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Hotshot Trucking Secrets: Tips and Tricks for Success

Hotshot Trucking Secrets: Tips and Tricks for Success

Hotshot trucking has become a popular choice for those new to trucking. Providing more flexibility than a traditional trucking career, hotshot trucking has become a staple with new truckers.

What is Hotshot Trucking

Hotshot trucking is similar to regular freight transportation but is generally for less-than-truckload (LTL) loads. Hotshot truck drivers utilize a flatbed trailer and a pickup truck to bring these smaller loads to their destination. A major difference between traditional semi-trucking and hotshot trucking is that hotshot truckers are essentially contractors. Each hotshot trucker decides their routes and will go through hotshot load boards, like DAT, to find jobs.

Benefits of Hotshot Trucking

Hotshot trucking brings a lot of advantages for aspiring truckers. Offering lower costs compared to a full-sized semi-truck gives hotshot trucking a lower barrier to entry.

Hotshot Truck

Hotshot trucking allows for more flexibility than traditional trucking through choosing your routes and own schedule. The piecemeal method of picking loads also allows you to combine multiple LTL loads on one journey. Moreover, hotshot trucking can serve as a stepping stone to become a semi-truck driver, giving you practical experience and knowledge.

What You Need to Get Started

Before you can start to transport hotshot loads, you will need to meet a few requirements. A reliable pickup truck and a flatbed trailer needed to be able to haul any loads. Loads larger than 10,000 lbs will require you to get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Obtaining a CDL demonstrates your professionalism and opens up opportunities for higher-paying jobs.

While you don't need a CDL, you do need to get a DOT medical card to drive any commercial vehicle. You must have a licensed FMCSA medical examiner complete your DOT medical card, which is valid for 24 months. Alongside your DOT medical card, you will need to get insurance coverage. This is dependent on what loads you would transport and what load boards you sign up for.

Equipment for Hotshot Trucking

You can use a hotshot truck with just a trailer, but additional equipment can enhance your cargo protection and vehicle range. Some great options to add to your hotshot truck are:

Aux Tank Box Combo

This piece of equipment combines an auxiliary tank with a truck tool box, maximizing the space on your truck. Auxiliary tanks provide you with extra range on your vehicle, allowing you to make the journey with less stops. Store your smaller gear in the box, keeping your hotshot truck bed free for your truck loads.

Transfer Flow Auxiliary Tank Tool Box Combo

Transfer Flows auxiliary fuel tank tool box combo is a great choice for your hotshot truck bed.

Chest Box

A chest tool box offers you secure storage for straps, tools and other essentials. Keep your gear organized and easily accessible in your hotshot bed.

CamLocker Chest Tool Box

CamLocker's chest tool box are one of the most secure truck chest boxes on the market.

Underbody Box

Mount underbody boxes under your trailer to keep your cargo space clear for loads. These boxes give you convenient storage for your smaller essentials.

UWS Underbody Tool Box

UWS' underbody truck tool box easily mounts underneath your hotshot bed or flatbed trailer, keeping your gear organized and in reach.

How to get Hotshot Loads

Finding hotshot loads is critical for your success as a hotshot truck driver. One of the most effective ways of discovering available loads is through hotshot boards. These online platforms serve as a place for shippers to connect with hotshot truck drivers.

Hotshot load boards are constantly updating with new loads to transport, so make sure you are constantly monitoring for new jobs. Creating a profile on hotshot load boards can also give you new opportunities. Two great load boards are DAT Freight & Analytics & Shiply USA.

Respond promptly to load postings and messages, providing competitive rates and demonstrating your professionalism. Leverage hotshot load boards effectively to maximize your opportunities and keep you on the road with loads.

Embrace The Hotshot Trucking Life

Hotshot trucking is a cost-effective & flexible alternative to traditional semi-trucking. With proper preparation and the right equipment, you can start your own successful hotshot trucking career. With near unmatched flexibility, hotshot trucking is a great career option for those looking to start trucking. Contact Elite Truck for fitment and equipment recommendations.

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