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What is Hot Shot Trucking? aka HotShot Trucking

August 21, 2023 | By
What is Hot Shot Trucking? aka HotShot Trucking

Modern business is all about strict timelines.

Whether your field is manufacturing, extraction, retail, or research and development, your operations are bound to rely on a variety of activities that operate in tandem. The most minor of supply shortages can throw these activities off, potentially costing you thousands of dollars just for a few hours' delay. Success thus hinges on your ability to right the ship as quickly as possible after a supply shortage arises. The quicker you can fill that gap and get things back to business as usual, the more efficient and profitable your business will be over the long haul.

Hot shot trucking is the art of dealing proactively with supply issues.

Designed specifically to address supply and distribution problems that arise without warning, hotshot trucking tactics involve coordinating a network of carriers in a variety of locations. By calling on the vehicles closest to your supply or distribution points, hotshot brokers can fill any sudden gaps in your supply network almost as soon as they happen. This minimizes the disruption to your business and allows you to quickly return to ordinary operations, weathering the storm without skipping a beat.

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Hot Shot Trucking: An Overview

To understand how hotshot trucking can help your business, it's important to first understand what exactly this service is. Many people hear the phrase "hot shot trucking" and interpret it literally, imagining quick, perhaps haphazard efforts to pick up items and bring them to the location where they're needed. But true hot shot trucking is far more systematic than this and consists of the following activities:

Hot Shot Trucking Networking

Vetting & Networking

The hot shot trucking strategy begins by laying the foundation to resolve emergencies before they even occur. To do this, hotshot trucking brokers recruit carriers in the communities they serve. A quality broker will cast as broad a net as possible to bring in carriers who specialize in the full range of vehicles and types of cargo, but also won't skimp on vetting. Through careful evaluation of each prospective carrier, their personnel, their unique skills, and their experience, hot shot coordinators put together a team that they and their clients can trust. This leaves them well-prepared for:

Hot Shot Trucking Experts

Initial Identification

Once brokers have laid the foundation, they can then use it to solve clients' specific problems. An organized hotshot trucking broker begins each job by identifying the location where the items in question have to be picked up and the carriers closest to that location. The goal is to minimize the time it takes to drive to the supplies you need and load them up; not only does this cut down on the total length of the journey, but it also reduces the number of early disruptions that can occur. Once hot shot trucking brokers have chosen the proper carrier and vehicle in their network to do the job, they get in touch with that carrier. They provide the carrier detailed instructions on how to reach those supplies and then send them off to begin the delivery.


Route Planning

Beginning during the identification stage and continuing while the vehicle is on its way to the pickup spot, hotshot trucking coordinators plan the drive from that spot to the final destination in painstaking detail. Quality coordinators adopt a holistic approach, choosing routes based not only on their length but on a variety of other factors. Brokers consider weather patterns and forecasts along each potential route in an effort to minimize delays from storms. They review road quality and maintenance data, so they can steer the carriers around closed or unreliable roads. And they consider traffic patterns with the goal of sending carriers down roads with as little congestion as possible. Such a holistic process ensures hot shot trucking services that are reliable and that occur as quickly as legally possible. Customers can thus regain a sense of predictability and stability in the midst of their shipping crises.

Hot Shot Trucking Monitoring

Continuous Monitoring

For all the effort that hotshot brokers put into their initial plans, they also understand that conditions on the road are not always predictable. Just because a route is usually open at a given time of day doesn't mean a traffic jam can't happen there; and while meteorological forecasts can help you avoid storms, sometimes the weather will surprise you! To stay flexible, the best hot shot coordinators keep careful track of all the trucks in their network that are out on deliveries. Modern technology allows them to coordinate this tracking information with new traffic, weather, maintenance, and emergency services reports and make sure that everything is going according to plan. Whenever there is an unpleasant surprise, effective coordinators promptly contact the carriers and let them know about it. They'll then work with the carriers to find alternate routes to the destination with as little additional delay as possible. In this way, hot shot trucking brokers ensure that even the inherent unpredictability of the road is at worst a minor inconvenience.

Hot Shot Trucking Customer Updates

Customer Updates

Since hot shot trucking is as much about minimizing business disruption as it is about prompt deliveries, effective brokers also strive to stay in regular contact with their clients. Using their route plans and tracking technology, they can give customers frequent updates about the status of each delivery and the remaining time until the job is complete. Not only does that provide clients with peace of mind, but it also allows them to prepare for the delivery as efficiently and effectively as possible. Armed with a precise estimate of when the delivery will occur, clients will know exactly when they need to dispatch personnel to the loading docks, how long those personnel will need to be there, and how soon thereafter they can make use of the supplies. This further reduces disruption from the initial shortfall and ensures that once the hot shot delivery is done, the client's needs are met.

Expertise for Emergencies

Over and above the types of vehicles they coordinate and shipping strategies they use, what sets hot shot trucking brokers apart is their unique expertise in resolving emergencies. Most shipping coordinators focus on business as usual, but hotshot brokers are experts in the unusual. They specialize in all the different ways that things can go wrong and how best to respond to each of them. This means hot shot trucking brokers are familiar with situations their clients rarely encounter. They can proceed calmly and systematically when others would panic. They are therefore an important source of stability in crises, giving clients someone to rely on until things are back to normal.

Vehicle Variety: The Key to Flexibility

Of all the sources of flexibility essential for success in hot shot trucking, vehicle flexibility is arguably the most important. Effective hotshot trucking brokers don't just send whatever vehicle happens to be available to ship your items. Instead, they choose the vehicle that's right for you, based on the volume of goods you'll be transporting, the distance those goods have to travel, and a variety of other factors. A quality hotshot trucking coordinator will thus have access to myriad modern delivery vehicles, including but not limited to:


Sprinter Vans

We often think of shipping crises as involving very large volumes of goods that need to travel vast distances. Yet supply shortages are often local and involve goods that are relatively small in volume and number, but critical in their function. It's to deal with these kinds of shortages that effective hot shot trucking coordinators keep so many sprinter vans in their networks. Sprinter vans offer cargo spaces that are up to twelve feet in length, seventy inches in height, and fifty-two inches in width. This size makes them perfect for low- volume deliveries, so you don't have to pay for more space than needed to transport your goods. It also cuts down on delivery times, at least over shorter distances. By including lots of sprinter vans close at hand, hot shot truckers ensure that they can resolve all localized, low-volume shipping issues as fast as legally possible. Box or Cube Trucks— Also known simply as "small straight trucks," box trucks are named after their cube shape, which is advantageous for storing and organizing goods. These vehicles' cargo areas are typically ninety-four inches wide, seventy inches tall, and up to sixteen feet long, giving them considerably more payload capacity than sprinter vans have. A good hot shot trucking broker can connect you to a litany of box trucks in your area, including those with lift gates, ramps, and hinge doors.


Straight Trucks

With cargo areas ranging up to 26 feet in length, 96 inches in width, and 96 inches in height, straight trucks are the largest single-body vehicles on the road. They also have considerably longer ranges than sprinter vans and box trucks. This longer traveling capacity is a function not just of the amount of fuel straight trucks can carry, but also of their room for additional crew— it is much easier to accommodate two drivers in a large straight truck comfortably enough so that one can sleep while the other is at the wheel. Thus, the drivers can take turns with one another, ensuring that one is always rested enough to drive at any given time. This allows smooth, uninterrupted deliveries over distances that would otherwise require the vehicles to stop overnight. Dry Vans-Known to many as "semis" or "tractor trailers,” dry vans have cargo areas up to 53 feet in length, 102 inches in height, and 99 inches in width. These cargo areas consist of a box trailer hooked to, but detachable from, the main truck. The sheer size of these vehicles makes them excellent for carrying large individual items, as well as for carrying smaller items in large volume.


Flatbed Trucks

Similar to dry vans but without any walls or roofs, flatbed trucks are used to carry items out in the open. The trucks' cargo areas are 99 inches wide, 102 inches high when covered, and up to 53 feet in length, making them ideal for large, irregularly-shaped individual items. Businesses that need to bring in heavy equipment, for instance, are likely to use flatbed trucks to do it. Because the trucks aren't enclosed, your items are likely to be exposed to the sun, rain, and other elements, though you can cut down on this exposure through the use of protective tarps. A good hot shot trucking coordinator can help you determine if a flatbed truck is right for your supplies. They can also identify the flatbed carriers in your area best prepared to protect your items from road hazards. Like other large vehicles, flatbed trucks have the fuel and crew capacity to travel day and night, so this is also a great option for deliveries that are time sensitive.

Gooseneck Hot Shot Trucks

Gooseneck Hot Shot Trucks

"Gooseneck" trucks are identifiable by their distinctive rigging, which connects the trailer to the truck by extending over the tailgate and attaching to the truck bed. These vehicles are noteworthy for being able to carry items of up to 120 inches in height, making them ideal if you need to haul particularly tall supplies. Gooseneck trucks' cargo areas also extend up to 102 inches in width and up to forty feet in length.

The beauty of hotshot trucking is that because it involves coordinating carriers rather than operating trucks directly, brokers can easily incorporate the full range of truck types. A good hot shot trucking broker can match you with the carrier and vehicle you need as soon as you place the order. They can find the vehicle with enough space to accommodate all your items and the fuel and crew capacity to transport them as fast as legally possible. They can also accommodate any specialized needs your items have. For instance, if the supplies' total weight is more than 26,000 pounds, the carrier's drivers will need commercial driver's licenses or CDLs. Likewise, some items have unique loading or unloading needs, requiring trucks with specific doors, gates, or ramps. When you work with a hot shot trucking coordinator, you'll have the perfect vehicle to resolve your next shipping emergency at your fingertips long before the emergency occurs.

Help from HotShotTrucking.com

HotShotTrucking.com is proud to offer the gold standard of hotshot trucking. Armed with more than a decade of emergency shipping experience, advanced tracking and coordination technology, a proven vetting process, and a network that extends into every community in North America, we are prepared for every disruption your business might encounter. We have worked with a broad range of businesses across the US, Mexico, and Canada. From manufacturers to retailers to construction companies to energy producers, our clients span every industry, but we're always prepared to resolve their shipping issues.

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