Hot shot trucking is the practice of using a pickup truck and trailer to haul commercial loads. Hot shot trucking has emerged as a viable business type in the last two decades due to two main factors. Firstly, the size and power of American pickup trucks have increased to the point where a standard model is capable of hauling large loads. Secondly, people have begun exploiting a loophole in the law that enables people to carry loads of less than 10,000 pounds without having acquired a Commercial Driving License. There are plenty of hot shot truckers on the road today. Given the amount of competition, it is important to pay attention to the little things when looking to come out on top. Here are some top tips to help you grow your hot shot trucking business.
Never Travel Empty
In commercial shipping work, any time spent with an empty truck should be considered a waste of money. Hot shot trucking makes it relatively easy to ensure that you have a load to haul on both legs of a journey. Because of your low threshold for minimum loads, you can take on small jobs at short notice to keep your trailer full.
Use the Right Truck
Picking the right truck for hot shot driving is relatively simple. You must go for efficiency over brash power. Mid-sized long-wheelbase pickup trucks are perfect for hotshot work. Four-wheel drive pickups tend to have a much better level of traction and can help you ‘get going’ when hauling a load up a hill. You should try to avoid trucks with a raised suspension.
Create Efficient Itineraries
All experienced truckers know that a good (and realistic) itinerary is essential if you want to budget your money and time effectively. Although modern technology can help massively with route planning, it can’t plan for breaks, refuelling or time spent unloading or loading your vehicle. You need to account for these factors manually when you create an itinerary.
Instead of waiting for your truck to break down and then committing to expensive repairs to keep your business on the road, it is far cheaper and easier to conduct preventive maintenance. Simply changing your oil and filters and making sure that your tires have enough tread can help you out massively in the long run.
While hot shot truckers are not legally obligated to take breaks in the same way as truckers operating under Commercial Driving Licences, they still need to take regular breaks if they want to remain safe. Fatigue is one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. Even a minor crash can cause serious injuries and massive amounts of equipment damage. Take a short break every 3 hours or so to stretch your legs, have a coffee, and relax. While driving a truck is physically relaxing, it is mentally very taxing. Hot shot trucking rigs are far more stressful to navigate than trucks not carrying heavy trailers.