Those pick-up-truck-trying-to-be-semi things...

Discussion in 'Expediter and Hot Shot Trucking Forum' started by Disgruntledriver, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. Disgruntledriver

    Disgruntledriver Light Load Member

    I honestly couldn't think of a better name for the thread...

    I've been seeing more of these dudes out on the interstate lately. Brand new, nice, fancy pickup trucks towing flatbed trailers everywhere from what looks to be about 25 all the way up to probably 40'something feet in length. They seem to haul everything, from cars and motorcycles, to anything you might put on a flatbed.

    Obviously something is working out for them and this is becoming more and more popular. I've heard they are rarely away from home more than about a night and make good money. I've also heard the pick-up truck route is a lot less expensive of a operation with less overhead required and less operating costs (more money in your pocket) then buying a semi and trying to get enough freight to pay for it and still make you a living.

    I know I have good credit and some times wonder if using it for one of those trucks and a trailer to go into business for myself might be a good option for me. Been driving OTR for over a year now, having a hard time finding local work, want to make at least decent money and I can be pretty good at customer relations (prior field I worked in) and business related matters.

    I know I might be mis-informed, so if anyone can fill me in with some info I'd appreciate it.
     
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  3. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

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    Trust me you heard wrong, and Ford or Dodge "tough" isn't even close enough to stand the pounding that a million miles puts on a class 8 tractor-trailer.
     
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  4. Disgruntledriver

    Disgruntledriver Light Load Member

    So is it a better route to buy a tractor, a flat bed trailer and haul the same kind of stuff around? Can money be made doing that? I'm not very well informed on the whole freight broker type of thing and how that's going these days. I live in Phoenix, so I know there's freight nearby.

    Also didn't know they were called Hot Shots, thank you, I'll do some research.
     
  5. loose_leafs

    loose_leafs Road Train Member

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    The hot shot business in my opinion is even more cut-throat than your classic big truck owner operator.

    The no overhead thing and home every night is a myth, except for a few who luck out. 1 ton diesel pickups in general are lucky to make it half a million miles with proper maintenance under ideal conditions before they blow an engine. Dodge is the only one in my opinion that equips their trucks with a reliable diesel (Cummins).

    There is a reason no manufacturer sticks a diesel V8 in a new class 8 truck anymore, They are too heavy compared to a inline 6 block and are far less reliable due to more moving parts on a V8. Combine that with terrible fuel mileage a shot gets when he really has to pull heavy, and you have nearly as much fuel cost and probably double the engine and drivetrain wear on a small truck that wasn't designed for a hard life begin with.
     
  6. NewNashGuy

    NewNashGuy Road Train Member

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    I rather travel with my bed, fridge (with freezer), TV, microwave, and pantry.
     
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  7. "semi" retired

    "semi" retired Road Train Member

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    Hot Shots were the rage for a while, and are ok for specialized hauling, but the way I figure, if you're going for it, may as well get a real truck. You can always put a small load on big wagon, but not tuther way round. Plus, the other day, I saw a hotshot pulling a single axle car hauler, 3 cars, I think, light turned red, and he couldn't stop his unit.:biggrin_25524:
     
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  8. Skunk_Truck_2590

    Skunk_Truck_2590 Road Train Member

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    Big truck is more efficient and has far better amenities. But either way, your still stuck running a log book and obeying the HOS.
     
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  9. chalupa

    chalupa Road Train Member

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    These guys are right on spot with their information. I looked at the whole package for a semi retirement / dual use thing and the numbers didn't work for me. I found the flat bed market and the parking lot market saturated with available iron and low rates just like class 8. There are examples in this model just like class 8 where a driver catches a special deal with a mfg or shipper and does well and other examples where a guy gets a dedicated deal from a broker...like ACME etc. but rare they are.

    These units also enjoy a little added DOT pressure too just because of what you said and some general assumptions made about the driver and his ability to run legal. The regs make no real distinction about these trucks...rules are the same.

    The statement that these are cheaper to operate is generally true but the life cycle is much shorter..... so is it over 10 years?

    IMO unless you have a contract with XYZ then I would stay out. These trucks are not as flexible as a class 8 therefore have less freight to pick from on the open market.
     
  10. Nedrudt

    Nedrudt Light Load Member

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    Every driver has their own path they've been on. I started OTR and now after a few months since I started I have a contract, home every night and only run 400 miles a day. I know it's a rare but really with every business it's how you sell yourself and the truck. If I could start it all over again though I wouldn't have got a dodge. I would have got a M2 and put a sleeper on or got a expeditor truck and cut down the frame. Sleeping in that back seat is rough. And yes, it's in a way cheaper to start but when you look at the prices you can easily get a decent used tractor for the same amount and with pulling less weight the tractor will outlast everything else by far.
     
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