Hot Shot Trucking Business Plan: Successful Strategies for Independent Owner Operators

The trucking industry has an endless supply of freight that needs to be hauled from one destination to the next and there are many different types of businesses that specialize in each sector. One of the fastest-growing trucking businesses out there is the Hot Shot Trucking Business. 

What Is A Hot Shot Trucking Company?

Hot Shot Truckers focus on getting loads to their next destination quickly and typically without any stops. Many shippers call on hot shot truckers when they need their product to be expedited to the next stop. 

One of the most popular industries that use hot shot trucking is construction. With jobs changing quickly and parts that are consistently breaking down, they need an option to get replacements to the job sites in a hurry. 

Hot Shot Trucking is also a great option if you buy a large product and you don’t personally own your own truck and trailer and need to get it delivered from where you bought it to where you live. 

What Are The Requirements and Costs of Running a Hot Shot Trucking Company?

While the overall expenses of running a hot shot trucking company are lower than that of a full-size rig there are still requirements that must be met. When setting up your hot shot trucking business plan you will want to include the start-up costs to get your equipment legal to haul freight for hire on the road. 

If you are planning on having loads that have a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more you will first need to acquire your Commercial Drivers License. Even if you might not be hauling loads that heavy to start out with, it is a good idea to go ahead and get your CDL if you are wanting to work in the trucking industry outside of hot shot trucking down the line. Many standard insurance companies have a minimum requirement of 2 years of CDL experience before they will write a commercial trucking policy. 

You will also need to obtain your DOT Authority with the FMCSA as you will be hauling goods for hire. This will also require you to keep track of your Hours of Service while under dispatch. If you will be hauling in areas outside of your own state you will want to familiarize yourself with each state’s requirements as they can vary slightly from state to state. Keeping yourself updated with this information will save you a lot of headaches in the middle of a DOT traffic stop. 

What Do I Need to Run the Everyday Operations of a Hot Shot Trucking Company?

Running your everyday operations can be fairly simple when running your hot shot trucking business. Keeping paperwork and insurance up-to-date in your truck and making sure your CDL is always up and current will be the big tasks. 

After that, you can focus on booking loads and trying to make them as consistent as possible so that you aren’t stuck with empty equipment and no freight to haul. Depending on how you have set up your hot shot trucking business plan you can search for loads on load boards or you can work with a freight broker. 

You can also work on building direct relationships with people in your area that tend to need hot shot loads delivered. Knowing that you will be their first phone call can be a lucrative and dependable way to run your business. 

Not all load boards are created equal and you will have to do some trial-and-error before determining which ones work best for your business. There are free options out there but this can be an instance where putting forth an investment up front that weeds out some of the lower-paying loads as well as other competitors that will haul cheaper can end up paying you back more at the end of the day. 

How Much Money Can I Make as a Hot Shot Truck Driver?

With being an owner operator of your own hot shot trucking company you can decide how much you will make. You know what your expenses are and you set the rates for what you’re hauling. The average hot shot truck driver can make anywhere from $49,000-$75,000 a year. There are a few factors that can go into this number that all depend on you.

  • Time-The more time you are on the road under dispatch the higher you can get on the pay scale at the end of the year. 
  • Maintenance-With being on the road more you will need to factor in keeping up with your equipment’s maintenance so that you can stay on the road. Factoring in consistent oil changes, tire rotations, and other simple factors can keep your equipment in peak condition. 
  • Available Loads-If there aren’t loads available for you to haul then it makes it kind of hard to make consistent money. Making sure you have equipment that can haul multiple different types of freight will help widen your ability to keep consistent loads. 
  • Region-Different areas of the United States offer different types of freight and the frequency of freight that needs to be hauled. This will be an important part of research when setting up your hot shot trucking business plan and seeing how it fits in the area you live in and the areas you plan on hauling in. 
  • Fuel Prices-Fuel will be one of the largest expenses you have in your business and the fluctuation of these prices can make a large impact on your income at the end of the day. Factoring in ways to be more fuel-efficient as well as signing up for different rewards programs with specific fuel stops can help ease this factor a little bit. 

Conclusion and Next Steps: Taking Your Ideas from Concept to Reality

After reading through this article do you find yourself more motivated to start up your own Hot Shot Trucking Company? If so, go ahead and get those first few steps out of the way by obtaining your CDL and getting your DOT authority completed. Once you’re set up, it’s imperative you get yourself a leg up with a good system to organize your business. At Truckbase we pride ourselves on understanding where trucking families come from and the struggles they have when it comes to paperwork. Our lightweight TMS is perfect for any newcomer and industry vets alike. Check out how Truckbase can assist you by scheduling a demo today!

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