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How to Start Hot Shot Trucking

How to Start Hot Shot Trucking

Today, we are living in a world where time is getting the most priceless thing ever. Everything is served at the utmost speed, and multitasking is becoming a must. There is no room for late deliveries anymore, so the faster earns the best. Such conditions forced the bulky transportation process of the early centuries to move faster. However, this does not only mean using relatively faster vehicles as carriages. It also requires developing new systems that are organized and specialized for this demanding task. Everything should be hot as a shot! Hence the new emerging profession: hot shot trucking! 

Let us begin with the origins of this recent story. The late nineteenth and the early twentieth-century industrial revolution brought two significant terms to our lives: speed and mass production. Especially the oil industry of the 1970s meant a well-organized transportation system to provide fast delivery to meet the ever-increasing demand for oil. So, the manufacturing facilities had to be improved while requiring a new niche in transportation qualities. The trucking service companies served for the translation of heavy duties in particular. But, what about the relatively small duties that need immediate and secured transportation? 

Fast and wonderous: Hot Shot Trucks

The demand for carrying the light duties or fast delivery brought about hot shot trucking. This organization itself dated back to the past, as far as the times of horse carriages. However, these vehicles could only carry a small proportion and naturally, it was still not fast enough for emergent issues. The recent improvements announced hot shot trucking as a special profession in the trucking industry. 

As its name suggests, the service uses hot shot trucks to transport small quantities. These trucks are flatbed trailers attached to a medium-duty pickup truck. The hotshot trailers vary in size and capability of load accommodation. Most of the trailers today on the hot shot marketing range between 30 and 40 feet in length. The height above the ground is a significant parameter that determines the profile of the trailer. Mostly, the maximum capacity can receive 9-10 feet-long duties. These trailers are usually conducted by Class 3, 4, or 5 trucks, which can bear the force of the duty. Although they are often used in delivering sensitive loads, they can also tow boats, cars, machinery, equipment, and RV’s. 

This versatile use is coupled with driver-friendly economic transportation and efficiency. Therefore, hot shot trailers gained popularity in the delivery industry. 

Since the size and weight of the freight vary, several types of hot shot truck hitches have been developed. Değending on the duty and the road conditions, one can use 

  • Bumper bull hot shot trailers

  • Gooseneck hot shot trailers

  • Dovetail hot shot trailers

Although each of these offers different opportunities, they all require a hot shot fifth wheel hitch, which is basically a connecting device. While the quality of the fifth wheel hitch is crucial, its maintenance is also a matter of consideration. This comes from the nature of the transportation business itself, as the whole process is operated through the connection between the pivot vehicle and the hot shot trailer. Therefore, it is important to know how to provide your fifth wheel maintenance. You can just have a look at our blog, presenting a special guide for you. 


How to Start Hot Shot Trucking

The mass production industry naturally requires large-size transportation vehicles in their operation. Yet the hot shot trucking has many advantages that make it much easier and favorable. 

  • To begin with, hot shot trucking does not need a lorry or a big truck. Only an RV, Jeep, or semi-truck vehicle can be modified into a hot shot truck with the installation of a fifth wheel hitch. This device is designed to provide a suitable and durable connection between the pivoting vehicle and the cargo trailer. Via a trailer ball mount, the hot shot fifth wheel hitch can be easily connected to your pivot vehicle. Thus, with only a few steps, you can manually turn your own car into a trailer receiver. This allows you to run your own hot shot trucking business as well. If you want to know how to install a fifth wheel hitch to your vehicle, you can just have a look at our blog to find the necessary information. 

  • The flexibility of the trailer enables you to carry a wide range of freight, increasing the supply of trucking solutions. Also, the necessary equipment to connect a trailer or turn your vehicle into a hot shot truck is available. So, the modification process won’t be a trouble for you, offering an economical operation at the same time. 

  • While big companies that require heavy-duty transportation usually need more than one truck and preferably a single-unit type, light freights allow you to work with several customers at the same time. In other words, you can prepare your destination according to its lenght, negotiate with different customers, and add several delivery points in only one trucking. Also, the delivery price will vary accıording to the destination and you would be able to offer options for your customers.

  • A full-length flatbed trailer may accommodate much more freight, particularly for heavy duties. But such kind of a trailer will cost a considerable amount even if you are planning to hire one. Well, the size of your trailer matter if you are planning to run a mass transportation service. And the capacity of a hot shot trailer So, it is better in many ways to get a hot shot trailer than paying for an entire truck. 

  • The size of the trailer is also significantly notable when it comes to practicality. A full-length entire truck occupies a great volume. It cannot be easily maneuvered and becomes demanding on narrow roads. For a fast and practical solution, you need to have a trailer that is easy to maneuver through urban landscapes. 

You want a piece of flexible and affordable equipment to start up your own business? Now that you know exactly what the hot shot truck is, we can continue with the next step. 

Where and how to begin?

After deciding the places where hot shot trucking is applicable and convenient, a price checking might be safe lest you face with unexpected results. If the locations you are planning to run your hot shot trucking service promise a demand toward such transportation, you shall establish a supply chain first. 

Having sufficient and detailed information about the freight shipping prices prepares you for your profit calculations. 

Here is how to calculate the approximate cost to help to minimize your expediences and maximize your budget. 

  • First of all, your truck capacity is a paradigm considering the supply. This accounts for how many trucks are there available in your market that can ship your freight.

  • Secondly, you should have reliable information about the demand. How many other loads are you competing against how many other shippers are there in your market that also need that truck? As you see, the first factor is the truck capacity. When there are more trucks in the area you are running your business, you will have more options to choose. Being the shipper, you have the buying power and advantage of negotiating with the carriers. Plus, you are going to pay less when there are fewer trucks in the area. Otherwise, you are going to have to pay more to buy one of those trucks to haul your loads.

  • Another important factor is urgency. The urgency of your delivery affects the price, how much time can you provide to pick up a shipment. Note that the more time you give, the cheaper the cost gets. 

  • Destination affects your price and it is something to take into consideration. Where is the next load that the driver is going to pick up after delivering the present load? Is it around the neighborhood, right down the street? Or is it 50 miles away from the next major city? These might seem to be considered later after the whole delivery process, but the destination itself can be a source of profit if it is well organized before setting off. Again, this goes back to the drivers wanting to make sure that their wheels are turning so that they are making money at the same time. If they are not under a load, then the whole shipping process may probably end up in extra costs rather than a profit. 

How to Start Hot Shot Trucking

Like all businesses, hot shot trucking is a legally recognized private business. Therefore, you have to present the following documents before running ahead.

  1. Business License
  2. Vehicle for Service Permit
  3. Vehicle documents, including title, registration
  4. Papers of incorporation of LLC status
  5. Insurance Proof
  6. USDOT number required for interstate hauling
  7. Operating Authority (MC) obtained with the USDOT

Note that Commercial Driver’s License is not necessarily required but it is highly recommended. 

It is really worth it! Have courage, take your step!

No personal attempt to run a private business is easy, though. But by having the courage to take the first step, you can turn your small hot shot trucking business even into an international transportation company. Being a hot shot truck driver worth it because the eliminates the inclusion of a broker. Thus, you directly get the whole profit on your own. Plus, it enables you to specialize your destination according to your profit and offers a flexible work time, and doesn’t need a commercial truck’s driver's license. 

If you have established a well-run business in a reasonable location, regular loads can bring in from $60,000 to $120,000 gross income per year.  Most hotshot’s expenses—fuel, maintenance, insurance, licenses and fees, tolls, etc.—are approximately half of gross income. 

Visiting different places means that you leave your impression and crack the door for new networks. This is very important in such businesses because a satisfied customer will recommend you to the other neighborhood, expanding your access area step by step. In addition to its relatively easy initiation process, hot shot trucking will give you the ability to meet tight timeframes. Due to its practical preparation and flexibility, any deadline for even quick delivery will not be a consideration.

Not, it is time to roll up our sleeves and start our hot shot trucking! 

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Heidi King - June 23, 2022

When starting a hotshot business does the fifth wheel or other equipment come with the truck. If not how do you get it installed

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