How to get ready for the challenge?
Hotshot trucking or expedited trucking is all about cargo that needs to be delivered quickly. A Hotshot delivery service carries loads required immediately to get specific processes to run smoothly. Not getting them on time sometimes shuts down a company’s productivity. Examples of these types of cargo are construction materials, heavy equipment, machinery, or farm materials. There are no specific rules on how far a hotshot trucker goes to deliver a load. These deliveries can be local or anywhere from 50 miles away to across the country.
But when you think of the time constraints and the hotshot trucking requirements, hotshot loads are often local hauls. There is a number of essential equipment for hot shot trucking.
Are you going to start the hotshot trucking business? – There is numerous essential equipment for hot shot trucking!
Health and insurance are the two primary needs to start a hotshot trucking business. If you are fit enough for long drives and the vehicle has all the needed insurance and the documentation completed with the correct license, you are good to go! All the other Equipment and the tools come next.
Any driver who drives a commercial motor vehicle, including hotshot drivers, should receive their Department of Transportation (DOT) medical card. So, your first step is to get your body check-up done through a physical examination from a medical examiner on the FMCSA-approved national list. It is proof that you are fit enough for the job. These examinations usually check the basic things like your medical history and vision, hearing, and urine tests. You get your DOT medical certificate if you pass the health examination. It lets you operate commercial vehicles for 24 months. But remember, after 24 months, you need to undergo another physical exam to renew your certificate to continue your service as a hotshot driver.
Apart from the documentation and the certificates, you need other necessary items to start a smooth hotshot business. We will be discussing them soon!
What should you know about Hotshot trucking?
Dear readers, if you are planning to start a business on hot shot trucking, other than the basic requirements, there are a few essential things that you should know.
First, we should not see the advantages and the disadvantages of hotshot trucking. We need to evaluate the pros and cons and decide if we are taking on the job. We can look at the other needed equipment and tool with this decision.
Once you decide on the business, you can look for the most profitable company to join. The benefits, income, and the facilities offered are the main things we should consider when deciding on the company we should enter.
We need to evaluate the investment and the income level that we will get once we start the business. We should be knowledgeable about assessing this properly before we step into the waters. If not, all the investment will be of waste.
Other than that, the downsides and the risks need to be adequately evaluated. It is essential to buy equipment or a truck for hot shot trucking. You have to spend a significant amount to get these items. So, getting to know the ground is always better.
What are the essential equipment for hot shot trucking?
If you need to get into the hotshot business, you need to know the necessary equipment and tools that you will need for the mission. Here we are with some vital information and news about them. We think this will surely give you an insight to the
A reliable pickup truck
It is essential to get the correct truck or the vehicle for your new venture. It depends on the type of weight you wish to haul. Determining this factor will help you select the right vehicle and invest wisely. According to the reviews of the latest reports, below are the most popular types.
RAM 2500 Big Horn
assures hotshot truckers a reliable and robust driving experience. The super 6.4L HEMI V8 engine is the secret behind it. Its 6.7-liter six-inline Cummins turbo-diesel used in the 3500 generates power. It can generate 350 horsepower and 660 lbs.-feet of torque, as it is a six-speed manual truck.
But, for usual six-speed automatic brands, this number can go up to 370 horsepower and 800 pound-feet. The crew cab type- Ram 2500 Cummins has the most nominal torque of the lot; it can tow loads up to 17,060 pounds. Of course, it is better than the rest of its counterparts. Moreover, it has a 2,540-pound maximum payload (perfect for a 2WD) when it comes to the load.
2019 Nissan Titan
When you think of the capability and features, the 2019 Nissan Titan is unbeatable. It is mighty. Though the vehicle looks rugged, it is a premium design. Nissan Titan comes with a complete package of features for protection and safety. Its America’s Best Truck Warranty is an added advantage to it. In addition, this type of truck is designed with the most modern technology that can help you transport the load to the end with ease. With this in mind, you can surely drive with better awareness and confidence.
There is undoubtedly more than that. You can experience the freedom and satisfaction of taking all the control as you drive. You are ready to face any road challenge with the advanced and unique features, innovative technology, and 555 pound-feet of Cummins Turbo diesel power.
GMC- Sierra 3500HD pickup truck
This is one of the latest current trucks in hot shot hauling. It’s the best option for moving a large amount of freight. This truck is available in both 1-ton and three-quarter-ton formations, so you can be confident that it has the strength to move your cargo. Sierra truck comes with the best safety features, luxuriously refined interior setup, easy handling, and full capability.
Also, the most beautiful thing is that you can have either a diesel or a gasoline engine. Both the options generate nearly 400 horsepower, and their 6.0-liter gasoline engine delivers 380 ft-lbs of torque and 360 horsepower, which is well enough for a long drive.
You also can get the four-wheel-drive option when you need it. With a fifth wheel, the Sierra truck can tow up to 23,200 pounds, and the maximum payload is 7,180 pounds. The drive is usually very smooth, and you can enjoy a quiet highway ride, especially when the truck is trying hard to tow a massive load behind you.
So dear readers, these three are the most commonly used trucks for heavy loads. Also, they are the most popular at the moment. You can look for other options according to you your financial stability.
Also, consider the below points before finalizing the best option for a truck.
- Always remember the type of load you wish to carry. It has a more significant impact on the kind of truck you need to invest in. The weight of the goods and the material you transport will add a concern. So always be mindful to consider this fact before buying a vehicle.
- The trucks used by the hotshot drivers usually have an ideal space to sleep while travelling long distances. So, look at this fact as you need a comfortable rest to regain your energy for a better and safer drive most of the time.
- The truck’s condition is also a significant fact you need to consider before finalizing the deal. Has it been adequately maintained, serviced, or repaired? Are the points that you need to check? It is mainly because you will be driving long distances. So, you cannot risk the safety of yourself as well as the goods you transport.
The correct type of Trailers – One of the key essential equipment for hot shot trucking
A trailer is a must for the pickup truck if you wish to haul considerably large loads. So, before you get into the business, you should contact the correct type of trainer attached. It depends on the type of goods and the loads you wish to transport.
We have already discussed the type of trailers used in hot shot trucking in our previous write-up. But it will be helpful to have a little insight into what type is the best for the business.
Before selecting the type of trailer, you need to consider a few essential points.
- If you wish to haul large loads or longer goods like machinery or other equipment, the length of the trailer is essential to consider. Also, look at the state laws as some states have imposed length restrictions due to safety factors.
- Deck eights is another important fact you need to check. It depends on the ease of handling and what you wish to haul as safety comes first better to check on all the safety regulations.
- Ease of handling is another fact most drivers should think about. It depends on the experience of the driver. If you are an experienced driver, you can handle any trailer easily. But if you are a newbie, you need to look for the most accessible yet most suitable type for the job.
Below are the types of trailers that are commonly used in the industry. You need to have sound knowledge of their purposes to get the best suitable for your job.
Bumper pull trailer
It is the most common trailer type used by hotshot truckers and a favorite among commercial and civilian drivers. These trailers are a popular choice because of their versatility. If you wish to get this trailer, you will love it because it is straightforward to use. Also, it is more affordable than a gooseneck trailer.
The unique thing is that, with this trailer, you are not required to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). It is only for hotshot trailers and vehicles with over 10,000 lbs (4,536 kgs).
The size of the bumper pull trailer might be a disadvantage if you plan to carry heavy cargo. It is Because this trailer is smaller than other trailers and has small and light loads.
Also, you need to weigh the trailer properly if you are planning to haul heavy loads. If the towing vehicle weighs less than the fully loaded trailer, the drivers face huge issues. You might face trailer swaying, control breakdown, and trailer instability problems.
The gooseneck trailer is suitable if you want to become a professional in your hot shot trucking business.
This type of trailer is longer and more expensive than the bumper pull trailer because of its turning radius. But did you know that many hotshot truckers love these trailers?
The stable trailer can also carry larger loads over unfamiliar or challenging roads.
But even if the gooseneck trailer sounds like the perfect hotshot trailer, it still has its limits.
One is that having a gooseneck can have restrictions depending on the laws of the state you are living. Longer gooseneck trailers may require licensing and training.
Also, this trailer demands a particular hitching system to be set up on your pickup’s bed. The system could be an added expense as you need to get a professional to install it for you.
Tilt deck trailers
All the drivers like a towing trailer that is safe, efficient, and could quickly load cargoes that are heavy to lit. The tilt deck trailer is the best!
This trailer tilts at an angle and allows you to smoothly load items like cars and equipment from the ground onto the trailer.
Though it looks easy and efficient, not all drivers like this type, so before investing in a tilt deck, it is better to know some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning one.
A tilt deck trailer avoids the occupational hazards connected to heavy lifting. It does not need workers to lift heavy loads manually. Also, there is an automated system to tilt the deck, and you do not need to operate it manually. So, this type of trailer saves time and increases work efficiency.
The main disadvantage is it needs more maintenance compared to other trailers. Due to its advanced hydraulic systems, it requires a recurring filter and oil changes. Apart from this, the moving parts of a tilt deck trailer should be oiled very often as these parts are prone to rust.
The Dovetail trailers
It is the best-selected option for most drivers who haul cars.
Moreover, the dovetail trailer is one of the most popular trailer styles in the US. This kind of trailers comprise a loading advantage. Of course, it is easy to pull up low-riding and long vehicles because of its gradual angle. And, it is easy to sell for more money because of its ease of loading and other advantages in handling.
Same as the advantages, there are a few disadvantages to this. Many dovetail trailer drivers do not like it due to its tail dragging around. It is challenging to handle it sometimes as it hangs low at the back and is dragging its tail everywhere.
Straps for hotshot trucks
As a hotshot trucker, the straps to secure your load are necessary among the essential tools you need as a hotshot trucker. It would help if you had suitable straps in enough amounts when traveling a long distance with a heavy load.
First, make sure the amount of load and the type of materials you carry in your truck. According to this, you need to get the kinds of straps organized. Typically, the 2-inch strap is the most ideal for heavy loads. But make sure to have 12-14 straps in hand for secured tying.
Also, the length of the straps depends on the load you wish to carry. It should not be too short or too long. Consider the ease of handling. See if the belts or straps have built-in wrappers or adjusters to make tying easy.
It is always better to have a good understanding of the tying methods and knots. Do not use the straps if they are frayed or damaged, as it will threaten the security of the heavy load you carry.
Proper chains and binders
Different loads require different types of binders. It is essential to decide this fact based on the load you wish to carry.
The essential requirement is that tie-downs must have a good strength equal to 50% of the secured loan. As an example, if you’re hauling a 20,000-lb. Backhoe-loader, you need chains that support a minimum of 10,000 lbs. A 3/8-inches.
We all know how important the cargo is secured safely and tight as hotshot haulers. For many truck drivers, transport chains are their go-to securement option. Using chains makes load binders a necessity! So it is always best to select the most suitable type of binders to fit the kinds of chains you use.
Many types of chain binders work best for specific flatbeds or cargo. Choosing the correct end-fittings for your binders or chains is very important! You also must make sure your chains and chain binders are compatible. Chain binders are solid and durable and come in various styles, sizes, and load ratings to ensure you find a binder that will match your load. However, as with driving a hotshot trailer, you need excellent training to secure your cargo.
Machine Grade Tarps
The traps are another significant fact that you need to consider if you are thinking of starting your career as a hotshot driver. So below are some essential tips on them.
Truck tarps are not all equal. They protect your cargo against any danger you may encounter on the road, including rain, snow, wind, sun, and even road debris. So, you need to choose the right one for the job.
There are a few types of traps commonly used in the hotshot industry.
- A flatbed lumber tarp is a multipurpose load tarp made for specialized lumber hauling. It can be used as an all-purpose cover to handle various loads like hay, pallets, and other bulky cargo.
- Steel tarps are similar to lumber tarps, but it does not have an end flap. These flatbed trucking tarps are specially designed to protect goods like steel rods, sheets, cables, and other low-profile materials.
- Machinery tarps protect and secure large, irregular loads like machine equipment during transport. These traps can also cover wood or steel products such as plywood, cables, rods, or sheets.
- Smoke tarps are smaller in size than lumber and steel tarps, and they are used to cover only the front of a load to avoid exhaust smoke, dirt, and soot. It also well shields the cargo from bugs and road debris.
- Roll tarps are used for payloads and create a safer work environment for drivers, especially for those in the construction and agricultural industries.
- A dump truck tarp is ideal for grain trucks, grain carts, wagons, dump trucks, fertilizer tenders, and hopper trailers.
- Coil tarps, also known as coil bags, are mainly used to protect steel or aluminium coils or other round-shaped items during transport.
- A three-piece tarp is used to split the weight over three tarps instead of two when hauling a full load on a standard flatbed trailer. As it is Less weight per piece, it makes for easier physical handling.
- You can also get custom strap options made by specific manufacturers.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – A must-have essential equipment for hot shot trucking
Same as all the other gear and equipment needed for the trailer or the truck to haul the load ideally, it is essential to think of the safety and well-being of the driver. Therefore, we thought to share a few crucial details on the personal protective equipment.
- The truck driver should always wear a stiff hat or headgear to prevent accidents.
- It is always best to use protective eyewear, especially during the unloading process of transporting materials.
- High visibility clothing or safety jackets are also a must. We recommend wearing a long-sleeved shirt underneath the safety jacket to avoid skin burns in an accident.
- Protective gloves and safety boots are also essential to protect yourself from accidents, especially when unloading the haul.
- Also, sometimes ear protection aids are necessary depending on the vehicle you drive.
- It is always needed to have a first aid kit, enough water and snacks, a fire extinguisher, an emergency lamp, an auto tire inflating system, wheel chocks, and safety cones.
Do not forget to prepare yourself for the worst encounter!
CDL and NON-CDL documents
There are many documents that you will always need to carry around when you are working. Below are the required documents that you need to keep ready.
- Business License
- Vehicle documents, including title, registration
- Proof of Insurance
- Vehicle for Service Permit
- USDOT number required for interstate hauling
- Operating Authority (MC) obtained with the USDOT
- Commercial Driver’s License (highly recommended)
- Papers of incorporation of LLC status
So dear readers, we hope that this write-up was helpful for you to get enough knowledge on the entire hotshot business and how to get ready for the job. The best is to know what type of loads you wish to deal with as it helps decide many things. We hope this will help to clear out all the doubts about the essential equipment for hot shot trucking.
Good luck with hotshot trucking!