Even when COVID-19 was slowing the economy down, the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) reports that 2020 was a historic year for retail boat sales. In a vivid and rising boat industry, boat hauling has the potential for a proficient and excellent business for those considering stepping into the business. If you want to become a boat hauler, these are the steps you need to take.
Learn, learn, learn
It might be obvious, but the first step in becoming a boat hauler is learning the basics and gaining knowledge about boat hauling and all the processes attached to it. You need to learn common boat models and types and categories, which equipment you need, which travel routes are available when and for which transports, and last but not least – how to drive with a boat trailer.
It would improve your chances of success if you completed some form of professional training on how to load and drive with a boat. Best to ask at your local yacht or boat club about who performs this training in your local area. There are a huge variety of boats that require vastly different hauling requirements. For this reason, the job is highly complex, and there is a huge amount of knowledge to gain relating to the different mechanisms for different types of boats.
Learning from experienced boat haulers early in your career will set you up with the confidence and certification you require to make boat hauling a solid job opportunity.
Organize your vehicle and your trailer
If you want to haul boats, you need the right vehicle and the right trailer. An average 21-foot boat trailer weighs 500 and 1.000 lbs. Most boats of this length weigh around 5.000 lbs. If you want to tow a trailer and a boat up to this weight, you need a car from 6.000 lbs or more in total. And the other way around. This is a quick rule to give you an overview, but you should always keep an eye on how your vehicle and your trailer react to each boats’ size and weight. It’s critical that your car and trailer are kept in top condition. Things to always keep an eye on are the couplings and tire pressure. These are the two factors that will make or break a boat-toeing experience. Never agree to haul a boat that is even slightly over your capacity. While tempting, it’s not worth the loss in reputation not to mention money.
Find boat hauling jobs
The next step is to gain more experience and find jobs! The fastest and easiest way is to sign up for an online shipping marketplace like CitizenShipper. These kinds of platforms put you in touch with customers, which need to ship a boat. With is very easy and intuitive. You just need a bit of time to get your profile ready. But the CitizenShipper support team provides training and support throughout the whole process.
Set up your profile
Sign up as a driver and tick the box for boat transport. You should also include how many years of boat hauling experience you have, who you previously worked for, and which kinds of boats you already shipped. Enlist all the skills you have as well as your available equipment and contacts. An incomplete profile is discouraging for customers – add pictures of your equipment or previous jobs to your profile to fully illustrate what you offer.
Customer reviews are the key
After you finished your profile, you will get connected to a network of potential customers. In the marketplace structure, you can apply for the job postings that suit you the best. If you provide high-quality services, you will get great reviews from your past clients, making your profile attractive to potential future customers. The reviews will help you gain credibility and, therefore, trust. In the beginning, it can make sense to take smaller jobs to make a good start in the platforms’ review system. When you still lack reviews, you should take extra care in giving a good customer experience and answering fast and patiently to all questions that come up.
Set a fair price
You can manage your business directly through the platform, choose the jobs that suit you, and therefore, you can work as flexibly as you want. You can set your schedule and set your own price. The more you haul and the more experience and good reviews you have, the higher your quotes can be. You should set fair prices in relation to your experience, especially when you’re a beginner. Take care in making the reasons for the cost of your services transparent to the customers. Show them how the distance, the boats’ specifics, and the customers’ individual needs add to the quote you offer. Show them why it’s worth it for them to pay the price of your quote!
Boat hauling can be a great job to make good money as the demand is increasing in the U.S. You should be open to learning new skills, and use every opportunity to have new experiences. The more qualified you are and the more challenging jobs you can take, the more you can ask for!
We wish you good luck with starting your career!
Updated September 17, 2021
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