Hot shot trucking is an extremely affordable way of getting into the hauling business in the United States. Unlike HGV truckers, hot shot truckers do not need to get ahold of a commercial vehicle license in order to take on loads legally. Instead, they simply need to purchase a federal carrier number, which is only 300 dollars.
Hot shot truckers typically haul their loads with high-powered pickup trucks, which many people in the United States already own for personal, non-commercial use. In order to begin trucking, a pickup has to be outfitted with a special hot shot trailer. There are several popular kinds of hot shot trailer.
Here is a quick guide to the most commonly used varieties.
- Gooseneck Trailers
Gooseneck trailers are far more stable when carrying heavy loads, and enable the vehicle to maintain a relatively good turning circle. Gooseneck trailers attach to a special contraption mounted in the bed of a pickup truck, which means that there is a higher startup cost than with a bumper pull trailer. If you are going to be making regular trips, a gooseneck trailer is recommended. Be aware that for loads over 10,000 lb. you will need to seek a commercial license. New truckers should try and stay under this limit.
- Bumper Pull Trailers
If you are just getting into hot shot trucking and want to find loads for your vehicle, purchasing a bumper trailer will allow you to take on the most basic kinds of shipping work. Bumper trailers are extremely common and very simple to fix onto a pickup. Pickup trucks do not need to be fitted with a special attachment in order to pull a bumper trailer – which attaches to the regular hitch on the back of the chassis. You will need to weight your truck carefully in order to avoid stability issues when carrying heavy loads.
- Deckover Trailers
Most trailers used in hot shot trucking have exposed wheel wells that take up some of the space on the carrying bed. Deckover trailers – as the name suggests – feature a deck that is positioned over the wheels. This eliminates the wheel wells and makes carrying unusually shaped loads far easier. The main disadvantage of deckover trailers is the high center of gravity they have, which is caused by the raised deck. When using a deckover, it is essential that you drive slowly and avoid sharp turns when carrying tall loads.
- Lowboy Trailers
Lowboy trailers have an extremely low center of gravity. The carrying deck is slung between the wheels, making the trailer extremely low to the ground. When it is not attached to a truck bed, this kind of trailer lies flat on the ground, making the loading of vehicles very easy. They do, however, lack some of the carrying space afforded by deckover designs. Lowboy trailers are frequently used by hotshot truckers that need to carry heavy industrial equipment without employing specialized loading equipment at the beginning or end of their journey.