just need a reliable truck, basic gear/supplies, and insurance. Much more affordable than franchises or brick-and-mortar stores.
- Use what you already own – Make money with a truck you currently have rather than buying expensive equipment.
- Flexibility – Schedule work around other commitments, and choose your own hours.
- Mobility – Provide services conveniently on-site for customers.
- Scale easily – Start small part-time and grow your business over time.
- Visible marketing – A truck wrap or signage is a rolling advertisement.
- Tax write-offs – Expenses like gas, maintenance, and gear are deductible.
- No strict educational requirements – Skills often matter more than formal education.
- Variety – Change up your services to keep things interesting.
- Independence – Enjoy being your own boss as an entrepreneur.
While quite feasible and affordable, operating a pickup truck business has some important factors to consider:
- Insurance requirements – Make sure to get appropriate commercial auto and liability insurance.
- Licensing – Some businesses require special licenses, permits, or certifications.
- Self-motivation – You need drive and self-discipline when you are your own boss.
- Irregular income – Income fluctuates seasonally for many pickup businesses.
- Physical work – Hauling, moving, cleaning, and delivery jobs involve lifting, climbing, and hauling.
- Finding customers – You need marketing and sales strategies to gain clients.
- Scaling workforce – Harder to scale if jobs require you personally.
- Commute times – Potential for spending more time driving to job sites.
- Truck maintenance – Repair and maintenance costs come out of your profits.
- Accounting – Keeping records for tax reporting takes diligence.
Overall though, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for most pickup truck businesses. The low barrier to entry, flexibility, and mobility make pickup trucks the perfect vehicle for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Conclusion – Pickup Truck Businesses
- This article has highlighted the endless business opportunities available to enterprising pickup truck owners.
- With minimal startup costs, you can start a mobile service or delivery operation.
- Flexibility and low overhead make pickup truck businesses ideal.
- Options range from landscaping to hauling services to creative ventures like mobile advertising.
- Take advantage of your pickup’s hauling capacity and mobility to provide convenient services.
- With a hardworking truck and some hustle, you can turn your pickup into revenue and be your own boss.
Starting a business with your pickup opens up a world of money-making possibilities – turn your truck into a thriving venture today!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of pickup truck do I need?
The best pickup trucks for business use are reliable models like the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, Toyota Tacoma, or Dodge Ram 1500. Look for a truck with at least a 6000 lb towing capacity and a large cargo bed.
2. How much can I earn with a pickup truck business?
Earning potential varies widely by industry. Many pickup truck businesses generate over $50,000 per year in revenue with the right strategy. Lower overhead costs mean higher profit margins.
3. What are the most profitable pickup truck businesses?
Some of the most lucrative pickup truck businesses include:
- Towing companies – $70k average annual revenue
- Junk removal – $60k average revenue
- Food trucks – $50k to $100k+ potential
- Moving companies – $60k average
- Landscaping businesses – $50k average
4. What licenses and permits do I need?
Licensing varies, but may include:
- Commercial driver’s license (for towing, freight, large vehicles)
- Business license (required in most states and cities)
- Food handling permits (for food trucks/catering)
- Trade licenses (for contractors, electricians, plumbers)
Always check your state and city regulations. Operating without proper licensing can result in large fines.
5. How do I market my pickup truck business?
Great marketing strategies include:
- Branded truck wrap with your logo/information
- Website with portfolio, services, and contact info
- Social media business pages
- Online directories like Yelp and Angie’s List
- Print flyers and business cards to hand out locally
- Signage on your pickup
- Networking with local businesses and clients