Don't Forget Who The Customer Is!!

Topic 10922 | Page 1

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Bud A.'s Comment
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We had a very entertaining time this morning at our receiver. Monday mornings are always competitive, since pretty much every flatbed driver has been sitting for at least part of the weekend and we're all ready to get empty first thing and get our first load for the week.

We'd had a very good week so I wasn't feeling too concerned about being first this morning. I didn't want to be last, but I decided yesterday not to park at the receiver all day just to be first, since we had laundry to do, etc. We got to the receiver about 6:30 this morning and were the fourth truck (out of, as it turned out, eleven for the day).

They started unloading the first guy a little before 8:00 a.m. A few of us went over to talk to the foreman about what order they were going to take us. He said he would take us second, since we had structural steel and they needed to put that in the lay down area before the stuff on the other guys' trucks. (They had trusses and decking and so on.)

Well, the guy who got there second wasn't too happy about that. He pulled up in front of us so we couldn't back in when the first guy left. He had trusses but he also had another load waiting 200 miles away. Guess what? That's not the receiver's problem.

The driver argued with the forklift driver, waving his arms and pointing at his bills. The forklift driver pointed at us and waved us in, but this guy decided to go ahead and back in anyway. The foreman came over and pointed for the guy to get out, so the driver decided to roll up his window! The foreman pulled up his forklift to prevent him from getting into the unloading spot. The driver set his brakes and got out and waved his arms some more, and then his phone to his ear, apparently to call his dispatcher to let him know how unfair life is.

We sat out on the road a little while to see what would happen. The guy refused to move his truck. Finally the foreman came over and told us to pull around him and park behind him, so we did.

All the other drivers who were waiting came over to watch and we all had some fun talking about this guy who couldn't follow directions. They all understood that it wasn't about who got there first, it was who did the contractor want to unload first.

When we were empty, the foreman signed our bills and asked us to wait before backing up so he could block the other guy with his forklift first. He said he had been thinking about unloading him after us just to get him out of the way, but the guy had come over to yell at him some more while he was busy picking steel off our truck. So now, that guy went to the end of the line. He won't get out of there until 5:00 or 6:00 tonight, when if he had been patient he probably would have been empty by noon at the latest.

The point of this long story is, don't forget who the customer is! This driver thought he was the customer. He thought his next load deadline was more important than doing things the way the real customer wanted them done, and thought he could force them to do it his way by putting his truck in the way. So today, he's learning the hard lesson that the person who pays the bills and who runs the jobsite is the customer and has the final say.

Or maybe he won't and he'll go online and whine about how unfair everything is, and how his dispatcher wouldn't help him, and who knows what else.

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.
G-Town's Comment
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This is an awesome post. It's so easy to let your emotions get the best of you whenever the wait time gets to be, "too much". Part of the job. I bet this is not the first time this guy went into a "bully" rant like this. Hope his anger doesn't cross over into his driving behavior. It's likely that he handles heavy traffic in a similar fashion.

I visit the same customers repeatedly, day after day, week after week. They remember and differentiate the un-professionals from the professionals real quick. Life is too short, treat people the way you want them to treat you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

This is exactly why I'm always saying that having a great attitude will put more money in your pocket! I know a lot of people read my "have a great attitude" stuff and think, "Yeah, yeah......rah rah cheerleader......who cares?" But once you get out there and watch how other drivers behave you quickly figure out that being kind and friendly with people means you will enjoy your job a whole lot more and you will make more money.

Because don't forget, it's not just getting loaded and unloaded quickly that's important for your paycheck. If your dispatcher thinks you're a jerk you're not going to get the miles and special favors you would have gotten otherwise. The waitresses won't serve you as quickly. The DOT officers won't let you go with just a warning. The cops will write you a ticket to fill your big, yapping mouth. The mechanics will go take a few extra breaks or let your truck sit in the parking lot for a while if they get tired of your constant complaining.

It never ends. There are so many ways in trucking that you can shoot yourself in the foot, and one of the best ways is to have a lousy attitude. Remember, you have no authority over anyone so forget the bullying thing - it won't work. The only thing you can do to get better treatment from people is "kill em with kindness" as my super kind Grandma used to say.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

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.
Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Not to hijack but I work for crst and I hear at least once a day how someone couldn't make money working for crst... Been here 7 months and got offered a dedicated account that pays 900 a week for me and 900 a week for my co driver... So yeah its how you do your job...

Belluavir's Comment
member avatar

Lol, man, wish I could have seen that. Dude needs a couple of valiums and a diaper change.

Bud A.'s Comment
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We just finished a 250 mile deadhead to our shipper and I'm enjoying the thought that that guy is still sitting in his truck up there pouting. I wish I would have thought to get one of the other drivers to tell me what happened when he realized he was going to be last.

Deadhead:

To drive with an empty trailer. After delivering your load you will deadhead to a shipper to pick up your next load.

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.

Todd W.'s Comment
member avatar

This guy is going to burn out or have a heart attack soon at this rate. I am in a lit of the same places every week to drop off and pick up freight. I can assure you that being polite and civilized has got my paperwork done faster and better treatment far faster then any temper tantrum ever could. Yeah I don't like standing around, I also don't like my dispatcher calling every 15 minuts to see if I am rolling again. But I have founddancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gifdancing-banana.gif that a little patience saves me tons of stress later on.

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.
RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Being a reefer driver I do a bunch of waiting. Ive been in places where the shipper/receiver will say "Its going to be awhile" then look up looking for the typical trucker reaction. I just smile and chuckle alittle and say take your time. I have all day if you need. Im usually out of there in an hour. Right now im in MS. Showed up at 3pm for a 6am next day appt. The receiver wants to load me right now bc i was so polite. Attitude does matter.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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