Size Matters

Let’s talk length
— trailer length

How long can I go?

If your truck has a bed - I don’t care if it’s a chassis or regular bed, and it doesn’t matter if you register straight-truck or truck-tractor….

65 feet
— front bumper to rear bumper

65 feet maximum length

From the front truck bumper to the rear trailer bumper, you’ve got to be 65 feet maximum.

Wanna go longer?

You’ve got to remove the entire bed. Just like a flatbed semi tractor, you have to be bed-less.

40ft trailer + truck

So in a truck with a bed (chassis or regular), you can get a max 40 foot trailer.
35 + 5ft mega ramps or a straight 40 (we prefer 35+5)

If you’re in a long bed….you’ll have to make adjustments to stay 65 feet or less. C’mon, you don’t need that big of a bed.

Busy Hotshots have a load capacity of 16K or more


Trailer length 

Lots of folks ask about the length of the trailer they should get when starting a hotshot business. 

We can tell you, that we often move 40' containers, or two 20' containers - as well as a mirriad of other lengthy loads. Most Hotshots have either a 40' flatbed or a 35" flatbed with 5' ramps. 

35’ + 5’ mega ramps is optimal
— Smaller is going to mean smaller income

Some of our carriers have a 40' flatbed, while others (like the one shown) have 35' of flatbed with a 5' foldable ramp - given them essentially 40'.

They can use wood to ensure the weight of the load does not site directly on the ramps. In this case the 40' container sits on the wood, with the length covering the ramp area. 

While we do, often, have shorter loads, you will definitely be limiting your potential loads by going smaller. 

Having the ramps will allow you to accept loads such as vehicles or rolling equipment that isn't loaded via the forklift - like some tractors, CATs, etc. 

Remember to consider the weight of the trailer. Going as big as possible, means you are likely moving a trailer with an empty weight of 10k+. Factor that into your deadhead miles and rates, because your MPG is going to reflect this.

It’s all about what’s under the hood, not just the make & model
— Different transmissions = Different Haul Capacity

Let's talk trucks first. I hear a lot of drivers say they are giong to buy a Ram 3500. Did you know that there are many models of the 3500? Some that can haul 15K, while others can haul 30K? That's a big difference. 

There's trailer weight to consider, to determine load capacity. In most cases, 15% of the combined trailer & load weight will be distributed to the gooseneck hitch on the truck. 

Going smaller limits your loads
Jill Michael