Dispatcher/manager Question

Topic 11068 | Page 1

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Todd W.'s Comment
member avatar

I currently work for an LTL company in Ca., we have a manager/dispatcher who most of the drivers I have talked with agreed is a bully. She tries to get us to go faster then we should on the road. doesn't understand what it means when you are waiting in line to pick up or drop off freight that you have to wait in line among other things. have any of you out in TT land delt with such a person and how. I always try to be polite and civil, I am far from perfect as a driver, any guidance would be useful.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

I currently work for an LTL company in Ca., we have a manager/dispatcher who most of the drivers I have talked with agreed is a bully. She tries to get us to go faster then we should on the road. doesn't understand what it means when you are waiting in line to pick up or drop off freight that you have to wait in line among other things. have any of you out in TT land delt with such a person and how. I always try to be polite and civil, I am far from perfect as a driver, any guidance would be useful.

Does she talk fast? Is she real direct, even blunt? Does she hurt people's feelings sometimes? She sounds like she's a "doer" personality type (or "Red" if you're familiar with that personality test).

If that sounds like her, the best way to deal with it is to be very concise and factual. Match her rate of speech. Tell her "I can't get there in that time frame. The speed limit for trucks in California is 55 mph. I'm willing to go 58 mph, but even doing that will get me there at ____ o'clock." Then stop. Don't ask her what she suggests. She'll already have something in mind, trust me.

If she continues to tell you to do something illegal (like "Drive 65, others do it all the time and they don't get tickets"), then say "Can't do that. I have to protect my license." And stop. Don't tell her you have a family to feed - she won't care if she's a doer. That personality type is all about accomplishing goals and overcoming obstacles. Emotional appeals will only make you weak in her eyes, and too much detail will only frustrate her and make her tune you out.

If you have to add anything, say, "I know three drivers who have gotten speeding tickets on that route in the last week. If I get stopped, I'll get there even later." (Not "I'll lose my license and you'll have to find another driver" or "Are you gonna pay the ticket?" Keep it focused on getting the freight there.)

If she asks, "What drivers!?" (because she knows no one from your company has gotten a ticket), tell her drivers from other companies that you have talked to while waiting for some slow forklift driver to get you loaded. Pro tip: mention specific other companies when you say this, like "this Saia driver I know from church" or "this Con-way driver I was talking to at the shipper." It's more believable that way.

Waiting in line is a similar conversation. "Hey, I'd go kick that guy's ass right now to get him moving, but that will only put me at the back of the line and I'll get rolling even later."

Keep everything focused on the goal of getting the freight there as fast as possible, and offer the best solutions you can to help her achieve that goal. But don't back down, don't get emotional, don't provide too many details, stick to the facts, and be brief. That will probably get you further with her than any other tactic. Polite is ok, but she probably doesn't care about nice.

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.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Todd, what LTL company are you with in CA?

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Todd W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks Bud, I just got a similar chunk of advice from a fellow trucker at another company. I have been trying to employ those tactics and will add what you have that he didn't have. Nice to be able to get sound practical advice for a situation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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