New Dispatcher // Tips ???

Topic 23117 | Page 1

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Lambchops's Comment
member avatar

Not really a “trucker”; but I really wanted “truckers” thoughts.

Recently hired on with company with 45 or so drivers. Zero experience in the field... (I know, I know).

Won’t start the position for a week or so. I wanted to ask drivers (or any dispatchers) for suggestions, tips, or things to keep an eye out for.

Should I read up on DOT/HOS regulations prior to starting or let them teach me “their way”.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Many thanks in advance!

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Lambchops, you're a brave soul. I'm assuming you realize you've chosen a very difficult way to start this career. If you have an accident working for a small outfit like this it's likely to end your career. I'll stop my sermon now, and just point you in the direction of one of our articles which came from overhearing a conversation where a dispatcher describes the things That He Considers Make A Great Driver.

You may also find this article about What It Takes To Be A Successful Trucker to be helpful.

good-luck.gif

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.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Lambchops, you're a brave soul. I'm assuming you realize you've chosen a very difficult way to start this career. If you have an accident working for a small outfit like this it's likely to end your career. I'll stop my sermon now, and just point you in the direction of one of our articles which came from overhearing a conversation where a dispatcher describes the things That He Considers Make A Great Driver.

You may also find this article about What It Takes To Be A Successful Trucker to be helpful.

good-luck.gif

I think lambchops is starting out as a new dispatcher.

Yes, read up on HOS. Regardless how a company does things HOS is set in stone. You need to be as good, or better than your drivers, at trip planning. Working with the load planners, to position the driver to maximize their miles.

You will need thick skin, since many drivers will take their frustrations out on you. It is a thankless job.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Danielsahn! I clearly misunderstood what he was asking. He may still learn a few things from the articles.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

Also look here.

Learn The Logbook Rules (HOS)

A dispatcher could also benefit from learning the CDL manual here. High Road CDL Training Program

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Honestly, i would try to find a driver to go out with and see a truckers job first hand. it is impossible to understand our job, our irregular sleep patterns and aggravation.

new drivers are going to need your help and experienced drivers all have their own quirks and want to be left alone. even as a company driver, if a dispatcher tried to micromanage me, i'd ignore them and do what i want. Im not going to drive 200 miles to get an empty trailer if i know one is next door. im not going to drive 200 miles away to drop an empty trailer on the day my hometime is supposed to start which would kill my clock and not get me home when i have a drop yard and 10 customers near home. i refuse to drive NYC, but im forced dispatch. i would quit and find a job the same day before i do, so my dispatcher doesnt send me there. i make him money.

an example of a stupid weekend dispatch comment... i often take naps at night in the middle of my shift and i use an 8/2 split whenever i want. That means instead of a 10 hr straight break, i would take 2 hours off then drive and take 8 hours off. Twice dispatch messaged or called and woke me up asking me what i was doing. One called and said "i see you took 2hrs earlier, and you have been in the sleeper for 4 hours now. Is this an 8 spilt?" yeah moron, and you just woke me so now im not going to be fully rested. thanks. Another guy gave me a load to Utah, knowing my home time in NJ was in five days. Normally i would run it and take the miles, but i had a family wedding to attend. i had been out 7 weeks, and this idiot asked me if i could just move someone elses wedding to the following week.

i just made myself sound horrible, but im not wasting time when i could do things easier. And im driving safely and making sure my equipment is safe. Fix it later is not going to happen with me if it needs repair now, so i do what i need to do. Doing things my way has given me 3 years of on time delivery with providing great customer service. so why would i trust some new guy i dont know to tell me how to do it better?

If i had a dollar for every time weekend dispatch told me they didnt like my attitude and they were telling my assigned fleet manager what i did or said, i would own my company by now. You know how many times my FM complained to me about my attitude? zero. i make him money and we get along great, so i could dance naked on his desk while sacrificing a chicken to a sun god, and he would smile then say "great... when are you ready for a load". so yes, be very thick skinned.

dont go in there with guns a blazin tellin them what to do. most drivers are type A personalities who want to be in control. they will know you are new and dont have a clue, so ordering veteren drivers who have been doing it for decades will only cause you aggravation. they would have more respect for you to ask them what they need or trust they know the job. the "im your boss" attitude will not work. the "im your team mate and partner to get things done" will make your life easier.

have a sense of humor and get drivers to like you. we are much more likely to go the extra mile for someone we like and a dispatcher who will give us what we want without a hassle.

Trucking is a Total Culture Shock

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.

Fm:

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.

Fleet 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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Rainey D., Girl, you sure know how to "cut to the chase" without sparing anyone! You write such great posts and always tell it like it is, truthful and precise. I love reading anything you write here on the forum and the great advice you give. It must be a Jersey thing.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

I can't add much to Rainy's chicken dance but I'll try. Treat the driver's as a business partner. We are on the revenue side of the balance sheet, even the obnoxious drivers. Actually, when I first read your post, I thought you must be insane. I think working at a 911 call center might be less stressful and more rewarding. Dispatchers are the "go to" reason for every Terminal Rat's problems. It ain't right but that's the way it is. When I had to call in, I always rehearsed what I wanted to say because I knew that the person answering had been on the phone dealing with problems all day long and I didn't want to make their day worse that it had to be.

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I can't add much to Rainy's chicken dance but I'll try.

rofl-3.gifrofl-2.gif

OMG... i probably scared this guy away before he even started the job. see what happens before i have my sweet tea in the morning?

Thanks Harry! i appreciate it.

i guess i should also state that my FM and i know each other well. i keep him laughing constantly. i do what he asks without question but i know he will hook me up. he also does what i want without question cause he knows ill get the job done.

sorry if i came across harsh... but brutal honesty is my forte lol

Good Luck in your new job to the OP!!!

Fm:

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.
PlanB's Comment
member avatar

so i could dance naked on his desk while sacrificing a chicken to a sun god,

I just set a new life goal

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