Being a small business owner in the short haul trucking industry today means dealing with a lot of uncertainty. There are concerns about the impact of COVID-19, ever-changing rules about digital tickets, hygiene practices and staying safe on the job. For many haulers, dealing with these changes can be daunting. But this is also an ideal time to consider Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification as a way to set your business apart and take advantage of new opportunities on the horizon. The time is now to determine your eligibility and put yourself in the best possible position to obtain work and thrive in the years ahead.

Understanding DBE
The purpose of the DBE program is to create a level playing field for firms owned and operated by minority/women/disadvantaged/disabled and veteran-owned businesses wanting to participate in federally assisted highway, transit and aviation programs. To qualify as a DBE, a firm must be a for-profit business that is at least 51 percent owned by a qualifying individual. Put simply, this certification will help your business gain access to certain government contracts. It can also result in higher hauling rates, as DBE certified haulers are often hired at a premium.

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Many small business owners who might qualify often put DBE certification off due to a lack of time and resources. But with massive projects across the country outlining specific requirements and dictating minimum percentages of DBE participation, the effort can be worth your investment of time. Leadership of this $3.86 billion bridge-tunnel expansion in Hampton Roads, Virginia, has indicated the desire to award 12 percent of contracts to DBE certified businesses. This Chicago transit overhaul worth $1.2 billion is seeking 20 percent DBE participation in both the design and construction contracts. The Milwaukee Bucks recently announced they had exceeded their 25 percent DBE construction goals on the construction of its arena, paying over $100 million to DBE businesses.

In addition to access to contracts, participation in DBE programs provide small businesses networking opportunities, added exposure, education and training opportunities, and mentorship from more seasoned certified minority business owners.


Don’t know where to start? Iron Sheepdog can help qualifying haulers in pursuit of DBE certification.


Through our technology platform, we are able to identify haulers that are DBE certified when the job requires it. We can also create reports that help construction businesses track DBE hours and businesses on a project.


Iron Sheepdog provides haulers with access to jobs and pay via its app. Accepting jobs, checking in and out of jobs, collecting digital tickets and signatures means that dump truck operators can focus on working safely. Communicating with the fleet is made easier and timely and your dollars earned are available electronically as early as next day. No more chasing paper checks. Find out more about how Iron Sheepdog can be your trusted companion in finding and performing dump truck hauling.