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How to Start Hotshot Trucking: 7 Steps

white trailer truck on road

Step 1: Get a Driver’s License or CDL

Whether you plan to work for a company or create your own hotshot trucking business, the first requirement is to have a valid Class A license or a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate. This ensures that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to handle a hotshot truck.

Step 2: Obtain Your Medical Card

Similar to semi-truck drivers, hotshot drivers must obtain a medical card from the Department of Transportation (DOT). To get a medical card, you need to schedule an appointment with a DOT-certified medical examiner. The medical card is valid for 24 months and ensures that you are physically fit to drive a hotshot truck.

Step 3: Commercial Driver’s Insurance

Having commercial driver’s insurance is crucial for hotshot trucking. This type of insurance covers any damages or liabilities that may occur while operating your hotshot truck. It is important to consult with an insurance provider who specializes in commercial trucking to ensure you have the right coverage for your business.

Step 4: Choose Your Hotshot Truck

When starting a hotshot trucking business, you need to select the right truck for the job. Consider the weight capacity, fuel efficiency, and reliability of the truck. It’s also important to comply with the regulations set by the DOT regarding the size and weight limits for hotshot trucks.

Step 5: Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Before you can legally operate your hotshot trucking business, you need to obtain the necessary permits and licenses. This may include a Motor Carrier Authority (MC Number) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and any state-specific permits required by your operating area.

Step 6: Set Your Rates and Establish Your Business

Determining your rates is an important step in starting a hotshot trucking business. Consider factors such as fuel costs, maintenance expenses, and the distance you will be traveling. It’s also essential to establish your business by registering it with the appropriate government agencies and obtaining any required business licenses.

Step 7: Find Clients and Market Your Services

Once you have set up your hotshot trucking business, it’s time to find clients and market your services. Networking with other professionals in the industry, attending trade shows, and utilizing online platforms can help you connect with potential clients. Creating a professional website and utilizing social media can also boost your visibility and attract more customers.

Starting a hotshot trucking business requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following these 7 steps, you’ll be on your way to establishing a successful hotshot carrier.