According to industry reports, a well-managed hotshot trucker in a reasonable location can bring in from $60,000 to $120,000 gross income per year, and possibly more. Most hotshot’s expenses—fuel, maintenance, insurance, licenses and fees, tolls, etc.—are approximately half of the gross income. Time and fiscal management are critically important to succeed as a hotshot.
The average rate in this industry is $2 per mile and may vary between $1.50 and $2.50 depending on the season. If you drive around 2,500 miles per week, you’ll make $15,000 to $25,000 per month before taxes. That’s a lot more compared to the average job. But try not to forget to subtract any operating costs, repair costs, food, fuel, and other expenses.
To understand the price to charge for your hotshot services, you must first understand your hotshot expenses and what you must make to cover operating expenses, pay the mortgage, maintain a home, support your family, etc. Expenses include any equipment loan payments, fuel, routine maintenance on equipment, licenses and taxes, insurance, record keeping, load board service fees, supplies, etc.
Take these total expenses and divide them by the number of revenue miles you expect to drive per year. This will give you the cost-per-mile expense—this might be something between 60 cents to $1.00 per mile. From here determine how much you must make to pay all household and living expenses.
Also, divide this number by the same number of miles you plan to drive. It will tell you how much you are expected to make per mile to support you and your family. For instance, let us imagine that it comes out to another 80 cents per mile. It simply entails that you must earn, on average $1.60 to $1.80 per mile to break even. That means you must charge as much as $2.80 per mile to your customer.
However, if you intend to do more than just breakeven—you need to set aside money for unexpected expenses, emergencies, education, and hopefully, an occasional vacation. Howbeit, remember that all the figures shown here are for illustrative purposes only and your figures are likely to be very different.
Your total income depends on how many miles you drive and your rate. If you drive more revenue miles than you planned, you are ahead of the financial curve. Be prepared to negotiate rates and be prepared to hold the line on what you determine is the minimum rate to meet your financial obligations.
Factors That Affect The Income Of Any Hotshot Business
Although the income a hotshot business can make are often uncertain, they are not a total mystery; as with most outgoings, they depend on a range of economic circumstances that include;
The cost of hotshot transport is indeed related to the price of fuel. As fuel prices fall, trucks become cheaper to operate and the price of transport goes down. Savings (or losses) are passed on to consumers – either indirectly or through a fuel cost component built into a trucker’s pricing model. And of course, if fuel prices increase, truckers will pass the additional expense on to merchants.
The labor market
Have it in mind that increasing wages and competition among truckers for loads can have an upward impact on transportation costs. As older drivers retire, truckers may struggle to find hotshot drivers for their vehicles.
Recruiting new drivers is quite challenging; the job can be tough and typically requires a different class of driver licenses (courses to certify new commercial drivers can take weeks or even months to complete). Howbeit, many logistics companies struggle to compete with ‘in-house’ truck driving positions that tend to pay better and may offer less stress.
Demand for services
Also note that price in this industry depends on the volume of load being moved by truckers just as much as it depends on the actual, underlying costs. If capacity is limited, hotshot drivers may be inclined to sell limited space at a premium. Meanwhile, if the business is slow, a trucker may be talked into offering a more competitive rate, at least in the short term.
Clients who can offer loads to a trucker with regular, consistent business are well placed to receive a preferential rate, especially if demand across the industry is low.
Some hotshot trucking companies operate an older, smaller fleet. While these trucks are entirely adequate, newer trucks are designed to maximize storage space, allowing a truck to split space even further.
Please note that government regulations may directly impact the hotshot industry and its bottom line; for example, governments often set maximum driving hours for commercial drivers. Other government regulations may also impact costs and business revenues; for example, taxes, insurance, etc.
As a hotshot business, have it in mind that the amounts you charge for your loads and services will be mainly be determined by your location and your competitors. Note that the approximate hourly rate hotshot drivers charge is dependent on two factors when you consider location:
The average take-home salary of potential clients in your region and the number of other truckers. The local economy goes a long way to dictate the rates you can charge. For example, if you’re advertising in the center of Washington DC, you can safely ask for higher fees than if your services are held in Wisconsin.
Level of experience
The price quoted by a trucker will, at least in part, reflect the trucker’s expectations as to the packing of pallets and the time to load. If you have a reputation for loading quickly, you may be charged a slightly smaller rate to compensate.
How Much Do Hazmat Truck Drivers Make?
As of Apr 1, 2022, the average hourly pay for a Hazmat Truck Driver in the United States is $27.66 an hour. Some drivers see 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.
The average pay range for a Hazmat Truck Driver varies greatly (by as much as $11.06), which implies there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.