50% Chance I Get A Lousy Dispatcher After Hours

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Pick/Grin's Comment
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How do you guys deal with a lippy dispatcher?

Couldn't pick up last night so I picked up this morning, and as I left the shipper , I noticed that a cap on the trailer was coming loose. Maintenance sent me over to a petro on the interstate , I pulled in and called a dispatcher to give an update. Between his heavy mouth breathing and the fact that he was in no mood, he told me "I don't know what you want us to do about it, you don't need to call.", among other things.

I figured a dispatcher would like to see drivers being proactive in keeping updates coming regularly, but he made it seem like it was audacious that I was double checking with operations.

I hold my tongue with some of the guys, but I don't think I can be too nice for too long. I usually get a different person everytime I call, so I can't build a repertoire with them like I do with my manager. What would you guys recommend doing when someone gets short with you like that? I'm just trying to communicate.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

If you have an e-log, just send it over that. Unless Petro needed a comcheck, there really isn't a need to call, unless they tell you to call.

Dave

Pick/Grin's Comment
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I'm still getting to see what is and isn't call worthy, but I figure a two minute talk on the phone isn't that farfetched, right?

Brett Aquila's Comment
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What would you guys recommend doing when someone gets short with you like that? I'm just trying to communicate.

People of discipline and character live up to their own standards, especially when they encounter people who are living to lower standards.

I've always loved the saying, "Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience."

It's easy to get dragged down into someone else's way of interacting with people. Maybe someone just has a lousy personality or they're having a terrible day. It's hard to remain unaffected by them and just stick to doing your job and being yourself. But that's the best way to handle it. It's also the most difficult. You have to be savvy and humble enough to see the big picture and use the smartest strategy.

You're going to come face to face with grumpy people on a regular basis in trucking. Like almost daily. Staying positive and friendly is the quickest, easiest, and least painful way of handling a grouch or someone who is aggressive. Don't fuel their fire with any kind of frustration or confrontation. That's what they expect and that's what they're hoping for. Things will escalate in a hurry.

Say you come across an aggressive driver. You handle them with even greater caution to balance out their aggressive behavior, right? You do the same thing when interacting with people. When they're aggressive, you remain calm. When they're crabby, you remain upbeat. You might not change their attitude around, but at least you won't make things worse by fueling their fire and making yourself the target of their aggression at the same time.

Truckers get very little appreciation or respect most of the time so you really just have to be yourself, enjoy yourself as much as possible, and try to remain unaffected by any negativity around you. If someone is crabby or confrontational, that's their problem. Don't let it bleed over into who you are or how you feel.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Your dispatcher has approximately 75 drivers, what if every one of them called him for small things even if it was just for 2 minutes? He wouldn't be able to get any work done because the phone cripples his computer work.

Dispatchers have a million things to do at every moment of their day. They dislike phone calls unless it's for emergencies, and hate pointless phone calls.

I don't see how your dispatcher was in the wrong here. You're interrupting his busy work day when it should have been sent via QC.

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.
Old School's Comment
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This lack of personal communication seems an odd thing for most rookies, but your dispatcher usually prefers just a simple Qualcomm message from you. They really are overwhelmed most of the day with multitasking. When I was at Western Express we regularly got messages pleading with us to stay off the phones unless it was a dire emergency.

Pick/Grin, one time I had a dispatcher that I didn't care for - meaning we would have never been friends - our personalities kind of clashed. He was a good dispatcher though, and kept me moving. You can work with these guys even if you would not necessarily get along with them. Just communicate as much as you can on the QC, and you won't have to put up with any attitudes.

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.

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.
Pick/Grin's Comment
member avatar

I don't see how your dispatcher was in the wrong here. You're interrupting his busy work day when it should have been sent via QC.

I never said he was wrong, but if I don't know something, I'm gonna call to make sure I'm doing it right. Still, I get what yall are saying.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

My Fleet Manager sends out a message like this about once a week:

Please do not call your DM if you can avoid it. Use the Qualcomm to send any message for your DM. The DMs have 40-50 drivers to deal with so sending them a QC message can help everybody.

But then ... the DM really needs to answer.

Pick/Grin, your stop in the shop does affect your ETA. But you need to send a Macro to update it. Even in the macro, they only get the new times, they don't have a place for your reason. You should get an automatic response that it is updated. If the new ETA is important for your destination people, the DM may call you on that.

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.

Dm:

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
Gladiator 76's Comment
member avatar

As a local driver I do everything I can to avoid calling dispatch. I get my pickup & delivery information through the phone (my QC ) and feel good about not speaking to dispatch all day. If I have questions I call another driver first. You ask for opinions and the consensus is to use your QC as much as possible and avoid calling dispatch. If you do have a problem with dispatch or any other person I recommend you "kill them with kindness".

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

As a local driver I do everything I can to avoid calling dispatch. I get my pickup & delivery information through the phone (my QC ) and feel good about not speaking to dispatch all day. If I have questions I call another driver first. You ask for opinions and the consensus is to use your QC as much as possible and avoid calling dispatch. If you do have a problem with dispatch or any other person I recommend you "kill them with kindness".

You get better response, and not so crabby, from drivers you know. Do you have good relations with your Mentor?

I know your original phone call was to explain your delay. But for the most part, the office only needs to know your updated ETA, without explanation. Yes, they know sometimes you could get delayed for unforeseen circumstances.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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