Case Study: Darrick and Cinnamon of Truck and Travel

Is hot shot trucking profitable?

How much can you really make by hot shot trucking? Rather than answer with “theory,” we thought it would be a better idea to give you a real-life example. Hopefully, this will answer the question: How much does hot shot trucking pay?

Darrick and Cinnamon started their own hot shot trucking company called Truck and Travel. In one of the videos on their YouTube channel, they shared what they typically make in a single week. They both have CDLs so they can take loads up to and over the 26,001-pound mark.

By the way, Darrick and Cinnamon are a team, but they don’t do team driving. That is, they don’t have a built-in sleeper and do not continuously run. However, they do get in a little bit more miles than just one person can get if they do long runs. But they tend to do shorter runs.

In one typical week, they grossed $4,075.00, doing 2,398 miles that week. It averaged out to 9.9 miles per gallon. Those miles include deadhead and loaded miles.

How Much Does Hot Shot Trucking Pay? Basic Costs

Now to go over some of the different costs throughout the week. First, let’s go over the cost if you were a hotshot under someone else’s authority. Later, we will show you their costs since they are running underneath their own authority.

For the week, they had used up $845.35 for fuel. For food for the two of them, Darrick and Cinnamon spent $148.57. Of course, some people pack their food, but they eat at truck stops. They didn’t do sit down restaurants or anything like that.

And since they don’t have a DOT-approved sleeper — they’re in a hot shot rig — they had to do hotels. So if they weren’t close enough to home and if it would be more expensive to go home than to get a hotel, they went ahead and stayed at hotels. Their hotel cost for one typical week was $251.68.

The area that they delivered to had tolls. So they spent $40.60. They also had a work phone that they pay for monthly. So they took their monthly costs and multiplied it by twelve months and then divided it by 52 to figure out what their weekly cost was. It ends up being $20.93. So if you have your own authority, you can use your phone for your business too.

For the insurance of their truck and trailer, they pay $193.32 per week. You may be thinking, “Seriously?” Yes, it’s that expensive because of how much liability it covers. So, for their truck payment, they pay $333.69 a week. This is not paying ahead or anything. They had a truck before that they had to take a hit on and so they got a brand new truck. They also got a new trailer, and their trailer payment amounts to $157.15 a week.

Hot Shot Trucking Costs When You Have Your Own Authority

They are using and paying for two load boards. They spend $33.22 weekly on those. For their ELD (electronic logging device), they use KeepTruckin. It costs them 30 some dollars monthly, but they had to pay for a full year upfront. That amounts to $7.43 per week.

They also go through a factoring company. The company takes out a certain percentage. Then for each transaction, for each paperwork filed, the factoring company takes $3.00. So that’s $136.84.

They also have a dispatcher. And her pay for the week was $254.00. But, this is the first week that they’re going over that they used her and they already had a load lined up for Monday. So that is not the full amount that she would get if she booked them all the loads that they got that week.

So when they subtract all of those costs from the gross amount that they got for the week, which was $4,075, they ended up with $1,652.22. This takes care of their food, their fuel for the week, their truck payment, insurance payment, etc. So it’s a lot of different costs that are covered by this. So that’s $1,652.22. It’s not bad at all. Of course, your costs are going to be different.

Summary of Weekly Hot Shot Trucking Costs

For your handy reference, here is a summary of the costs discussed in the article:

Total Revenues: $4,075.00


Total Expenses: $2,422.78

  • Fuel: $845.35
  • Truck payment: $333.69
  • Dispatcher: $254.00
  • Hotels: $251.68
  • Insurance: $193.32
  • Trailer payment: $157.15
  • Food: $148.57
  • Factoring: $136.84
  • Tolls: $40.60
  • Load boards: $33.22
  • Cell Phone: $20.93
  • ELD (KeepTruckin): $7.43


Total Profit: $1,652.22

The Bottom Line

I hope this example has helped you get one point of view of what you can make in a week. Do you have any question for us? Let us know in the comments below!