Uber-like truck business underway in New York

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Updated Jan 21, 2016
Carlos Suarez is working hard to establish his pickup and van service in New York.Carlos Suarez is working hard to establish his pickup and van service in New York.

Not long after moving to New York, Carlos Suarez bought a TV that he thought would fit into his car.

He was wrong, and being new to the area, he didn’t know anyone with a truck.

“So, I’m trying to stuff this in the back of my trunk and as I’m looking around I see all these pickup trucks and vans parked in the lot and I’m like, ‘If I could just pay one of these guys to take it home for me that would be great.’ And that idea kind of sat with me for a while,” Suarez explained.

During his travels as a product designer for Reebok, Bose and Starbucks, Suarez became a big fan of Uber, but he noticed that the company did not provide pickups or vans to help move small loads.

It wasn’t long before Suarez, the son of a Florida truck driver, started Truxx, an Uber-like company that provides a driver with a pickup or van to move stuff, like that 42-inch TV that Suarez bought.

Truxx, which is available as an app through IOS, has drivers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Florida. Suarez did not advertise for drivers. They found his business online through truxxit.com or through the Truxx app and applied.

Drivers undergo a background check before being hired. They’re encouraged to help move loads and, like Uber, they get 75 percent of the fee.

However, unlike Uber, only Truxx users currently have access to the rating system to score driver performance and leave a comment.

For now, Suarez would like to concentrate more on the market where he lives so he can get a better idea of how to improve his six-month-old start-up.

“Most of our drivers are in the Long Island area and New Jersey, but we do have a considerable number up in central New York,” he said.

To help get the business going, Suarez got rid of his Ford Focus and bought a 2008 GMC Canyon. By using it personally in the business, he says he’s gaining more insight into driver and customer experiences which he can apply to the business.

“There are issues you wouldn’t think of, such as tolls,” he said. “And sometimes I use the service myself to see how things are going. I think it’s important that when you make something you should become an ultra fan of it and use it in both aspects.”

Suarez says he’s endured critics who say truck rental companies already command his market niche.

However, Suarez has studied truck rental companies and says while he thinks they offer great options, there are customers who need a truck or van fast and do not want to deal with rental paperwork, picking up and dropping off a truck, filling it up with the gas and paying for mileage. For those customers, Suarez says there’s Truxx.

Customers pay $20 per half-hour for no assistance with a load, and $30 per half hour to have the driver help move their stuff.

Suarez says Truxx will be available on Android soon. He also plans to add more to his truck line-up, such as box trucks and flat-bed haulers.

“We’re always trying to improve,” he said.