Skip to Content

What Is Hot Shot Trucking?

Despite how it sounds, Hot Shot Trucking doesn’t involve a driver showing off their fancy pickup. While they may drive a gorgeous-looking rig, the star of the show is the load they’re carrying.

There’s a constant demand for drivers that can haul trailers, and it can be an exciting career.

So what exactly is Hot Shot Trucking? Fasten your seatbelt and get comfortable as we take a trip to help you understand this unique career opportunity.

Let’s hit the gas!

How Does Hot Shot Trucking Work?

Individuals and businesses frequently need critical loads moved quickly and safely. Unfortunately, they might not have the time or resources to ship it accordingly. However, many capable and trained truck owners can haul for them.

Luckily, they can hire people to tow freight for them. The cargo safely reaches its destination, and the driver gets paid. When done right, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Drivers can work freelance or for a transport company. However, people who work for themselves are responsible for their vehicles, providing insurance for loads during transit, and finding clients. As a result, many people work for transport companies that help cover expenses and find clients. However, they’ll have to share a cut of the profits.

Loads can vary based on the client. But it’s common for RV manufacturers to hire truckers to move trailers to dealerships. With so many RVs manufactured in Northern Indiana, several large RV transport companies are based in the area. It can be an exciting career for drivers with a powerful vehicle and a desire to travel.

Man hot shot trucking
Hot shot trucking can be a great career option.

The Benefits of Hot Shot Trucking

You can find many benefits if you’re considering a career in Hot Shot Trucking. The pay can be an attractive feature for many drivers. Rates tend to vary based on the load and the time restraints for the shipment. 

How much you can make depends on where you live and the cargo you can haul with your equipment. Some drivers can make as much as $100,000 annually. However, the median owner-operator salary is typically around $49,000 to $75,000 per year.

A company may provide the rig if you’re driving for them. This means you’re not on the hook for any maintenance or depreciation of the vehicle. They assume responsibility for all the maintenance costs and for keeping it in good condition. However, most owner-operators own their trucks and must build upkeep costs into the fees they charge.

Hot Shot drivers love that they have more flexibility when setting their work schedule. If you own the vehicle, you pick when you work and when you don’t. You can decline jobs if you want to be home for a birthday, holiday, or anniversary. However, this flexibility can also be a disadvantage, which we’ll discuss soon.

Pro Tip: Take a closer look at 5 Reasons Truckers Flash Their Lights at You.

The Disadvantages of Hot Shot Trucking

While Hot Shot Trucking can be incredibly rewarding, it also has downsides. For example, one of the disadvantages is that many are independent contractor positions. That means you’re a free agent and not an employee of the company. Contractors don’t get sick days, vacation days, or retirement packages. Simply put, you don’t get money if you don’t do any jobs.

Another disadvantage is that it can require working odd and irregular hours. Clients pay for loads to reach them at a specific time and expect drivers to meet the deadline. While they still must follow Department of Transportation regulations, it can mean working a non-standard schedule. Creating a work-life balance can be next to impossible at times.

If those disadvantages don’t sound bad enough, you also have to consider the tremendous amount of competition and logistics for handling various loads and the regulations for carrying them. It can be tremendously overwhelming and challenging to keep everything straight and manage the stress of delivering the goods safely and on time.

Driving truck for hot shot trucking
Hot shot trucking is the ultimate towing gig.

What Equipment Is Used in Hot Shot Trucking?

You need a capable vehicle to have the best chance of landing gigs. Drivers use various pickup trucks for Hot Shot Trucking, mainly because there’s practically an infinite possibility for loads. However, the more towing capacity the rig has, the more loads it can carry.

The most common trucks used are the vehicles the Federal Highway Administration considers “medium-duty.” However, there are three different classes of these vehicles. They range from Class 3 vehicles like the Ford F-350 with a weight limit of 10,001 to 14,000 pounds to Class 5 vehicles like the Ford F-550 with a weight limit of 16,001 to 19,500 pounds.

When it comes to trailers, it’s no different. You’ll see a variety of setups as a Hot Shot trucker. You might haul bumper pulls, goosenecks, tilt decks, lowboys, or dovetail trailers. The kind of load you can pull will depend on your vehicle type and the hitching system you use.

Pro Tip: Considering taking on a towing gig? We uncovered Do Truckers Have a Bedroom in Their Truck?

Can You Make Money With Towing Gigs?

Hot Shot Trucking can be a very lucrative profession. However, a tremendous amount of factors can make it challenging to earn a living. Many drivers find it’s either “feast or famine.” This means there are typically either plenty of jobs available or not enough. As a result, knowing exactly how much you’ll make each week or month can be stressful.

Some drivers make $100,000+ each year. However, that’s not the norm for most drivers. They generally make between $49,000 and $75,000 in profit annually. This is after all of their fuel, insurance, and any other expenses they might have for their business.

The easiest way to get into the system is to work for a transport company. These businesses have established connections with clients requiring Hot Shot drivers. This can allow you to learn about the industry, make contacts, and develop relationships where you can consider starting your own company.

Is Hot Shot Trucking Worth It?

This opportunity is constantly in demand, especially in areas where construction and manufacturing are booming. Companies must receive their materials on time to avoid delays, which helps keep costs low and customers happy. 

Hot Shot Trucking is worth considering if you have a reliable vehicle and a clean driving record. Whether you want to do it as a side gig for additional income or as your primary profession, you can do well for yourself. But don’t quit your day job until you know what you’re in for.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: