a van doing transport pickup business

One van transportation business is also know as a man with a van business. I used to see these adverts all over the local papers and Gumtree as well in the USA and the UK too.

What can a man with a van do? You will be surprised what this one man business can do with no other investments other than his van and two hands.

We already know about a food truck can be just a van altered to serve food along with a man who can cook ready hamburgers or burritos and hotdogs etc.

There are plenty of ideas for transportation business with just one van and here in this article we will discuss about few ideas in detail.

Below are Some One Van Transportation Businesses that you Could Start:-

1. Packers & Movers

A man with a van could advertise to help moving.

Any family wants to move can get help with a man with a van if they don’t have their own van or car.

Rates would be according to hours or distance covered. You should have all the insurance papers required and with permits and insurance to cover the hazards of moving. Any suitable insurance would cover the goods in case of an accident.

The family could load or unload if they can. Or you could load and unload according to the payment discussed.

A single woman with young kids cannot load and unload her stuff. So someone like her or an old person etc can get help to load and unload too.

But a family with grown up kids could do their own loading and unloading their own stuff and get a discount.

If you are unable to load and unload, then you should look for such people only who would do it on their own. Sometimes you could use tools to load and unload heavy things like a fridge or a washing machine keeping it upright.

They are like a wooden lift you could lever up manually like a car jack.

2. Ice Cream Van

A man with a van could be an ice cream van with just one sales person who could be driving it too.

What a welcome sound when the ice cream comes making noises of bells ringing or playing music!!

I wish I was a child running behind the van. When my mother calls out,”come back” or she runs out to buy for me or to catch up with me and take me back while I would be crying.

Money is not of high importance to an ice cream van. He would rather see the children smiling while he makes good money too.

Van with freezers and a window to sell would be needed. Investment would be less than a 1000/2000 dollars if you are not buying a new van.

Permits would be needed from the health dept along with liability insurance. If a child is sick with your ice cream and a doctor says your ice cream did it, you could be in trouble.

Better to protect against accidents. Register the business to pay taxes. No business is exempt from taxes.

3. Delivery Van

A friend in Italy bought a Ducat just to deliver agricultural products to shops and markets from farmers.

He could be sure of regular business once orders were procured from shops and farmer’s Markets. After a delivery he could go to rest in the afternoons.

But the pick up is usually early in the mornings before shops open to cover the distance between the shops and the farms.

You can also start this delivery business with just one van. An accident cover insurance is a must and a business registration is required. The van cost around $28000.

4. Flexible van

Could you carry anything? Meals to old people or water melons including live chicken or birds?

Then, mention it in your ads. You could earn more by being flexible.

Will you carry hazardous asbestos and deliver it to the city for disposal? You could earn a lot more than usual by carrying high risk substances with special permits.

Your insurance cost would be higher than normal for carrying alcohol or hazardous substances.

Register the business name with your vehicle number and other documents like RC book or a title paper to pay service tax.

5. School van

You could be taking children home from school and vice versa although school buses would take care of that normally.

Perhaps a private school or a Sunday school teaching music or dance and for ethnic language learning could require a van.

Perhaps monthly rates or weekly rates might apply. Daily payment is not ruled out.

Be assured you will need strict permits if you are carrying children. Insurance must cover all risks. Also, van seats should comply with safety rules for carrying children.

6. Tourist Van

This is very profitable business you can start with just one van. You could take passengers out for a group tour organised by a travel agent or an individual acting as one.

You could earn fair amounts of profit by charging thousands of dollars for such a tour going for sightseeing.

You will have to have seats installed. Think of air-conditioned vans if you are taking them through Death Valley or any such high temperature deserts.

Insurance is required to cover the passengers at risk to save your neck along with permits for carrying them.

I remember passing through Death Valley near Las Vegas in the temple van of Iskcon. 

We were literally fried up like pakoras and someone could have become sick and died of dehydration.

Register your business name to pay taxes.

7. Tree Removal Service

Some people may call you up for a tree removal. If you have an electric saw and the ability to climb a tree, you could try it. Make sure they have the permits.

Otherwise you could tell them to cut up the tree into pieces, and then go to pick up the same only if you know where to dump it.

Better talk to the city and ask the general reception if you don’t know whom to speak to, and they will tell you who are the concerned persons.

Even if you get through the city permits, be prepared to face any activists who would oppose cutting a tree. 

But perhaps there is nothing anyone can do after the tree is cut.

Be very careful to be involved in a tree removal unless you are very sure of what you are doing.

Capital Required in One Van Transportation Business

A used van or a brand new one? It would really depend upon you, what you can afford. 

Better to buy a new van if you want your van to run without troubles.

But if you can’t afford it, go for a used one but check it with a trusted mechanic who should go with you on a test ride.

He could listen to the engine and tell you if the van is old enough to retire or could still go on for years.

Market Your One Van Business

Once you buy it paying cash or instalments, you must get proper insurance while you place an ad in the local newspapers and/or Gumtree which is free and wait for your calls.

Be sure your phone will start ringing soon and you are off to work and make some good bucks.

Be your own boss and enjoy free time when you want.

Advertise online and also in the corner shop window. Local newspapers are sure to get you response. Brochures could help.

24/7 Business Opportunity

If you don’t feel like working on Sundays, you could stay at home and rest but that will be the day many people want to move.

So take rest on other days and be sure to work on Sundays. Be ready to even burn the midnight oil as you might have to make several trips. But one thing you can be sure of is work.

What Could be the Downsides of One Van Transportation Business?

You could be called up by a serial killer who would kill you after using you to dump the dead bodies.

I was just joking but there is a risk involved in being alone and working with unknown persons who call you up in the middle of the night, for example.

You could refuse such calls unless you are a daredevil who can take care of yourself with a gun for self protection you carry etc.

Gun laws are easy in the US whereas in the UK, you will be held up even for carrying a kitchen knife as the streets have become unsafe with stabbing attacks.

It’s always safe to let someone know where you’re going. A family member or friend should be talking to you when you go to such suspicious places except when you feel safe with families.

No speeding up to make sure the things you carry are safe.

Make sure you are not carrying stolen stuff or illegal drugs or you could get into trouble.

How to Know you are Not Carrying Some Wrong Stuff?

Make sure a person is with you who is responsible for the stuff and you have it on record that it’s not your stuff.

There will be CCTV where you load and unload stuff and the phone calls you receive from people calling you for moving services could be recorded.

Hope there is no law against it if you tell them you are recording it for future references until they have paid you accordingly. 

Most of the time, you could have only oral requests unless an office requires you for regular help in removal or transport of something.

They could give you written orders and invoices and receipts for payments which could help you build up a good credit to get financed if you need to buy a brand new van to be paid in instalments.

Always get an insurance company to cover all such possible risks.

Business Registration & Taxes

Better to register your business and get a tax identification number. Pay your taxes as an individual unless you have a partnership with your wife or some third person.

A company will be required only if you have many vans and a driver hired for each van who is strong enough to handle moving if it requires loading and unloading.

But we never heard of such fleets. It’s always, “A man with a van.”

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