Guidelines of Hot Shot Trucking

Hot shot trucking is the process of transporting small quantities of freight using flatbed hotshot trailers and “medium duty” pickup trucks. In many cases, hot shot trucking offers a time and budget friendly solution for shippers who choose to send their trucking via less-than-truckload (LTL) or partial truckload (PTL) service. Today, Hot trucking is very popular in the transportation services for small shipments.

hot shot trucking

Dimensions of hot shot trailers

  • Most hot shot trailers are between 30 and 40 feet in length and 3 feet 4 inches to 3 feet 6 inches above the ground.
  • The maximum cargo height capacity of hot shot trailers ranges between 9 feet, 6 inches and 10 feet, depending on the profile of the tires.
  • In terms of weight capacity, the 40-foot hot shot trailer is not suitable for hauling any cargo weighing more than 16,500 pounds.

Types of Hot shot trailer

1. Gooseneck Hot Shot Trailer

hot shot for the rigid stability of its gooseneck, the gooseneck hot shot trailer is a great solution for shippers who need to haul larger freight.

2. Dovetail Hot Shot Trailer

Dovetail Hot Shot trailer has a ramp in the back for loading self-propelled equipment such as light tractors and construction machinery. If you are a shipper who needs to move smaller equipment and want to avoid the hassle of booking an FTL flatbed, try a dovetail hot shot.

hot shot trucking

3. Bumper Pull Hot Shot Trailer

Because they are typically shorter, easier to use and less expensive to purchase, bumper pull hot shot trailers are the most common and hot shot type of trailer you will see on the road. These trailers can’t haul anything over 10,000 pounds, which makes it easier for less experienced drivers (who don’t necessarily own a CDL) to get into hot shot trucking with Class III pickup trucks. And, for companies that need to haul small amounts of trucking, these hot shot trailers offer a cost effective solution.  

What are the advantages of Hot Shot Trucking?

1. Save Cost

Full-length (48-53 ft.) flatbed and step trailers are expensive, especially if you need to book a full trailer but don’t have the cargo to fill it. In this situation, using a low-capacity popular trailer will save you the cost of paying trailer, tractor, and drivers. Since hot shot drivers don’t incur the cost of owning and maintaining a tractor, as well as the low fuel efficiency that comes with driving a Class 8 semi and pulling a 53-foot trailer, they are able to provide the service at a lower cost.

2. Higher Assurance

Sometimes, when sharing space on larger trailers, shippers are unable to track the progress and touch points of their shipments in time. This can lead to costly delays when consignees are not prepared for the arrival of their shipments or get stuck when shipments are late.

Hot shot trucking eliminates these obstacles because each shipment is assigned a dedicated truck, trailer and driver who provides the most adequate service to the individual shipper.

3. Suitable for Tight Timeframes

When delivery deadlines are fast approaching and your customers are waiting for shipments that need to be transported, hot shot trailer is your best option.

Compared to PTL and LTL services, hot shot trucking is much more efficient for time-sensitive shipments. Since the driver and trailer are dedicated to each shipment – there is no need to pick up/unload other shippers’ shipments.

On top of that, hot shot trailers are easier to move around town, more fuel efficient on the highway, and faster to load/unload at each end than 48 or 53 foot semi-trailers.

What are the disadvantages of Hot Shot Trucking?

1.Limited Load Capacity

Hot Shot Trailers can only legally haul up to 16,500 pounds of cargo on their decks up to 40 feet. Therefore, hot shot trailers are not a good choice for shippers who need more capacity than these thresholds allow.

2. Most Hot Shot Trailers Lack Air Suspensions

Most conventional semi trailers – those towed by Class 7 and Class 8 semi-tractors and measuring 48 to 53 feet in length – are equipped with air suspension systems. Powered by a combination of valves, bags and compression devices, air suspension systems ensure that cargo is protected from damage caused by bumps, collisions and shifts during transport. That’s why many shippers prefer the convenience and peace of mind that transporting cargo on a trailer with air suspension gives them.

But most hot shot trailers don’t use air suspension systems. They all use leaf spring suspension, which doesn’t offer the same protection. Although leaf spring units absorb a large portion of road bumps, they are usually not as effective as air suspension systems. So you need to consider the risk of damage to your cargo ahead of time before deciding whether to go with a hot shot trucking.

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