Hotshot trucking is a type of trucking that carries smaller, more time-sensitive loads to accessible locations. It is done mainly using a pickup truck that hauls a variety of things, usually things that UPS or smaller delivery trucks can’t fit but something too small for it's own semi haul, however hot shot truckers can also have bigger loads but they usually involve items that will need to be delivered in less time, to the consumer. Hotshot truckers are known as the minutemen of trucking.
Hotshot trucking can be very entertaining and exciting but like all jobs, it has its cons. It’s better to keep these in mind if your interested in being a hotshot trucker, and that's why we’ve made a list to help you know both the pros and cons.
- Starting up cost is lower
- Waiting for jobs is minimized due to expedited loads
- Income is good
- Loads are usually regional or local so less time on the roads
- More maintenance and overall cost
- Demands vary from high and low
- Pressured to grow a high client base
Laws and rules for hot shot trucking
- Must pay taxes of 25% of gross pay
- Must contain the proper insurance
- You are responsible for your own logs
- Register Truck Commercially
- Properly maintain vehicle
- Get approved from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Becoming a hotshot trucker has its perks, but being aware of the differences in the hotshot trucker community and being a full-time truck driver is important if you want to succeed. If you are interested in starting in hotshot trucking be sure to go to a DoT to discuss your business and what type of legal issues could come up before you haul any loads. A hotshot trucker is usually in charge of his/her own business so when you're figuring out your pay and business income financially be sure to account for your truck maintenance and commercial liability and cargo insurance. Maintenance can be around $400 or more a month, and insurance can be anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 annually.
4 Reasons why a hotshot trucker fails
#1 Empty Savings Account
Most hotshot truckers go in and buy a brand new truck and trailer without having any money in their savings. Make sure to always have something leftover in your account and keep saving up for more things that come up down the road, because there's always something that comes up, and being prepared for when they do means having a better chance for success.
#2 Not willing to be on the roads during the weekend
Most hotshot drivers think that they can earn enough money without being on the roads for long periods of time, a lot fail for this very reason. If you want to be a hotshot trucker you need to be willing to give up multiple weekends in a row. Being a hotshot trucker doesn’t mean you are always busy, remember there are downtimes so being out there ready for jobs when they need you is very important.
#3 Hauling Cheaper Freight
When you are your own manager you need to avoid jobs that pay cheap and don’t make up the difference. Be prepared and ready for jobs with a higher pay rate.
#4 Keep Control of Your Finances
You are going to be keeping track of your own logging and jobs. Don’t go around spending money you don’t have yet. Keep an organized report of your income and make sure to account for the insurance and maintenance that's needed on your truck.