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Many people confuse expedited with hot shot trucking. But these are two very different services offered in the field of logistics.

Hot shot trucking offers one method of shipping an expedited load, but the rules and regulations are much different than that of expedited loads. Here’s an overview of DOT regulations for hot shot trucks.

What is Hot Shot Trucking?

Hot shot trucking is a fast-growing sector of logistics. It doesn’t replace class 8 or expedited freight, but instead provides shippers with a new option for handling loads.

One of the main benefits of hot shot trucking for drivers is increased flexibility. You won’t be stuck following the same rules as class 8 drivers because those rules relate to larger more complex shipping schedules.

Hot shot trucking usually only deals with a single load or set of tiny loads that can be handled in vehicles as small as a pickup truck. Some hot shot loads are as small as a single envelope which is why it’s often confused with expedited freight.

But the major difference is that hot shot loads can still include pallets that weigh thousands of pounds. Here are some of the DOT regulations for hot shot trucks you need to be aware of before taking your first load.

DOT Regulations for Hot Shot Trucks

One of the most notable differences between hot shot truckers and class 8 drivers is a commercial driver’s license. In trucking, the first thing drivers do is pursue a CDL, or commercial driver’s license, to get DOT compliant.

But you don’t need a CDL to transport hot shot freight. But there are exceptions to this rule.

The size and weight of the freight matters when it comes to DOT regulations. Loads over a certain size require a certain class driver’s license.

If you’re only hauling small loads, you can probably avoid getting your CDL altogether.

What About Weigh Stations?

You won’t need to enter weigh stations for most hot shot trucking loads. In fact, DOT professionals probably won’t even know right away that you’re hauling a hot shot load because of the vehicle you’re driving.

You’ll often be pulled over by a state patrol rather than a DOT officer. But once the officer confirms you’re hauling a commercial load, the rules could change.

They might ask for logs and shipping information but usually just to ensure the products are allowed in that state. Loads that aren’t crossing state lines might be overlooked completely.

You won’t be able to simply extend your business insurance to cover your hot shot trucking equipment. Knowing how much is hot shot truck insurance can help you budget your new business while keeping your loads covered.

Hot Shot Trucking Regulations

If you’re interested in trucking, but don’t want to take years to go through training to get out on the road, consider hot shot trucking.

It’s one of the more lenient fields of trucking where you can make money without paying thousands of dollars to follow DOT regulations for hot shot trucks. It takes time to build client relationships, but you’ll enjoy fewer restrictions with hot shot trucking than any other field of logistics.

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