Communicating Effectively

Topic 21089 | Page 1

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Old School's Comment
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The title of this post is a phrase I use frequently when trying to help new drivers understand how to be successful at trucking. It's sometimes difficult to explain to the uninitiated how this plays into their favor, but here's an example from my current week. I've actually been on vacation this past week, not really giving much thought or effort to trucking. I could have just showed back up to work when I was ready, and done whatever load they could scrape up for me once I let them know I was back. Instead I took a different approach that worked out very well - here's how I played it...

I sent this text message to my dispatcher two days before I returned to work:

I'm baaaack! (spoken in my best Terminator voice) Hey man, I just wanted to remind you that I'll be on the job Saturday morning, rested up and ready to roll. Keep that in mind once you see your list of loads going out this weekend.

About three o'clock the next afternoon he called me to make sure how I felt about a particular load he had in the works. I told him I'd have no problem with that load and asked him when it would be ready. Now I'm hooking up a pre-loaded flat-bed load with 2,100 miles on it as my first post vacation load assignment!

That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. Be creative out here and learn practical and effective ways to keep yourself on your dispatcher's mind. If you've laid a good solid foundation of being efficient, productive, and easy to work with you can just keep building on that with a strategy of communicating effectively.

The Top Performers in this business are the Top Competitors in this business. Sometimes it's the little subtle things that can give you an edge out here, and knowing how to take advantage of those subtleties is oftentimes the difference in being an average level driver or a Top Tier driver.

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

PackRat's Comment
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Sage advice as always.

Parrothead66's Comment
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OS just last week I sent my FM a similar message. I had taken off for the Monday following opening weekend for deer season. I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday to start rolling again so I sent a Qualcomm message to let him know that I’d be ready to roll on Monday anytime after 14:00 that day.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Fm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar
OS just last week I sent my FM a similar message. I had taken off for the Monday following opening weekend for deer season. I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday to start rolling again so I sent a Qualcomm message to let him know that I’d be ready to roll on Monday anytime after 14:00 that day.

Well... does that mean you got a deer?

I'm assuming you did, because why else would you leave the "deer woods" to get back to work?

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Fm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

At swift we have the Mac 10 so we can message planners. I usually do this when I got a delivery the next day but still don't have a preplan. Usually give my eta and how much time I'll have on my 70.

Big Scott's Comment
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I agree 100%. The last time I knew I was going to need a 34 due to running my 70 out. (Poor planning on my part.) I called my FM and told him when I would be ready to roll and if he could have something lined up for me. Had a great load ready. The other day after delivering a load, I had about 3 hours left on my 70 and wouldn't get my recaps started until midnight. I called him and told him I planned to shut down and if he could find me a load to pick up in the morning and give me the load assignment today. He said was good with my plan and would see what he could find. Before, I reached the truck stop where I was shutting down, the message came in for the load. I'm on that load now. It's a nice relaxing load that delivers Monday morning. While it's only 796 miles, who knows what load I'll get on Monday.

Fm:

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.
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