Run a Rural Ice Delivery Service

Make money with this home business by learning how to run a rural ice delivery service, including building a backyard icehouse, business advice and construction features.

| July/August 1982

  • Rural ice delivery service
    Surprisingly enough, the process of setting a 300-pound, four-foot-high "ice cube" up on end or down on its side is relatively easy once you learn how . . . there's more skill involved than strength.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • Rural ice delivery service

You can keep your cool and turn it into green in the heat of summer with a refreshingly profitable home business by running a rural ice delivery service. 

In 1964, after many years of factory work, my 62-year-old father retired . . . and immediately began to look for a way to make some extra money. And, since Dad had once been a commercial fisherman and crabber, we decided to break out his long unused nets and try fishing for our fortunes. However, when we brought our first day's catch home and set about getting it ready for sale, we suddenly realized that—because the town's icehouse had closed some years before—there was no block ice available within a 20-mile radius!

Well, we quickly reasoned that if we couldn't get ice easily, then neither could anyone else in our community. Fortunately, Dad and I already had a tiny cement building that we knew stayed pretty cool—in fact, we'd used it for cold-storing seafood—so we drove to the nearest operating icehouse, bought our first pickup load of frozen blocks, and trucked it back home. Voila! We were icemen running a rural ice delivery service . . . and although our original plan was to concentrate our efforts on supplying the area's sport and commercial anglers, we soon learned that our small operation could also do a brisk business servicing restaurants, construction projects, factories, and dozens of other customers that the nearest big-city companies didn't consider worthwhile to handle.

In other words, you're likely to find plenty of demand for ice, too, no matter where you live in this country. And you can start a simple delivery service—that is, you'd be buying ice from a large commercial plant and selling it, the same- day, to route customers—with little more than a pickup or trailer, some plastic holding tubs, a pair of tongs, and a supply of business cards!



I know a man in northern Pennsylvania, in fact, who started just that sort of shoestring operation several years ago. By keeping his costs to a minimum (he takes orders in advance and picks up only the amount of ice he knows he'll sell during any given day), the fellow has been able to earn a very good living indeed. Currently, he delivers 70 or so 50-pound containers of ice a day . . . and the three hours of work required to do that job nets him a hefty $150 to $200 daily!

A BACKYARD ICEHOUSE  

Jose_4
4/22/2007 3:43:37 AM

I am looking to purchase an ice crusher. Are you familiar who may have one available for sale?


victor_5
4/10/2007 1:59:40 PM

very good site indeed


joe_1
3/26/2007 4:07:09 PM

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