4 of the Best 2021 Pickup Trucks for Hot Shot Trucking

Hot shot trucking is a relatively new way for individuals and companies to ship goods, like materials or large equipment, over long or short distances using a more on-demand, Uber-style approach. This has become a popular way for people with trucks to make money as a side-hustle or full-on career, especially since drivers don’t need a special license for hauls below 10,000 lbs. If you’re interested in getting involved in hot shot trucking, you’ll need the right equipment. Learn about the best trucks when out car shopping for this business below. 

What makes a truck great for hot shot trucking?

A man connecting a trailer to a truck tow hitch
A man connecting a trailer to a tow hitch | Kurt Wittman/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

There are a few key components that make a truck a good candidate for hot shot trucking. The first is torque, which is the amount of force produced in a circular path. According to Driving, torque is measured in pound-feet (lb-ft), and it can help determine how efficiently a truck can haul large loads, especially up steep inclines or over long distances. Max towing capacity is just as it sounds, being the highest amount possible a truck can safely tow. 

Safety in terms of construction and features are other important considerations, as hot shot truckers may have to travel long distances during odd hours, and the last thing you’d want on a job is an accident. Trucks with a superior fuel economy also make better choices for this type of work, as you’ll end up taking home more profits for delivering when your truck uses less fuel than others. 

Finally, anybody who has done these types of jobs, especially over long distances, knows that comfort is key. A truck with a cozy interior, not to mention great infotainment features, can make the job much more enjoyable than it otherwise would be. So which trucks live up to these standards?

The 2021 Ram 3500 and Chevy Silverado 3500 HD

Web2Carz considers the 2021 Ram 3500 the best HD (heavy duty) pickup for this line of work, mostly thanks to its 410 horsepower engine that can produce an impressive 429 lb-ft of torque. The max towing capacity of this beast of a truck is 37,000 lbs with the high-output diesel engine option, and Ram added numerous safety features like trailer tire pressure monitoring, adaptive forward lighting system, and trailer reverse guidance view.

The interior is also made with quality materials, and it boasts a comfortable ride even on the longest of journeys. This truck starts at $35,795, but it’s a fantastic investment for anyone looking to enter the hot shot trucking game. A similar truck, the Chevy Silverado 3500 HD, offers a slightly lower starting price of $36,100 with enough features for the vast majority of hot shot trucking situations. 

The Silverado’s base engine can tow 17,000 lbs, but the turbo-diesel option can haul up to 36,000 lbs with 910 lb-ft of torque. This year, Chevy clearly put plenty of thought into safety features, adding a trailering package that provides a surround vision camera, jack-knife alert, and rear trailer view. The cabin might not be quite as cushy as the Ram 3500, but it’s still an excellent truck overall. 

The 2021 Ford F-250 and Chevy Silverado 2500 HD


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The 2021 Ford F-250 is another great option for prospective hot shot truckers, as it has an impressive max towing capacity of 37,000 lbs and produces up to 1050 lb-ft of torque with its most powerful engine. There are several Ford F-250 models to choose from, so you can keep it simple or fully customize the truck to your liking. According to Car and Driver, it starts at $35,925, but it can go all the way up to nearly $100,000 depending upon selected options, features, and packages. 

Finally, the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD is best for people who value performance over comfort. According to Car and Driver, this truck packs a major punch with its 910 lb-ft torque capacity and max towing capability of 36,000 lbs with the Duramax V8 engine. It also provides a long list of safety and towing features, such as its trailer-length indicator, cargo-bed view, and jack-knife alert. This truck starts at $36,995 for the Work Truck model without bells and whistles, but the high-capacity version starts at $64,795.