Why Trucking

What is Hot Shot Trucking


If you’ve ever dreamed of driving big rigs across the country, but don’t have the patience for long-haul trucking or prefer to have more control over your own schedule, then hot shot trucking might be for you.

Hot shot trucking is often used for freight that needs to be delivered quickly, or when the size or weight of the shipment doesn’t require a full truckload. Hotshot trucking often done with a pickup truck, cargo van, or a flatbed trailer.

While this sounds like an idyllic lifestyle for many people who love to drive (or are just looking for a career change), there are also some challenges to driving a hot shot truck. Let’s dive into the details so you can decide if hot shot trucking is right for you.

Benefits of Hot Shot Trucking

Hot shot delivery gives you the opportunity choose your own load, route, and schedule. This means you are free to take on whatever type of job you want. Some of the more common benefits include:

  • The flexibility to choose your own routes depending on the current marketplace needs and network of connections you have cultivated.
  • A higher pay scale due to the time-sensitive nature of every delivery.
  • The independence to function on your own away from other teams or large trucking companies.
  • A lot of driving variety with routes and loads frequently changing due to demand.
  • Plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities for you to leverage and grow a business.
  • Fewer competitors due to the high intensity of the delivery times.

If you love being outdoors and working with machinery, then hot shot trucking probably sounds like a perfect fit for you! In addition, hot shot drivers earn higher salaries than other truckers because they can drive longer distances in less time due to their familiarity with the road and ability to navigate through traffic efficiently.

Qualifications and Hot Shot Trucking Requirements

You can be a hot shot trucker if you have a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and can demonstrate your ability to get the job done right. You should also have good physical health, a good driving record, and the ability to handle stress, work long hours and work independently. 

Companies looking to hire you will want proof of insurance as well. Most of the time, you’ll look for open jobs on boards being updated by significant suppliers all over the country. Some of these boards may require a membership fee, but you can usually find the better ones by checking out social media pages or groups for hot shot truckers.

Unlike other expedited trucking that utilizes a tractor-trailer, a hot shot trucker can use various truck types. However, the most commonly uses is a one-ton pickup trucks classified as “medium-duty” by the Federal Highway Administration. While these trucks are generally classified as non-commercial vehicles, you can use them for hot shot trucking if you have an operating authority, a USDOT number (if you’re hauling over state lines) and liability insurance.

The Lifestyle of a Hot Shot Trucker:

The lifestyle of a hot shot trucker can be demanding, as they are often on the road for extended periods and may have to work long hours.

However, hot shot truckers can choose their own loads and routes, which allows them to tailor their career to their individual preferences. Hot shot truckers may haul various goods, including construction materials, oil and gas equipment, and agricultural products. Hot shot truckers also must deal with tight delivery schedules and unexpected challenges on the road, such as bad weather or traffic.

The typical day is highly dependent on the jobs available and quotes you can secure. You are essentially bidding out your services for companies to decide on. They will look at your history and official driving record to consider if your proposed price is worth their current load.

How to Start Hot Shot Trucking

Starting a career in hot shot trucking involves obtaining a CDL and gaining experience driving a commercial vehicle. The first step is to research the requirements in your state, such as passing a series of tests and meeting other qualifications like passing a medical exam and background check. It’s also a good idea to research the industry and familiarize yourself with the FMCSA regulations and DOT requirements.

You will want to speak with someone already involved in the industry or find an equivalent mentor. This is a busy marketplace, and navigating the ins and outs of securing a job may be confusing the first couple of times around.

You have to remember this career does come with challenges. Your schedule will be unstable, and you will have to comply with many more insurance issues to get the most valuable jobs. However, with the right preparation and training, you can easily earn over $100,000 in busy areas of the country.

If this sounds like something you might want to try out, speak with our team at DRC. We have experience in all areas of trucking and can offer you solid advice as well as excellent quality training to get you up and running in a truck driving career, including hot shot trucking.