Hustle is the name of the game when it comes to hotshot trucking. No matter how experienced or brand new are you to the business, you have to hustle. Hustling is imperative to reach success in the hotshot industry.

If you want to bring more money and value into your hotshot hustle, here are some tips that would help.

1. Be On Time

In the hotshot industry, being on time can spell the difference between more money or less money. An hour could make a big difference between you making another thousand dollars.

To make this happen, plan to be on time. Planning is a big part most hotshot truckers miss.

To be on time, you have to plan your route. Know where you’re heading and make sure you have the right directions. It is an excellent plan to call your receiver/shipper ahead of time to ask where the exact location is for the load to be dropped off. It is also wise to ask if there is an area where your hotshot truck and trailer can safely park to do the cargo drop off.

It would also be a good idea to plan and organize your day. Determine your trip stops and where you are going to spend the night. Your travel time to your sleeping place plus the time sending loads should fit ELD’s 11-hour rule.

This ELD rule prohibits drivers from going over 11 hours of driving. Once drivers have reached this limit, they are required to take a 10-hour break from it. So before reaching a total of 11 driving hours, you should be in the place where you are to spend the night. Or at least near it.

Other successful hotshotters use this rule to their advantage. Instead of going to their desired motel, they spend the night in front of the shippers/receivers. In this way, they are “early to catch the worm” (receive new loads/drop off loads). They are also well-rested, ready to bring or get the load and go about their hotshotting day.

2. Be Fast

The hotshot business is time-sensitive. When looking for loads, you have to be quick to select and get the load. Also, when loading up the cargo to your trailer, being fast is an advantage.

If the load requires a tarp, get it tarped. The faster you can secure the cargo, the faster you could get to the highway and get the job done.

3. Stay Well-Organized

Staying well-organized is a way you can be fast and beat the clock. Once you have unloaded your freight at the receiver’s address, keep and roll up your equipment. Meaning, roll up your tarps, straps, and chains. Put up your chain binders away. As the old adage goes, “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” Let this be a habit until you get the hang of this. This routine will be helpful in the long run when it comes to making more revenue.

4. Don’t Back Out From Hauling Oversized Loads

Haul oversized loads, like military or industrial machinery. Don’t shy away from them. Find someone who could get you a permit to carry one. An oversized load can cost from $3.50 to $5.50 per mile, which can bring in more dollars for you.

Also, find good brokers when getting army loads. If you get to land this type of load, you are going to make a lot of money out of it since military loads are constant loads. These loads are regularly moving from base to base, as well as to different training sites.

5. Get Good-Paying Light Loads

The money is not only found in the oversized loads but also in light loads. Not just any light load, but one that pays well. You can check if it is a good-paying load when you calculate the rate per mile with the total miles you’d be traveling. If it is more than your minimum rate per mile, then it is a good-paying load.

One good thing about lighter loads is when it comes to fuel: they are better on your gas mileage.

6. Be on the Lookout For the Best-Paying Freight

Always be on the hunt for the best-paying freight. Be on the lookout for loads that can pay high. You can find them in load boards by yourself or by a dispatcher. You could also look for them via direct connections (shippers/brokers). There are good-paying loads out there, but you have to be willing to put in more effort in finding them.

7. Make Money With Your Family

Are you considering hotshotting as a family business? If not, don’t let it stop you from bringing your family with you on occasion while you drive.

You may take your kids with you and do some hotshot trucking. From there, you can show them the ropes of the industry. Not only will they learn about hotshotting, but you also get to bond with them and be with them.

8. Find Brokers With Consistent Freight

Brokers with consistent freight are a gold mine for hotshot truckers. These brokers would be found working onsite near manufacturing companies that produce ACs, refs, and more. 

These manufactured units are given to the brokers by the companies so that brokers can start pushing those units out. When you are there, it would be easier to help them push these units out.

Most of these manufacturing companies are found in some states. These states are the Tri-State area, the Midwest, and some parts of the Northeast. If you want to stay loaded, keep around these areas.

9. Stay Loaded

If you want to make more money on your hotshot hustle, keep your truck running with loads. Don’t let your vehicle sit on the sidelines. Find freight that is good for you and your business. There is enough freight out there if you look for it.

The Bottom Line

Hustling in the hotshot industry is not only a skill — it is also an art. These pointers can serve as practical tips to help you improve your technique in hotshot hustling. May these ideas be useful to you and may they bring more dollars to your hotshot business.