Thinking about being a hotshot driver need some input!

Discussion in 'Expediter and Hot Shot Trucking Forum' started by Juan9091, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Juan9091

    Juan9091 Bobtail Member

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hello all, let me start by saying i have been thinking of doing this for a while and have looked into it a little bit. It didn't become more of a possibility till now so let me get right into it.

    i have a good friend of mine that has a class a cdl, I don't but I was going to obtain one soon. We started talking one day about possibly going into the hotshot business together. Running a 2011 dodge ram 3500 mega cab dually and a goose neck trailer. We have heard there is a lot of money to be made in the oil fields here in Texas as hot #### drivers we just don't really know how about doing it. I know about getting the dot numbers and everything else for the truck plus insurance but I have been looking for jobs and I don't know if I'm not looking correctly or what I'm doing wrong but I can't seem to find anything. So plain and simple:

    how would I go about trying to get loads?
    is it steady work year round?

    any other advice, input, or anything would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. twistedsmoke

    twistedsmoke Light Load Member

    Nov 23, 2013
    Clarksville, Tn
    Not sure if this will help, but you could check out I'm sure someone would be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck!
  4. winchester306

    winchester306 Bobtail Member

    Jan 26, 2014
    1 you have to get on the oil companys vendor lists and to do that you have certain safety classes, got to make alot of sales calls to oil field supply companys and get on there call out list. your prices need to be competative. takes alot of work and getting the right contacts, business is already saturated cuz everybody with a truck and trailer is trying to get in to it. good luck
  5. Mr Win Big

    Mr Win Big Light Load Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    DFW Texas
    Oil field is like playing craps in vegas..when ur hot ur hot. .when your not ur not. One of my buddies is in upper management with United Vision. .all they do is oilfield. He said some times guys are running strong. .but just last week they had 120 trucks in houston sitting over a week waiting for loads. Its good money. .just not steady enough for me, I have 7 hotshot rigs so I gotta have steady freight. I prefer to run my hotshot rigs otr. Rates arent as good as oil patch of course. .but u can still pull down 6k to 8k a week per truck and its gonna be steady. Just depends on how u wanna run bro
    Sumnslick and Wannabefarmer Thank this.
  6. armygatormn

    armygatormn Light Load Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Montrose, MN
    The oil fields are a great gig to get but do not limit yourself to the oil field because it is also a hard gig to get. I do hotshot hauling and I do it OTR. To answer your CDL question, if you are running the 26000 lbs or less GCVW then you are not required to have a CDL nor are your required to have and IFTA sticker or IRP plates. However, that being said, you do have to carry a health card with you and you must have the following in the truck: Mudflaps, fire extinguisher, 3 road flares or 3 reflective triangles (it's a good idea to have both), and spare fuses. What kind of rig are you planning to run? I have a 2003 F-350 dually with a 7.3 liter Powerstroke and pull a 24 foot gooseneck fllatbed trailer. The dually and gooseneck setup is one of the more ideal setups to have because of traction and weight distribution. it is also a good idea to have a 3-ball bumper hitch. You will probably have to get an electronic log system installed. Th feds are pushing towards paperless logbooks and it will highly be likely mandated in the near future. Money can be made running hotshot but you have to be patient and keep a level head. I would also get on any load board that you can because that is where to find the best hauls. Uship is not the best place to go to find loads due to cut throat bidding and lowball pricing expectations by the customers. I would also try to find customers through many channels. i takes time to make money running hotshot but it takes time.
  7. FarmerTransportation

    FarmerTransportation Light Load Member

    Dec 26, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I started looking at hotshot around the same time as you, Juan9091. Did a ton of research and got a ton of answers here and went ahead and bit the bullet. Here's a quick summary of what I've found:

    1: Don't limit yourself to oil/gas. A load is a load and as long as you can haul it and it pays, go for it.
    2: Become a salesperson. You have to go and call directly on companies who ship stuff to let them know you're available. You will probably have to call on them more than once to begin to build a relationship.
    3: Load boards, unless you're lucky, will probably be the first place you will find work. I recommend Internet Truckstop highly. You will have to pay to play, but it is not all that expensive and can produce nearly instant results. Be ready to do some selling to any broker you talk to about a load from the board, as they will be a little nervous about you being new.
    4. You will need to provide:
    a) A certificate of cargo insurance. Your insurance provider will fax this to the broker for you.
    b) Your FMCSA permit showing your operating authority.
    c) Your W9 information.
    d) A signed contract provided by the broker.
    5. Figure out how much you need to earn per mile or per hour in order to make ends meet. Be prepared to negotiate rates, and to turn down a load that doesn't pay enough. Brokers may want to pay you a lower rate because you're new. it's up to you whether to accept that or not.
    6. Pay close attention to the paperwork required that is attached to any load that you get. Be sure to get and keep copies of bills of lading, shipping orders etc as you will need to turn some or all of these in to get paid.

    I just got my very first load this past Monday. Picked up in eastern Ohio (I'm in Pittsburgh) and delivered to Miami, FL. Deadheaded back. The load paid enough even with the return trip empty to provide operating capital through the end of February for me. The work is out there if you want to do it, and you have the equipment to fit quite a bit of the work that's there.

    I'm running an F350 7.3L with single rear wheels and no trailer. Small loads, but I just smile at the scales on the way past.
    TN_Chief and Wannabefarmer Thank this.
  8. bobobrazil

    bobobrazil Medium Load Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    In Front Of You
    Small load of what? You say it has provided you with operating capital and you also dead headed back? Must have been a very high paying load!
  9. FarmerTransportation

    FarmerTransportation Light Load Member

    Dec 26, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    1900 lbs of steel springs. And yeah, it was at a good mileage rate. Good thing, too, because apparently there's seldom anything for my size truck coming back up out of Florida! Keep in mind I'm deadheading at about 18mpg.
  10. CTSTransport

    CTSTransport Bobtail Member

    Feb 12, 2014
    I've been doing this for about 6 months now. I started by getting jobs anywhere I could find. Didn't take long and now I am covered up in work. My wife is begging me to start hiring help, she said at the very least hire a co-driver. I have only made it home for 2 days in the last 7 weeks now. I won't be home for another week and a half now so that will make two days home in two months. Good news is I stopped taking new jobs several days ago and plan to take off nearly all of March! :) At this point I've been coast to coast nearly a dozen times, seen 39 of the lower 48 states and have put over 60k miles on my truck.

    uShip can be useful at times. I haul a lot of campers and boats so if it's bumper pull I like to use them to get a motorcycle or atv for the truck bed and make a little extra there. Also I rarely have a deadhead using so many methods to find loads. But at the same time I have already met so many people that keep me busy, I am using load boards less and less. The funny thing is I bought a nice 32' gooseneck flatbed and only used it twice now because I get so many boats and campers.

    All in all the best advice I can give you is get rewards cards from all the major truck stops. I earn all kinds of free stuff and cash rewards and I never pay for a shower anymore.
    Wannabefarmer Thanks this.
  11. Midwest1

    Midwest1 Medium Load Member

    Jan 22, 2014
    What has your average rate per mile been?
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