What is Hot Shot Trucking? The Fundamentals & Enhancements with Digital Permit Book

Hot Shot Trucking: A Fast Trucking Service.

Hot shot trucking is called for when the shippers and brokers have small loads that need to be delivered quickly. Such drivers and operators are experts in delivering time-sensitive, project-critical freights for insurance agricultural equipment, construction equipment, heavy machinery, and a lot more. The hotshot truckers operate super-duty pickups with trailers rather than heavy-duty. If the hotshot trucking is done the right way it can come around very lucrative. One can become an owner-operator and can operate a hotshot business under their own MC number.

The Pros and Cons of Hotshot Trucking:

Hotshot trucking is the best way for you to begin your career in the world of the trucking industry. The gradual increment in the strictness for insurance requirements is making FMCSA try to direct the new drivers away from earning their CDL, and then right away buying a semi-truck. A move that eventually leads to failure. Instead, the most strategic move is to start building the driving experience through hotshot trucking, while simultaneously your CDL gets mature. This way after a couple of times if you decide to move towards semi, you will have acquired the experience that can get you insurance easily. Not only this, but the rules of semi trucking and hotshot trucking almost overlap each other which is why hotshot trucking is the best way to gain and polish your trucking skills. Apart from this another advantage of hotshot trucking is that there is less strict barrier to entry and lower operational cost.

Hotshot trucking jobs can make one earn around $2000 to $4500 with relatively small pickups. Moreover, small vehicles also require less fuel which is another big saving. However, with advantages comes difficulties, hotshot trucking is undoubtedly easy to enter into but the people doing and offering hotshot trucking jobs face fierce competitors. That's why the hotshot trucking companies have to put up hard work in providing quality service.

How to Get into Hotshot Trucking?

To get a hotshot trucking job and begin a career in this field, there are some important factors to be considered. These factors are also the answer to the most asked question “How to get started in hotshot trucking?”. Firstly, one must choose a trucking company that provides a good truck. A good truck is fuel-efficient and highly maintained. It helps you in getting to stops at the most crucial time. Secondly, you should figure out whether you need a CDL.

Hotshot trucking is mostly done in limited distances, and no long-range roads are covered, but if you will be crossing the lines of states, then you must question yourself: What type of CDL do I need for hotshot trucking having the right type of CDL per your vehicle and freight weight is essential to perform well in hotshot trucking jobs. The third most important thing to get going in hotshot trucking is the availability of DOT, MC number, and other safety document requirements to maintain compliance. In the world of trucking, where the smallest hiccup can cause a ripple effect, it's very necessary to keep all documents updated and with yourself on the journey. Last but not least, you should possess the skills and physical ability needed to become a good hotshot trucker, as hotshot truckers need to be quick, vigilant, and well-equipped with driving skills to transport the freight to different locations in a short period while maintaining proper safety.

Important Hotshot Trucking Requirements:

To work as a hotshot company, hotshot trucker, or hotshot trucking owner-operator there are a set of requirements to be fulfilled. There are rules and regulations by the Department of Transportation that need to be fulfilled. A number of these crucial requirements are mentioned below.

  • Obtain a DOT medical card.

The trucker has to pass a physical test of DOT to get this medical card. This card is to prove that one is physically capable of handling hot shot trucking jobs.

  • Obtain a Commercial driver’s license (CDL)

Not every hotshot trucking requires a CDL, but if the hotshot trucking driver will be driving a load that exceeds the certain weight criteria, then a CDL might be required.

  • Obtain Trucking Authority (USDOT and Motor Carrier Numbers)

If the hotshot trucking driver is interested in interstate commerce and the vehicle meets the certain weight requirements, then obtaining this is important.

  • Driver Inspection Vehicle Reports

The FMCSA asks for the driver inspection vehicle report to know whether they inspect their vehicles before or after every trip. This is another way of maintaining compliance in the trucking industry.

  • Compliance with the hours of service

Compliance with the hours of service is highly crucial so that exhausted drivers do not meet and expose danger. Below are some requirements for hour compliance.

- One can drive more than 11 hrs after 10 hrs off duty.

- A 14-hour window is given for driving after 10 hrs off duty.

- One must take a 30-minute break if driving for straight 8 hours.

- In 7-8 consecutive days there are approx 60-70 driving hours.

These are some of the very significant requirements for hotshot trucking. These important documents are easy to carry now with the use of digital permit books. Drivers can store and update all these highly important documents on the electronic permit book and can remain carefree from the tension of losing, forgetting, and carrying bundles of paper.

The Importance of Hotshot Trucking Load Boards:

The hotshot trucking load boards are your best proponents when it comes to finding the best loads that match your equipment and desired routes. This support helps you in every stage of your hotshot trucking business, whether you are at the beginning or have a well-established hotshot trucking business. The Hotshot trucking load boards offer the best freight at the best price and are your ultimate support in finding the Hotshot loads.

There are some of the best hotshot load boards that are there to boost your trucking business.

  • DAT: DAT is a clear market leader posting approximately 900,000 loads daily. Due to their size and scope, they also lead in tech and info.
  • RLT Finance Intro Playlist: They have reasonable prices which are in line with other premium payload boards
  • Truck stop: The truck stop has a robust load board. They offer three types of rates from most affordable to most expensive, which are $39 to $149 rate per month.

A Deep Dive into Hotshot Trucking Salary:

Usually, Hotshot Trucking does not have a flat pay per mile. However, the average hotshot trucking rate per mile in 2022 was between $1 and $4. Jobs that are more complex or more urgent can pay an average rate per mile even more. There comes a question in the mind of the hotshot trucker, How much should I charge for hotshot trucking service? Well, to crack this question there are several factors to be considered before determining the charges.

There are a few factors mentioned that affect the hotshot trucking rates.

  • Size of freight: What are you transporting? Is it a small load or not? Can it be hauled using an LTL load or a full truckload? All of this is important to be considered.
  • Location: It is important to know how long and for how many miles you will be traveling to get the cost you will be putting into getting there and to evaluate how much you should charge.
  • Urgency: Urgency in every industry costs a surcharge. Hotshot trucking is no different than this and you should take a rough estimate of how much you should charge for providing emergency services.
  • Personal expenses: One should not forget to count and evaluate their expenses and charge the amount that earns them profit while covering these personal expenses.  

Therefore, these steps are very crucial as it is not beneficial at all to offer such low costs that you put yourself at a loss.

Now let's talk about the hotshot trucking salary of a Hotshot driver. The salary of the hotshot driver also relies on a few significant factors. Like load type and size, how frequently you work, etc. If a hotshot driver constantly hustles on the road, he could be the top earner as well. All this being said, as per statistics, the average annual salary of a hotshot driver is between $60,000 to $120,000. However, one should not forget that hotshot trucking requires the truck driver to pay for his expenses. The furl, maintenance, licenses, feeds, and much more come out of your pocket and impact the amount the truck driver is left with.

Hotshot Trucking Companies:

Another best way of building up a good career in the hotshot trucking industry is to lease on with a well-doing hotshot trucking company. Hotshot truck + leasing company usually means the truck by you and the hotshot trucking company load boards. This helps both parties keep costs low and accelerate the delivery of small and medium freights easily. Some of the best hotshot companies are as follows which are top players in the world of hotshot trucking.

  • ACME truck line
  • CKJ transport company
  • Expedited Freight
  • Greensheet
  • Hotshot logistics

Hotshot Trucking Efficiency with Digital Permit Book

Shifting away from traditional paperwork, digital permits streamline communication and accessibility to critical documentation across various modes of transport. This transformative technology ensures real-time updates, consistency in permits, and a sustainable approach to record-keeping. As hotshot trucking evolves, the adoption of digital permit books not only overcomes logistical challenges but also aligns with eco-friendly practices, contributing to a progressive future for the freight industry.


At last, the weight of the facts suggests that hotshot trucking is a great field in the industry to gain experience and earn a decent amount of money. Hotshot trucking is for sure of great importance to different industries that need to transport their freight urgently with proper safety. Hence, hotshot trucking is a golden opportunity to learn and earn in the trucking industry. As hotshot trucking accelerates toward success, digital permit books emerge as a vital tool, offering unparalleled efficiency, accuracy, and eco-friendly practices.

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