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Hotshot Transport: What Is It & How Can You Get Started as a Hotshot Transporter?

What's in this article?
  1. What Is Hotshot Transport?
  2. Hot Shot Truckers – What Do They Do?
  3. When Should Hotshot Transport Be Used?
  4. Getting Started With Hot Shot Trucking
  5. The Benefits And Downsides Of Becoming A Hotshot Transporter/Trucker
  6. The Benefits
  7. The Downsides
  8. The Potential Income You Can Expect As A Hotshot Transporter
  9. Vehicles You May Use For Hot Shot Transport
  10. Trucks You Can Use As A Hot Shot Hauler
  11. Trailers You Can Use As A Hot Shot Hauler
  12. How Can You Find Your First Hot Shot Trucking Job?
  13. Free Load Boards Our Preferred Method To Land Your Hot Shot Trucking Jobs
  14. The Step-By-Step Process Of Finding Your First Hot Shot Haul As A Trucker
  15. Step 1 Find The Load
  16. Step 2 Decide Your Charges
  17. Step 3 Select A Dispatch Service Provider
  18. Step 4 Double-Check All The Requirements
  19. Step 5 Get Started With Loading
  20. Things You Need To Do Before Getting Into Hot Shot Trucking
  21. Non-Cdl Hotshot Trucking Requirements
  22. Additional Tips For You To Start Your Hot Shot Trucking Career Like A Pro
  23. Conclusion
Hotshot Transport: What Is It & How Can You Get Started as a Hotshot Transporter?

Do you have a time-sensitive and smaller load that needs transportation?

If so, you probably need to use hotshot transportation services to get your load transported.

“But, hey, how would I know if my load falls under the category of hot shot loads?” If that’s the question that popped up in your mind, we have you covered.

We shall tell you everything you need to know about hotshot transport. Read on whether you need to get your smaller load transported in a specific time frame or are looking for a career in the hotshot transport industry.

What Is Hotshot Transport?

Hotshot transport is also known as hotshot trucking.

It involves transporting smaller items that have a limited downtime to get transported. Hot shot loads are usually LTL loads that must ship to a single receiver. They are kind of “expedited” logistics shipping services for businesses.

Interesting, right?

The history of hot shot trucking is even more interesting.

It all started in the early days of wildcatting and oil rigging. At that time, a broken part in the booth spaces meant a super expensive downtime. But, it was almost impossible for riggers to manage the availability of spare parts.

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So, that scarcity and need for spare parts in an emergency gave birth to a group of small truckers who’d be present at the oil rigging and wildcatting spaces to provide for the spare parts every single time there was a need for any part.

These days the concept of hot shot loads has expanded way too much.


Hot Shot Truckers – What Do They Do?

Hot shot truckers are mostly freelance truckers that deliver small and time-sensitive loads. They are pro at supplying such types of loads. Also, they have all the equipment needed for hotshot trucking. Hence, they are an excellent fit for promptly delivering your small yet time-sensitive logistics.

However, not all hot shot truckers are freelance operators. A few company drivers work as hotshot transporters too.

The reason? Hotshot transport jobs pay decent rates.

The truckers get decent hotshot trucking rates, the companies get their products delivered on time, and they save their face from losing significant revenues due to a lack of necessary parts. So, it’s a win-win for both sides.

When Should Hotshot Transport be Used?

Do you need a fast-paced delivery of your logistics and need to get it delivered from point A to B?

If your answer is “Yes,” your logistics qualify for hotshot transport!

Note that hot shot transport’s primary benefit is its speedy delivery. BUT just because you are getting your logistics delivered timely doesn’t mean you have to settle for something less than a qualified hot shot trucker.

Always conduct a deep research before you hand over your deliverables to a trucker, especially if they are freelance operators!

Getting Started with Hot Shot Trucking

So, by far now, we have talked about hot shot trucking logistics.

Let’s flip the topic of discussion now and throw some light on the other side of hotshot transport.

Below we shall talk about everything you must know before you dip your toes into hot shot transport jobs. Shall we?

The Benefits and Downsides of Becoming a Hotshot Transporter/Trucker

Just like any other logistic service provider, if you are pursuing hot shot transport as a mode of income, you might experience some benefits and some downsides of the process. Just expand your knowledge and then decide if the process would be an excellent fit for your needs or not.

Below is a sneak peek at the benefits and downsides of hot shot trucking:

The Benefits:

  • You don’t need significant investment to get started as a hotshot trucker.
  • While transporting hotshot loads, you are in a boss mode and decide what loads to take and what times work the best for you.
  • Hot shot loads have a tighter turnaround time. Hence, you get paid premium hot shot trucking rates.

The Downsides:

  • Mostly hotshot trucking quotes are decided on a per-mile basis. The rates can keep fluctuating. So, you can’t expect a stable income out of this career.
  • You must always be ready as the hotshots have a narrow delivery timeline.
  • You have to manage your vehicle by yourself and take care of all the extra stuff. Say, insurance, hours of operation (HOS) logging, compliance with the rules and regulations, drug and alcohol testing, and so on.

The Potential Income You Can Expect As a Hotshot Transporter

However, there is no one-size-fit-for-all formula to determine a hotshot transporter’s potential income. However, you can expect to get paid $49,000 to $75,000 yearly as a median hot shot trucker.

The following are the factors that play a vital role in deciding the potential income of a trucker:

  • Your dedicated time to trucking
  • The gear you are using
  • Area of operation
  • Number of loads you are hauling
  • Types of loads you are offering your services for
  • The years of experience you have under your belt
  • Fuel price
  • Your potential rates
  • Your trucking expenses

Vehicles You May Use for Hot Shot Transport

We have some pointers for those of you who are just getting started with hotshot hauling.

First, it’s important to note that not all vehicles are appropriate for hotshot hauling. If your car has a flatbed or is too small to accommodate the cargo you’re trying to haul, it won’t work.

We also recommend that you consider the size of your trailer before purchasing one. A more extensive trailer will be able to hold more weight than a smaller trailer and provide better stability while driving on rough terrain.

Finally, if possible, we suggest contacting your local fire department to ask about their recommendations on which types of trailers are safe for hotshot hauling in different environments.

Trucks You Can Use as a Hot Shot Hauler

If you’re looking to haul your rig around, there are many options. Say, Class 3, Class 4, or even a Class 5 truck, they are suitable options to choose from for your haul.

Class 3: These trucks are the most common truck for hotshot hauls. These trucks are generally used for hauling coal and other materials.

Class 4: These trucks can have a GVWR as high as 16,000 pounds. They’re typically used for construction purposes such as cement mixing or mining.

Class 5: These trucks are the most potent variety available on the market today, allowing them to haul anything from heavy equipment like bulldozers or backhoes to everyday items like refrigerators!

Trailers You Can Use as a Hot Shot Hauler

The available options for hot shot transporters in trailers include:

  1. Bumper Pull Trailers
  2. Dovetail Trailers
  3. Tilt deck Trailers
  4. Gooseneck Trailers
  5. Lowboy Trailers

Which type of trailer would do the trick for you largely depends on the load you have planned to haul.


How Can You Find Your First Hot Shot Trucking Job?

There are multiple ways you can get your first shot trucking job. You can use a trucking job board, find loads through a network, or opt for free load boards.

The first place to start looking for a hot shot trucking job is at a trucking job board.

There are a few different types of trucking job boards, but you can typically find them through searching on Google or other search engines. They have a network of independent recruiters they work with, so you don’t have to go through one person—you can contact the company directly and ask for their recommendations.

Another way you can find loads is through your network. If you know someone who has a trucking company, or if you have friends or family members who work in the industry, ask them for advice on who might be hiring soon. You may also be able to find loads by searching through free load boards.

Below we shall discuss the method of finding your first haul from a free load board.

Free Load Boards: Our Preferred Method to Land Your Hot Shot Trucking Jobs

Free load boards are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to find loads. They are also one of the most common ways to find a job on the go and in your backyard. Free load boards allow you to view all available jobs in your region and narrow the search down based on specific locations such as cities or counties. These sites also have reviews and ratings from previous clients who have used them, allowing you to decide whether or not they are suitable for you and what kind of service they provide.

You can view all available jobs in your area, which can be very beneficial if you need something quick but don’t want to waste time looking around too much.

The Step-by-Step Process of Finding Your First Hot Shot Haul as a Trucker

Finding your first hot shot trucking job is a little bit challenging. You’re not sure how to go about it, but you know that you will try, and when you do, it will be awesome.

That’s what we’re here for! We want to help you find the best trucking jobs in the industry to start your career as soon as possible.

Step 1: Find the Load

Finding your first hot shot trucking job is not an easy task. You need to do a lot of research and be aware of your options.

The first step in finding your first hot shot trucking job is to log on to the job board.

And search for loads. You can either use keywords or search by category: Hot Shot Loaders or whatever category you want to look in. When selecting Hot Shot Loaders, you will get all the critical information needed.

Once you’ve found a load, select Hot Shot in the category. With results, you’ll get important information such as:

  • The company name and address
  • How many days do they need you to work, and how much they pay
  • What kind of equipment do they use (trucks and trailers)

Step 2: Decide Your Charges

You need to decide on a rate that works for you—so don’t just look at what other people offer and assume that that’s what you’ll get. If it’s not working out, try again later! Sometimes, things don’t work out right away. Just keep trying until something feels right—and then go for it!

Also include fuel cost, dispatch services, maintenance, and insurance.

Step 3: Select a Dispatch Service Provider

Decide on a dispatch services provider that works best for you. You’ll need to find out what type of dispatch services they offer and their rates. You’ll also want to consider whether or not they have an app or website that allows you to track your hours, mileage, and pay.

Step 4: Double-Check All the Requirements

Check the enlisted requirements for the job role advertised by the company or recruiter. Ensure all of these requirements are met before applying for any job! You should also ask if any additional steps are required before being hired, such as drug testing or background checks.

Step 5: Get Started with Loading

Get the vehicle or trailer loaded as soon as possible after contacting them so that they can give you information about how long it will take them to get back to you and when they need it.


Things You Need to Do Before Getting Into Hot Shot Trucking

Below are a few things that are a must if you are up to getting started as a hot shot transporter:

  1. Obtain your CDL (Commercial driver’s license)
  2. Get insured; You’d like to consider everything like liabilities, cargo, physical damage, etc.
  3. Get an MC or USDOT number using FMCSA’s unified registration number.
  4. Understand how you can load the hauls properly and get the know-how of HOS rules.
  5. Make sure you comply with rules and regulations regarding hot shot transportation.

Non-CDL Hotshot Trucking Requirements

A CDL is recommended to be eligible for hot shot trucking. But, you can also serve as a hotshot transporter without a CDL. But there’s a condition:

If your trailer falls under the category of 10, 001 lbs of gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or the trailer/truck has a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of more than 26,001 lbs. It would help if you had a CDL. It’s MANDATORY!!

You can get a Class A CDL, a.k.a Universal CDL, from your state. Here’s the process:

  1. Get a CLP (Commercial learner’s permit).
  2. Attend a CDL program.
  3. Pass the exam.
  4. Qualify in the driving test.
  5. Get your medical fitness certificate.

And, you are done. You’ll get your CDL within the said time frame (per your state’s laws).

Additional Tips for You to Start Your Hot Shot Trucking Career Like a Pro

If you’re interested in finding your first hot shot trucking job, you’ve come to the right place.

We understand that finding a new career can be complicated and intimidating, so we have some tips to help you get started.

First, you must know what kind of truck driver you want. Do you have experience as a driver? Are you looking for a job where you’ll be able to earn some extra money? If so, then you must take the time to check out our list of available positions. It will help you determine which jobs best suit your skill set and work experience.

You can also research the top trucking companies in your area by checking out their job listings on our website. This will give you an idea of what they’re looking for in their employees and how much money they pay their drivers every week! It’s also a good idea to check out how much fuel costs per mile—this tells us how much driving distance is required each week before fuel costs are taken into account (which can add up quickly!).

When it comes time to apply for jobs at these companies, ensure that any information about yourself is accurate.


Finding your first hot shot trucking job through a job board can seem intimidating, but here we have walked you through its step-by-step process. And, we hope to have cleared all the dust for you.

Whether you are a wanna-be hot shot trucker or want to send your load through hot shot services, this guide has it all.

If you have further questions or concerns, do write to us, and we shall be more than happy to accommodate you.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

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I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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