Hotshot Car Hauling - What Is It?

As a form of car transport that uses freelance truck drivers.. Hotshot car hauling is a fast and efficient alternative to the most common form of auto transport company services, which is known as open transport. It is also known as single car transport or can be a form of flatbed car hauling.

Some Key Takeaways

  • Hotshot car hauling is an expedited method of auto transport that typically will be performed by medium-duty trucks pulling smaller car trailers.
  • Provides faster delivery times, access to hard-to-reach locations such as small streets of condensed residential neighborhoods, are safer, and cost is in line with with traditional open air car shipping (Depending on distance).
  • Commonly used for golf carts, motorcycles, ATV's, and other small vehicle shipping.

But what exactly is hotshot car hauling, and what benefits will this method of car shipping provide you?

What is Hotshot Car Hauling?

Utilizing medium-duty trucks (as categorized by the Federal Highway Administration) which are pulling smaller trailers, hotshot car hauling is a fast form of cross-country car transport.

Hotshot car hauling is a fast and effective method of auto transport. If you are on a speed crunch, this is definitely a way to go.

Is Hotshot the Same as Expedited Car Transport?

No. Expedited car transport simply provides a faster pickup time, but is limited to the restrictions in place for large trucks carrying multiple vehicles. Therefore, expedited car transport only provides fast pickup. Hot shot car haulers on the other hand pick up and deliver quickly.

Typically owner-operators (or freelancers) these drivers of hotshot trucks will:

  • Own their own trucks
  • Undertake jobs based on their own schedule to maximize time and earnings.
  • Mainly use class 3, 4, and 5 FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) rated trucks for their operations
  • Commonly use load boards to find jobs. Load boards are online marketplaces where shippers, freight brokers, and truckers can post and search for loads.

The Basics of Hotshot Car Hauling

Now that we know the trucks used and who the drivers are that use them lets get into some basics. As mentioned, Hotshot auto transport involves using a smaller truck. Thus, this type of truck will be a flatbed car hauler. They can typically load up 1-3 cars, unlike regular open carriers that hold up to 10 and have two levels.

The trucks used for hotshot car hauling often require only enough space to transport a single car. So they can be small to medium flatbeds or wedge trailers which can accommodate up to three cars at a time. These are most prevalent type of hot shot trailers.

Are Hot Shot Trucks Dually Trucks?

Most of these trucks will have the higher capacity rear axle which will have dual wheels on each side as it is ideal for the weight and pressure of carrying a vehicles.

How Hotshot Truckers Operate on the Road

Hotshot haulers are owner-operators just like most auto shipping carriers are, regardless of type. They own their vehicles and look for jobs on job boards like Central Dispatch that suit their time and schedule all while making the most money possible.

Many may not know that hotshot truckers are required to conclude their workday within 14 hours and are mandated to have a minimum of 10 hours off duty between each 14-hour day.

To find jobs Hotshot truckers find loads, typically posted by car shipping brokers and dealerships.

Benefits of Choosing Hotshot Auto Transport

As mentioned in our list of takeaways, hotshot auto transport offers great benefits when used to get faster delivery times, access hard-to-reach locations, and enhance vehicle safety during transport since there are less times a vehicle will be loaded and unloaded to make space for other cars.

These advantages make hotshot car hauling an attractive option for many shippers like you who really are in need of expedited the specialized service this option provides.

Faster Delivery Times are Common

Hotshot car hauling provides quicker delivery times due to:

  • Fewer pick-ups and drop-offs during transport
  • Shorter distances that are traveled
  • Transporting smaller, more time-sensitive car delivery

In some cases, hotshot deliveries can be completed within hours, but it's advisable to set a reasonalble expectation of 24 hours lets say, in case there are detours or any other kind of delay.

Can Access to Hard-to-Reach Locations or Condensed Neighborhoods

One of the major advantages of hotshot auto transport is its ability to access hard-to-reach locations that traditional ten-car haulers cannot, such as tight neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs. Hotshot auto transport utilizes pickups with small trailers, allowing for smooth and efficient delivery to remote or difficult-to-access destinations.

Thanks to their smaller size and maneuverability, these hotshot auto transport trucks can navigate through narrow roads and access remote areas that larger trucks cannot safely or at all.

Enhanced Safety

This moves us on to safety. Vehicles transported via hotshot car hauling are less likely to be damaged due to the following:

  • Smaller trailers means fewer vehicles being transported at once to load or unload
  • Single car enclosed shippers are hot shot truckers as well and are on the road less time for time sensitive loads
  • Maneuverability in cramped areas
  • Access to areas restricted from having large semi trucks entering

Hotshot auto transport ensures vehicle safety and reliability with single car transport or flatbed car transport services, making hot shot carriers widely popular in the industry. For those in need of a reliable, fast, safer, and efficient solution, hot shot transport is the way to go.

The smaller size of the trailers and the reduced number of vehicles on board contribute to a safer and more secure transport experience for customers in need of this service.

What it Means to Hotshot a Car

To hotshot a vehicle means the hire freelance drivers (also known as owner-operators) which specifically own a class 3, 4, and 5 FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) rated truck such as a Ford F350 or Chevrolet 3500 that either has a flatbed or small trailer attached to directly transport a vehicle to from point A to point B rapidly, since there are usually no stops or less stops for other vehicles.

How Much Does it Cost to Hotshot a Vehicle?

There are various factors that will influence the car shipping cost. However, hotshot car hauling costs can range from $1.50 to $2 per mile, with some urgent jobs paying all the way up to $4 per mile.

Factors Influencing Costs

The cost of hotshot car hauling is contingent on various factors such as:

  • Vehicle size
  • Vehicle weight
  • Distance
  • Delivery timeline

The size and weight of the vehicle can directly impact the cost of hotshot car hauling, as larger and heavier vehicles will draw more fuel during transport, may need the use of specialized equipment or trailers if overtly large, which all can potentially increasing transportation costs. The distance traveled in hotshot car hauling can also have an effect on the cost, with longer distances generally resulting in higher costs.

Is Hot Shot Car Hauling Worth It?

It simply depends on your needs and the urgency you have. Thanks to the availability of hot shot auto carriers, you can complete an emergency or rush job, move vehicles where truck space is limited. Hot shot auto haulers cure issues wit bottlenecks in car shipping that can occur.

Types of Vehicles Suitable for Hotshot Car Hauling

Hotshot car hauling is versatile. It's suitable for a variety of vehicles including cars, light trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs, with necessary precautions for larger vehicles. As a hot shot hauler, this service provides a very efficient and rather fast transportation of a vehicle.

So, what kind of vehicles are suitable for hotshot car hauling and any are there any special considerations needed?.

Cars and Light Trucks

Most cars and light trucks are typically eligible for hotshot car hauling, although larger vehicles may be subject to additional fees depending on space availability. Hotshot car hauling typically requires vehicles of the same size as a Ford F250, F350, Chevrolet 2500, 3500 or larger, known as Super Duty for Ford and HD for Chevrolet.

The weight of a car or light truck may affect the cost of hotshot hauling, as additional fuel costs increase with heavy loads. It is really important to consider the size and weight of the vehicle when planning for hotshot car hauling to ensure a smooth and efficient transport process. For example, large trucks or heavy duty trucks can't be taken by hot shot auto transport companies.

Motorcycles and ATVs use Hot Shot Trucks

Motorcycles and ATVs are quite commonly taken on hotshot auto transport trucks because they easily can be mounted on these carriers. Where as larger carriers like 10 car haulers have gaps between where a regular vehicle's wheels would go, due to the designs of the ramps and trailer.

For that reason, you will commonly find hotshot car hauling services with trailers designed for the transport of motorcycles, golf carts, and ATVs, making sure that they are securely and safely transported and delivered.

To secure motorcycles and ATVs during hotshot car hauling, these trucks will have ratchet straps, cam buckle straps, or transport chains (known as grade 70) that are typically used. These straps or chains are employed to firmly attach the vehicles to the trailer or flatbed, ensuring their safety during transport.

How Heavy Can a Vehicle Be for Shipping via Hot Shot?

There is a limit to how much weight hot shot truckers can take on, so oversized vehicles and equipment may not be able to be loaded, but this will depend on the capacity of the carrier.

Larger Can Be Loaded But With Special Considerations

Larger vehicles may require additional accommodations or fees for transport via hotshot car hauling services due to their size and weight. However, hotshot auto transport can still be utilized to ship any vehicle that is able to be shipped with regular auto transport, making it a highly adaptable and versatile service for various vehicle types.

What is The Difference Between Hotshot and Trucking in Car Shipping?

Hot shot trucking is picking up and delivering time-sensitive vehicles to locations that are easily accessible. While conventional trucking uses full sized and fully loaded trucks to make deliveries with less speed and flexibility.

Legal Requirements and Regulations for Hotshot Car Haulers

Hotshot car haulers must comply with all applicable legal requirements and regulations, including licensing, insurance, and compliance with Federal Highway Administration rules.

In the following sections, we will discuss the specific licensing and insurance requirements for hotshot car haulers, as well as the necessary compliance with federal highway administration guidelines.

Licensing and Insurance Requirements

Hotshot car haulers are required to:

  • Be fully licensed and insured
  • Stop at weigh stations
  • Maintain a log book or E-Logs
  • Adhere to the same driving rules and restrictions as any other hauler

If the gross weight of the vehicle being used for hotshot transport exceeds 26,000 pounds, it must be registered as a commercial vehicle.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, hotshot car hauling has emerged as a fast and efficient alternative to traditional auto transport services, offering a variety of benefits like as faster delivery times, access to hard-to-reach neighborhoods, and enhanced safety for the car being transported.

By understanding hotshot car hauling basics, the types of vehicles suitable for transport, and the differences from traditional auto transport, you can make a better choice for your needs when decidin on the use of a hotshot auto transport service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hotshot car hauling worth it?

Hot shot car hauling provides rapid delivery and extra accessibility that regular haulers cannot, making it a smart decision for those needing to transport cars. Get a quote with our car shipping calculator and compare both prices for hot shot and conventional trucking

What is the best truck for hotshot car hauling?

For hotshot car hauling, the RAM 3500, the Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD, and the Ford F-350 Super Duty are some of the best pickup trucks used by hot shots. For example, a Ram 3500 series comes with a standard 6.4-liter V8 engine that delivers 410 horsepower massive torque, and can tow up to 37000 lbs.

Is hotshot trucking a good idea?

If the added expense of shipping a car with hot shot truckers over a conventional car hauler provides you a faster result and extra safety, then it can be a good idea. If you have do not have a time sensitive load, and can patiently wait for your car, then it may not be.

How do hotshot truckers get loads?

Hotshot truckers use load boards, an online marketplace such as Central Dispatch, where shippers, freight brokers and truckers can post and search for vehicles, to locate their vehicles. Users of these boards can very easily filter searches based on specific criteria to find the best fit for them.

Carl has a decade of experience in the car shipping industry. He has worked in nearly every aspect of the transport business since 2014, taking charge of various roles in the company such as dispatching, sales, and customer service.

During those years, Carl amassed an invaluable amount of experience which has contributed to his writing of every article and and guide on NX since taking over content in 2015.