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How to Be an Ice Cream Truck Driver

If the idea of rolling around in the sunshine selling ice cream sounds good to you, here's what you need to do.


  • Step 1: Have a driver's license Have a driver's license issued by the state you'll be working in, with no DWIs or reckless driving convictions. Some companies require applicants to be 18. Be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • Step 2: Get other permits Check with the city, county, and state department of health offices to see whether you need a food vendor's permit or any other special permits or licenses.
  • Step 3: Find a job Find a job by checking internet job listings and calling ice cream vendors in your area and asking if they know any truck owners who are looking for drivers. Or, you could buy your own franchise from a vendor.
  • Step 4: Learn the ropes Learn the ropes. Generally, drivers load up their trucks themselves in the morning at the vendor's garage and turn in their receipts and cash when they return the truck at night. They keep anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of the profits.
  • TIP: Be unfailingly polite to parents – they're the ones who are supplying money to your best customers, their children.
  • Step 5: Work your route Learn to work your route. You might be limited to a certain area, but you can maximize profits by keeping track of where and when you make most sales, and adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • TIP: Unless you're looking for a fight, stick to your area. Ice cream vendors are territorial creatures – and they won't like you poaching their customers.
  • Step 6: Try to make early sales Make as many sales as you can early enough in the day that customers might splurge on a second treat later in the evening.
  • TIP: Depending on how spread out your route is, sometimes it pays to drop the slow areas altogether and focus on the busy sections. You'll save gas that way, too.
  • Step 7: Don't give out freebies Resist the urge to give out a free ice cream to every cute kid you see, or soon their 24 closest friends will be hitting you up for a freebie.
  • FACT: When he died, the family of a Massachusetts ice cream vendor arranged to have his truck lead his funeral procession, and then dispense Popsicles after the burial.

You Will Need

  • A driver's license
  • A clean criminal record
  • Basic math skills
  • A high tolerance for squealing children and a cloying jingle
  • Other required permits (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • Charm (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • Business savvy (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)

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