Sibling-owned dump truck businesses thrive in North Idaho
Young companies see strong growth thanks to construction demandJune 8th, 2023
With sustained construction demand in Kootenai County, two family-owned, North Idaho dump truck businesses are picking up steam.
Separately owned but family-connected Hidden Ridge Trucking LLC and Collins Trucking LLC have a combined 35 years’ experience in the hauling industry. Both are located at 13463 N. Wesley Court, just west of Rathdrum, and the businesses’ combined six-truck fleet is housed off state Route 53 and Beck Road, near Hauser.
The dump truck businesses serve commercial and residential customers in the Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Rathdrum, Athol, and Spirit Lake communities and other areas in Kootenai and Spokane counties, says Jessica Harsch, who owns Hidden Ridge with her husband, Jason.
The couple got into the business about a year ago, aligning with husband-and-wife team Frankie and Kaylee Collins, who started Collins Trucking four years ago. Kaylee Collins and Jessica Harsch are sisters, making Frankie Collins and Jason Harsch brothers-in-law.
“We are two locally-owned, veteran-operated companies,” Jessica Harsch says.
Frankie Collins says he was sitting in his Rathdrum living room back in 2018 and suggested to Kaylee that he wanted to buy a dump truck.
“I saw the trend with construction activity just blowing up and figured it was a very safe business venture,” he says. “I had no idea how it was going to do, but we’ve been steadily building ever since.”
Collins, a retired U.S. Marine veteran, now admits it was a gamble.
“But you miss 100% of the shots you never shoot,” he says.
In the beginning, he invested $30,000 in his first dump truck, recognizing the need for local contractors to haul aggregate materials such as rock, sand, gravel, and soil for residential and commercial endeavors.
“Our first year in the business, we had zero contacts,” he says. “But we made up a bunch of business cards and drove around to gravel pits, excavation sites, nurseries, and other trucking companies to see if they needed any help, and the phones started to ring.”
The company has grown quickly, thanks in large part to a prospering regional construction market. Collins estimates their workload is about 80% commercial and 20% residential.
“We continue to grow year after year,” Collins says. “There are more houses. More growth will continue. That’s definitely good for our business. And commercial activity is definitely up.”
Some of the larger jobs for the businesses include hauling fill for an Amazon facility in Airway Heights, the 32-acre Millworx apartment development at the former Idaho Veneer mill site in Post Falls, and a large storage facility near the Coeur d’Alene Airport, in Hayden.
“No job is too big or too small,” Collins says.
Today, the businesses have eight employees total, and the combined fleet has an estimated value of $800,000.
Although Collins declines to disclose annual revenue, he expects growth will continue.
“Our dump trucks haul material that is in demand—whether we’re taking it offsite (excavation), or moving it for fill purposes,” he says. “Most of our work consists of new construction for commercial developments for contractors, landscaping, and dirt removal.”
Collins says he and Jason Harsch share a never-give-up attitude that keeps their businesses growing.
“We’re both very self-driven and motivated and have a mentality that you can only fail if you don’t try,” Collins says.
Hidden Ridge Trucking and Collins Trucking work primarily through the Coeur d’Alene operations of Interstate Concrete & Asphalt and Coeur d’Alene Paving Inc.