The transportation of goods from one area to another is a somewhat expensive undertaking ordinarily. That stems from the equally expensive nature of the pieces of equipment used plus the logistical support that the entire exercise has to be provided with for a successful transfer. Things ought not to be this way though.
Not when there is the hotshot trucking as a viable way forward. But just what is it? And in what ways do it benefit the transportation industry? We draft this article to answer these and indeed many more pertinent issues. It is informed by our understanding of the seriousness of the matters of transportation altogether.
What Is Hot Shot Trucking?
Hotshot trucking is the haulage of goods over a longer distance but by using relatively smaller trucks. It is a quick way to carry and ferry a larger amount of load but using pieces of equipment that are cheaper and limited in the capacity as opposed to the longer trailers.
This method of transportation is mainly suited where the resources are scarcer but there is the need to supply a higher quantity of goods to a particular destination nonetheless. Many of those who start out in the field of long-distance trucking prefer to start out with it.
How Does Hot Shot Trucking Work?
A typical hotshot trucking undertaking goes through these three main stages. These are:
Acquisition of the necessary equipment
First and foremost, the entrepreneur has to acquire the necessary piece of equipment for the job. These could be the trucks involved, the cargo handling devices, and other items that may serve to facilitate long-distance haulage. Needless to say, these items have to be relevant to the cargo that is to be transported.
Identification of the relevant route
Next, the route that the cargo has to be transported also comes in handy. Different routes bring along their unique fair share of challenges. Then again, you might need to seek special permission and authority to ply some. You have to take great care that you fulfill these preconditions finely.
Obtaining the necessary licensure
Lastly, you have to obtain the necessary licensure prior to venturing into the field of the cargo haulage. Different jurisdictions have their own rules and regulations that govern such activities. You do not want to ruffle feathers unnecessarily while going about your business. The same goes for the fines that come along with the violation of the laid down terms.
Hot Shot Load Board
The hotshot load board is a service that lets you find the combination of the loads that may work for you easily. It cheapens the task by matching the amount of load you intend to haul and the route you desire to travel in. Further, the Board finds the best rates for your case and consideration.
Hot Shot Loads Calculation
For a load to be classified as a hotshot, it has to weigh between 10,000 pounds (4.54 t) and 26,000 pounds (ca. 12 t). This is freight that has to be delivered faster. It is also smaller enough to fit in the box or any other removable gooseneck. The oil fields and the construction sites are the chief sources of these loads.
Many businesses prefer hotshots as they greatly reduce the costs of business operations. They negate the need to invest in more expensive rigs. Also, owing to their relatively low costs of operations, they are unlikely to inflict your cash flow adversely.
Hot Shot Trailers Types
To be able to transport your cargo efficiently from one area to another one, you no doubt have to make use of some trailers. Different kinds of these trailers exist for your own consideration and subsequent use. We take this time now to delineate and explain them:
#1 Bumper pull trailer
This is by far the most common kind of trailer for your consideration. It also goes by the name of the tagalong or drag trailer. To haul the luggage, this vehicle fits its tongue over a ball hitch that juts itself from the frame of the vehicle and at its rear.
#2 Gooseneck trailers
The gooseneck trailer operates by sliding the cargo over a ball hitch that is on the bed of the pickup truck. At the same time, it makes use of a fifth-wheel trailer that attaches to the truck typically by use of a plate hitch. The plate hitch is coincidentally the same as that which is used by the semi-trucks. Overall, this vehicle is more stable than its competitors.
#3 Lowboy trailers
Different regions refer to this vehicle differently. In England, they call it a low boy, in western Canada and South Africa, it is low-loader, whereas is eastern Canada and Australia they call it a float. It is comparatively low and hence more stable than the many trucking gadgets in vogue at the moment.
#4 Deck over trailers
On the whole, the deck over trailer is largely versatile, strong, and truly dependable. Thus, it is a great item to pick and subsequently make use of on a regular basis and for a variety of trucking tasks. You will find it amazing and relevant for your common and everyday applications.
How To Start Hot Shot Trucking
Before you embark on the task of hot shot trucking, there are a number of issues you have to get right. At the same time, you must also follow some steps to take things in the right way. In this subsection, we endeavor to examine these issues in their finest details.
#1 DOT regulations for hotshot trucks
The Department of Transportation has some laid down rules and regulations that govern the activities of hotshot trucking. It is necessary for you to familiarize yourself with these regulations and adhere to them keenly to be able to do a great job overall. They are:
Logs and Records
All the drivers that are employed to engage in this trade have to keep accurate records of their duty status and regular travels. These have to be ideally filed electronically via the electronic logs. At the same time, it is their responsibility to maintain the electronic logging devices intact.
Stopping at weighing stations
As is the case with the other kinds of long-distance drivers, the hotshot trucking drivers also need to stop at the weigh stations. The purpose of this stopping is to enable the trucks to be weighed to see to it that they conform to the requirements set forth by the respective states.
Sleeping while on duty
WHY not? They are by all means allowed to sleep on their trucks as long as the trucks are parked beside the roads and the sleeping happens at a time when the truck is stationary. Any violation of this cardinal rule may spell some disaster to the car owners and truck drivers alike.
Hours of Driving
Though the specific requirement varies from one state to another one, these drivers are only allowed to drive for no more than 11 hours per day. This ought not to exceed 14 consecutive days. The purpose of this is to give the drivers ample time to rest and recuperate in order to prevent accidents from arising.
#2 Non-CDL hot shot trucking
Generally, the hotshot trucking does not demand that the drivers possess the Commercial Driver’s License while hauling loads that are under 10,000 pounds (4.54 t). Nonetheless, all the drivers are demanded to acquire and make do with the Motor Carrier Authority Number that must be approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
This number aids with tracking and examination of the drivers as they move about their businesses. It also aids with the matters of safety and upholding the overall integrity of the drivers. Many employers will often want to peek into it before admitting a new driver in its fleet.
#3 Hotshot driver requirements
To be eligible for employment as a hotshot driver, one needs to meet certain pre-qualifications. You must first and foremost have to learn how to drive the truck you have in mind. That entails enrolling in a driving school to acquire the basic driving skills and expertise.
This training culminates in the award of a relevant driving license as proof that you are indeed qualified for the job. In many jurisdictions, you need the Class A commercial driver’s license. Pursuant to obtaining this licensure, you need to pass both the written and the behind-the-wheel exams.
#4 Hot shot trucking business plan
Before officially venturing into this business, you definitely have to draft a business plan that is to guide you through from the start to the end. A typical market plan has to spell out the market of the products. This is the geographical scope that is to be impacted by the business as well as the demographics thereof.
It should also go ahead to explain how the potential customer base is to be targeted or reached out. These could be the modes of advertising that are to be used as well as the timelines within which each undertaking is to be fulfilled. Ideally, a market survey has to precede such a plan.
#5: Hotshot trucking startup cost
The exact cost of venturing into the business varies tremendously from one area to another one. Nonetheless, you should expect to part with around $15,000 — $45,000 for a pick-up truck, and $7,000 — $20,000 for a flatbed trailer. Add the costs of starting out and the figure shoots up tremendously.
As a plausible way forward, we opine that you consult your local chamber of commerce and industry extensively to find out the prevailing rates in your area. That will also go a long way in letting you know the available tax rates that may be applicable as well as other costs.
#6: Hotshot trucking companies
At the moment, the following are the leading hot shot trucking companies:
- USA Hot Shot Trucking
- USA Holistic Incorporated
- Hot Shot Trucking
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In this last segment, we take our time now to ask and answer some of the most burning questions regarding this particular subject:
Do you need a CDL for hotshot trucking?
A. Not necessary if the amount of luggage you intend to haul weighs less than 10,000 pounds (4.54 t). To be on the safe side though, you would better have it as the amount of load you carry may have to vary considerably while in transit. Plus, you never know, there could be a policy shift soon.
What is the average pay for hot shot trucking?
A. At present, the average pay for the hotshot trucking driver is roughly $49,154 per annum.
What is the best truck for hotshot hauling?
A. Below are some of the best trucks for hotshot hauling:
- Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
- Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD
- Ford F-250 XL Super Duty Commercial
- Ford F-350 XLT Super Duty Commercial
- Ford F-450 Lariat Super Duty Commercial
- GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD
- GMC Sierra 3500
- Nissan Titan XD
What size trailer do I need for hotshot?
A. Generally, you need 40-49 feet (ca. 15 m) size of the trailer for your hot shot trucking needs. Any longer and the truck may be deemed superfluous and subject to certain restrictions in some states. A shorter one may not provide the space needed to haul a huge size of cargo as need be. Make your choice appropriately.
What is the arrangement for insurance?
A. We have elaborate the insurance topic into a seperate post.Learn the hot shot trucking insurance here.
We wrap our peek into the hotshot trucking there. Having exhausted this subject, we are now truly confident that you have the preparedness you now need to acquire and devote one for your use. Waiting for too long is never recommended at all. You do not want your potential competitors to overtake you.
Remember, this field is quite lucrative and also subject to many taxes. The earlier you set out for the task, the better it is for you. When do you plan to set out? And is it not wise of you to spread and share the news far and abroad? We wish you all the best in your implementation of these provisions.