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Top 12 Best Hot Shot Trucking Companies to Lease on With

Hotshot drivers take last-minute loads anywhere from a few to several thousand miles, with average rates of $1-$3 per mile. If you have or have access to a class 3-5 truck, are licensed for loads between 10,000 and 26,000 lbs., and have the ability to respond and move freight quickly, hot shot freight can help make rates per mile most truckers only dream of.

A hotshot truck + leasing company normally means using your truck and their load board. That allows both parties to keep costs as low as possible, while expediating the delivery of small to medium freight loads.

The list below is a quick overview of top hot shot trucking companies to lease on with:

  • ACME Truck Line
  • CKJ Transport Company
  • Expedited Freight
  • Greensheet
  • Hazel’s Hotshot Company
  • Hotshot Logistics
  • Hot Shot Trucking
  • Hotshot Final Mile
  • JF Express Fr8
  • Patriot Freight Group
  • Spectrum Trucking & Logistics
  • USA Truck Company

*Note, companies below are profiled in alphabetical order

1. A2C Logistics Co

A2C Logistics Co is a Chicago-based dispatch and hotshot logistics company. The company also stands out, with owner operators earning 88% of gross per load. The organization also offers the option to negotiate your own loads from its load boards, giving you the opportunity to cut dispatch costs if preferred.

A2C also hires and delivers in most of the continental USA, except the west coast.

  • Location: Chicago, Illionois
  • Full Address:

5240 W 47TH ST STE 7
Chicago, Illinois, 60638

  • Established: 2016
  • Indeed Review Score: NA

A2C Logistics website

2. ACME Truck Line

ACME Truck Line is one of the largest hotshot trucking companies in the U.S. Like most competitors, this trucking company leases out owner-operators with their own vehicles, leveraging CDL and non-CDL drivers across the U.S.

ACME has locations in 15 states. However, it delivers hotshot, flatbed, and other expedited freight to all 50 states. In addition, ACME offers benefits like an employer sponsored Health and Wellness insurance, employer sponsored bobtail and physical damage insurance, a 401K plan, and an employee stock ownership plan. That alone makes ACME one of the best hot shot companies to lease with. However, they’re also incredibly well reviewed by customers and drivers alike.

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Full Address:
    • Acme Truck Line, Inc.
      200 Westbank Expressway
      Gretna, LA 70053
  • Established:  1960
  • Indeed review Score: 3.7

ACME Truck Line website

3. CKJ Transport Company

CKJ Transport Company is one of the best hot shot companies to lease to in Texas, because the company has offices in Odessa / West Texas and McKinney/ North Texas. That gives you plenty of opportunity to pick up loads and maintain steady work driving both ways.

Like ACME, CKJ Transport offers steady work and an insurance program. They also guarantee to have you home every day – which means all loads are relatively short-haul. While that might cut earnings per load, it does provide steady and reliable work for Texas drivers.

  • Location: McKinney, Texas
  • Full Address:

1650 W. Virginia St.,

Ste. 200, McKinney,

TX 75069

  • Established: 1981
  • Indeed Review Score: 2.6

CKJ Transport Company website

4. Expedited Freight

Expedited Freight is another of the largest hotshot lease on companies in the USA. With a fleet over 50,000 vehicles, it may actually be one of the largest. Expedited Freight also has locations in every U.S. state but South Dakota as well as offices in Canada and Mexico. If you’re looking for hotshot lease on companies that offer travel and long-haul options, Expedited is a great fit.

  • Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Full Address:

4801 68th Ave, Kenosha, WI 53144

  • Established: 2007
  • Indeed Review Score: 3.0

Expedited Freight website

5. Hazel’s Expedited Freight

Hazels is a Texas-based hotshot trucking company with a large fleet and a mix of services. It stands out from many other hot shot lease on companies with a large fleet of its own. However, Hazels also hires owner operators with their own trucks – for short and long-haul loads on a local (Texas) or nationwide basis. The good news is you can always opt into travel distance and preferences during the hire. Today, they’re one of the leaders in expedited and hotshot freight across the full U.S.

  • Location: Carrollton, Texas
  • Full Address:

2009 McKenzie Dr #110, Carrollton, TX 75006

  • Established: 1977
  • Indeed Review Score: 2.8

Hazel’s Expedited Freight website

6. Hotshot Logistics

Hotshot Logistics is a full-service hotshot freight company, offering everything from site and project management to warehousing, and of course, hotshot trucking. The company also services 49 states and Canada, with logistics offices in Texas, Ohio, Missouri, and Maine.

For owner-operators, Hot Shot Logistics stands out in other ways. For example, it’s one of the only hot shot leasing companies to offer a guaranteed 75% of line haul truck pay. In addition, if you stay on for 12+ months, that rises to 76%. You will have to lease trailers for $150 per week if you don’t have one yourself. However, you will get cargo and liability insurance.

Hotshot Logistics also provides fuel cards and accessorial charges. In addition, the company is very upfront about added fees.

  • Location: Athens, Texas
  • Full Address:

PO Drawer D Athens, TX 75751

  • Established: 1978
  • Indeed Review Score: 3.7

Hotshot Logistics website

7. Hot Shot Trucking

Hot Shot Trucking, sometimes known as HotShotTrucking.com has locations in all 50 U.S. states plus in Canada. The company is also one of the only with a physical presence in all 50 states, making it a great choice for hotshot drivers looking for longer hauls.  Unlike some competitors, this company also offers its own trucks, so you might be able to get started without using your own vehicle.

Eventually, pure size and location availability makes this one of the best hot shot companies to lease with.

  • Location: Long Beach, California
  • Full Address:

111 West Ocean Blvd.
4th Floor
Long Beach. CA 90802

  • Established: 2007
  • Indeed Review Score: 3.7

Hot Shot Trucking website

8. Hotshot Final Mile

Hotshot Final Mile is a Texas-based hot shot trucking company, offering hot shot, final mile, white glove delivery, and courier services. Its’ hotshot trucking services 2,100 zip codes across Texas. However, you won’t be delivering outside of Texas – so you have to live near Ausitn, San Antonio, Dallas, or Houston to work there.

Otherwise, drivers with goosenecks can make good, steady revenue with Hot Shot Final Mile. While rates vary, the company runs over 30,000 deliveries per month, which is enough to keep most busy.

  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Full Address:

6320 E. Stassney Ln.,
Bldg #2 Ste. 250
Austin, TX 78744, USA

  • Established: 2016
  • Indeed Review Score: 2.9

Hotshot Final Mile website

9. JF Express Fr8

JF Express Fr8 is an Ohio-based hotshot company offering nation-wide last-minute and hotshot freight. The company currently only leases with owner-operators who are at least 24 years old, have a CLD and current DOT physical, and who are willing to run long-distance freight.

While relatively small compared to some alternatives on this list of the top hot shot trucking companies, JF Express Fr8 stands out with driver-centric guarantees. For example, dispatch works to find two-way loads, so you never deadhead. That, plus a steady supply of work makes JF Express Fr8 popular across the U.S.

  • Location: Marysville, Ohio
  • Full Address:

1317 WOODLINE DR

MARYSVILLE, OH 43040

  • Established: 2010
  • Indeed Review Score: 4.0

JF Express Fr8 Website

10. Patriot Freight Group

Patriot Freight Group handles hot shot and expedited freight deliveries across the U.S. While the company is located in Texas, it maintains a load board across the full continental U.S.

In addition, drivers can choose their own loads from a public database. You can simply call or email dispatch to claim the load based on location, a previous sign-up, and vehicle type. That makes it easy to see what’s available, to choose a load that suits your time and needs, and to only commit to freight within distances you prefer to drive.

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Full Address:

14338 REEVESTON ROAD

HOUSTON, TX 77039

  • Established: 2014
  • Indeed Review Score: 3.6

Patriot Freight Group website

11. Spectrum Trucking & Logistics

Spectrum Trucking & Logistics is a Texas-based logistics and hot shot trucking company. While the company specializes in local oil field and heavy equipment moving, it also offers hot shot and last-minute loads across the continental U.S. and the world. You can easily sign up as part of the fleet using their DAT OnBoard portal.

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Full Address:

5002 Redbud St.
Houston, TX 77033

  • Established: 2014
  • Indeed Review Score: 4.2

Spectrum Trucking & Logistics review

12. USA Truck Company

USA Truck is one of the nation’s largest trucking and logistics solutions. Its hotshot trucking arm is also one of the most well-known options you can lease on with. USA Truck offers opportunities to drive with your own truck, to get training, and to lease to own for a truck. That makes it extremely easy to get started, providing you meet the minimum requirements of a CDL and medical card, are over the age of 21, and have no moving violations or road accidents within the last 36 months. Drive USA also offers healthcare, insurance, travel assistance, a 401(K), a stock purchase plan, and vacation time based on time with the company.

USA Truck also services the full U.S., with jobs listed by state, delivery date, truck type, whether two persons are needed, and requirements.

  • Location: Van Buren, Arkansas
  • Full Address:

3200 Industrial Park Rd

Van Buren, AR 72956

  • Established: 1988
  • Indeed Review Score: 3.1

USA Truck website

Requirements to Lease with Hot Shot Trucking Companies

The requirements to lease with a hot shot trucking company vary considerably from company to company. For example, some companies only lease on owner operators with their own vehicles and trailers. Others like USA Truck offer lease to own programs, CDL training, etc.

It’s also important to note that hot shot trucking can include non-CDL work. This means you might have extremely different requirements depending on the type and size of load. However, most companies will have age requirements (usually 21-24 years old), will require that you have a CDL, and will require that you meet specific requirements, like being able to drive their routes.

In most cases, if you’re being hired for a hot shot trucking company, you’ll have to provide employment history and road accident history. Here, you’ll normally have to prove that you haven’t been involved in a preventable road accident within the last 3 years.

Related Questions

If you still have questions about leasing on with a hot shot company, these related questions might help.

How do I lease to a hot shot company?

In most cases, you have to sign up to the hot shot company. This is either done through their onboarding platform. However, most hotshot companies are very small and only service local areas. In this case, you’ll have to call and sign up in person. Some hot shot companies also have requisite training, tracking, or other requirements.

How much does a hotshot make per year?

That depends significantly on how much you drive. Hotshot drivers often make wildly varying salaries based on load duration, availability of work, and whether they run anything else. With many companies, hotshotting is not reliable work. If you sign on for a few large hotshot companies, it may be.

For example, GlassDoor.com reports that the average hotshot driver earns $43,788 per year. Salary.com says that’s $50,799 – with the bottom 10%^ earning $39,000 and the top 10% earning $65,000. However, many hotshot drivers don’t work hotshot full time. So, your income can vary considerably.

What is a non-CDL hotshot?

Non-CDL hotshot drivers normally bring their own trucks, like a heavy-duty pickup, a large van, etc. There’s plenty of work for vehicles of all sizes, especially for shorter-distance loads. In fact, with many loads requiring short haul in emergency situations, there’s a lot of demand for non-CDL drivers.

What size trailer is best for hot shot trucking?

That heavily depends on the type of load. However, 40’ goosenecks are very popular. You’ll want to check with the company you want to onboard with before investing in a trailer.

Do I need apportioned plates for hotshot?

You don’t need IRP plates if your vehicle is under 26,000 lbs. However, you may still want to do so to simplify how you report and pay tax on fuel purchased in multiple regions. So, if you’re doing longer-haul, you probably want IRP plates.

Next Steps

Finding the best hot shot trucking company to lease on with can be difficult. In some cases, you’ll want to work with multiple. In other cases, you might also be fine with a single large, national company. On the other hand, if you prefer local loads so you can be home at night, working with smaller, local hot shot companies is probably a better call. Good luck finding a company and hopefully this list has helped you find a good company to lease on with.