What are Deadhead Miles in Trucking?

What Are Deadhead Miles in Trucking

What are Deadhead Miles?

In the trucking industry, “deadhead miles” refer to miles driven without any cargo or freight. This can happen when a truck driver delivers a load to a destination and then has to return to the point of origin without any cargo. These types of miles can have a significant impact on the profitability of trucking companies, as they lead to increased fuel costs and decreased revenue.

Impact of Deadhead Miles on Trucking Companies

The impact of deadhead miles on trucking companies can be significant. For example, if a truck driver must drive 100 miles to deliver a load and then drive another 100 miles back to the point of origin without any cargo, this results in financial loss.

This not only means that the trucker is not earning any revenue for those miles, but it also increases the cost of fuel and other expenses for the trucking company. These additional costs can eat into the overall profitability of the company.

Strategies for Minimizing Deadhead Miles

One strategy for minimizing deadhead miles is for trucking companies to find return loads. This means that after a truck delivers a load, the company works to find another load that needs to be transported back to the point of origin.

Another strategy is the utilization of load-matching technology, which allows trucking companies to connect with other companies that need loads transported and can help to reduce the number of empty miles driven.

Relationship between Deadhead Miles and Capacity Utilization

Deadhead miles also have an impact on a trucking company’s overall capacity utilization and efficiency. When trucks are driving empty miles, they are not generating revenue, and this affects the company’s ability to fully utilize its capacity. Furthermore, it can also cause delays and logistics issues in the supply chain.

Deadhead Miles in the Context of the Larger Trucking Industry

Deadhead miles are a common issue in the trucking industry and can affect supply chain logistics. The trucking industry as a whole is affected by the high costs and inefficiency of deadhead miles.

Technology and Digital Innovation

However, advances in technology and digital innovation, like using load-matching technology, can help to reduce these miles and improve overall trucking operations.


In conclusion, deadhead miles are an important issue in the trucking industry, as they lead to increased costs and decreased profitability for trucking companies. However, by implementing strategies such as finding return loads and utilizing load-matching technology, trucking companies can minimize the number of deadhead miles they drive.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can reduce deadhead miles and maximize profits, contact us today at barr-nunn.com.

We can also help you become a Barr-Nunn solo, team, or owner-operator truck driver. Call 888-999-7576.

Drive for Barr-Nunn Transportation! Search Driving Positions or Apply Now!