How the Commercial or Owner Operator Trucker Can Reduce Deadhead Mileage

Whether you are a commercial or owner operator trucker, deadhead mileage (driving with an empty trailer) is bad for business. Whenever you or one of your truckers drives an empty trailer on the return trip back to your home base or on any part of a route, fuel and other operating expenses aren’t being covered by a paying customer. Failure to track and reduce deadhead mileage has caused many commercial and owner operator trucking operations to go out of business.

While it’s impossible to eliminate deadheading, you can minimize it by changing how you plan your trucking routes. After hauling freight to its destination for one customer, haul freight on the return leg for another customer based near the destination of the outbound trip. While it’s great when one freight haul can cover the entire return leg, it usually doesn’t work out that way. Your truck may have to deadhead part of the way back or take a round-about return trip. Although not perfect, it’s still better than deadheading the entire return distance.

Your goal is to set up “freight lanes” that are shipping routes along which you have multiple customers who consistently ship along those routes. The more customers on your freight lanes, the more hauling opportunities and therefore the less deadheading required when driving along those lanes.

For those commercial or owner operator trucking outfits that are just starting or have otherwise not built up their client lists of shippers, there is another option. You can use an online load board. This is where truckers looking for loads to haul along their route can find shippers and freight brokers looking for truckers to haul loads along the same routes. You can also use mobile apps that connect to these load boards and use your truck’s current location (via the GPS in your mobile device) as well as the location of your home base to instantly find return trip loads.

If you are looking for commercial or owner operator truck insurance in South Carolina that provides affordable insurance for trucking rigs of any size, contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC.