Hotshotting is a unique type of trucking that involves hauling emergency loads and time-sensitive freight across the country. It requires a particular set of skills and is known for its high-pressure nature. If you are considering a career as a hotshot driver, one of the most significant questions you may have is: how much does hotshot make? In this article, we explore the typical salary for a hotshot driver and provide insider insights into what you can expect.

Behind the Scenes: A Hotshot’s Salary Revealed

To get a real sense of the money hotshot truckers make, we decided to interview an experienced driver. Garry has been hauling time-sensitive freight since 2010 and owns his rig. He mentioned that an average day for him involves a lot of driving, with occasional stops for fuel or to unload or load items. Garry’s experience and the number of miles he drives each day affect his income significantly. However, the industry pays well and is a lucrative career option for drivers with the right skillset.

The Economics of Hotshotting: How Much Do Hotshots Really Make?

Hotshot trucking has an average pay rate of $75,000 to $100,000 annually for drivers that run time-sensitive loads and can work independently. Still, we recognize that there is an imbalance in pay rates across the hotshot industry. The rate that any given driver makes is largely determined by geographic location, experience level, and seasonal fluctuations in demand.

Breaking Down the Pay: How Much Do Hotshots Earn Hourly vs. Annually?

The payment structure for hotshots varies according to several factors such as the freight rate for a particular job or load, the urgency of deliveries, equipment, and the job location. Additionally, hotshot drivers can be paid either hourly or on a per-mile basis. Some companies may provide additional incentives or bonuses for safe driving, long hours, or dedicated service. The average payment for hotshot drivers is $1.50-$2.00. Hotshot drivers can expect to drive an average of 2,600 to 5,500 miles per week, utilizing a good dispatch company or job board to maximize their earnings.

Is Hotshotting a Financially Rewarding Career Choice?

Hotshotting can be a very lucrative career choice for those who are willing to put in the effort and have the appropriate skillset. Drivers that can work independently and build their clientele tend to earn the most. While the pay rates can be high, hotshotting also requires a lot of dedication and hard work. The industry demands a lot of time away from home, and the job may result in exhaustion and health issues, particularly for older drivers. For the younger and enthusiastic drivers, there is no limit to what they can earn over time.

The Pros and Cons of a Hotshot’s Salary: What You Need to Know Before You Dive In

While amazing pay rates are attractive, hotshotting is not for everyone. There are physical and mental demands on the driver besides traveling thousands of miles cross-country. You have to have an aptitude for working long hours and be able to drive for long stretches. Additionally, you must possess the right equipment for hotshotting, which such specialized trailers may be costly. Be sure to weigh each of the pros and contents of the hotshot trucking profession to decide if it is the right fit for you.


The hotshotting career can be financially rewarding for dedicated drivers that are adventurous and willing to work hard and put in the time and effort required to make it a success. Pay rates are determined by location, driver experience, and market demand, with experienced drivers making the most. A career as a hotshot driver could be the right fit for you, but you must weigh the positives and negatives before diving in.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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