I’m finding out that details are extremely important in setting up a hotshot business. Not that I expected anything less with multiple levels of government involved. There are tons of details you have to pay attention to, as missing even one can cause you a lot of grief. The minutia can be overwhelming! So plan on giving yourself plenty of time to get things filed and set up if you have a similar plan in mind.
Just so you know, the process takes a while. I don’t expect to be fully set up for at least another two months, and that’s including waiting on paperwork approvals, buying equipment, and all the other little things that go along with any start-up.
In fact, it may take me longer than that, but I’m good with it. I have work already lined up (leased, under my boss’s authority) as soon as the truck gets here. Which also gives me time to cross all of my t’s and dot my i’s to get everything all squared away without rushing.
Some of the things to think about are federal DOT requirements and regulations, state level variations of the same, equipment insurance that covers the truck, trailer, cargo, and liability, random drug testing consortiums (more properly, consortia?) for the little guys, paperwork handling requirements (to which you must strictly adhere!), and then the little stuff, tools and equipment needed, emergency stuff you have to have on the truck… the list just goes on and on.
And the forms! They have a form for everything. Each of which has to be filled out correctly, of course, so it’s a good idea to download all of the form instructions before you even get started. Most of the instructions are pretty easy to follow if my being able to do the forms correctly is any indication.
Here’s an alert… get ready for the calls from professional paperwork filing companies, insurance companies, safety compliance companies, and just plain telemarketers. Evidently once your DOT application goes through, your telephone number is jetted out on some notification network to all of the above.
I did take some of the callers seriously, and have gotten some insurance quotes, got signed up with a drug / safety consortium, and got my BoC3 filed by a pro, but other than that I’ve been able to handle everything else on my own. (They all come at a price, just be sure what they’re charging is worth paying for in services and time saved.)
Anyway, that’s just a little heads-up to anyone else thinking about starting the process of getting your own operating authority. Hopefully this will let you in on what to expect in the very early stages.