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How To Book Hot Shot Loads

Being a hot shot load driver has many advantages and can be a great way to earn a desirable income. When you know the ins and outs of booking hot shot loads, you can help make sure it works for you. 

Booking hot shot loads can be done in several ways and the right one may depend on the driver. Whether you like to keep it old fashioned and network in your local community or if you want to make technology work for you with load boards, you can be booking jobs in no time. Help yourself earn the income you want by booking reliable trips today. 

What Is a Hot Shot Load? 

A hot shot load is a load or shipment that is often a less-than-truckload or less-than-load (LTL) with a time-sensitive delivery window. These smaller loads are generally to a single location or customer and while most are typically only going a short distance, some may need to be transported across state or even country lines. 

Hot shot trucking can pay premium rates due to the time-sensitive delivery requirements and this is a major appeal for hot shot drivers. Being your own employer has its advantages, but there are drawbacks to consider as well. 

How Do Hot Shot Loads Work? 

Typically, the majority of hot shot truck drivers own their vehicles and are owner-operators that work for themselves. In some instances, company drivers are able take on hot shot loads as well. 

They’re able to find jobs and loads on varying load boards. Once they accept a job, they go to the pickup point and retrieve their load. They’re then off to the destination to get things delivered and unloaded. 

And that’s it! The simplicity hot shot loads offer is incredibly appealing to all types of truck drivers. 

Pros & Cons of Hot Shot Loads

With prime pay rates, hot shot loads can easily be desirable. With all things, there are both pros and cons to consider before diving in.  


  • Generally lower start up and operating costs than traditional trucking companies 
  • Time-sensitive deliveries often mean quick turnaround 
  • Typically higher pay than traditional truck shipments 
  • Flexibility, accept loads when and where you want 


  • Inconsistent loads
  • No fixed income
  • Drivers are self-employed and responsible for finding their own loads
  • Drivers responsible for any out-of-pocket costs, including vehicle maintenance
  • Schedule availability, meaning you may drive nights, weekends, and holidays

6 Ways To Book Hot Shot Loads

When you’re ready to be your own boss, know the best ways to help yourself succeed and make a great income. 

Load Boards

Load boards are an ideal way to book hot shot loads. There are both free and fee-based load boards available when you’re on the search for jobs. With new loads posted daily, you can be sure to stay on top of the trips you want. 

The best load boards can help you vet brokers and get ideal rates for every trip. Load boards also help you see the details of each load upfront instead of being surprised when you go to load up and get on the road. 

Freight Brokers

Freight brokers are another way to book hot shot loads. A freight broker connects shippers and truck drivers and can be very helpful, especially if you’re newer to hauling hot shot loads. 

Freight brokers do a lot of the work for you, but this typically comes at a cost with commission and other potential fees. With thousands of licensed freight brokers throughout the country, it’s easy to find a reputable one to work within your area. 

Dispatch Services

With truck dispatching services, you can find hot shot loads as well. A dispatcher is similar to a freight broker and will charge varying fees for their services. Many dispatch services go further in their assistance than freight brokers and offer administrative services like accounting, invoicing, and billing in addition to finding the right brokers and jobs. 

Register as a Government Contractor

Not surprisingly, the government has contract positions available for their transportation needs and these can be ideal for hot shot drivers. The federal government, local city governments, and county municipalities have all outsourced certain transportation requirements they may have. 

You will be required to register as a government contractor or work with a company that is already contracted with them. This can be ideal if you don’t want to deal with extra paperwork. Before you do this, you can contact your city or state government to find out more details about their transportation and hot shot load needs and requirements. 


Prospecting is essentially the old school way of growing your business. Building relationships with local manufacturers and shippers in your area can help you get leads and earn jobs. Get to know who is in your area and what they ship and see if you can be beneficial to them and their business with your trusted transportation services. 


Another great and classic way to help grow your business is by networking. Attend local events and business meetings to create connections and build relationships with those in your area. 

Building your reputation locally is a great way to help get more leads that get your more loads. Focusing on industries in your area that will require transportation services is a great place to start. 

Let The Ever Growing Market Work For You

The saying “time is of the essence” seems to be becoming more prevalent as the years pass. This is true in every industry, including the transportation one. Hot shot loads are a necessity for many carriers, shippers and manufacturers as goods constantly need to be delivered in a timely manner. 

Thankfully, the best truck drivers continue to help get these hot shot loads delivered on time. The demand is there, so be sure you know how to book hot shot loads and keep yourself on the road. 


Is It Worth Doing Hot Shot Trucking?

Hot shot trucking can pay premium rates for loads making it very worth doing for many truck drivers. 

How Much Can You Make on the Average Hot Shot Load?

You can earn anywhere from $1 to $2 per mile for hot shot loads depending on the complexity of the job, the typical going rate for hot shot loads is about $1.50 on average.

How Do I Find Hot Shot Loads?

The most common way to find hot shot loads is to utilize hot shot trucking load boards. There are both free and fee based load boards available to use.

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