Requesting A New DM

Topic 22447 | Page 1

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JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

So here I am at 6 months and still very much a rookie with a lot to learn about trucking and the industry itself. I find that keeping my cool in all situations helps exponentially, whether it be out on the road or communicating issues with a load to my DM. My frustrations have reached a point where I am not able to trust that my DM is doing her part of our team work. After all team work makes the dream work.

So in my short time driving solo I have been the number 2, 11, and 7 driver on my fleet of 50+ drivers. I have been number 96, 217, and 111 out of 1300+ drivers fleet wide. I am not trying to brag rather, I am trying to paint a picture.

I do not complain to my dm or anybody else in the office. I learned in the military that you do not complain up or down the ranks. I deliver early whenever possible. I sleep at shippers and consignees so that I have a full clock in the morning after loading/unloading. I get good miles, anywhere from 2500-3300.

My issue is that my DM expects me to communicate everything and anything while she does not do the same. There have been several occasions where I have requested information about delivering a load early and I am told no, JIT and strict appointment. I ask the consignee if I had arrived yesterday would you have unloaded me? The answer is yes. When I bring it up I am told the shipper is the customer and JIT is in the load notes. This is not a big contract we are talking about here, just a one time sale/load. I ask my DM if she called the shipper and the answer is no, she just looked in the load note. That frustrates me because, the only reason I am asking if I can deliver early is because I know it's a JIT. If it weren't I would just go ahead and send my ETA and deliver.

I feel as though I have bored ya'll enough so I'll only share this one other instance. This instance revolves around detention which I know is a touchy subject and believe me I'd rather be running and getting paid than sitting on my behind for 4 days. Nonetheless, I sat at a TA in Michigan for 4 days waiting on Ontario OD permits. There were 3 other drivers sitting at the same TA who were all hauling the same freight and waiting on the same permits. On the second day I asked my DM about compensation and was told that this didn't fall into either detention or layover. I found out from another driver to put my detention warning in and that we were going to be taken care of. I informed my DM of this and was told that she knew nothing about it. I followed the typical detention protocol and delivered the load as soon as possible. As stated earlier it took 4 days for Ontario to send over the permits. The following week I inquired about compensation again and was told she knew nothing. I contacted one of the other drivers and asked what he knew about it. He told me we were all going to be paid detention for the entire time. That is what ended up happening. Again that entire ordeal was frustrating and made much more so by my DM.

My company is different though, our DMs don't assign loads, we have separate load planners for that. My DM has commended my driving and efforts and most of the time everything is peachy. I am just feeling a certain kind of way whenever it comes to anything extra beyond picking up and dropping off.

Ok so am I right, wrong, or completely lost about how all this works? What steps do I take from here, if I am right, to remain professional and request a new DM? Am I not communicating my frustration enough to my DM? Am I just being a cry baby?

I do not have thin skin so please send it. Thanks

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rule #1- if it's not in writing it never happened. Document conversations, preferably electronically using you QC (if so equipped) either as a free form or directed mssg to your DM. No way your DM will remember all of her prior conversations.

Getting unloaded early for a JUst In Time load. Make a note of every shipper/receiver you currently know of that will take you early. Make notes, lots of them of this sort of thing so you begin to develop a knowledge base on your customers (that's what they are, by the way). Make it a point to review this sort of thing with your DM. If she is unwilling to call and get clearance for an early delivery than offer to make it for her.

That said you are really in no position to evaluate your DM's performance. It's on you to build a positive, cooperative working relationship with her. You haven't done that. In her mind she sees a 6 month rookie who knows nothing and is likely to leave before a year is up.

Instead of focusing on belly-aching with other drivers, work on proactive and professional communication skills with her. When you are at the terminal where she sits, make it a point to stop in and say hi. Frequently ask her what you can do to be a top performing driver. Let her know you want to succeed and help her move the freight she is assigned.

Good luck!

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Juice Box,...I reread your post and didn't see any mention of talking about these issues with other drivers. Apologize for stating that. You never said it, I misread it, sorry. Tired...

Everything else I wrote should hopefully give you some ideas on how to handle things with your DM better. It's work,...all of it.

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.
Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

It sounds like you’ve handled it well. I’ve had many deliveries where we’re told we can’t go in early, but the person there says “yeah, we’ll take you early.” If the Consignee’s phone number is in your load info, you can try calling directly. This is usually a big no-no, but some of us are adult enough (and it sounds like you are) to tactfully ask if early delivery is okay. But some places (we’ve had this happen at Walmart DC) will take you, but then penalize your company (on the basis they weren’t staffed to also handle your load, which was scheduled for the following day). If that’s not an option, you may want to ask your dm when is a good time for the two of you to talk about a few issues like this.

Is there a chain of command and can you use it? I did that one time at my previous company and had no more problems. There’s no reason you shouldn’t expect to be compensated for sitting four days. If you’re paid by the mile, that’s impacting your ability to earn your pay.

Keep all concerns framed within the context of business, not personal, and reasonable people should be able to work with you. However, sometimes you may need to remind them your the driver they can always count on and that performs well. You’re not the guy they gotta call to get ‘em out of the sleeper. 😎

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

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

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

As posted above, meet that dispatcher at the terminal. Voice your concerns. Ask her what you need to be the #1 driver. Next, call those shippers and receivers to see if you can head in early. Another thing that will work sometimes is to just show up earlier than the appointment time. Sometimes they can work you in, but not always. You can also tell them you are there at the time you were told by dispatch. Keep notes of everything: this place is slow or fast, here's where to park closeby, here's the best phone number for the shipping office, the night shift guard likes Mt Dew, don't use the first entrance, etc. I keep notebooks full of notes, broken down by states and company names. Could also be put on a tablet or an index card.

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.

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.
JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies. There have been other issues but I'd rather not go into every single detail. The bottom line is this... my DM has taken care of some issues rather quickly while others have seemed to have fallen by the wayside. I'm sure she is overwhelmed and I try not to send her messages or call unless absolutely necessary regarding a load or my pay.

I have called customers to see if I can deliver early and often times that works out great however, it is against company policy. I was caught one time for abusing this policy and dealt with it up front with my DM. I told her that I did it because I needed specific answers questioned for delivery to a job site and to run as efficiently as possible. I did not receive a service alert for it and still do not have any service alerts. I'll tell ya though, I am just frustrated with what appears to be my DMs lack of effort at times.

I guess my expectations were unrealistic and I am doing just fine in terms of miles and pay but I just hoped to have somebody in the office who is as motivated as me.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

The dispatcher I deal with mostly M-F has 90 drivers. "Overwhelmed" is probably not an adequate description of their daily workload. Something to keep in mind before you send a message over the Qualcomm , or make a phonecall.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

AND, here's something else that just came to mind: what if you get another dispatcher and the new one (in your opinion) is worse???? What will your options be at that point?

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.
JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

The dispatcher I deal with mostly M-F has 90 drivers. "Overwhelmed" is probably not an adequate description of their daily workload. Something to keep in mind before you send a message over the Qualcomm , or make a phonecall.

We have 50+ drivers and yes I agree. She has much to deal with and I try to only communicate important issues regarding loads and pay discrepancy

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.
JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

AND, here's something else that just came to mind: what if you get another dispatcher and the new one (in your opinion) is worse???? What will your options be at that point?

I'd be stuck like chuck. Really not sure how to go about this which is why I asked. I do appreciate your response though

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.
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