Trucking Life

Best Guide To Know What is Hot Shot Trucking?

What is hot shot trucking

Have you ever heard about hot shot trucking? Are you looking forward to working as a hotshot driver? In this article, I am going to go deep into this field of industry. Keep reading to know more.

What is Hot Shot Trucking?

Hotshot trucking is that type of trucking in which relatively smaller, time-sensitive loads are transported to the needed destination.

This refers to trucks that transport frights with a super heavy-duty pickup truck rather than the standard big rigs that you see on the interstate.

Referring to shot loads, they can be local, regional or national.

What Are The Requirements of Hot Shot Trucking?

In order to be able to enter to the hot trucking field there are some requirement include:

1. Get Your USDOT and MC Numbers

A USDOT number or called (U.S. Department of Transportation number) is a unique identifier and an interstate operating authority given to a moving company performing interstate moves by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).

It serves as a unique identifier for your company when dealing with its safety records including crash investigations, registration status, inspections, reviews, and audits.

In addition to a USDOT number, if you are looking forward to crossing state lines then you need an MC number (Motor Carrier number).

2. Get a Hot Shot Insurance

Hotshot trucking is a competitive job. When launching your hot shot’s own business, you need to understand that there are insurance requirements. You will need a special kind of insurance called hotshot insurance.

Coverages that are common with this insurance include:

  • Liability insurance
  • Cargo insurance
  • Physical damage insurance
  • Downtime insurance
  • Earned freight insurance
  • Medical payments insurance
  • Lease or loan gap insurance

To receive the proper amount of coverage, you need your DOT number, membership in a drug and alcohol testing group required driver qualification filings and observance of the hours of service regulations.

If you want to know the cost of insurance for operating a hot shot business, continue reading this article.

3. Get Other Legal Documents Include:

Such as:

  • Business License
  • Vehicle permit
  • Vehicle for Service Permit
  • Buy Equipment

Like any type of trucking business, you need to get the business equipment; the two main types of equipment include a truck, usually a pickup, and a flatbed trailer.

You also need to buy other small pieces of equipment including bungee cords, chain.

For the truck it must be at least 1 ton, dual, at least 9,000 lbs rear axle, diesel engine, either gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch.

Talking about the hot shot trailer, it depends on what you will haul, you can choose Open trailer for 3- and 4-car wedge-style vehicles, the enclosed trailer for motorcycles and general cargo, a flatbed for general cargo and other equipment, goosenecks or 5th wheel.

4. Find Loads

Finding freight is one of the hardest challenges that face a hotshot driver, especially if you are new in the field and don’t have consistent clients.

 There is a lot of hot shot drivers look for work on load boards.

You need to know that hotshot load boards are very competitive, that not every driver can obtain.

Typically, hotshot loads pay less than usual truckloads, which consider advantage of this field of industry.

Besides, the operating costs for running hotshot loads are much less than other loads that require another open-deck trailer specialized flatbed.

What Are Hot Shot Trucking Startup Cost?

If you want to establish your own hotshot business, you need to consider that it will cost you a lot as there are a lot of operating costs include:

  • $15,000 – $45,000 for a Pickup truck.
  • $7,000 – $20,000 for Flatbed trailer.
  • $1,000 for other equipment (chains, binders, tie-downs, bungees, straps, etc)
  • $1,000 for registration (FMCSA, BOC-3, Unified Carrier Registration, Home State DOT, ELD, Others).
  • $3,500 – $4,000 down payment for insurance with monthly payment of $1,000.

Does Hot Shot Trucking Require a CDL?

Actually, hot shot trucking requires no CDL; it doesn’t mean that you don’t need it at all. However, you must obtain a CDL in any of the following situations:

  • When you operate a vehicle with a GVWR(gross combined weight rating) of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing another not exceeding 10,000 pounds.
  • When you operate vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds, as long as the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is over 10,000 pounds.

Tips For You on How to Start Hot Shot Trucking Business

1. Figure out Your Niche

You need to find a niche that you can dominate, Choose your niche carefully, make sure you focus on the markets the large carriers avoid.

The niche you choose will determine the rates you will charge, the equipment you will buy, and the freight lanes you service.

2. Create Your Business Plan

You need to put some plans for your business.

You need to decide which kind of trucking business you want to run, and you need to put a plan to differentiate your business from others, as well as, you have to put your growth plans for the future.

3. Obtain Trucking Authority

You need to get a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number, a Motor Carrier operating authority Number (MC Number), International Fuel Tax Agreement stickers, and an International Registration Plan.

4. Secure Business Finance

Such as any type of business, you need startup capital, according to what I have mentioned before, an average capital is between $10,000 and $30,000.

You can secure this amount of money from personal savings, liquidating your properties, acquiring a bank loan, or from lenders.

5. Buy The Truck or Trailer

It is very important to have the right equipment for your trucking operation, as it can have a significant impact on your ultimate earning potential.

Then you need to insure your truck according to what I have said before.

Afterward, prepare a few requirements before you haul cargo in your commercial vehicles.

You need to display Radio Frequency identification tags on your windshield, your USDOT number, your company’s registered name decals on your vehicle, and your license plates.

6. Know Your Expenses and Operating Costs

You need to do this in order to ensure that your business is profitable. You have to set a minimum amount for your cost per mile.

Then you must know your operating costs, by determining your fixed costs such as truck payments, insurance, permits, etc. determine your variable costs such as fuel.

Use fixed and variable costs to determine your “all-in-cost per mile.” Subtract this from your rates, and here is your profit.

How Much is Hot Shot Trucking Salary?

I am sure that you want to know how much the shot trucking salary is. Actually, rates vary from one haul to another as well as from one driver to another.

So how much does a hotshot driver make in the United States? According to in 2020, a hot driver makes an average salary of $49,033 in the United States, but the salary range typically falls between $43,296 and $56,228.

Do you have an intention to establish such a business? Now things are clear for you, make sure to meet the requirements and follow the tips to launch your own hot shot trucking business.

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