Imagine for a moment you’re a successful farmer with acres upon acres of fields ready to be harvested. With ample amounts of work left to do, your equipment fails.
Time is ticking and you can’t afford to lose all these crops. A replacement part is all you need.
An expedited order could take days to arrive and by then it would be too late. What if there was someone ready and willing to get you the item you needed now?
In the trucking industry, this is where hotshot trucks come in. Whether to meet a deadline or remedy an emergency, hotshot trucks allow drivers to be readily available to meet customers’ needs quickly, efficiently, and on short notice.
The freedom over time, miles traveled, and pricing is just a few of the great benefits that come with a hotshot delivery.
What Is Hotshot Trucking?
As part of a $514 billion freight trucking market, hotshot trucking is essentially the delivery of time-sensitive loads to customers. Typically these loads are things like machinery, heavy equipment, or urgently-needed parts.
Hotshot trucking is the shipping solution when customers get in a bind.
When construction equipment fails on-site, a contractor can use hotshot trucking to quickly get replacement parts or a new piece of equipment. The delivery is taken directly to the job site in a much faster time frame than normal big rigs or shipping companies can offer.
Thanks to the fast turnaround of hotshot deliveries, the contractor is able to get back on track to meet those demanding deadlines.
You might be thinking this sounds a lot like expedited shipping, but let’s not get them confused. They do have similarities and both usually involve some kind of time-sensitive product. But with expedited shipping, the trucks sit and wait for multiple loads to fill them before being delivered meaning more stops and more time spent waiting.
What distinguishes hotshot delivery is the ability to distribute the job through a load board. This allows for immediate dispatch and direct communication with the driver.
When making a hotshot delivery here at Morris Trucking, we focus on single customer per load delivery allowing us to provide each customer with the utmost focus and dedication.
Different Types of Hotshot Delivery Trucks
If you’ve considered a career in trucking, hotshot deliveries might be the perfect place to start…but you can’t start delivering loads without a vehicle.
The type of load pulls you want to offer should be taken into consideration when choosing a vehicle. This decision will vary widely from company to company (or trucker to trucker).
Hotshot trucks will most commonly fall under these categories:
- Class 3 – most lighter-duty typical pickup trucks ranging in weight from 10,001–14,000 pounds
- Class 4 – medium-duty but able to haul larger pulls and ranging from 14,001 and 16,000 pounds
- Class 5 – still considered medium-duty and includes some lighter commercial trucks that range from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds
If pulling heavier hotshot loads is in your future, a Class 4 vehicle is a great option. You should pay attention to more than just the upfront costs when looking for the perfect hotshot delivery truck.
When deciding on the kind that’s right for you, it is important to take into consideration the required maintenance and operating costs.
Here at Morris Trucking, we are able to keep the cost low for our customers by using a fleet of vans for hotshot deliveries. By choosing a vehicle with a lower operating expense the chance for a greater ROI is much higher.
Benefits of Being a Hotshot Trucking Driver
We all know that you have to spend money to make money, but one thing that sticks out about the great opportunity of being a hotshot truck driver is the lower investment cost.
Without having to make the large investment of a big rig, hotshot drivers around the nation are making an average median salary of $62,400. Becoming a hotshot truck driver is an excellent side gig or the perfect way to launch your career in the trucking industry.
Another great benefit of hotshot trucking lies in the freedom to set your own price. Depending on the urgency of the order, most hotshot deliveries lie in the $1.50/mile range. It will be important to take into account other business expenses (like the cost of maintenance and fuel) when determining a per-mile rate.
Not only are you able to choose your rate and your load but you can also choose how far you want to deliver. Maybe you have kids at home and the thought of being a truck driver is appealing, but the distance is intimidating. As a hotshot driver, you get to decide if the distance is too far!
Since hotshot deliveries are typically for customers that are in a tough situation or on a tight schedule, hotshot truckers find customer service an added bonus of this career. By delivering time-sensitive material you can feel good knowing that you have greatly helped your customer in a way that no one else could.
Your delivery quite literally saves the day.
If you’re considering investing in a hotshot truck or maybe even a big rig, you should explore all options for launching your truck driving career by checking into lease-to-own or lease-to-purchase programs to find the best fit for you.
Tips for Becoming a Hotshot Delivery Driver
We already know you will need to invest in a van or truck, but there are a few other things you’ll need before you can start hauling loads.
If you are hauling loads that are less than 10,000 pounds there is no need for a commercial driver’s license. Even though a standard driver’s license will do, obtaining a CDL will open more load opportunities in the future.
One thing that can’t be avoided is registering with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to obtain a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. This is a necessary legal step required to haul loads for customers. It’s a fairly easy process with minimal upfront costs.
In addition to the licenses, equipment, and USDOT registration you’re going to need insurance. Liability insurance coverage is the minimum required policy to get started.
Stop Waiting and Start Driving
The opportunities that await hotshot truck drivers are endless. The freedom to choose rates, hours, and miles traveled makes investing in hotshot trucks a wise choice.
Morris Trucking has over 100 years of combined experience. We understand the importance of deadlines and meeting everything our customers need: from big rig loads to hotshot deliveries.
If you are interested in launching a trucking career or joining a team of experienced individuals, take that first step towards paving your success and get started on an application.