Hot Shot Drivers Are In Demand in the Eagle Ford Shale

The Eagle Ford Shale has brought a lot of opportunities for the oil and gas industry. There is plenty of work for everyone – especially Hot Shot truck drivers. Hot Shot drivers in South Texas are called by oil and gas companies to pick up loads from the drilling rig and deliver them somewhere else, or to bring much needed supplies to the rig to keep drilling and fracking productive. If a tool breaks, the crew is forced to stop drilling or producing until another one is delivered. Time is money and a crew sitting around waiting for a tool is not productive, so Hot Shot drivers that are reliable are a crucial part of the business. Good drivers build great relationships with crews to ensure they get more loads to keep busy.

Hot Shot Drivers Have Unpredictable Schedules

Hot Shot drivers are a different breed. Unlike regular drivers whose runs and loads are scheduled days, weeks and even months at a time in advance, Hot Shot drivers must be ready to go in a moment’s notice. They have to be skilled and flexible, ready to haul thousands of pounds of pipe one day, a small one-pound express package the next. Runs can range from across town to halfway across the state of Texas.

Unfortunately, drilling crews can be very demanding. Drivers can be put in very awkward situations to take loads even if they are over their hours, and more driving would put them in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) hours of service rules.

Don’t Risk Your License

As a Hot Shot driver you can either be the hero or the goat to these drilling crews. If you refuse a load, they have to call someone else and if that person is more available than you, you may think that’s the one who will get more calls. Turning down work in order to stay within hours of service limits may seem risky, but driving past your allowed hours in a 24 hour period is riskier. It’s foolish and unsafe. All drivers, even Hot Shotters, are responsible for their log books being up-to-date and that they comply with FMCSR regulations. Remember, if you’re running illegally it’s your driving record and reputation that is at stake. It may seem you are making more money but all it takes is one DOT audit with a couple of log book violations on your Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) status to take that away.

Let your customers know you are a safe and competent driver who follows the rules. If you set that standard from the beginning they will respect you and recognize you as a real professional. And who do you think they’d rather work with to transport their expensive equipment, or to meet their critical deadline?

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Devorah Fox, President - Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc Authors of BUMPERTOBUMPER®, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations and the Easy CDL iPhone apps, Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc. has helped launch successful commercial motor vehicle operator careers since 1987.


  1. Troy Mclain says:

    I have halled flatbed pipe before for a company out of Houston as a company driver I was thinking of buying a 21ft. flatbed double axle for hot shot I have a class A cdl I would just need to get my med card and twex card.

  2. Would there be a market for a variation of this Hot Shot demand by providing small package, quick response time by general aviation aircraft? Time is money right?

  3. Raul Boullosa says:

    Is there a special lic. to operate as a hot shot owner operator? And what are the standard rates for here in south Texas?
    Your help on this would be greatly appreciated! I have 1 ton dually and a 40′ flat bed gooseneck.
    Thanks again in advance for any help on this

    • Victor Villarreal says:

      Starting a hot shot business and waiting to know what kind of rates are being charged per mile .80 cents or 90 cents a mile what about dead heading?

  4. Hollie Stinson says:

    I worked on drilling rigs for 35 years. I have a new half ton and would like to make hot shot runs. I know all ends of the oilfield very reliable. available 24/7. have a CDL Class A

    • Wayne Campbell says:

      I would talk to some of the companies that you already know about in the field to see what they need and to see if they would use you. You will most likely have to setup a business and get commercial insurance before they will do business with you

  5. I have a 1ton truck ready to pick up and deliver hot shot loads how would I go by doing that I am based in Atlanta Ga.and Houston Tx. Need work asap what all I need to start

  6. robert botello says:

    Im a Owner/Operator working for a bigger logistics company looking for the best way to become independent and start up my own small independent hot shot company what is the best way to do so

    • R.T. Dukes RT Dukes says:

      Mr. Botello,

      I’ve never started a hot shot business, but I’d start by landing a client or two that can support the business. From there, you can begin to market yourself and expand.

    • Wayne Campbell says:

      Being an owner operator, you should already know how to do this, but here is some information:
      Starting hot shot company isn’t hard. First you have to have a truck and trailer (at least a 1 ton truck and 40′ trailer for most cases), then you need to get a DOT/MC number depending if you are working in state only or going out of state (you can get this on your own or go through a service about $600), you will also need motor carrier insurance (about $6000 year) then all you have to do is get business. Most accounts you will get in the oil and gas industry will be on a 30 to 60 day billing, so you will need money to run you until you get paid

  7. angel ortiz says:

    i got a 2012 nissan pickup king cab. not as big as your trucks but id like to start my own hotshot co. 1 mabe 2 palettes loads ,pkgs, just in tx.

    • Angel

      I believe you could benefit from gaining exposure for your hotshot service on our MarketPlace at:

    • thanks donna ill look into that .im looking into what permits and other paperwork i need to be legit to admit theres a little more work to this then i thought.but i should be up hopefully b4 the new year.thanks again keep in contact.

    • Wayne Campbell says:

      most hot shot companies are not going to hire you with this truck because you are limited on what you can haul, I would consider looking into driving for a local carrier service until you can learn more about how things work before trying to go out on your own right away

  8. Mauro vela says:

    I got a new 1/2 ton pick up no trailer. I would like to work hot shot runs

    • Wayne Campbell says:

      Most hot shot companies will not hire you, but there are some that will, because you are limited as to what you can haul. You might want to check into a local courier service to get started

  9. SAM GONZALEZ JR. says:

    I have a 1 ton truck, mini float and 40 foot flatbed gooseneck ready to provide hot shot services…, dependable and professional service.I’m ready to pick up and deliver!!

  10. 1ton trucks and 40ft flat beds in Texas ready to work!

    • R.T. Dukes RT Dukes says:


      You’ll see several transportation and hot shot companies advertising in our Eagle Ford Shale MarketPlace Transportation Category. I believe you might benefit from a listing there. Regards,

  11. Pablo De La Cerda says:

    We have 5 trucks with new tanks ready to work (haul water or waste), and we are looking a place to start working, please let me know if you have an opening for these trucks, we are located on del Rio Texas.

  12. Travis says:

    How does a hot shot co. Get business from the oil co.

    • You have to develop a business relationship. Go to places they go to, make a presentation to them on why they should call you. Cite your efficiency, safety record and flexibility. Be ready to give them quotes about your shipping prices, and of course do as much schmoozing as your expense budget will allow for breakfast taquitos, lunch, and dinners. Good luck!

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