At Gridwise, we talk to drivers all the time. And along with making more money (who doesn’t want that?), drivers often express their interest in diversifying their gigs and, in turn, their earnings. If you’re one of them, Dolly may be just what you’re looking for.
Dolly is an on-demand start-up that specializes in small-scale moves. The company connects customers who need the service with contractors who can provide it. In July 2021, when Dolly was acquired by major moving services provider Updater, this solidified the start-up’s place as a viable option for users who need one specific kind of help: moving larger items such as furniture.
But is Dolly a good option for drivers?
What is Dolly?
Dolly’s furniture delivery service lets users request help from drivers, whom they call “Helpers,” with trucks, cargo vans, or trailers for a number of services around moving, storage, and even retail store delivery.
Dolly’s service list also includes:
- Labor-only moves: Help customers with loading, unloading, and moving without using your own vehicle;
- Donation pick-up and drop-off: Complete donations for customers;
- Online marketplace pick-up and delivery: Transport items customers purchase on marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and others;
- Small business moves: Support local businesses by helping them get settled in a new office;
- Junk removal: You get the idea.
Users submit their job in the app and Helpers request as many jobs as their equipment and time allow. Dolly Helpers can see the final payout before accepting jobs and get to keep 100 percent of any tips they earn.
If a job requires more than one Helper, multiple people can be approved to work on it. Once connected, Helpers can share jobs with others they’d like to work with. Who says self-employment has to be lonely?
Currently, Dolly is operating in 45 U.S. cities and has plans to expand. See a full list of the company’s current markets here.
Is it hard to become a Dolly Driver?
Dolly operates a little differently than other delivery services like Amazon Prime or Roadie because of the services offered.
There are two separate ways to join Dolly as a gig worker: Helper or Hands.
Dolly Helpers are the “truck + muscle” of the platform. These are workers who are willing to put their body and their vehicle to work. Here are the requirements for Dolly Helper:
- 21+ years of age
- Valid driver’s license and insurance
- Access to a pickup truck, cargo van, box truck, or vehicle with trailer, none of which is older than model year 2000
- Android or iOS smartphone
- Able to pass background check
- Able to consistently lift and move large items (75+ lbs.)
- PayPal account for payouts
Those who are interested in getting work with Dolly but who don’t have access to an appropriate vehicle can work as Dolly Hands. Requirements include:
- 18+ years of age
- Valid driver’s license
- Able to get to and from Dolly locations
- Pass background check
- Lift 75+ lbs
There is also a third option for those who’d like to work regularly with a Helper as a Dolly Assistant. To get assigned as a subcontractor, email Dolly with the name of the Helper you’d like to work with.
How much do Dolly Drivers make?
One advantage of the Dolly platform is consistent hourly pay, which makes Dolly a great option for drivers looking for delivery platforms that pay well.
As stated on the Dolly website, Dolly Helpers are paid $40/hour or more, and Dolly Hands make $25/hour or more. The top performing Helpers can average around $60-$90/hr., and top performing Hands can even average between $40-$60/hr. All Dolly workers are paid weekly via PayPal. This puts Dolly driver earnings above the average for Amazon Flex drivers in 2021.
As with any gig job, hourly earnings can be deceptive since there’s no guarantee for consistent work. According to Comparably, the national average for Dolly drivers is $33,103 per year – but no two drivers, and no two markets, are the same.
The best way to track your earnings and spend more of your time working the gigs that actually pay is to download Gridwise. Automatically track and report earnings from all your apps so you can see what’s making the most money and when.
Costs of driving for Dolly
As with any self-employed gig, driving for Dolly means you’re responsible for the costs of completing jobs.
Because of the larger deliveries, the wear and tear on your vehicle (and your body) is likely to be higher with Dolly than other small-item delivery or rideshare gigs.
Dolly drivers might want to invest in additional equipment to complete their jobs, including:
- Protective mats and tarps
- Gloves and other PPE
As a Dolly driver, you also need to consider the health risks associated with your work. Thankfully, Dolly offers help in the form of OAI (occupational accident insurance) for Helpers and Hands who might be injured on the job.
Even with on-the-job coverage, it’s smart to consider all of your options for health insurance as a gig driver. And remember that Gridwise is not an insurance advisor; always consult with a licensed professional.
Driving for Dolly in 2022
With its high hourly earnings and growing place in the market for delivery services, Dolly is a great option for drivers who own larger vehicles and want a more active gig. You can apply here to become a Dolly Helper or Dolly Hand.
Many cities in the U.S. are experiencing new highs in moving rates – both in and out. This could pose a great opportunity for new and existing Dolly drivers to start or expand their business.
Do you think it’s a good time to get into the delivery business? Let us know on our driver community page, and download Gridwise today to keep up with the latest.