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Hot shot trucking is growing quickly because it helps companies who want to move small loads of freight quickly but don’t want to pay for a big truck. The goods is moved in a regular pickup truck or a trailer that is attached to the truck.

Star companies have a lot of experience delivering small, time-sensitive loads like farm goods, building materials, business equipment, and so on. If you do it right, it can be a very successful business with a high profit rate. Also, like all transport jobs, the work is always different and takes you to new places where you work with new people.

In addition to hard work, getting started will also take a good amount of planning and preparation. This step-by-step guide tells you everything you need to know to start your own business and make money at it.

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

Aside from the car, there aren’t many costs at the start.
Side jobs that make money and can be changed
Simple and easy to use
Work could be unpredictable and change often.
If insurance rates are too high, businesses may not be able to make as much money.
  • Size of the industry and how it has changed in the past: The LTL market in the US is worth $88 billion, according to the information company IBISWorld. Since 2017, the market has grown by 2.4% every year.
  • Growth is predicted: The US LTL market is expected to grow at least 5% per year until 2025.
  • In the United States, there are more than 120,000 LTL companies.
  • Number of jobs: This part of the trucking business employs more than 500,000 people.

Cost of Starting Hot Shot Trucking Business

Most start-up prices for a hotshot business are between $51,500 and $75,000, with an average of $28,000. The pick-up truck and trailer make up most of this cost, so if you already have them, you could save up to 80%.

Even though the costs may seem high, there isn’t much risk in investing in a successful company because more than 80% of the money is used to buy assets with a high reselling value. So, if the company doesn’t live up to your hopes, you can get the most out of your money by selling the truck and trailer.

Is Hot Shot Trucking Business Profitable?

The average income for a champion service is $2 per mile[8], but the average cost is $0.78 per mile, so the average net income is $1.22 per mile. Each driver can work for up to 11 hours before taking a 10-hour break.[9] If you drive for half of your time, you can expect to drive 124 miles per day. This would lead to a profit of $55,000 and about $90,000 in yearly sales. Once you have a good reputation, you might be able to make trips in half the time and drive nearly 250 miles per day. This will bring in more than $180,000 a year in income and provide benefits worth $110,000.

Entry Barriers

  • A basic Class D license is needed for a hot shot driver who moves less than 10,000 pounds of freight. The driver needs a Class A Commercial Driving License to carry more weight, which may be a barrier to entry.
  • Another big thing that makes it hard to get into a business is that there are more and more “hot shot” businesses, many of which offer the same service. This could make it hard for you to stand out from your competitors and bring in new customers.

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Because your job in a delivery business will be limited to a certain area, you should do some study to find out where the best chances are.

Find out who your area competitors are, how many there are, what services they offer, and how much they charge. You want to fill a market gap. For example, it’s possible that the local market doesn’t have a reliable long-distance or environmentally friendly trucking business.

This could get people talking about your business again and bring you customers right away.

Keep in mind that a celebrity business can be a good part-time job for people who already have a pickup truck and trailer. Think about adding hot shot services to your business to make it more profitable.


Hot shot drivers bring small loads of goods quickly and well. Cost is the main gain for the client, since big cars are expensive. Since great carriers have lower costs, they can charge less for their services. You will have to decide how far you can drive and what kinds of things you can bring with you. When there isn’t much hot shot work, you could deliver for Amazon.


On average, a 9,000-pound shipping load costs $2 per mile, and your extra costs should cost $0.78 per mile.

Once you know your costs, you can use this step-by-step profit margin tool to figure out your markup and end price. Remember that the prices for the start should be open to change if the market calls for it.

Target Market

Most of your buyers will be B2B, which means that they are other businesses that depend on you to run their own. You can use LinkedIn, Google Guides, and even Howl to find nearby transportation companies, construction workers for hire, farmers, medical providers, car parts companies, and even stores and designers.

Load sheets will give you a good idea of where your best chances are. A load board is an online place where truck owners and drivers can meet with shippers and freight agents who need to move freight. DAT, KeepTruckIn, 123LoadBoard, Caravan, and TruckStop are the most important load boards.

Most load boards work on a subscription approach that lets people with paid accounts post their loads or empty cars. On load boards, you can also set up warnings for certain routes to be informed when a load that fits your route is listed.


At first, you will probably work from home or your car. If your business does well and grows, however, you may need to rent an office space. Sites like Craigslist, Crexi, and Moment Workplaces can help you find business space to rent in your area.

If you’re looking for a place to do business, you might want to keep these things in mind:

  • The site is in the middle of everything and can be reached by public transit. 
  • The room is big, has a lot of natural light, and has good air flow. 
  • As your business grows, you can get a longer lease.
  • It doesn’t need any big fixes or changes before it can be used. 

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

This will serve as a manual for your startup to follow as it launches and stays focused on its primary objectives. A business plan also helps investors and partners learn more about your company and its mission:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of the whole marketable strategy; ought to be composed after the arrangement is finished.
  • Business Outline: An overview of the business, its vision, mission, ownership, and objectives.
  • Services and Products: Give a thorough description of your services.
  • Market Investigation: Do a SWOT analysis and look at market trends like shifts in demand and potential for expansion.
  • Analyses of the Competition: Make a list of your services’ advantages and conduct an analysis of your main competitors, evaluating their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Marketing and Sales: Analyze your organizations’ special selling recommendations (USPs) and foster deals, showcasing, and limited time techniques.
  • Team of Management: An overview of the management team, including a corporate hierarchy and information about their roles and professional backgrounds.
  • Tasks Plan: The procurement, office location, key assets and equipment, and other logistical details of your company’s operational plan are included.
  • Monetary Arrangement: Three years of financial planning, including estimates of profit and loss, cash flow, break-even analysis, and startup costs.
  • Appendix: Include any additional documents pertaining to business or finances.

Step 4: Create a Marketing Plan

Some of your business will come from people who walk by or find you online, but you should still spend money on marketing! For new companies, getting the word out is especially important because it will bring in more customers and make more people aware of the brand. 

Once your site is up and running, you can link it to your social media accounts. Social media is a great way to get the word out about your business because you can make interesting posts and sell your products.

  • Facebook is a great place to run paid ads because it lets you target specific groups, like guys under 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram has the same benefits as Facebook, but a different group of people use it.
  • Website: Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website show up higher in relevant search results, which is a key part of getting more sales. Make sure that there are clear calls to action on your site. Change the size, color, and placement of calls to action like “Book Now” This could bring in a lot more buyers.
  • Google and Yelp: Getting your business listed on Yelp and Google My Business can be a great way to get people to know about it and buy from you.
  • Put up signs that will catch people’s eyes in your store and on your website. 
  • Pass out flyers in your area and at events for your business. 
  • Make a movie about what you can do. If you make it funny, it might go viral.
  • Ask for referrals. Give customers a reason to send you new customers. 
  • Paid ads on social media sites: Choose sites where your target audience is most likely to be and run focused ads there.
  • For pay-per-click ads, Google AdWords are used to improve how well search engines work. First, do study on keywords.
  • Tell people how your shipping services helped them save money.
  • Create diagrams and use them in your writing.
  • Infographics can be made. Put up pictures and use them in your work.