Check out our FAQ to see if your question is answered here.  If you don’t see what you’re looking for below, feel free contact us with your question(s).


What is HotShot Trucking?

Hot shot trucking (AKA hotshot trucking) involves hauling smaller, more time-sensitive LTL loads within a specific time frame, and usually to a single customer or location. Hot shot loads are usually delivered using medium-duty trucks that pull flatbed trailers. 

Hotshot loads may need to be delivered locally, or they may need delivered across the country.  Customers sometimes request hotshot rigs (truck and trailer combined) because a larger truck and trailer rig would not be able to maneuver around the shipping or receiving location. Learn more about HotShot Trucking.


Do I need a CDL for HotShot Trucking?

For all combinations (GCWR) over 26,000 lbs  a CDL is required.  If the combination includes a trailer that has a GVWR over 10,000 lbs, a CDL-A is required.  FMCSA Rule.


What does GVWR mean?

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and it’s a number that represents a maximum value of what your vehicle can safely weigh including payload.  This includes the actual weight of the truck or trailer. 

For the (GVWR) provided by the manufacturer, this information can typically be found on the truck’s driver-side door sill or on the trailer’s manufacturer’s sticker, in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer website. 


What does GCWR mean?

Gross combined weight rating or GCWR is the maximum allowable weight of both the loaded tow vehicle and the loaded trailer that the tow vehicle can handle safely.


What is FTL Freight?

FTL refers to full truckload freight. FTL shipping is commonly used for large shipments that require taking up the entire truck, or at least close to it. With FTL, one shipper’s freight is the only freight moving on an individual truck so the shipper has exclusivity to the entire truck and is theoretically filling the truckload.

The truck can be reserved with its full capacity even if the load doesn’t require filling up the entire available space. Doing so would alleviate any worry the customer may have about the shipment changing hands at any time or being mixed in with other shipments.  These shipments are sometimes just called “full loads.” 


What is LTL Freight?

Less than load (LTL) freight is the transportation of products or goods that does not require a full truckload due to the smaller nature of the parcel. … LTL shipments are usually arranged on pallets and can range anywhere from 150 pounds to 10,000 pounds. 

These shipments are sometimes called “partials.”    Freight from multiple shippers can be on the same trailer rather than having a single company’s freight exclusively on an individual trailer. Several LTL shipments can be combined into one truck to fill it as near to capacity as possible. 


What is Over-Dimensional Freight (ODL or ODC)?

In simplest terms, ODC  or ODF is a cargo/freight that protrudes outside the loading deck of the vehicle transporting the cargo, cargo that extends beyond the normal deck of the cargo.  These are sometimes simply called “permitted loads” because they require special permits from each state the load will pass through.

In general, the maximum legal load width is 8’6” (102 inches), and the maximum height limit is 13’6” (162 inches) from the ground. Legal length is typically 48 to 53 feet, and the maximum weight is about 46,000 pounds. Some trucks may be able to scale heavier, but 46,000 pounds is usually the standard. Depending on the size of the freight, escorts or pole cars could be required in addition to the permits. 

Each U.S. state has slightly different requirements for oversize shipments, so it’s important to know the legal requirements for each state and the exact dimensions and weight of your shipment.  Fines for running over-dimensional loads without proper permits are costly.

NOTE:  Weight restrictions are applied on a per axle basis. A shipment might not exceed the total weight limit, but it may exceed the per-axle limits. In this case, simply adjusting the load can make the shipment legal and eliminate the need for special permits.


What is an Owner/Operator?

An owner-operator is somebody who owns their own truck or trucking business. Owner-operators may lease out their services to companies that need to move materials or products, or they may operate under their own authority, which means they can legally transport freight independently without a carrier company contracting them.  They would obtain their own customers, book their own loads, and handle all of their paperwork.

Unlike many independent contractors, owner/operators are responsible for all of the maintenance and repairs on their trucks, the record-keeping for their taxes, the insurance for themselves as well as any other drivers they may employ, and scheduling and planning out their pickups and deliveries.  If they choose to operate under their own authority, they will be required to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) and Motor Carrier (MC) registration number.

Not all owner/operators are 100% independent.  Some choose to lease onto a carrier company like JF Express Fr8 LLC. Leasing onto a carrier company means an owner/operator provides the company with a truck and driver in exchange for guaranteed steady workflow from the carrier company for the duration of the contract.

While this is a type of independent contracting, the driver still owns the truck and is therefore classified as an owner/operator. If an owner/operator gets into a lease with a carrier company, the driver cannot haul freight for other companies or brokers that the company they are leased to does not have an agreement with.


What is a Dispatching Service?

For owner/operators who have their own authority a trucking dispatch service is a good option.  The dispatch service helps owner-operators manage many of the back-office aspects of running a trucking company and act as the representative of the trucking company or owner operator. Some freight dispatchers provide end-to-end services, managing everything from finding the loads to ensuring shippers pay their invoices on time.  

Trucking dispatchers coordinate and manage the schedules of truck drivers to ensure products and goods are picked up and delivered in a timely manner. … They relay information to customers to keep them informed of delivery dates and time estimates.  Dispatchers are paid by the carrier, either on a flat-fee arrangement or as a percentage of the total invoice to the customer. Learn more about JF Express Fr8’s Dispatching Service.


What does Deadhead mean?

Deadhead in trucking is when a truck driver is driving with an empty trailer. Since loads aren’t always available in a driver’s hometown, deadhead is usually necessary for owner operators who must drive a certain distance to pick up a load. 

Because drivers need to pick up loads from secondary locations, oftentimes it is necessary for a truck driver to drive without a load in order to pick one up.  Missing appointments can often lead to losing a load and having to deadhead to another location.


What is a Freight Lane?

A carrier lane may also refer to a freight lane, trucking lane or shipping lane. For example, the route from Chicago to Dallas is a lane, and Dallas to Chicago is a distinct lane.

In each case, the lane refers to the route routinely served by the carrier. Establishing lanes in which they operate reduces waste for LTL carriers, independent operators and large retail trucking operations.

The movement of freight within the United States is determined by the shipping lanes or traffic lanes and this is the basis of the cost of shipping products and what loads pay the trucking company who moves the loads within the lane. Moving freight from one state to another on approved interstates, highways, and other DOT approved roads is called a traffic lane or shipping lane.

The direction of where the freight is going, the ease of its drop off location, and the availability of freight to be picked up greatly determines the value of pay to the carrier within the lane. Trucking companies are always looking to see if a load is available after the initial load has been delivered. This is what draws the influence of multiple carriers within certain regions and this generates the value of the lanes and what lanes will pay truck carriers who want to deliver in the specified areas.  Learn more about freight lanes.


What is a Load Board?

A load board (sometimes referred to as a freight board) is an online marketplace where truck owner-operators, shippers, and freight brokers can post and search for loads to keep freight moving.  They also allow carriers to post their free equipment. These systems allow shippers and carriers to find each other and enter into agreements to move freight. Learn more about load boards.


What is a Bill of Lading or BOL?

An itemized list of what a shipment contains. 


What is USDOT (DOT)?

USDOT is an acronym for the United States Department of Transportation The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the federal government’s lead agency for planning and support of the nation’s land, air and sea-based travel systems. DOT develops, implements and enforces federal regulations governing use of America’s roads and highways, airports and air corridors, railways and seaports.


What is FMCSA?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry in the United States. The primary mission of the FMCSA is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.


What are Logs/Logbooks?

A logbook is a record of mileage, driving hours, and rest time that complies with federal Hours of Service regulations. A logbook can either be paper or electronic.  To help improve road safety, the US Department of Transportation limits the amount of time drivers spend behind the wheel. Although there are some exemptions, every driver is expected to keep a logbook to track their driving hours to enforce this rule. 


What  is POD or Proof of Delivery?

A POD is a signed document, usually the Bill of Landing, that documents the delivery of a load.


What is ELD?

Effective December 2019, all drivers are expected to record their logs using Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). ELDs are far more accurate and hassle-free. The devices use GPS to track drivers, which reduces most of the manual entries and possible errors. Put simply, an ELD is a device that helps motor carriers and truck drivers track Hours of Service (HOS) compliance with ease.

All CDL drivers required to keep an up-to-date Record of Duty Status (RODS) must use an ELD device to document their compliance with the HOS rules.

The ELD devices must have, at a minimum, these specifications/capabilities:

  • The device must be able to connect to the truck’s engine to indicate if it’s in motion
  • The driver must be able to log in and select on-duty, off-duty, or on-duty not driving. However, the drive segments should be automatically selected based on the movement of the vehicle.
  • All ELDs must provide data in a standardized format that can easily be transmitted to law enforcement in several prescribed ways such as USB, Bluetooth, or Wireless Web Services.
  • The product must be certified and meet all specifications.

We update our FAQ as we get common questions. If you have a question you don’t see the answer to here in the FAQ, please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer it for you.

Are you a HotShot owner/operator looking for HotShot jobs? Check out our HotShot trucking jobs page to learn more.

Are you a shipper looking to find a carrier for your freight? Get a Quote, today!