What Would You Do?

Topic 14614 | Page 1

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Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Let me preface this by saying that I usually use the Qualcomm when communicating with dispatch, but there are a few exceptions when I call in instead. On the weekend it's almost impossible to get a response on the Qualcomm, so I usually call in then. And if I want to talk to the planners, I usually call in since we can't directly message them. (Well supposedly we can, but I have never gotten a response when I use the direct messaging.)

Today I called in to ask the planners some questions about the load I was on and about load availability on Monday. For some reason it went straight to dispatch instead. I gave the dispatcher my truck number and started asking away. Before I even finished my question, he told me to get off the phone and message him the question instead, and he would forward the message to the planners. He said if you're not driving, you need to use the Qualcomm. He refused to help me over the phone even though we were already talking. I actually recognized this person because he did this the last time I talked to him. In the four months I have been solo with Swift, he is the only one who has actually refused to help me over the phone, and there is only one other person who has told me to use the Qualcomm instead of calling. I was pretty irritated, called him a jerk (no colorful language) and hung up.

I get it--there are a ton of drivers and not enough dispatchers to keep up with the work flow, and on the weekend there are even fewer dispatchers in the office than normal. But still. I've never called in anywhere, much less at the company I work for, and been told to get off the phone. I've also never called anyone here a jerk or hung up on anyone at Swift, so it's not like this is normal behavior for me.

So yeah I'll send dispatch their stinkin message, but I'm also going to be calling his boss on Tuesday.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Paul, in all honesty it won't do any good calling his boss, unless all you are interested in is getting to vent to someone. Qualcomm communication is what you're supposed to use - I can guarantee you that dispatcher was taught to try and make his drivers use that as their primary form of communication.

Communication in this job is one of the most frustrating things for new drivers. Today is Saturday, it is the weekend - the absolute worst time of the week for you to try the phone, and on top of that it is a "holiday weekend."

I've never called in anywhere, much less at the company I work for, and been told to get off the phone.

Welcome to the trucking industry! We got regular messages at Western Express imploring us to "stay off the phones" - "we can't get anything done when we are constantly on the phone with you guys!"

Paul, you are working at a very large company with a lot of first year drivers. Rookies always feel their needs are being ignored unless they are actually talking with someone. What may seem like an important request to you is probably looked upon by the dispatchers and planners as something you shouldn't even be concerning yourself with. I'm not trying to cut you down Paul, but this is not the first time you've come in here complaining about how it goes for you on the phone.

If they are not responding to your Qualcomm questions, more than likely it is either something they don't know the answer to or something they deem unworthy of their time at this point. Don't take offense at that it's just the way it is. Some of the stuff you want information on this year will slowly start eroding from your curiosity as you gain experience.

The weekends are the last time you want to call in, yet it seems they're ignoring your other communications. It's frustrating! I get that completely.

Pull on those Big Boy Trucker Pants and deal with it! smile.gif

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Paul, in all honesty it won't do any good calling his boss, unless all you are interested in is getting to vent to someone. Qualcomm communication is what you're supposed to use - I can guarantee you that dispatcher was taught to try and make his drivers use that as their primary form of communication.

Communication in this job is one of the most frustrating things for new drivers. Today is Saturday, it is the weekend - the absolute worst time of the week for you to try the phone, and on top of that it is a "holiday weekend."

double-quotes-start.png

I've never called in anywhere, much less at the company I work for, and been told to get off the phone.

double-quotes-end.png

Welcome to the trucking industry! We got regular messages at Western Express imploring us to "stay off the phones" - "we can't get anything done when we are constantly on the phone with you guys!"

Paul, you are working at a very large company with a lot of first year drivers. Rookies always feel their needs are being ignored unless they are actually talking with someone. What may seem like an important request to you is probably looked upon by the dispatchers and planners as something you shouldn't even be concerning yourself with. I'm not trying to cut you down Paul, but this is not the first time you've come in here complaining about how it goes for you on the phone.

If they are not responding to your Qualcomm questions, more than likely it is either something they don't know the answer to or something they deem unworthy of their time at this point. Don't take offense at that it's just the way it is. Some of the stuff you want information on this year will slowly start eroding from your curiosity as you gain experience.

The weekends are the last time you want to call in, yet it seems they're ignoring your other communications. It's frustrating! I get that completely.

Pull on those Big Boy Trucker Pants and deal with it! smile.gif

Thanks Old School, I had a feeling that was what you would say. I'll get over it--just wish he wasn't so rude about it. As a general rule of thumb, I don't call in when I'm not driving, unless I need to get a new load. For some reason at Swift it is quicker and easier most of the time to just call the planners directly to request a new load. Just NOT TODAY...

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

I use the phone when I think it's necessary. That means different things to different people but I'm the one in the seat so I get to decide. I use the Qualcomm for all macros. Anything else gets a phone call. I call someone about once a week. I wouldn't tolerate unprofessional conduct.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Hey Paul sorry to hear that happened.

I agree with what Old School. Please do not call his boss. That could be a case of winning the battle just to lose the war. In fact when you have a chance I would strongly suggest you apologize for losing your cool to that particular DM. Remember he has friends in other places and possibly in a dedicated account.

Try to keep in mind that many of the Swift DMs may have experience driving, but perhaps lack experience and skill in interacting directly with drivers. Also since it's a holiday weekend the DM you tried to talk with is dealing with a short handed situation. My suggestion going forward is to use the QC during the weekend. If no response after several hours then call them. Again realizing whoever answers the phone is dealing with a lot of stuff and at that moment in time your request is although important to you, maybe not to the DM. Pick your spots.

Good luck!!

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.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Hey Paul sorry to hear that happened.

I agree with what Old School. Please do not call his boss. That could be a case of winning the battle just to lose the war. In fact when you have a chance I would strongly suggest you apologize for losing your cool to that particular DM. Remember he has friends in other places and possibly in a dedicated account.

Try to keep in mind that many of the Swift DMs may have experience driving, but perhaps lack experience and skill in interacting directly with drivers. Also since it's a holiday weekend the DM you tried to talk with is dealing with a short handed situation. My suggestion going forward is to use the QC during the weekend. If no response after several hours then call them. Again realizing whoever answers the phone is dealing with a lot of stuff and at that moment in time your request is although important to you, maybe not to the DM. Pick your spots.

Good luck!!

Thanks G-town. I don't think I will be calling his boss. I'm not really into kissing people's butts though, so, no, he will most likely be getting no such apology from me. Sorry for venting on here about something that wasn't that big of deal. But thank you to both of you for helping me to think through it and not do something stupid (or more stupid than what I did).

Another thing I realized afterwards is that I was also dealing with an even more short-handed situation than even both of you thought. I drive for Central Refrigerated, which means all my messages and inquiries go to West Valley. Even if I am physically at a terminal , the dispatchers and planners at that location cannot help me except with the most basic things--certainly nothing load-related like I was asking.

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.

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.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Dang it G-town, I felt bad as soon as I read what I wrote. Just sent a message to the driver manager apologizing for my unprofessionalism yesterday. ......

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Paul, don't beat yourself up over it. In the big picture, it's no big deal what you did, and afterwards you've had a chance to learn from it.

Just keep on Trucking!

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Hey Paul, don't beat yourself up over it. In the big picture, it's no big deal what you did, and afterwards you've had a chance to learn from it.

Just keep on Trucking!

Well it wouldn't be the first time my big mouth has gotten me in trouble. Thanks OS!

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Hey G-town, remember how you told me to apologize? I tried on Sunday and he wasn't there, so I just let it go. Today he messaged me about a load, nothing personal, no reference to what happened the other day.

I jumped on it and apologized--nothing fancy. His response: "Paul it was a bad day...you don't worry about it sir. Thank you for all of your hard work out there. I was a driver as well. Thank you so much Paul and you be safe out there sir."

WOW

As if that wasn't enough, I messaged him back again and he was really friendly and said to come in and meet him next time I was in West Valley.

I'm really glad I listened to your advice. Thanks G

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