When is the right time to add another truck?

rob allen

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Recently I have been asked by a couple cleaners "what is your formula for adding another truck, when is it the right time and how do you add another truck"? I have built to 5 trucks twice. The 1st time I built it to 5 trucks and sold it in the '90's. Then I built it again to 5 trucks after selling my business. I currently am at the same spot, the sweet spot. At least for me. Also TMF happened, maybe why its the sweet spot for me. And just for the record, if someone wants to stay one truck O/O there is no shame in that game. So back to the question, what is the formula and when is it the right time to add another truck?
 

Dream Clean

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Emerson Campbell
When you're booked solid consistently 2+ weeks out for the 9 main operating months, not just the 3 peak ones. Combine that with a trusted helper you know is trained and capable to run that second truck without any real issues. (It may be different in other areas but in MA here the work is usually dead between January and March)
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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My old boss always had one more truck than what he needed. I think this was smart as it gave us a backup truck as well as another truck to grow in to.

Get truck #2 as soon as you can financially support it even if you are not 100% booked with truck #1. If you are running a solid one truck business what would you do if your truck had to go to the mechanic for a week?

I have 2 trucks right now. I have one booked solid year round and then I have a part time employee that works the second truck a couple days a week. Once the second truck is working 3-4 days a week I’ll be buying truck 3. I expect that will happen within the next year.
 

MikeGaure

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My old boss always had one more truck than what he needed. I think this was smart as it gave us a backup truck as well as another truck to grow in to.

Get truck #2 as soon as you can financially support it even if you are not 100% booked with truck #1. If you are running a solid one truck business what would you do if your truck had to go to the mechanic for a week?

I have 2 trucks right now. I have one booked solid year round and then I have a part time employee that works the second truck a couple days a week. Once the second truck is working 3-4 days a week I’ll be buying truck 3. I expect that will happen within the next year.
Great Todd

did you end up getting that other business?
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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The Cleaning Artist

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Looking back, the time is when the truck you use everyday becomes paid for or the truck that you are buying can be bought with your own money. Slow times can hurt.
 
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OxiFreshGuy

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I think you should add a truck once a year the first 3 years. If you're not getting enough business by end of year 1 where you're bleeding jobs, something is wrong in peoples perceptions of you and your marketing strategies. This is all assuming you WANT a multi truck operation.

By end of year 1 you should've had an apprentice who was willing to get paid less money to learn the trade, and then he graduates into his own truck and he is a spitting image of you and starts making them dolla dolla bills y'all.

In my market these companies have done the following for 2018:

ZeroRez: $1.5 million
OxiFresh: $1.14 million
Stanley Steembullshit: $3 million
ChemDry: Unknown
Woodards: $15 million (big restoration company)
ServPro: $10 million (restoration company)

A lot of the owner operators I talk to seem to run 1-2 trucks, which at max would only allow for $200-$300,000 depending

Since I used to be part of a franchise, I can confidently say most customers would rather work with a quality professional who is NOT franchise based. I've even started making this a point in my marketing and for my market it is proving a successful strategy.
 
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Lars

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My old boss always had one more truck than what he needed. I think this was smart as it gave us a backup truck as well as another truck to grow in to.

Get truck #2 as soon as you can financially support it even if you are not 100% booked with truck #1. If you are running a solid one truck business what would you do if your truck had to go to the mechanic for a week?

I have 2 trucks right now. I have one booked solid year round and then I have a part time employee that works the second truck a couple days a week. Once the second truck is working 3-4 days a week I’ll be buying truck 3. I expect that will happen within the next year.
I agree Todd! That’s how we are doing it also. Congrats on your 2nd truck
 
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