Trucking Is About Standing Your Ground

Topic 20985 | Page 1

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rookie the cookie's Comment
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Hey ya all . i am really new to this forum and trucking (5months in).i really love what i do and hope to do it for a long time.the only part i hate is when shipper and receiver try to * on you by holding you for more then 2 hours .it happened to me quite a few times but as the person i am .i started calling them on their bs.and guess what it works . you rell them you been here for 2 hours and have 30 to 45 min extra then that before you shut down in the dock.they find more people to work on your load or magically you are unloades in less then 30 mins or you tell them if they cany unload you in two hours or you are leaving and ll set another appointment when they can unload you in the given timeframe and this worked at places like wm dc and krg which are one of the worst places .

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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tell them if they cany unload you in two hours or you are leaving

Kay, you're really new to this industry so you may have gotten lucky a time or two and that approach worked for you. But I can assure you that isn't the approach to take. You have no authority to leave a customer once you've made a commitment to move their freight, especially as a company driver. You can say all kinds of things to try to get them to move a little faster, but try pulling out of that dock one time and actually leaving and watch how quickly things go badly for you.

and this worked at places like wm dc and krg which are one of the worst places .

And I'm going to go a step further can call plain ol' BS on you right there. Don't tell me gigantic corporations that have been in business for decades doing things a certain way are caving to rough, tough Kay the rookie driver and your brutal demands. Be serious.

Listen, you're going to find that you have to be savvy with these people, no doubt. You want to be clever, you want them on your side, you can even make up stories about how you're going to be late for your next load or your wedding if they can't get you moving sooner. But I promise you - if you go into these places trying to act like you're in charge they're going to teach you who's in charge and I can assure you it isn't you.

You'll attract more flies with honey. Trust me. But your delusions of grandeur are adorable.

Patrick C.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, where is the popcorn emoji already?

I need one so I don't have to type out that I am ::grabbing my bag of popcorn:: actually make it a xtra large bucket. This is gonna be interesting.

Chris M's Comment
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the only part i hate is when shipper and receiver try to * on you by holding you for more then 2 hours .

Oh yeah you're completely right about this part. These huge corporations and their distribution centers make sure they screw us peon truckers over by keeping us over 2 hours. That'll show us!

You keep using your approach, and I'll keep using my approach of being a humble human being that understands that sometimes things happen, and me as a driver raising cane about being delayed isn't going to make anyone work harder to get me unloaded. They're not going to "magically find extra people to work on your load" just because you were a jerk to them when you don't have any idea what's going on in that building.

You would be surprised at the amount of times that I've walked into a shipping or receiving office, just as a supertrucker is walking out ranting and raving about "I've been here 2 hours Yada Yada Yada", and I'll give the worker an apologetic look on his behalf, as someone that is unfortunately misrepresented by that jackhole, we'll make a few jokes at his expense, and then I'm getting paperwork and gone in an hour and a half.

I probably should have refrained from commenting, but people like this give our industry a black eye when it comes to the shippers and receivers that we have to deal with daily. Those same people that I joke with after they've had to deal with guys like this, are almost always complimentary and thankful for my keeping my composure and being patient, in those instances where there are delays that are almost 100% of the time completely out of their hands anyway. You don't have to be a pushover, but being a jerk doesn't ever make your situation any better.

I will add one more piece of advice. It is perfectly acceptable to ask in a nice calm manner, after receiving your door number, "Do you have an estimate of how long it may take to load/unload me? I'm trying to get my trip planned out and that would be a big help". Again, you would be surprised by how many times they'll give me a time frame, and the percentage of time that they are dead on with that time frame.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Brett, where is the popcorn emoji already?

I've actually thought about that. There's a couple more we should probably add......

Chris is dead on. You do not want to cop an attitude with the dock workers or shipping and receiving clerks. We have no authority as drivers. We also get very little respect from people in our society. So the best approach under those circumstances is to be humble and friendly, and try to get them on your side. You want them to like you because they certainly don't have to listen to you. They can make your life as miserable as they want to. You're hoping they'll do you a favor and get you out of there quickly.

I've also had many, many circumstances over the years where I was loaded or unloaded quickly and some big mouth jerk who was there before me was still sitting there when I left. That used to crack me up. When I was at a customer and another driver was being a jerk I would just put on the biggest smile you ever saw, joke around with the workers on the dock, and try to build a rapport with them. I spent plenty of time working on docks myself before becoming a truck driver so it certainly wasn't difficult to relate to them. The more difficult part is for them to relate to us. They don't know what our job is like. They don't know how much money we may lose if we get held up for too long. So I used to explain my circumstances to them. I'd tell them,

Listen, if I can get out of here within about two hours I have another load ready to pick up today. If I miss that load I'm almost certainly going to sit for an entire day waiting on another one and I'll lose $250 from this week's check, which is a lot of money for me. So if you can help me out I'd be thrilled! If not, I understand. But it will make a huge difference for me.

Then I'd just go wait in the truck. The overwhelming majority of the time I'd be out of there in no time and I'd thank them profusely for their help and consideration.

One of the worst things you can do is act like the boss when you're not, and as truckers we're certainly not the boss. Kay, if you want to keep trying the strongarm approach then be my guest. I promise you though, the humble and friendly approach to developing a rapport with them is far more effective. Think about it from their point of view. Who would you rather do a favor for, someone who's friendly and fun to be around, or someone who's threatening you and yelling at you?

Easy choice, right?

smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
rookie the cookie's Comment
member avatar

I understand all you guys . I don't talk like a jerk or something when i say this stuff.i am really calm and respectful.but i just make them realize they are wrong on their part .this is the thing I don't understand if" driver is late for 1 min you are late go at the end of line if they hold us for 6 hours we should understand that if we can pre plan our trip and manage to get their on time why can't they manage and preplan the deliveries and get us out in 2 hrs.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
why can't they manage and preplan the deliveries and get us out in 2 hrs

The reality is they could, and they should.

We're all frustrated by the amount of time we waste sitting at customers. It's totally unnecessary and it costs everyone a lot of money when the trucks sit like that, especially in today's era with electronic logbooks and the 14 hour rule.

Unfortunately we're in a position as drivers where we have no authority to do anything about it. However, if you're smart about it you can often speed up the process considerably. If you take the wrong approach you will often make a bad problem even worse for yourself.

It's aggravating, though, no question about it.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

rookie the cookie's Comment
member avatar

However, if you're smart about it you can often speed up the process considerably. If you take the wrong approach you will often make a bad problem even worse

i did that for a month or 2 the replies i was getting were "I'll be ready in 2 more hours" after 2 hours "will be ready in just 1 more hour" and after one hour "oh guys are on break when they come back will start on your load" after 3 hours "oh we have a shift change they ll let you know when it's going to be ready"

While you have two loads already preplanned on you after asking these professionals how long they are going to take .and there goes your money because someone can't keep up with appointment times or are not man enough to tell you the truth. but i get you we are professionals too and we should not lose our cool . But when you see that 700$ going away because someone else can't do their job right you get a little tough don't you.

ACO476's Comment
member avatar

You would be surprised at the amount of times that I've walked into a shipping or receiving office, just as a supertrucker is walking out ranting and raving about "I've been here 2 hours Yada Yada Yada", and I'll give the worker an apologetic look on his behalf, as someone that is unfortunately misrepresented by that jackhole, we'll make a few jokes at his expense, and then I'm getting paperwork and gone in an hour and a half.

This has worked for me almost all of the time. Always be polite and “kill them with kindness.” Usually that supertrucker that’s yelling and screaming hasn’t showered or put on a clean pair of clothes in about two or three weeks either. Look professional, act professional, have a little understanding and be nice and you’ll never be waiting for very long.

(And I understand that showers can’t be had every day on the road. At least put on some clean clothes and freshen up a bit. You’re representing your company for crying out loud.)

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
But when you see that 700$ going away because someone else can't do their job right you get a little tough don't you.

Yeah, I totally get it. But I wouldn't say "get tough." I would say try to create an increased sense of urgency. Cuz remember, you have no authority over these people at all. It's like being pulled over by a police officer. You're totally at their mercy. They're in control of the situation. So you try to get them on your side and get them to like you. You want to be the type of person that they feel bad issuing a ticket to, or in the case of customers, they feel bad holding you up.

The biggest thing I used to do was explain how much money I could make, or how much I was going to lose, by being held up for too long and I would try to put a solid time on it. Give them specifics to work with. I would say something like:

Listen, it's 9:00. I have a load scheduled to pick up today at 2:00 and it's a little over an hour from here. If I can get out of here no later than noon then I'll be able to get that load and I'll make about $300 with it. If I get out of here past noon and I miss that load I'm going to sit for an entire day and I lose $300. That's going to kill my paycheck for the week and there's no way I can make that up. I just lose a ton of money.

So if there's anything at all you can do to get me out of here by noon, that would be huge! I mean, really huge. I'd really appreciate it. If there's just nothing you can do then I understand. But man, it would be a really big deal if I could be rolling by noon.

I'll be waiting in the truck getting ready for the next run. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you guys out and speed up the process a little bit for ya. I'll be happy to help out.

By talking that way to the dock workers you're doing a few things:

1) You're showing them respect for their job and the challenges they face. You're not just making it all about you.

2) You're giving them a solid time to shoot for. Give them a specific time. But give them some flexibility by being reasonable about your expectations. This lets them handle their job the way they need to and still makes it possible to satisfy you at the same time.

3) You're being super friendly, you understand they have a job to do also, and you're offering to help out. That lets them know that you're willing to help them the way you're asking them to help you. It also makes you the type of person they want to do nice things for. No one wants to help out a selfish jerk, ya know what I mean? But when someone is humble and friendly and you're in a position to help them out it makes you feel good to do nice things for them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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