Working as a hot shot trucker is a convenient option for many people as pickup trucks are popular vehicles and only require a tow. Hot shot trucking only requires one destination, so it makes it an easier drive for drivers as the routes typically aren’t as far, so it makes managing the schedule easier. Hot shot truckers are often contracted for local or statewide loads and provide an advantage for drivers who wish to make good money and spend more quality time at home with their families. If you are looking to learn a little more about what hot shot trucking entails, we can help provide clarity as to if this is the right career move for you.


Step One: Request a USDOT and MC

  • A USDOT and MC number is required to haul freight on any kind, this allows for the company you are hauling freight for to have access to any crash reports, reviews or audit. If you must complete a drive through different states, then you will need an operating authority in addition to a DOT number. There are some fee’s while beginning the application process of obtaining an operating authority

Step Two: Obtain the proper insurance

  • Perhaps the most expensive part of becoming a hot shot trucker is getting the correct insurance in place to being driving. What you will need initially is going to be liability insurance as most freight brokers have a minimum liability insurance set in place. Keep note that the cost of liability insurance can range anywhere from $7,000-$12,000 per year. You will be required to bring various paperwork while setting up liability insurance. The required paperwork is DOT number, drug and alcohol testing membership, the specific qualifications as well as an understanding of the service hours at hand.

Step Three: Buy the proper equipment

  • The most common kinds of startup equipment are little things such as rachet straps, bungie cords, and chains to ensure that the load is property secured headed to delivery or pickup. When it comes to the best kind of truck to purchase it can be debatable. Many people tend to go with a popular work truck such as Ford F450 or F550 or a Chevy 2500 or 3500. These trucks are highly recommended work trucks but be sure to know the weight limit the truck can handle when booking hot shot loads.

Step Four: Work with a dispatch service

  • Once everything has been paid for and set up then you might find work and freight to haul. One of the best ways to achieve this is by working with a dispatch service. The benefits of working with a dispatch service include being your own boss and working with your dispatcher to decided when you want to drive and the distance, you’re willing to travel. Another method is such various websites such as where you can post your equipment, if you’re looking to be 1099 contracted and let the dispatcher know the number of drives you want to take a week or what kind of schedule and distance you are trying to achieve. Most dispatch services work around the clock to ensure that they are always available for you at any time and that they can notify you once a load becomes available to maintain a consistent workflow for the drivers. The best part about this though is that the drivers are the bosses. You make your own hours, days, drives so that it can make for a good work home life balance.

Step Five: Key benefits of becoming a Hot Shot driver

  • Hot Shot trucking has the lowest startup cost compared to any other trucking department
  • You may not need to get your CDLL as if you are hauling under 10,000lbs a CDLL is not required
  • Steady income as the pay for hot shot trucking can sometimes be even more than typical class 8 truck driving careers
  • More freedom to haul local loads as majority of hot shot loads don’t run as fun it provides more opportunity to maintain a better work life balance by spending more time at home

Ultimately, there is a lot of potential in the hot shot trucking industry as it is relatively low startup cost and can provide the flexibility for drivers to pick-up and deliver freights locally and statewide while also allowing the freedom of being their own boss and regulating their schedules for when they need to complete a drive and when they need to spend time with their family. Working with a dispatch service can help accommodate loads and ensure that when drivers are ready to drive, they can get you on the road at your desired destination right away!