Hot shot drivers fill a unique niche within the trucking industry because they do not drive semi trucks but they haul many of the same loads. The upfront costs for becoming a hot shot driver can be lower than becoming an OTR or tractor-trailer driver, which can be appealing for anyone looking to get into a new career quickly. Read on to learn about how to become a hot shot driver.
5 Steps to Becoming a Hot Shot Driver
- Get a valid driver’s license, a CDL is highly recommended – If you want to drive a truck, you need at minimum a valid driver’s license. However, it is highly recommended that you get a CDL in addition. While you can work with just your normal operator’s license, earning a CDL will let you work across state lines. Find fast CDL training in your area here.
- Register your company and get a USDOT and MC number – In order to start your business, you need to register in your area as a business. Additionally, if you are interested in hauling across state lines, you will need to have a USDOT number and an MC number. A USDOT number registers your business with the FMCSA to track your business’ history with collisions, inspections, and compliance. An MC number, also known as Operating Authority, means you are allowed to be “for hire”, though not all hot shot drivers need this as it is based on a set of narrow criteria.
- Get the right insurance – As a hot shot driver, you need specialized insurance to protect you, your truck, and your cargo at minimum. Hot shot drivers need to buy specialized commercial auto insurance. Your insurance needs will vary based on how you want to run your business.
- Get the right equipment – Hot shot drivers don’t drive semi trucks, but instead they drive heavy-duty pickup trucks. Some of the most popular trucks for hot shot drivers are the Ford F450/550 and the Chevy Silverado 2500. These trucks are quite large and can haul very heavy loads. In addition to a truck, you will need a large trailer to haul your cargo. The type of trailer you choose depends on what you want to haul. Many hot shot drivers opt for a gooseneck trailer or bumper pull.
- Find loads! – In order to be a hot shot driver, you need to be enterprising. As your own boss, you have to find your own loads to haul. This is a great deal of work, especially compared to CDL company drivers.
Becoming a hot shot driver can be extremely rewarding, but it’s not for everyone. Hot shot drivers take on a great deal of responsibility. If you’re interested in becoming a traditional CDL driver, find training to get your CDL here, or click through to find various types of truck driving jobs in your area!