Due to its flexibility, quick turnaround times, and ability to transport smaller goods, hot shot trucking has grown in popularity in recent years. It’s an excellent choice for people who wish to start their own trucking company without having to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). 

We’ll go over the requirements and standards for non CDL hot shot trucking in this article. 

Why You Don’t Always Need a CDL for Hot Shot Trucking

Hot shot trucking often includes transporting cargo weighing less than 10,000 pounds, making it a viable alternative for folks who don’t want to obtain a CDL. Non CDL drivers are permitted to operate commercial vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds and don’t need hazardous materials placards, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

Requirements for Non CDL Hot Shot Trucking

Although non CDL hot shot truckers don’t have to to have a CDL, they’re required to still follow certain FMCSA standards. Non CDL drivers must meet the following requirements to operate a commercial vehicle weighing less than 26,001 pounds: 

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license for the state in which the vehicle is operated
  • Every two years, you must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam.
  • Have a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) indicating that they’re physically fit to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • Follow the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.
  • Maintain liability insurance.

Medical Cards for Non CDL Hot Shot Truckers

Non-CDL hot shot truck drivers must have a valid MEC demonstrating that they meet the FMCSA’s physical requirements for operating a commercial vehicle. A review of the driver’s medical history, a physical examination, and a drug and alcohol test are all part of the exam. A medical examiner who’s on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners issues the MEC. 

Insurance Requirements for Non CDL Hot Shot Truckers

Non-CDL hot shot truckers must carry the minimum liability insurance coverage. The standards for coverage differ based on the type of cargo and the distance traveled. For vehicles transporting non-hazardous products, the FMCSA mandates a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage. The minimum liability coverage for a vehicle transporting hazardous items is $1,000,000. 

Bottom Line

Non CDL hot shot trucking is an option for those who want to start their own trucking company but don’t hold a CDL. Non-CDL drivers, on the other hand, must still follow certain FMCSA standards, including as passing a DOT physical exam, having liability insurance, and adhering to HOS regulations. 

Non CDL drivers must understand and adhere to these requirements to operate safely and legally on the road.


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