Maybe I was getting 3200 miles per week and home every weekend while the other person was getting 1800 miles per week and only allowed to go home every other weekend.
Nobody will have more of an influence on your success as a driver than your dispatcher. He or she can be your best friend, worst enemy, or anything in between, sometimes all in the same DAY!!! Of course I can be that way too and without a doubt there have been a number of times I've brought that upon myself.
But hey, I'm not on trial here so get off my back!!
No, seriously though you will find out that you control your own destiny to a very large extent. Pretty soon I'll show you how.
For now, let's start with what exactly your dispatcher does. A dispatcher's duties will vary greatly from company to company. In a smaller company a dispatcher will have a lot more control and authority than in a larger company, generally speaking of course.
First and foremost though your dispatcher will be the number one day to day contact point you will have with your company. Almost every single time you call or message your company it will be directed to your dispatcher.
You will deal directly with each other one on one but you will not be the only driver your dispatcher will be handling. He or she will have anywhere from 5 to 60 different drivers on their “board”. A dispatcher's board is simply the group of drivers he/she is handling at any given time.
If someone else's dispatcher calls in sick you may find that your dispatcher will have to cover his or her board that day and it will likely take you longer to get replies to your messages.
Your dispatcher's first duty is to exchange information with you. All of your load information will be given to you by your dispatcher. Any questions, problems, or concerns you have will be directed back to him or her. Basically all of your normal, everyday communication with your company will be with dispatch.
At times you will need someone with more authority or you may have an issue with your dispatcher personally and you need to talk with someone higher up. We'll cover those things in a little while.
Dispatchers usually have the lowest level of authority within the company's office. Some dispatchers will also handle the “load planning” which means deciding which drivers get which loads each day. Often times in smaller companies the dispatcher will have this authority. In larger companies they may or may not.
Often times a larger company will have a dedicated group of people, we'll call them “load planners” that decide which drivers get which loads but the information is actually given to the driver by the dispatcher, not the load planner. I have worked within both systems and always found that the more authority my dispatcher had the better things went for me.
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