Ok so as you can see, dealing with your dispatcher and deciding how you will handle your logbook and any other issues within your own company is a far more complicated endeavor than you might have guessed. We've covered a lot of ground already but there's more. Let's dive further into the affairs within your own company.
Let's talk a little bit about how the larger companies handle tractor assignments. Small companies have far fewer tractors and often times you may not have much of a choice. In fact, you may get hired because they have one tractor not being used so they need one driver to fill it. But at the large companies they have a large fleet of tractors and often times they have two or even three different brands in their fleet.
Most of the time each terminal at a company will have one person in charge of “seating” drivers as they refer to it. His job is to keep a list of available equipment and a list of drivers needing equipment. So how do they decide who will get what? Believe it or not, most of the time its just random. You would think they would base it on your experience both in the industry and within your own company, the division you will be in, and the trucks you've been driving so far....as in you've paid your dues and now you've worked your way up to a nicer truck.
Yeah, that would be nice, but believe it or not it's usually just random. Many times I've seen brand new drivers come out of school and get a brand new tractor on day one with their first company. I've also seen just as many drivers quit a company after a number of years because for whatever reason they still won't give them the type of truck they wanted. Now of course, it's not like that at all companies, but most of the ones I've ever dealt with it is.
The person in charge of assigning tractors gets bombarded with requests every day from dispatchers, managers, drivers, mechanics, recruiters, and even driver's spouses. Yet they don't have any control of what tractors will be available at any given time.
A company will be losing a lot of money if they have a lot of trucks sitting idly. You would think that a company with thousands of drivers would at least have a couple dozen tractors available at any given time but usually this isn't the case. With orientation classes making drivers available every day there is a constant flow of drivers entering and leaving the company every day.