By Gordon Dickson
Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
One day a couple of years ago, Brenda Stoner needed a pickup.
“I needed to move something from downtown Dallas to Plano and didn’t have the facility to get it done,” she said.
The single mom compared shipping costs at freight couriers UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service but found none fit her need.
She just needed to haul something across town — a task someone with a pickup could probably complete in less than an hour — and she was willing to pay a reasonable price.
Unable to find such a service to hire, she reluctantly did what many other people do in this kind of situation.
“I borrowed a pickup from a friend, and I felt guilty about it, like everybody else,” she said.
Motivated by that experience, Stoner and a handful of partners last year launched Pickup LLC, a service that’s now making its way into the Fort Worth area. The company’s main mission is to provide an on-demand pickup truck and driver for customers who need something — furniture, art work, junk or whatever else fits in a truck bed — hauled from one point to another in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
They hope to eventually expand to other metro areas and perhaps enjoy success comparable to that of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, both of which were practically unheard of until 2012 but have since turned the traditional taxi industry on its ear.
How it works
Like Uber and Lyft, Pickup LLC connects its drivers with prospective customers using a smartphone application. The company, headquartered in Addison, launched an app simply named PICKUP, which is available free on iTunes or Google Play.
Users download the app and create an account with a credit card. Then, when they need anything hauled, they simply click on the app and press a button on the phone to ask for a ride.