Everyone wants to earn and gain more money while doing hotshot trucking.

Who doesn’t? The fact that you’re reading this is already a dead giveaway that you’re curious about how to gain more profit while doing hotshot trucking as an owner-operator.

In this article, we will be sharing practical tips and steps on how to gain more profit as an owner-operator.

1. Collaborate with Trustworthy Brokers

Working with trustworthy brokers from the start keeps the money flowing and you and your drivers on the road. Truckstop.com Load Board Pro verifies all brokers before allowing them to post their freight. Credit Stop Broker displays a broker’s rating as well as their days to pay. This allows you to plan your cash flow while also developing relationships with long-term partners.

2. Be the First to Call on the Best Loads

Getting the best-paying loads can feel like a high-stakes game, so make sure you have the best freight matching tools in place to get to the hottest lanes and loads first. Invest in the best load board to grow your business and find the perfect freight for your truck or team.

3. Plan Your Routes in Advance

When planning, make sure you have a firm grasp on your cost per mile. It’s a basic calculation that every owner-operator should understand. In fact, it’s arguably the single most important number to understand your profit margins. Once you’ve determined your cost per mile, you can begin adjusting to reduce this figure so that more money stays in your pocket.

To help you plan your routes ahead of time, you can take advantage of some of the best tools and apps online. Truckstop’s Load Board Pro is one option you should consider. It enables owner-operators like you to plan multiple trips to be more strategic in your trip routes and make more money. Even better, the Fuel Desk function aids in trip planning. You can plan the best routes, select the cheapest gas stations, and even calculate your IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) taxes as you go.

4. Always Negotiate Your Prices

Work smarter, not harder. Many owner-operators and carriers believe that increasing your pay requires increasing your hours. But this isn’t always the case. There are load board apps that have the information you need, such as truck activity and loads-to-truck ratios, to negotiate better rates, and will even tell you whether a specific load is favorable or unfavorable for negotiation.

Once you’ve armed yourself with some tools and strategies, you can begin to enjoy the job you signed up for, as well as the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. The key is to earn more money per mile rather than work more hours. It all comes down to finding the best loads available, negotiating the best rates for each load, and keeping your cost-per-mile as low as possible. As an owner-operator, you will make a higher profit once you have these things dialed in and working together.

5. Minimize Deadhead Miles

When you drive your truck with no freight on board, you are driving deadhead miles. If you don’t have a load, you’re wasting money on fuel, lodging, and meals while earning nothing to offset those costs. You can cut down on deadhead miles by picking up backhaul loads for your return trip to your home base. Depending on demand, backhaul loads may not pay as well as the original trip, but you can usually make enough to cover your costs plus a small profit.

6. Build Good Connections with People

Believe it or not, the freight community revolves around relationships. One of the keys to making more money in trucking is building healthy relationships with the people you work with. You’ll get many connections, and you’ll always have a full truck and get paid on time if you form long-term relationships with trusted brokers who call you first when they have freight for you to haul.

7. Cut Fuel Costs

One of your biggest expenses as an owner-operator is fuel. So, it only makes sense to take advantage of any opportunity to save money on fuel. Simple ways to save money include:

  • Planning routes carefully
  • Selecting fuel stops wisely
  • Registering for fuel card programs to receive discounts

Final Thoughts

Gaining more money in hotshot or any trucking industry may not seem so out of reach. If you have the right tools, apps, and skills and apply the practical tips mentioned above, you’ll surely have the profit that you deserve. Keep trucking!