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Driving Self-Storage Revenue With Truck Rental

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By CJ Steen

The truck-rental concept has been around for more than 70 years. It’s an attractive business because it’s fairly simple to implement and manage. To start, you just need a truck, rental insurance and attractive vehicle graphics. There are several companies that make the whole process simple for a self-storage operation of any size, and the start-up costs are very affordable.

Here’s are some simple and unique ways to add or expand a truck-rental program to create a superior profit center.

Truck Money

Truck rentals are an excellent service to offer to your self-storage tenants and a great way to turn extra profit. Renters generally need a truck to move their stuff into their unit. Why not be the one to provide it? It not only benefits your customers, it increases your visibility, occupancy, revenue and competitive edge.

While most operators offer free use of the facility truck to new customers, there are other ways to profit from your program. First and foremost, you can rent the truck to non-tenants for a fee. For both storage and truck-only customers, here are some other income generators:

  • Charge for mileage. Many operators offer a set number of miles for free, and then charge 99 cents for each additional.
  • Charge an hourly rate beyond an allotted time.
  • Apply refueling charges if a tenant fails to gas up.
  • Add a cleaning fee if the truck is returned dirty or full of trash.
  • Rent out hand trucks and furniture blankets.

While all of these fees are nominal, they can add substantial revenue over time.

Another way to make money with your truck is to rent advertising space on the back door. Divide the door into six to eight spaces and charge $150 to $200 for each. This can offset the cost of your truck if you’re leasing it, cover some of the insurance costs, or just be pure profit.

Mini-Move Money

While the suggestions above are some of the more common ways to profit from a truck-rental program, there’s another opportunity that may be a perfect fit for your facility. Here’s a great example from my own life:

My family recently moved my 98-year-old great-grandmother, Nanny, to an assisted-living facility. Nanny is an amazing woman who lived in the same home her husband built more than 70 years ago. She collected dolls, and her basement contained hundreds of them. We had to rent a truck to donate some of the dolls, store some of the sentimental ones, and even take some to auction. We also hired movers to relocate Nanny’s furniture to her new home. This cost around $300.

After a few months, Nanny had to move to a new room within the assisted-living center. One company had an alliance with the facility to assist in moving residents’ belongings from room to room. This time, it cost $350 to move her things. The movers also have a store where they sell furniture on consignment.

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