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The freight carrier industry is an important part of consumer goods reaching retailer shelves. Independent drivers and freight companies transport about 70 percent of all the goods that hit our shelves. Hot shot trucking allows you the freedom to work for the freight carriers that you choose.

Significance: Hot shot truckers are freelance drivers for the freight industry. These drivers transport goods for any company or carrier without signing an obligation agreement.
Benefits: Hot shot truckers make their own schedule and drive routes that they choose. These drivers are allowed to pick up and deliver their cargo, choose the carriers they want to work for and do not have to file or fill out any paperwork. The carrier company does the paperwork for the driver.

Considerations: Hot shot drivers usually can count on a 75/25 split with the carrier company. The freight company takes a 25 percent cut of the total for each delivery as a fee for paperwork and setting up the order.

Preparation: To become a hot shot driver, you must first visit the DMV and obtain an IRP License that allows you to driver an overweight vehicle. You must also purchase insurance and find companies who are willing to let you work for them.

Warning: Know the laws in your state and the requirements of the cargo carrier. States have different requirements for driving, and penalties for violations can be very expensive. Penalties can include being over weight limits and having improper licenses, tags or paperwork.

Vehicle Benefits: Hot shot truckers are not always required to have their own truck. Some trucking carriers will provide a truck for you to deliver your cargo. Most of the vehicles are diesel 1-ton trucks or tractor trailers.

Drivers who start their own business by hauling and delivering freight and parcels are part of the hot shot hauling business. Starting your own hot shot hauling business is mostly a matter of getting the right truck and knowing how to find work. Individuals and businesses use hot shot hauling when they want a delivery to be made within a short distance in a timely manner. The loads hauled by hot shot truckers are smaller than the loads carried by semi-trailers, which make starting your own business much easier.

Guidelines:
(1) Contact local freight and trucking companies to inform them of the availability of your services. It is a good idea to maintain multiple contacts with various companies so that the amount of work available to you remains relatively consistent. To be accepted, you will need to complete a physical exam and pass a drug test. You can also create an account with uship.com/carriers/hot-shot-loads to gain access to an online jobs board for hot shot truckers.

(2) Determine the kind of work that you will be engaging in. Specializing in a particular form of parcel delivery will help you to establish a niche in the hot shot trucking market. Where you live, how far you are willing to travel and how much start-up money you have will help you decide what type of hot shot trucking is best for you. What you specialize in will determine what kind of vehicle you buy.

(3) Purchase a truck and trailer that is best suited for the kind of transport you plan to offer. If you plan on doing most of your hauling in a city, vans and panel trucks are best. If you plan on traveling long distances as quickly as possible, then a medium to large sized truck with a trailer attached would be more suitable. A truck that runs on diesel as well as gasoline will be more versatile than other cars and should be given preference over other vehicles.

(4) Contact the Department of Transportation (DOT) and request an inspection of your vehicle. After your vehicle is inspected you will receive stickers that mark your truck as having passed the DOT inspection and being suitable for hot shot trucking. It is important that you make sure you get the correct inspection or your trucking company will send you back. Once you have this out of the way you will be ready to take up your first job.