.......And They Said You Would Have Days Like This As A Truck Driver!

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RedGator's Comment
member avatar

So yesterday was my first day back from a week vacation in my home state of Louisiana:) I got to the terminal Thursday to prepare myself for the following day (remake the bed, organize and such). My load didn't pick until 180p so I planned a nice relaxing day in bed.........NEVER MAKE PLANS LOL.

About 9:30am my phone rings, its my DM wanting to know where I was. I told her in my truck at the terminal. So she says "Really? ???? (All enthused) You can be a big help to us today.......Me: ummmmm ok (so hesitate) Her: A driver fell off a load, got drunk and is to hung over to drive. His load picks at the same place as mine but is scheduled for 1400. Can I please run over quick grab it and drop it back at the yard then pick up trailer 53556 and get loaded and head to WI (trailer needs regular maintenance). Me: Ok.........Her: You rock!!!!!! (She's so good with the compliments)

So up I got to shower, find a trailer and start my day. Get a brand new spiffy trailer and head out. Get to the shipper and its like an EXPLOSION of trucks:/ I mean they are EVERYWHERE! Go to check in at 12:45pm and explain that I also have a 6pm, he tells me you wont be outta here by 6! So I go to the truck and message the dm. They call and the shipper assures them ill be loaded by 4.

At 5:30pm I'm finally released! So again I explain there is no way im making it back by 6 (30-50 minute drive in Dallas rush hr both ways) They promise to pull the load and have it ready when I return to get me on my way. I get to the terminal and drop the ld and hook to my assigned trailer.......the tandems wont slide so after fighting for 30 minutes (they are air release tandems and no air:/) I get them to slide.

I look in the back of the trailer its DISGUSTING! Nearest washout is 30 minutes south of the pick! And its all torn up inside. (Evidently it had been at a receiver being used as a storage trailer for months!!!!!! Then I flip on the reefer and it almost shakes off the trailer! Squeals, spurts black smoke and dies!!!! Now I have to drive 40 minutes to a trailer repair to get it fixed then washed out and then loaded cause there are no more empty trailers:/ I finally make it back to get loaded by midnight get loaded by 3am and have to sleep at the shipper cause I was out of time. Ahhhhhh the life lol

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
Did everyone here at TT always have good DM's?

Anyone that's driven for a number of years has had a lousy dispatcher or two along the way. Once you've been out there for a year or so you pretty much understand the basics of how the industry works. You know when you're being treated fairly and when you're not.

A dispatcher could be "lousy" for a number of reasons. The obvious one that comes to mind is they hate their job, they hate truck drivers, and they just don't care about much of anything. It happens. If they feel that way to the point that their performance suffers, they won't be around for long.

Politics can be another reason a dispatcher "seems lousy". By that I mean maybe that dispatcher has an abrasive personality or is a drama queen around the office and nobody likes them. Well in that case the load planners, the other dispatchers, and the bosses really don't care how that dispatcher feels about anything and they're simply not going to get the favors when they need them that other dispatchers will get.

Regardless of the reason, the easiest way to tell when something isn't right is by the loads you're getting. If your weekly miles are down or you're getting a lot of short runs, you bring it up in a professional manner and ask for a better balance. At the same time, talk around with other drivers in your company to see where you stand. Maybe things are slow right now and everyone is light on miles. Maybe not. You have to figure out if it's just you that isn't running like you want to or if it's a company-wide thing.

If you find it's just you or just the drivers on your board, you give your dispatcher one or two more polite but firm messages saying "Things need to improve. I'm not getting the miles other drivers are getting." If nothing changes, it's time to make a phone call to the boss.

You start out by letting your dispatcher know that you've tried your best to get a better balance of loads but for reasons beyond your understanding it just isn't happening so you're going to make a phone call to the boss to see if they can pull some strings. Just make it abundantly clear that you're not "ratting out" your dispatcher. You just feel like you need someone with more authority to pull a few strings and get things back on track. IF you're a solid driver with a great reputation and you talk to the bosses professionally you'll usually have good luck with this.

I've done that a few times over the years and things worked out great. Sometimes it was a change in the software they were using and they weren't able to make the changes they used to make to balance things out. Sometimes there was a new infrastructure put in place where they went to a revolving system of load planners and drivers that weren't getting the right balance were being lost in the system. And once or twice it turned out I moved to a different dispatcher. But maybe twice in 15 years did I actually need to switch dispatchers. If you're a great driver - hard working, safe, and reliable - and you know how to talk to the people in the offices like a professional, 99% of the time that things aren't going right for you it's nothing personal. It's simply a matter of new software, new load planners, a new infrastructure, the loss of a major customer, a slow economy, or new managers. If you know how to talk to people and you have a great reputation as a driver you will be able to work it out just fine.

Remember, companies make money by keeping those wheels turning. When you're not making money, neither is the company. And the dispatchers, load planners, and managers almost always have some of their pay tied to their driver's performance. So they want to see you turning big miles also.

In trucking, for the most part, everyone wins or loses together. When those wheels are turning and the customers are happy, everyone is making money. When things aren't going well for the drivers, they're not going well for anyone. So keep that in mind when things aren't going your way and you approach people in the offices for help. If you're a great driver, the people in the office stand to make money from your great performance. So talk to them about it. Encourage them to keep putting the miles on you and keep the money rolling in. Tell em you're anxious to be one of the top drivers and you can handle anything they throw at you.

Build a great reputation for yourself and get to know your dispatcher's bosses a little bit. If you'll do that, someone will always be there to have your back and things will work out well in the long run. Dispatchers have very little authority. Sometimes a quick call to the boss can get the attention you need from someone with the authority to fix the problem and you'll be able to straighten things out just fine. It's a delicate and complex relationship between drivers, dispatch, load planners, and management. If you learn how the system works and play your cards right, you'll do just fine.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

That's why every driver dreads hearing "Can you do me a favor?" from dispatch because they always think there's nothing to it and you wind up spending 12 hours making $30 and having one hassle after another after another.

On a computer screen every task appears simple. Just run over there "quick", grab this trailer "quick", take it to this other place "quick", and you're done. Ah the beautiful world as it appears on a dispatcher's screen.

Or my favorite - all miles are created equally on a dispatcher's screen. "Why do you hate the Northeast so much? This load has good miles" they'll say. Yeah, because on a computer screen the miles from Philadelphia to Boston look the same as the miles from Dallas to San Antonio - must be equally good then, right?

sorry.gif

That's why it's awesome having an experienced dispatcher. Even though they haven't driven a truck they know a whole lot more about what they're asking us to do and how we'll feel about it. So they know when they ask a great driver to do something really lousy they're prepared to reward you in return. That's all you can ask.

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
Great Answer!

Thank you Brett, Roadkill and Derek. Zach while I respect your professional opinion and dont fault you for what works for you I will continue to do what works for me. We are all in this business to make money. I was a manager for many years so I do know my DM's first priority is my company. I was available I did it, got paid for it ALL including the part where I slept at the shipper and started a fresh 10 and got to spend time with a local friend in the process. Part of what I believe is wrong with trucking is the jaded attitude most have. I prefer to live my life in the positive and learning from my experiences. I CHOOSE to look at the positive because I REFUSE to make myself miserable. I actually got a call today from my DM about a 15 miles overspeed (a termitable offense). "If you were to get a ticket we would have to fire you and we dont want to lose you because we really like you" Guess my attitude was the difference between getting a slap on the wrist or the warning AH? I didnt really post to get experienced opinions. While ive been out here for awhile but am still a rookie and can learn from others I post here because I want to show potential newbies the "real world" of trucking before they get out here, get frustrated and quit. Before they become cynical and jaded too. I want them too see that its not always the situation that makes or breaks ya but your attitude and how you handle it that REALLY makes the difference. Maybe you Sir Zach can learn a thing from this "new school" driver. Might just make your days easier and you more pleasant to deal with. PS. I am TOP driver on my DMs board for miles so I make damn good money.

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.

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.

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.

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I can see both side of the coin. Yes, you need to take care of your DM so they will take care of you. But I can also see a DM taking advantage of a driver.

If you get the wrong DM that doesn't really do their job right. If you always say yes to that kind of DM, they will always call you when they "need a favor". And other good trips will be sent to other drivers.

Maybe I am wrong, but the following picture comes to mind.

You have a trip, say 1000 miles to be picked at 8pm. Right now it is 11am. You have plenty of time. Your phone rings. Your DM says, hey I need a favor. Such and such needs done. It won't take you long. Well, just like Redgator, it takes all day long. Your 1,000 mile trip can't wait, so another driver gets it. You don't have anything till tomorrow and it is a short 250 mile trip. You have just lost tons of money.

Maybe it will be made back up to you down the road. But maybe it won't. I am not sure I would want to take that chance.

Many comments on TT talk about new drivers having to make their mark before companies will trust them. And I totally agree. But on that, the driver is also "feeling out the company". A newbie driver, their first DM. You don't know if they are good or bad. Shoot, you are new, you don't know what a good or bad DM is yet.

Did everyone here at TT always have good DM's?

Maybe things like that don't happen in the trucking world. But they do happen where I work now. And they happen in other jobs. Who has never had a bad supervisor/boss?

The job I have right now goes that way. I don't yell, scream, or b..... to the dispatcher about my trips. What ever trips I am given I take. I have never turned down any trip. Other drivers go into his office every chance they get and fuss at him about the crappy trips. Well in that, they get almost all the good trips. And other drivers get what they don't want.

A perfect example. This past spring we had tons of trips to FL. Normal thing in the spring. All of our drivers went at least one time. The drivers that are always in the office fussing and b..... about trips went at least 3 times. One guy went 5 times. I sat at home with no work a lot of that time. I am the second most senior driver in my shop. But I wasn't the only one that sat at home with little work.

So there is something to say about standing up for yourself and saying "No" sometimes.

If you have a good DM that treats you right, there is nothing wrong with doing them a "favor" now and then. Just make sure your DM is treating you right also. If they are the type that knows they can turn to you when things are down, they could tend to lean on you when they don't really need to. If they lean on you, you are the first call made when others could do it also.

Keep it safe out there. Joe S

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Zach's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I can see both side of the coin. Yes, you need to take care of your DM so they will take care of you. But I can also see a DM taking advantage of a driver.

If you get the wrong DM that doesn't really do their job right. If you always say yes to that kind of DM, they will always call you when they "need a favor". And other good trips will be sent to other drivers.

Maybe I am wrong, but the following picture comes to mind.

You have a trip, say 1000 miles to be picked at 8pm. Right now it is 11am. You have plenty of time. Your phone rings. Your DM says, hey I need a favor. Such and such needs done. It won't take you long. Well, just like Redgator, it takes all day long. Your 1,000 mile trip can't wait, so another driver gets it. You don't have anything till tomorrow and it is a short 250 mile trip. You have just lost tons of money.

Maybe it will be made back up to you down the road. But maybe it won't. I am not sure I would want to take that chance.

Many comments on TT talk about new drivers having to make their mark before companies will trust them. And I totally agree. But on that, the driver is also "feeling out the company". A newbie driver, their first DM. You don't know if they are good or bad. Shoot, you are new, you don't know what a good or bad DM is yet.

Did everyone here at TT always have good DM's?

Maybe things like that don't happen in the trucking world. But they do happen where I work now. And they happen in other jobs. Who has never had a bad supervisor/boss?

The job I have right now goes that way. I don't yell, scream, or b..... to the dispatcher about my trips. What ever trips I am given I take. I have never turned down any trip. Other drivers go into his office every chance they get and fuss at him about the crappy trips. Well in that, they get almost all the good trips. And other drivers get what they don't want.

A perfect example. This past spring we had tons of trips to FL. Normal thing in the spring. All of our drivers went at least one time. The drivers that are always in the office fussing and b..... about trips went at least 3 times. One guy went 5 times. I sat at home with no work a lot of that time. I am the second most senior driver in my shop. But I wasn't the only one that sat at home with little work.

So there is something to say about standing up for yourself and saying "No" sometimes.

If you have a good DM that treats you right, there is nothing wrong with doing them a "favor" now and then. Just make sure your DM is treating you right also. If they are the type that knows they can turn to you when things are down, they could tend to lean on you when they don't really need to. If they lean on you, you are the first call made when others could do it also.

Keep it safe out there. Joe S

Thanks Joe,I couldnt have summed it up better .

RG ,believe it or not at one time I was a rookie too and I wanted to please everyone ,most of all my DM.I was the "go to" guy shuttling trailers to and fro ,usually on Mondays And frequently Friday evenings or Saturday mornings When I returned from a run .Back in the day I worked for a company that used electronic logging in lieu of traditional logbooks relying on them to keep me legal,and "optimising" my available hours .My rewards for going above and beyond meant I mostly got no touch freight ,drop and hooks .Unfortunately on many occasions I lost loads on account of my being otherwise occupied working for peanuts instead of miles.I became one of those frustrated rookies that eventually quit and moved on the greener pastures .The next company wasn't a whole lot better.

Regardless of the size of the company ,evey driver is assigned a Driver Manager ,whose primary function is to act as a liason beyween you the driver and the company .In large companies employing thousands of drivers ,its entirely possible you'll never talk to the same dispatcher twice...the favor you did last night isn't going to mean diddly to the next guy wanting to know why you are late getting "his" load picked up .Your DM may be able to interceed on your behalf and get you on another load ,or you may just be sitting there for hours waiting for your number to make it back to the top of the list again.Guess who is going to get called to do another "favor"in the meantime ? My opinions may seem "jaded" to you ,but they aren't entirely unjustified.

Congratulations making it up to the Top spot on your DM's board.Now go after top spot company wide .Thats how i earned my pickup truck after 5 yrs of being "top dog" consistently and my camper after earning my million mile patch 3 yrs later .Miles ,not favors earns the rewards.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

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.

Driver 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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

That's why every driver dreads hearing "Can you do me a favor?" from dispatch because they always think there's nothing to it and you wind up spending 12 hours making $30 and having one hassle after another after another.

On a computer screen every task appears simple. Just run over there "quick", grab this trailer "quick", take it to this other place "quick", and you're done. Ah the beautiful world as it appears on a dispatcher's screen.

Or my favorite - all miles are created equally on a dispatcher's screen. "Why do you hate the Northeast so much? This load has good miles" they'll say. Yeah, because on a computer screen the miles from Philadelphia to Boston look the same as the miles from Dallas to San Antonio - must be equally good then, right?

sorry.gif

That's why it's awesome having an experienced dispatcher. Even though they haven't driven a truck they know a whole lot more about what they're asking us to do and how we'll feel about it. So they know when they ask a great driver to do something really lousy they're prepared to reward you in return. That's all you can ask.

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.
Tim L.'s Comment
member avatar

Every job I have ever experienced had days like these. It appears to me that you handle them well, and I really appreciate your documenting them so we have a better understanding of what we as new drivers will be facing out on the road. Having the knowledge of what we can expect will make it a little easier to deal with.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow that was a nightmare! I hate it when people drop a trailer dirty. Central tells us all the time that we can't drop a trailer without it being clean and full of fuel and people still do it. Everything went wrong for you that day! I'm sorry

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

We all have days like this. Thank god they are few and far between.

Zach's Comment
member avatar

So yesterday was my first day back from a week vacation in my home state of Louisiana:) I got to the terminal Thursday to prepare myself for the following day (remake the bed, organize and such). My load didnt pick until 180p so I planned a nice relaxing day in bed.........NEVER MAKE PLANS LOL. About 9:30am my phone rings, its my DM wanting to know where I was. I told her in my truck at the terminal. So she says "Really? ???? (All enthused) You can be a big help to us today.......Me: ummmmm ok (so hesitat) Her: A driver fell off a load, got drunk and is to hung over to drive. His load picks at the same place as mine but is scheduled for 1400. Can I please run over quick grab it and drop it back at the yard then pick up teailer 53556 and gwt loaded and head to WI (trailer needs regular maintenance). Me: Ok.........Her: You rock!!!!!! Shes so good wirh the compliments:) So up I got to shower, find a trailer and start my day. Get a brand new spiffy trailer and head out. Get to the shipper and its like an EXPLOSION of trucks:/ I mean they are EVERYWHERE! Go to check in at 12:45pm and explain that I also have a 6pm, he tells me you wont be outta here by 6! So I go to the truck and message the dm. They call and the shipper assures them ill be loaded by 4. At 5:30pm im finally released! So again I explain there is no way im making it back by 6 (30-50 minute drive in dallas rush hr both wsys) They promise to pull the load and have it ready when I return to get me on my way. I get to the terminal and drop the ld and hook to my assigned trailer.......the tandums wont slide so after fighting for 30 minutes (they are air relaese tandums and no air:/) I get them to slide. I look in the back of the trailer its DISGUSTING! Nearest washout is 30 minutes south of the pick! And its all torn up inside. (Evidently it had been at a receiver being used as a storage trailer for months!!!!!! Then I flip on the reefer and it almosy shakes off the trailer! Squeals, spurters blk smoke and dies!!!! Now I have to drive 40 minutes to a trailer repair to get it fixed then wsshed out and then loaded cause there are no more empty trailers:/ I finally make it back to get loaded by midnight get loaded by 3am and have to sleep at the shipper cause I was out of time. Ahhhhhh the life lol

First thing you should learn from that experience is never answer your phone / DM while you are "off duty".Second thing ,she probably already knew you were in your truck and on the yard before she called ,having either seen you when you got there ,or if your truck is equipped with satcom(qualcom/highwaymaster etc)as soon as you turned on your key/started the engine .Everybody wants to make brownie points with their boss and you can do that by picking up and deliverying your loads on time consistently every time .By making yourself "available" before you had to ,you set yourself up for a lot of extra hassle for little compensation.Learning to say "no" goes a long way too.They cannot force you to do extra duties.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

Zach I had just come off vacation. No one knew I was back because I have an apu and it was on all week. I had put myself available at 8 am even though my load loaded at 6pm. I did go thru extra hassel put got paid FOR EVERYTHING that I did including the trailer repair. I didnt have to but I take care of my DM and she takes care of me. I rarely say no and am relied on hevily which is why im #1 on her board for miles. Yes I can say no but I wont because I like to help and it benifits me in the long run. If I ask for anything I get it:) Guess it pays to be nice.

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.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

We all have days like this. Thank god they are few and far between.

Absolutely Guy. I just like to show the newbies what can happen so they can prepare themselves. I wish more experienced drivers would too;) Got any good ones for us guy?

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

That's why every driver dreads hearing "Can you do me a favor?" from dispatch because they always think there's nothing to it and you wind up spending 12 hours making $30 and having one hassle after another after another.

On a computer screen every task appears simple. Just run over there "quick", grab this trailer "quick", take it to this other place "quick", and you're done. Ah the beautiful world as it appears on a dispatcher's screen.

Or my favorite - all miles are created equally on a dispatcher's screen. "Why do you hate the Northeast so much? This load has good miles" they'll say. Yeah, because on a computer screen the miles from Philadelphia to Boston look the same as the miles from Dallas to San Antonio - must be equally good then, right?

sorry.gif

That's why it's awesome having an experienced dispatcher. Even though they haven't driven a truck they know a whole lot more about what they're asking us to do and how we'll feel about it. So they know when they ask a great driver to do something really lousy they're prepared to reward you in return. That's all you can ask.

My dispatcher is awesome and I know we both knew what to expect. Id talked to other local TX drivers that forwarned me. But I did it anyway. Thats just me. I go above and beyond which is why everyone in my company seems to like me so much:)

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

Every job I have ever experienced had days like these. It appears to me that you handle them well, and I really appreciate your documenting them so we have a better understanding of what we as new drivers will be facing out on the road. Having the knowledge of what we can expect will make it a little easier to deal with.

Your Welcome:) Glad my stories help aside from being entertaining:)

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