Everything Goes Wrong on Weekends

Topic 20345 | Page 1

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Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

It's not a wild goose chase to find an empty trailer, this time it's something else. I arrive at Unilever in Jefferson City MO to pick up a trailer going to Wilmer TX, but apparently the load was double booked and is already gone. Sat on hold for 20m waiting for the lone dispatcher in the office to answer to finally get the ball rolling for a solution, now I gotta wait for that solution to come across. This is why I like doing a 34 on the weekends. Don't have to deal with short staffed BS.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Even better is if you can get preplanned on Thursday or Friday for the entire weekend.

Doing a 34 isn't a bad idea on the weekend anyhow, because everyone needs time to unwind and go do something fun. Either way it's common to have an extra day or so on the weekend, even under a load, unless you're lucky enough to get a really long load for Monday delivery. So a 34 on the weekend can even be feasible under a load if you schedule things the right way.

Get out there and have some fun if you get the chance, though, and get some exercise. That's a biggie. Exercise solves or prevents more problems than most people would ever imagine. Makes you feel like a million bucks, too.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Even better is if you can get preplanned on Thursday or Friday for the entire weekend.

This statement is so important that I wanted to emphasize it.

That is part of the way that the top drivers manage their time. If I have a load that delivers on a Friday or Saturday, I will purposely do anything in my power to make sure I get it delivered first thing Friday morning. I may have to call the customer and change the appointment - I may just have to show up and play dumb - I may have to come up with a creative excuse, or whatever I can to get that load off my truck.

Dispatchers and planners begin to recognize these types of habits in a productive driver. This is a really effective way of keeping your miles up into the top levels. Once you start a habit of consistently doing this you will begin to see some great loads coming your way over the weekends.

It helps keep you from dealing with the weekend dispatch crew, and that always puts you ahead in this game.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Just to add a little to what Brett and Old School said, the best situation is when you can get empty first thing Friday and your dispatcher gives you choices. Feeling energetic and have lots of hours? Man, take that 1800 mile run that delivers Monday and make some money! Need a break? Take the 600 mile run so you can park it early on Saturday, get your laundry done, and go have some fun somewhere.

I have had some really nice weekends in Lubbock, Lafayette, Hesperia, Grand Junction, Spokane, Weed, Mebane, Paris, Phoenix, Reno, Sacramento, Kalispell, Casper, and some others.

Wait, what? You haven't heard of some of those towns? Or you have and you can't imagine how anyone could have fun there? Trust me, you can have fun just about anywhere if you put your mind to it. Maybe it's tougher to go hiking if you're stuck in Dallas for the weekend -- so find something else that's fun to do there, even if you have to spend a little money for a taxi. Or stop an hour outside of Dallas where there's something fun to do. You are only limited by your willingness to try something different.

The scenery and weekends in new places are the only thing I miss about OTR work. But it is nice to be home on the weekends, even if it's taking a little bit to get used to it again.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tim H.'s Comment
member avatar

I was low on fuel so I stopped at a loves 115 miles shy of my fuel stop to call dispatch for a change in my fuel stop. My card only works for reefer fuel without optistop. 1hr 15min later and no one answered the damn phone so I bought reefer fuel and put 40 gal in my tank and 8 in my reefer then on to Denver. There's another weekend joy! Traffic I-25N to Denver and then trying to find parking at 17:30.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Even better is if you can get preplanned on Thursday or Friday for the entire weekend.

double-quotes-end.png

This statement is so important that I wanted to emphasize it.

That is part of the way that the top drivers manage their time. If I have a load that delivers on a Friday or Saturday, I will purposely do anything in my power to make sure I get it delivered first thing Friday morning. I may have to call the customer and change the appointment - I may just have to show up and play dumb - I may have to come up with a creative excuse, or whatever I can to get that load off my truck.

Dispatchers and planners begin to recognize these types of habits in a productive driver. This is a really effective way of keeping your miles up into the top levels. Once you start a habit of consistently doing this you will begin to see some great loads coming your way over the weekends.

It helps keep you from dealing with the weekend dispatch crew, and that always puts you ahead in this game.

I always try to deliver as early as I can. There were many times that I shot a message to my dispatcher if I could deliver a day early. I always ask first because I would hate to get there a day early and be turned away until the appt time. I wouldn't doubt that that'd happen.

Just to add a little to what Brett and Old School said, the best situation is when you can get empty first thing Friday and your dispatcher gives you choices. Feeling energetic and have lots of hours? Man, take that 1800 mile run that delivers Monday and make some money! Need a break? Take the 600 mile run so you can park it early on Saturday, get your laundry done, and go have some fun somewhere.

I have had some really nice weekends in Lubbock, Lafayette, Hesperia, Grand Junction, Spokane, Weed, Mebane, Paris, Phoenix, Reno, Sacramento, Kalispell, Casper, and some others.

Wait, what? You haven't heard of some of those towns? Or you have and you can't imagine how anyone could have fun there? Trust me, you can have fun just about anywhere if you put your mind to it. Maybe it's tougher to go hiking if you're stuck in Dallas for the weekend -- so find something else that's fun to do there, even if you have to spend a little money for a taxi. Or stop an hour outside of Dallas where there's something fun to do. You are only limited by your willingness to try something different.

Unfortunately, I don't get choices in loads, but honestly, it's whatever. I may not like a load I'm assigned (anything in Laredo...), but money is money. Longest load I've had was from Waupaca WI to Laredo TX, shortest load immediately followed, Laredo to Laredo... Money is money

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Unfortunately, I don't get choices in loads, but honestly, it's whatever. I may not like a load I'm assigned (anything in Laredo...), but money is money. Longest load I've had was from Waupaca WI to Laredo TX, shortest load immediately followed, Laredo to Laredo... Money is money

Oh, I didn't get choices at first either. It took a few months of consistent performance before it happened. That's one of those things that make it worth following the advice about being a good performer by being safe and on time, communicating professionally, developing a relationship with your dispatcher and load planners, etc. that is given here so often.

I wasn't given a choice every weekend. Sometimes there was a load they needed delivered and I was the one with hours, sometimes there weren't that many options so I got what was available, and sometimes I didn't know why. I just made it my goal to make sure that there wasn't some other driver that was doing so much better than me that the folks handing out loads preferred them over me.

Hang in there. It may seem like it's not coming fast enough, but keep performing consistently and it will come.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chris M's Comment
member avatar

I was low on fuel so I stopped at a loves 115 miles shy of my fuel stop to call dispatch for a change in my fuel stop. My card only works for reefer fuel without optistop. 1hr 15min later and no one answered the damn phone so I bought reefer fuel and put 40 gal in my tank and 8 in my reefer then on to Denver. There's another weekend joy! Traffic I-25N to Denver and then trying to find parking at 17:30.

So you put Reefer fuel in your tractor tanks???? Man that's a big no-no. You might get away with it this time but seriously that is not a smart idea.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Tim H.'s Comment
member avatar

Diesals diesal isn't it?

Chris M's Comment
member avatar

Diesals diesal isn't it?

In theory yes, but reefer fuel is not taxed. It's what is called "off-road diesel". So if you're caught with it in your tractor tanks that is a big fine.

At most truck stops, tractor fuel is dyed green and reefer fuel is clear. But at smaller places that have separate pumps for reefer of off-road, it's dyed red. If a trooper dips your tank and finds red, you're gonna have a bad day.

Also, if you're at a big chain where it is not dyed, if an attendant was watching and saw that you bought reefer and put it in your tractor, they could report you to your company and then you're screwed with them.

Point is, it is never never never a good idea to put reefer fuel in your tractor and jump on the road.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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