Do you want to start a hot shot trucking business without running it yourself? If YES, here are 11 best hot shot trucking companies you can lease on with. Hotshot is a term that is commonly used in the trucking industry especially in the United States of America.

The word hotshot commonly refers to either the truck or the freight and in most cases both. In practical terms, it is usually a Class 3 – 5 truck used in combination with a range of trailers to run for – hire freight and it works for both a single customer or less-than-truckload.

The truck that is qualified to be used by hotshot companies are classified as one of the big three U.S. auto manufacturers’ three-quarter- to one-and-a-half-ton cab-and-chassis rigs or pickups outfitted for weight-distributing gooseneck- or fifth-wheel-type connections to a trailer.

Hotshot freight is hauled for a single customer and it is needed in expedited fashion. A major advantage of all hotshot customers is the fact that they reduce service downtime to the barest while minimizing costs. On the average, hot shot rates are about $1 to $2 per mile.

So, a local job could be somewhere in the range of a few hundred dollars, whereas something that needs to go out of state could very well be worth thousands of dollars. If you are a truck driver and you want to lease on with hotshot companies in the United States of America, here are 11 hotshot companies you can work with.

11 Best Hot Shot Trucking Companies to Lease on With

1. Cheetah Hotshot Company

If you are looking for a standard hot shot company to lease on with in the united states of America, then one of your options is to choose Cheetah Hot Shot Company. Cheetah Hot Shot Company offers the best Hotshot leasing program in the trucking industry.

They have perfect Level 1 & Level 2 Inspection and they pay $50 to the driver for a perfect level 3 inspection). Please note that you must be a United States citizen or have legal authorization to work in the U.S if you are considering leasing on with Cheetah.

2. Houston Hotshot Trucking Company

If you live in and around Houston Texas and you are looking for a standard and well – paying hot shot company to lease on with, then one of your options is to consider Houston Hot Shot Trucking Company. Houston Hot Shot Trucking Company is strategically located in Houston Texas and they provide Hot Shot Trucking oilfield services for all size truck loads.

3. ACME Truck Line Hot Shot Company

ACME Truck Line Hot Shot Company is one of the leaders in the trucking industry in the United States and the are spread out all across the country. This company has been in existence for over fifty years. The people at ACME have worked to build a distinguished hot shot trucking business over the years.

ACME has freight to move and they can boast of hauling more than 6,000 truckloads of hotshot, flatbed. ACME has company dispatchers and commission agents seeking reloads. ACME owns no trucks and they leverage on leased equipment exclusively.

Acme has strong presence all along the gulf coast, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana & Texas. They are primarily oil field related, but they haul any LTL loads that come along. They run across all 48 states. If you are looking for a standard hot shot company to lease on in the United States, then you should consider ACME Trucking Line Hot Shot Company.

4. JF Express Fr8, LLC

If you live in and around Marysville – Ohio and looking for a hot shot company to lease on with, one of your options is to consider JF Express FR8, LLC. JF Express Fr8, LLC is a standard and well paying hotshot trucking company that is strategically based in Marysville, Ohio. The company offers a wide range of hot shot jobs, CDL Jobs, and Owner/Operator Employment.

5. CKJ Transport Company – Odessa, TX

If you live in and around Odessa – Texas and you are looking for a hot shot company to lease on with in the United States, your best bet is to consider CKJ Transport Company. As a class A owner-operator driver, fleet owner, hot-shot owner or class a CDL fleet owner, you will find it convenient working with CKJ Transport Company.

This company can guarantee great growth opportunity for fleet owners and of course sustained revenue flow when you lease on with them. As a matter of fact, you estimated earnings when you lease on with them is between $140,000 and $180,000 a year.

6. Greensheet Hot Shot Trucking Company – Pearland, TX

Another top rated hot shot company that you can lease on with if you live in and around Pearland – Texas is Greensheet Hot Shot Trucking Company. Presently, the company is expanding its operations and they are currently hiring Owner Operator Drivers for oil/ gas hot shot services.

For you to qualify to lease on with this company, you must have commercial driver’s license CDL B or higher and a clean record. The estimated income of truck drivers who lease on with this company is between $130,000 and $170,000 in a year.

7. Hazel’s Hotshot Company – Houston, TX

If you are looking for a hotshot trucking company that has a wide range of coverage all across the United States of America to lease on with, then you should consider Hazel’s Hotshot Trucking Company. If you lease on with this company as a truck driver, you will be doing hot shot deliveries in Houston or any city you choose within their coverage.

Since 1977, Hazel’s has been recognized as an established leader in the hot shot trucking line of business not only in Houston – Texas but in major cities all across the United States of America. As a truck driver that leases on with Hazel, your estimated earnings will range from $48,000 t0 $62,000 per year.

8. Spectrum Brands Hot Shot Trucking Company – Overland, MO

Another fast growing hot shot trucking company that you can lease on with if you live in and around Overland – MO is Spectrum Brands Hot Shot Trucking Company. The company delivers innovative products of outstanding quality for the owners of dogs, cats, birds, small animals, fish and reptiles et al. As a truck owner operator leasing on with Spectrum Brands, your estimated earnings is between $24,000 and $31,000 a year.

9. USA Truck Company

If you are looking for a standard and well spread hot shot company to lease on with in the United States, then one of your options is to consider USA Truck Company. USA Truck is one of the few hot shot companies that offer medical and dental benefits, paid vacation, and a 401(k) + company match retirement plan. The company can boldly state that Owner Operators are special to them, and the relationship they build is long term.

They can boast of partnering with the absolute best and elite team of quality drivers. These are just a few of the so many reasons to partner with USA Truck as an Owner Operators. The company offer great benefits such as; excellent freight choices, performance bonuses, fuel discounts, no forced dispatch, free EZ pass, complimentary lumpers, referral bonuses, improved pay package.

10. Hotshots Moving Company, Plano, TX

If you are looking for a small and well – managed hot shot company to lease on with and you live in and around Plano – Texas, then you should consider Hotshots Moving Company. Hotshots Delivery and Moving is a family owned business offering residential and office moving services to residents of Plano.

11. Hot Shot Logistics, LLC

If you are looking for a standard hot shot company to lease on with in the united states of America, then one of your options is to choose Hot Spot Logistics, LLC. Hot Shot Logistics, LLC offers one of the best Hotshot leasing programs in the trucking industry in the United States of America.

The company is well structured to work with truck owners who lease on with them. Please note that you must be a United States citizen or have legal authorization to work in the U.S if you are considering leasing on with Hot Shot Logistics, LLC.

General Requirements to Be Able to Lease With a Hot Shot Company

For you to be able to lease on with hotshot companies in the United States, you must have a commercial driver’s license. This is because the United States of America employs a truck classification system, and truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a CMV with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds.

Qualifying and obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) requires a skills test (pre-trip inspection and driving test), and knowledge test (written) covering the unique handling qualities of driving a large, heavily loaded commercial vehicle, and the mechanical systems required to operate such a vehicle (air brakes, suspension, cargo securement, et al.), plus be declared fit by medical examination no less than every two years. For passenger bus drivers, a current passenger endorsement is also required.

A person must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a CDL. Drivers under age 21 are limited to operating within their state of licensing (intrastate operation). Many major trucking companies require driver applicants to be at least 23 years of age, with a year of experience, while others will hire and train new drivers as long as they have a clean driving history.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Is Hot Shot, and Is It Right For You?

A hot shot job involves the expedited transport of freight. As a hot shot truck driver, you often haul much smaller loads than a standard trucker. You typically drive a one-ton diesel truck with a gooseneck trailer in this field. Although there is an initial investment when starting this type of trucking business, the money is recouped within a short period. Even with a few potential risks, hot shot trucking as a whole is an excellent career opportunity.

  1. What Is Hot Shot Trucking?

Hot shot trucking involves hauling smaller, more time-sensitive LTL loads within a specific timeframe, and usually to a single customer or location. Hot shot loads are usually delivered using medium-duty trucks that pull flatbed trailers. These businesses provide a unique form of transportation that is beneficial to customers, as well.

  1. How Much Can You Make, Hotshot?

Hotshots with full deck & weight capacity, rolling in regions that offer the best rates & volume, gross $150,000 to $180,000 per year. Carriers with newer authority are on the lower end of that spectrum, while carriers with 90-days or more are on the upper end of that range.

  1. What Documentation Should You Have For Your Hot Shot Business?
  • Business License
  • Vehicle documents, including title, registration
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Vehicle for Service Permit
  • USDOT number required for interstate hauling
  • Operating Authority (MC) obtained with the USDOT
  • Commercial Driver’s License (highly recommended)
  • Papers of incorporation of LLC status
  1. How Long Are Typical Hotshot Runs?

Hotshot trips can be to the next town or across the country. You have some control over the distances you want to travel. If you want to be home every night, then you will accept only short distance runs. If you are ready to be gone for several days, your loads may cover much of the country, working your way back home for the weekend.

  1. How Do You Run A Successful Hot Shot Business?
  • Draft a Business Plan
  • Legalize Your Business
  • Reach Out to Customers
  • Insurance and Bonding
  1. What Are The Pros And Cons Of Starting Your Own Hotshot Business?

There are pros and cons of starting your own hotshot business. They include;


  • The initial start-up costs are much lower.
  • You are more or less the manager of your business and your time.
  • Loads are often local or regional giving you more time at home.
  • Hauling expedited loads means less waiting time.
  • Income can be very good, potentially better than Class 8 operators.


  • It will be your business, so you are expected to manage maintenance, schedules, and costs.
  • Demand will vary from day-to-day, especially in the beginning.
  • You must work to develop your client base.
  • You must be aware of local and state laws; be aware of applicable taxes that can be as much as 25% of your gross receipts.
  • You have to make sure that you obtain adequate and proper insurance for your business.
  1. How Do You Start A Hot Shot Trucking Business?
  • Open an LLC in Your State
  • Get a Tax ID Number
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a DOT Physical (and Your Medical Card)
  • Get a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
  • Get Your MVR (Motor Vehicle Record)
  • Get TWIC-Transportation Workers Identification Credential
  • Get Permission From the Federal and State Government
  • Obtain Your Trucking Equipment
  1. What States Do Most Hotshots Live In?
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Kansas
  • Wisconsin
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  1. What Are The Advantages Of Owning And Operating A Hotshot Trucking Service?

Here are few advantages of owning and operating your own hotshot trucking service

  • You are self-employed and can build your own business.
  • You can build a family business.
  • You haul what you want, when and where you want.
  • You enjoy more control over your schedule and are home most nights.
  • You have the potential to make good money in the process.
  • You can be home for holidays; maybe not have to work Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
  1. What Hours Of Service Rules Apply To Hot Shot Trucking?

Hotshot drivers are expected to comply with the following:

  • The 11 hours driving, minimum 10 hours off-duty
  • 14 consecutive hour duty period
  • 60/70 hours in 7/8 days
  • 34-hour restart all apply
  • On any 2 days of every 7 consecutive days, the driver may extend the 14-hour duty period to 16 hours.
  1. What Is The Best Truck For Hotshot?

Dodge RAM 3500 Tradesman has proven to be the best truck for hotshot. This model has a heavy duty diesel engine made by Cummins, which is one of the biggest and oldest engine manufacturers in the world. Their engines power a great variety of equipment from semi-trucks (Volvo), agriculture, construction machines, school buses, to specialized industrial machinery.

  1. What Equipment Do You Need To Get Started?

Starting a hotshot business involves an enormous amount of initial investment as well as operating costs. The following is a typical list of equipment you should have:

  • Truck (1 Ton or Larger), Diesel or Gasoline
  • Trailer (Gooseneck, Box, and/or Auto Hauler)
  • Trailer Hitch: Fifth Wheel and Ball
  • GPS
  • Dependable Phone
  • Laptop/Computer Access
  • Internet Access on the Road
  • Cargo straps, Chains, Tie Downs
  • Safety Equipment/Basic Tools
  1. How Much Does A Hazmat Truck Driver Make?

As of Mar 19, 2022, the average hourly pay of a Hazmat Tanker Driver in the United States is $27.66 an hour. Although some drivers earn hourly wages as high as $39.18 and as low as $15.38, the majority of Hazmat Tanker Driver wages currently range around $22.12 to $33.17 across the United States.

  1. Should You Buy Or Lease A Truck For Your Hotshot Business?

The answer to the above question will depend on how much capital you have to invest in this business. A truck alone is anywhere from $31,000 to $70,000 and up; expect to pay at least $9,000 for a trailer plus a few thousand dollars for commercial insurance, among other expenses.

Howbeit, if you already have a truck, just start with that. If you don’t yet have a truck, you are advised to lease a truck. But if you don’t want to get a lease for some reason, consider getting a new truck over a used truck. It will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

  1. What Is The Best Truck For Hotshot Trucking?
  • Ford F-250 XL Super Duty Commercial.
  • Ford F-350 XLT Super Duty Commercial.
  • Ford F-450 Lariat Super Duty Commercial.
  • GMC Sierra 2500 Denali HD.
  • GMC Sierra 3500.
  • Nissan Titan XD.
  • Dodge Ram 2500 Big Horn.
  • Dodge Ram 3500 Big Horn.
  1. What Size of Truck And Trailer Do You Need?

The minimum size of truck you need to start a hotshot business is the equivalent of a Ford F250, while most operators have trucks equivalent to a Ford F450/550 Super Duty for towing. Note that the trailer should be suitable for the types of loads you plan to carry. A 40-ft gooseneck flatbed trailer is the maximum length you can use and is the most versatile.

You also need to have tarps and tie-downs to protect and secure loads. If you plan to specialize in vehicle transport, a three-vehicle V-trailer would be ideal.

  1. Should You Get Your Own Authority Or Lease On To A Company?

To make real money in owner-operator trucking, you need to have your own authority. As they say, in life, the harder it is to get the goal, the more success it brings. The same goes for the hotshot trucking business. Earning one’s own authority gives business owners more benefits in the long run. If you are considering this path, have a plan and get your finances ready.

  1. What Is A Common Carrier In Trucking?

A common carrier is simply a business enterprise that transports goods and people from one location to another. Trucking firms, shipping firms, bus lines, airlines and rail services fall under the common carrier category.

  1. How Much Can You Make As A Delivery Driver With Amazon Flex?

Most delivery partners earn $18 – $25 per hour delivering with Amazon Flex. Note that actual earnings will depend on your location, any tips you receive, how long it takes you to complete your deliveries, and other factors.

  1. Who Does Enterprise Employ To Do Their Maintenance?

As at last year, Enterprise employed Goodyear and Firestone to do maintenance, however, there has not been any recent information in that regard.

  1. What Are The Best Custom Truck Sleeper Cabs?
  • 2016 Western Star 5700 w/132” ARI sleeper
  • 2013 Volvo w/144” ARI sleeper
  • 2019 Kenworth T880 w/168” ARI sleeper
  1. Do You Need To Get a Broker’s License for Your Hotshot Business?

Yes, and that’s if you intend to broker your own jobs. You will be expected to pay the $300 dollar application fee to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and apply for a freight broker’s license and a USDOT number.

  1. What Is The Best Owner Operator Company To Work For?
  • Cheetah Hotshot Company
  • Houston Hotshot Trucking Company
  • ACME Truck Line Hot Shot Company
  • JF Express Fr8, LLC
  • CKJ Transport Company – Odessa, TX
  • Greensheet Hot Shot Trucking Company – Pearland, TX
  • Hazel’s Hotshot Company – Houston, TX
  • Spectrum Brands Hot Shot Trucking Company – Overland, MO
  • USA Truck Company
  • Hotshots Moving Company, Plano, TX
  1. Will Enterprise Allow Me To Install A Fuel Transfer Tanking In The Bed Of My Truck?

Yes they will, but it is always advisable you speak to them before doing this.

  1. What Are The Best Trucking Companies For Veterans?
  • Roehl Truck
  • CRST Trucking
  • Averitt
  • Celadon Trucking
  • New Penn
  • Schneider National
  • TMC Truck
  • US Xpress Truck
  1. Do Your Financials Prevent You From Buying A New Truck?

Yes, your financials can prevent you from buying a new truck. However, if it does, then a lease might be the best option for you.

  1. Best Truck Driving Companies for New Drivers?
  • Swift Trucking Company
  • US Xpress
  • CR England
  • Werner Enterprises
  • XPO Logistics
  • B.
  • Werner Enterprises
  • Roehl Transport
  • Schneider
  • Heartland Express
  1. Is It Beneficial To Put Less Than 12,000 To 15,000 Miles On Your Hotshot Vehicle In A Year?

Have it in mind that hotshot drivers are mandated to file an Interstate Operating Number (MC number) in addition to a DOT number. Even so, you must pay for excessive wear or damages that are found upon return. The residual value states how much your hotshot truck will be worth by the end of your lease.