How to Start a Non CDL Box Truck Business [Checklist for 2023]

The advance of digital marketing through websites, social media platforms, and other related mediums makes it easier for customers to make a purchase. As a result, demand for products and goods are on the rise. 

However, the trucking industry finds it hard to meet this sometimes. Only a few drivers have a commercial driving license. In connection, non-CDL box truck businesses are ready to extend their hands to those who need help. 

Are you wondering how to start a non CDL box truck business? Here’s a guide that will answer all questions. 

What is a Non CDL Box Truck  Business?

Before we go into the specifics of your starting a non CDL box truck business checklist, allow us to give you an idea of what this venture is. A non-CDL box truck business is similar to a CDL box truck business. The only difference is that they’re prohibited to operate if the box truck and its cargo weigh more than 26,000 GVWR. In other words, this is a type of box truck shipping company that specializes in lighter loads. Here are the advantages of running this business:

  • Income is as decent as CDL box truck business
  • Easier to find talents
  • Shipping of lighter loads means lesser chance of accidents, which helps reduce business insurance costs, particularly commercial auto insurance

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How to Start a Box Truck Business Step by Step?

It’s bad to start a business without having a sense of direction. These are the considerations when wondering how to start a box truck business step by step. 


Look for a Location 

Looking for a location is the first step in how to start your own box truck business. Your non CDL box truck business needs a headquarters where employees will be managed and equipment maintained. You don’t need to be in a location where there are a lot of people. 

In fact, what we suggest you look for is a large open area somewhere on the outskirts of the city or town with a cheap monthly lease. It’s ideal that this location already has a warehouse or any other structure that can be renovated to house your box truck units. 


Create Your Business Model and Plan 

Think of a business model and be clear on how things will work. You do this through a business plan. A solid business plan must have the following:

  • Definition of your non CDL box truck business’s operations (will it be shipping hazardous goods, consumer goods, construction supplies, etc.)
  • Definition of business structure
  • Mission and vision statement
  • Address and other information important for a business profile

A business plan can help guide you through the early days of your business and make it easier for you to accomplish your goals. As you determine how to start a box truck delivery business, make sure you consider long-term income generation. 


Secure Business Permits and Licenses

Your non CDL box truck business is a part of the transportation industry, which is one of the most heavily regulated ventures in the United States. Therefore, don’t forget permits and licenses when thinking about how to start a business with a box truck. You can never start without the requirements. Your non CDL box truck business must have the following:

  • USDOT number
  • Operating authority
  • International Registration Plan Tag
  • BOC-3 filing
  • Standard Carrier Alpha Code (optional)
  • Business bank account
  • Business license

Familiarize the Requirements Of  Hiring a Non CDL Box Truck Driver

The FMCSA requires you to submit a driver’s qualification file (DQF) when working with a non CDL driver to operate one of your box truck units. The following must be contained in the DQF. 

  • Driver’s application paper
  • Driver’s motor vehicle records
  • Verification of past employment (if applicable)
  • Medical exam
  • Road test certification
  • Annual list of violations (if applicable)

Decide on Which Box Truck Unit to Buy

It’s important to stress about the make of the box trucks that you’re going to buy. There are brands known for the fuel efficiency of their box trucks, the resilience of the chassis against normal wear and tear, or engine power and durability. Brands that must cross your mind are:

  • Isuzu
  • Ford
  • Ram
  • Freightliner
  • GMC
  • Chevrolet
  • Hino
  • Mitsubishi

Brand New or Secondhand?

You must have a very good answer to this question on how to start up a box truck business.  Brand-new box truck units will do the job. Second-hand units are less trusty but can similarly accomplish the tasks if you land on the right machines. 


Register the Box Trucks 

Vehicle registration is another important step in how to start a box trucking business with one truck or more. To register a box truck, you need a USDOT number, fill up and submit a registration form to the transportation authority of the state where your business is located, and pay fees. By the way, safety inspections might be conducted as part of the registration process. 


Secure Box Truck Insurance

Securing box truck insurance is an integral step in how to start up a box truck business. Below are the very basic policies you’ll need. However, we always recommend getting more coverage so your business don’t risk huge unexpected financial loss:

  • Commercial auto insurance attached with MCS 90 endorsement-A commercial auto policy with MCS 90 endorsement is required by the FMCSA. This guarantees that you can fully cover costs if a box truck of your business causes an accident while running
  • General liability insurance-General liability insurance covers the resulting costs of accidents involving third parties that happen within the premises of your box truck business’s terminal or warehouse
  • Professional liability insurance-This grants protection against claims for negligence, breach of contract, misrepresentation, and missed deadlines
  • Cargo insurance-Cargo insurance allows you to recover the value of the clients’ goods in case these got damaged or lost during the trip because of a vehicular accident, fire, theft, negligence, vandalism, and other covered perils

How to Start a Box Truck Business With Amazon?

Consider working with Amazon to start a box truck business. Box truck businesses working with Amazon earn a decent pay. Moreover, they get a steady stream of shipping requests. Let’s discuss how to start a box truck business with Amazon. 


Satisfy the Requirements and Apply 

The Amazon Relay will help get you started. You need to apply and this will be approved within 2-4 business days. Success if guaranteed if you need the following requirements:

  • Active DOT number with interstate trucking authority and valid motor carrier number
  • Must be a property and for-hire carrier
  • Excellent FMCSA safety rating
  • Must have the following scores: below 60% for unsafe driving, HOS compliance below 60%, vehicle maintenance below 75%
  • Must have a $1 million general liability insurance, $100,000 cargo insurance, $1 million auto liability insurance with $50,000 trailer replacement coverage, workers compensation insurance, and $100,000 employer’s liability insurance

Bid for Contracts Once Approved

Your box truck business can bid for Amazon relay contracts once it’s approved. By getting a contract, you can secure jobs that last for a week or maybe even longer for drivers. 

Amazon will give you access to its load board. This is what you’ll use to bid for contracts. The following information will be provided:

  • Origin and destination of the cargo to be moved
  • Type of vehicle that the contract owner wants to use
  • Weekly load
  • Status
  • Special notes
  • Rates

Rinse and Repeat

Once a delivery is completed, the invoice will be automatically sent to the company or individual who filed the request. You can bid for contracts again and again as Amazon Relay doesn’t run out of requests. 

The loadboard of Amazon Relay also allows you to view invoice history. And if you spot an anomaly, you can file a dispute directly. But note that customer service can’t help if the transaction has lapsed for more than 30 days. 


How to Start a Box Truck Business in Texas?

Texas is a good state for a trucking business. And if you’re wondering how to start a box truck business in Texas, here are the steps:

  • Furnish a certificate of formation from Texas Secretary of State
  • Get an EIN
  • Get a USDOT number
  • File a BOC-3
  • Do the Apportioned Registration application

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How to Start Box Truck Business With No Money?

If you do not have the funds necessary to launch your box truck business successfully, you may still have some options. Try some of these tricks to figure out how to start box truck business with no money. 



If you ask yourself how to run a box truck business with no money a good answer to that question is crowdfunding. In Crowdfunding, several individuals contribute funds until you have reached the funding amount you aimed for. This is a non risky way of starting a box truck business with no adequate capital, because you don’t need to pay back money or shoulder interest and keep the funding amount to yourself. 

Get capital for your new non-cdl box trucking business using an excellent crowdfunding platform like EquityNet, which helps entrepreneurs raise anywhere from $10,000 to $10,000,000 to start their new businesses! 



Get a Business Loan

  • Uplyft can help you get up to $5 million dollars of funding extremely fast (as little as 4 hours!!!): Apply for loan now.

Get an SBA Loan

Another method worth trying which answers the question of how to start a box truck company with no money is approaching the SBA to get a loan. Loans you can avail are:

  • Standard SBA 7(a) loan-Upon approval you’ll receive a $5 million maximum loan that can be used to buy the box trucks, secure a physical location, pay maintenance expenses, building construction, etc.
  • Small SBA 7(a) loan-This grants a $350,000 maximum loan you can use to cover equipment, renovation, vacant land, maintenance expenses, building construction, etc.
  • SBA express-This is a good option if you need money right off the bat. Within 36 hours after application, if approved, you will receive a $500,000 maximum loan
  • International trade-This is ideal if your box truck business has picked up its pace and is planning to expand overseas. This grants a $5 million maximum loan


Get Money From Friends and Other Individuals in Your Network

Someone you know might have extra money to spare. So why not try your luck? Borrowing money from people we know is less risky than borrowing from the SBA or private institutions. Interest might not be imposed. Moreover, you might be allowed to delay payments if things don’t go too well. 


How to Run a Box Truck Business?

Before ending things, we figured that it’s best if we give you an idea on how to run a box truck business. 

Keep drivers trained and disciplined. Be strict about rest, especially when transporting cargo in expensive distances. Avoid keeping talent with reckless driving behavior or are found to engage in substance abuse.

Don’t forget to observe periodic checks and maintenance on the box trucks. All units must be checked before and after they’re driven. 

Keep tabs on contracts. And to do this, you need to build a connection with freight brokers and other businesses that might need your help in the future. Ask for phone numbers, emails, or employ someone to reach out to customers on your behalf.

Last but not least, leverage software and technology. There are excellent solutions that can make your life easier as a business owner and save you great money. Here is only a partial list:



How Much to Start a Box Truck Business: Cost 

Aside from asking how do I start a box truck business, you must also ask how much do I need to spend. While there are many factors that determine the overall cost, the easiest way to get an estimate is to only think of the investment you need for the box trucks, their maintenance, and the cost for acquiring a physical location. 

In non-CDL trucking, you’ll need light-duty class 2 and 3 box trucks. A single unit costs $35,000 on average. 10-15 trucks are required to start strong. That said, the investment needed for acquiring the needed units for your box truck business is $350,000-$525,000. 

Now let’s talk about your physical location. You’ll need at least 10,000 square feet or 15,000 square feet of space. The average cost of a commercial lease in the USA is $1.87. That said, you’ll spend $18,700-$28,050. 

Your box trucks will suffer defects. And so it’s important to consider vehicle maintenance costs. On average, you’ll spend $1,250 for maintaining one unit. Considering that you own 10-15, then the needed capital for maintenance will be $12,500-$18,750. 

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