Even worse is the possibility that you two are the only drivers in the area and there's only one load available that day. Guess what? Whoever comes up with an empty trailer first will be assigned the load. You don't want to sit there waiting for hours if you can help it so how do you prevent this from happening? Simple:
In your day to day driving, keep a list of the names, addresses, and if you can get it, the phone numbers of any locations you notice your company has dropped trailers. Just simply keep your list organized by state. Believe me, this has saved the day dozens of times!
I can't count the number of times I've arrived at my delivery to find as many as five or more drivers lined up along the fence waiting for hours on end for an empty trailer location to be sent to them. After talking to them for a few minutes I tell them I'm going up the road to get something to eat and immediately bolt to the nearest location that I know we may have trailers.
When I arrive and find an empty trailer I grab one, let my dispatcher know I'm ready for my next load assignment, and wait for the assignment to come through. Then I let my dispatcher know there are several trucks up the road looking for empty trailers and I tell him how many I've found at the location I'm at. Then I'm off and running.
You'll be so glad you kept that list the first time this works for you....and it will. Like I said, it's a competitive environment. If you want to get ahead you have to work hard, be safe and reliable, and in the case of this last example, be more thorough than the other drivers.
One last thing you can try to do once you've proven yourself to be safe and reliable is to try and get dispatch to plan your next load before you deliver the one you have. I promise you, though, it may be very difficult to get them to do this until you have thoroughly proven yourself because once a load has been assigned to you it may cause a lot of headaches in the office if you can't fulfill that commitment.
If you've done all of these things and you've had a couple of slow weeks in a row, ask your dispatcher if he would mind you calling his boss or maybe even the next boss above his in order to beg and plead for some better freight. Remember, your dispatcher probably doesn't have too much say in who gets assigned what loads, but his boss might. Just make it clear to your dispatcher that you're not calling the bosses to complain about him or her, you just want to see if somebody can pull some strings to get you rolling.