Hot Shot Trucking gets its name from the days of prohibition, back in those days there was “Hot Shots” who modified their cars or trucks to run illegal alcohol across state lines. They needed to be fast and get the job done quickly.
Many people have been introduced to Hot Shot Hauling by the US based television show “Shipping Wars” where the cast is booking loads using the online service called Uship.com. Most of the loads found on the site are placed there by retail customers that are looking to move items such as boats, cars, household furniture, pets and just about anything else you can think of.
Because of this exposure, there are many people out there who want to start up a Hot Shot business but just don’t know where to start.
Many questions are;
- What kind of truck do I need?
- What size of a trailer should I get?
- Do I need a commercial driver’s license?
- Where can I book my loads?
Doing a quick search about Uship reveals that there are many customers who are not getting what they expected. This should not reflect poorly on Uship as they provide their service as described, they are a matchmaking service of sorts and they don’t do any vetting on the carriers. It seems the problem lies with the actual carriers performing the work. This means the customer needs to do the vetting but in most cases they don’t
Because many people looking to get into the hot shot business don’t realize the process is exactly the same as driving a full sized tractor trailer. They are left thinking that they do not need a Commercial Driving License “CDL”, or need to register as a commercial operator. However, the only real difference is the trucks and trailers are a little smaller but smaller does not mean they operate under different rules.
It seems that there are some operators out there who think because they have a pickup truck and a trailer they can operate a trucking company. However, It is important that drivers get their ducks in a row and follow the proper steps when setting up their business. They need to make sure they follow Federal and State regulations and be properly insured before starting to haul cargo down the freeways.
As far as needing a commercial license goes the law is clear. “A driver needs a CDL if the vehicle meets one of the following definitions of a CMV: Class A truck. Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 26,001 or more pounds (11,793 kg) provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds (4536 kg).” (Source https://en.wikipedia.org/ )
The bottom line is if you are looking to get into the Hoshot business, make sure you do your research and get things set up properly.
For customers it is important to ask questions of the company hauling your freight. Get copies of Operating Authorities, and insurance documents. Don’t be afraid to take an extra step and make a call to the company providing the insurance and make sure you are covered. After all it is your stuff, Keep it safe.