A Guide to Hot Shot Trucking

Shippers and brokers have loads that need to be transported from one location to another. Therefore, they depend on hot shot trucking companies to get the job done.

These professionals are trained to haul critical and time-sensitive materials to their designated drop-off location.

These drivers frequently haul the following items:

  • Livestock
  • Construction materials and equipment
  • Agricultural machinery 
  • Cars 
  • And so on

The hot shot trucking business can be very profitable if you know what you’re doing. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of operating a hot shot truck. Let’s get started.

Pros and Cons of Hot Shot Trucking


The following are the top benefits of of running a hot shot trucking business:

  • Good Experience

If you’re new to commercial driving then starting out in the hot shot trucking business first wouldn’t be a bad idea. This way if you choose to switch over to operating a semi down the road you’ll have some experience already under your belt. Also, this would give your CDL some time to mature and your insurance premiums will likely be lower if you decide to make the switch.

  • Better Money

Since the operational costs of a class 8 truck are around $3,000 a month you’ll save quite a bit in that aspect. With a hot shot you can expect to pay close to $1,000 per month. You’ll also save quite a bit on fuel since a pickup has better gas mileage than a semi.

Therefore, due to the lower costs you have the potential to make more money than a class 8 driver.


Although the barriers to enter the industry are much lower and the revenue tends to be a lot higher, there are some cons to hot shot trucking.

  • More Responsibility 

The biggest issue with running a hot shot business is that all the responsibility is on you. That means there are more costs and administrative work on your part.

Maintenance costs can include servicing your vehicle and trailer regularly. You’ll also be responsible for handling your hot shot insurance costs and any other expenses. Lastly, you’ll need to handle your insurance filings, permits, paperwork, and such on your own.

  • Seasonal Dips  

Since you’re hauling locally or regionally you may experience seasonal dips in business. For example, say you primarily haul agricultural machinery to farming businesses. Typically planting season happens during the early spring so your services will likely not be needed throughout the rest of the year.

To avoid seasonal dips during certain times of the year, you need to build up your clientele and provide your services to multiple different industries. Therefore, your business will keep moving regardless of the time of the year.

  • Load Boards

Many hot shot truckers have to rely on load boards to locate shipments. Unfortunately, you can’t just simply select the load you want and be on your way. There are likely several other truck drivers bidding on the exact same load you want.

The best way to avoid the stress and hassle of finding a load is to connect and create relationships with shippers. You can do this by networking and attending events in your area. This way you won’t have to allocate time locating shipments on load board sites.

Bottom Line

Starting a hot shot business can be a very rewarding venture. This is because of its relatively easy startup process and large profits. However, since it’s not hard to get into you’ll likely face a lot of competition. So, if you want to succeed you have to figure out ways to stick out among the crowd.

We suggest weighing the above pros and cons to help you figure out if hot shot trucking is right for you.



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Hot Shot Trucking Startup Guide