New Dispatcher Blues

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Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

My world has been turned upside down too often, recently.

First, the 2019. I've nicknamed my truck "Slug Puppy". I'm currently home, so will be busy tomorrow trying to make the truck more liveable. I picked up more storage totes and my hands are no longer raw from the gritty grippy steering wheel, thanks to a seriously overpriced steering wheel cover I bought at the Iowa 80 last week. Was almost $50 and made for people with carpel tunnel syndrome (which I don't have) and has these squishy gel type pads built in in 5 spots around the wheel and nice and smooth in the remaining spaces.

My truck has just over 25k miles and it is beginning to run better, but due to company settings?, it's still a complete slug compared to my old truck. I'm seriously wondering if the inconsistent performance has more to do with the fact we fuel at many different brands of fuel stops and I run south often, so I'm getting a crazy mix of winter and regular untreated fuel too. The mechanics in cedar rapids said that could certainly be affecting it. It either doesn't want to move or it takes off like a rocket.. there is no happy medium in performance.

The worst news is my dispatcher who'd been with West Side for 30 years, is no more.

My first reaction when discovering I was being assigned to a brand spanking new dispatcher with absolutely no experience in trucking whatsoever, was calling the ops manager and asking to go back OTR and on an experienced dispatchers board that I've worked well with before. I thought to myself.. I'll give her 2 weeks tops. Then, I actually took the time to go to the dispatch office, meet her in person and introduce myself, since I didn't even have a clue who she was or what she even looked like. Yup, she's THAT new. We talked for a few minutes and she was telling me about her background in healthcare. I start walking back to my truck, thinking to myself, okay, so she's obviously no dummy, and healthcare professionals are stickler for details, because we HAD to be for legal purposes. I'll give her a fair shot and discovered she's very nice.

Let me tell you, this gal has absolutely knocked it out of the park this week. She got me home on time AND got me a Florida forklift run that I love so much! She didn't stack my preplans for days, but had them sent out before I delivered the previous load to keep me moving. Only one minor glitch when I arrived at the Target dc in Indy, she hadn't given me the necessary delivery number to get in the gate lol. I let her know I needed it and what it looked like, explaining that every Target DC delivery, no matter what location, requires it. She came through with the magic number pretty quickly, and now that she knows, I doubt that will happen again :-)

So what I was fully expecting to be a sour, awful, week was actually very good. Now my other half, bless his heart, got a dispatcher who was on evenings that used to make me want to gouge out my eyes lol. He was supposed to be home Friday, still isn't (Saturday night) and is so upset he's ready to quit. Maybe he needs my new dispatcher?

So this just goes to show everyone how up and down this career/lifestyle truly is. You're on top of the world, then all heck breaks loose and shakes up your little world. How we react and deal with these changes can make or break you out here.

When your world starts radically changing, attempt to keep an even keel, hide any gut instinct reactions of horror and give it an honest chance.

I'm really looking forward to getting to know my new dispatcher well, because honestly, my income depends on it.

Keep the shiny side up and learn to roll with the flow. Sometimes I have to conscientiously remind myself of that, too.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

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.

Brian's Comment
member avatar

This was a great read Susan. Its good vibes knowing not only just a experienced Driver- Trainer still has rough patches from time to time. Especially for a rookie driver. Reminds too just keep on keeping on. Thanks for posting.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

millionmiler24 (CRST Amba's Comment
member avatar

My world has been turned upside down too often, recently.

First, the 2019. I've nicknamed my truck "Slug Puppy". I'm currently home, so will be busy tomorrow trying to make the truck more liveable. I picked up more storage totes and my hands are no longer raw from the gritty grippy steering wheel, thanks to a seriously overpriced steering wheel cover I bought at the Iowa 80 last week. Was almost $50 and made for people with carpel tunnel syndrome (which I don't have) and has these squishy gel type pads built in in 5 spots around the wheel and nice and smooth in the remaining spaces.

My truck has just over 25k miles and it is beginning to run better, but due to company settings?, it's still a complete slug compared to my old truck. I'm seriously wondering if the inconsistent performance has more to do with the fact we fuel at many different brands of fuel stops and I run south often, so I'm getting a crazy mix of winter and regular untreated fuel too. The mechanics in cedar rapids said that could certainly be affecting it. It either doesn't want to move or it takes off like a rocket.. there is no happy medium in performance.

The worst news is my dispatcher who'd been with West Side for 30 years, is no more.

My first reaction when discovering I was being assigned to a brand spanking new dispatcher with absolutely no experience in trucking whatsoever, was calling the ops manager and asking to go back OTR and on an experienced dispatchers board that I've worked well with before. I thought to myself.. I'll give her 2 weeks tops. Then, I actually took the time to go to the dispatch office, meet her in person and introduce myself, since I didn't even have a clue who she was or what she even looked like. Yup, she's THAT new. We talked for a few minutes and she was telling me about her background in healthcare. I start walking back to my truck, thinking to myself, okay, so she's obviously no dummy, and healthcare professionals are stickler for details, because we HAD to be for legal purposes. I'll give her a fair shot and discovered she's very nice.

Let me tell you, this gal has absolutely knocked it out of the park this week. She got me home on time AND got me a Florida forklift run that I love so much! She didn't stack my preplans for days, but had them sent out before I delivered the previous load to keep me moving. Only one minor glitch when I arrived at the Target dc in Indy, she hadn't given me the necessary delivery number to get in the gate lol. I let her know I needed it and what it looked like, explaining that every Target DC delivery, no matter what location, requires it. She came through with the magic number pretty quickly, and now that she knows, I doubt that will happen again :-)

So what I was fully expecting to be a sour, awful, week was actually very good. Now my other half, bless his heart, got a dispatcher who was on evenings that used to make me want to gouge out my eyes lol. He was supposed to be home Friday, still isn't (Saturday night) and is so upset he's ready to quit. Maybe he needs my new dispatcher?

So this just goes to show everyone how up and down this career/lifestyle truly is. You're on top of the world, then all heck breaks loose and shakes up your little world. How we react and deal with these changes can make or break you out here.

When your world starts radically changing, attempt to keep an even keel, hide any gut instinct reactions of horror and give it an honest chance.

I'm really looking forward to getting to know my new dispatcher well, because honestly, my income depends on it.

Keep the shiny side up and learn to roll with the flow. Sometimes I have to conscientiously remind myself of that, too.

I just went through the same thing, Susan. My Former FM got a job with CRST as a regional planner which they say is less stressful than bein a FM however I didn’t find out until after I had been moved to another fleet. My new FM I have met in the past before. I just hope he is super cool and keeps us goin like my last FM did. It will be an adjustment period that’s for sure but if I can survive it anyone can. 😀

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

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.

Aubrey M.'s Comment
member avatar

Keep the shiny side up and learn to roll with the flow. Sometimes I have to conscientiously remind myself of that, too.

That's the main thing. Hardest thing in the world is to go into a situation with an open mind and not prophesying based on what your experience tells you will happen. How many people in your same position would have walked away saying to themselves "this woman doesn't know her @55 from a hole in the ground about trucking?" and been in a negative mood? Instead, you looked at the positive and said she was a "stickler for detail," "no dummy," and would give her a "fair shot." A good example of how mindset can make the difference in any situation. It turned the not giving you a necessary delivery number into a "minor glitch."

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

Susan

This was a good thread! Didn't you ever want to be an astronaut? Just joking. Your dispatcher can make or brake you. But as Aubrey said, you as an experienced driver, took the bull by the horns and did the only thing you confronted the situation like a professional. Kudos! Hope it still keeps positive for you.

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

OMG i hate change. I told.my FM if he ever left, i would use all my Postal Powers to hunt him down.

I understand that feeling of upside down susan. I felt the same over the past few months and things are getting better.

so happy things are working for you. But like they said...you and i are both types tgat could be sweet as pie or scary as hell...so look out world! lol we will get what we want. lol

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.
Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

What does a dispatcher look like? Ha ha, I have had the same one for 4 years and had no idea until someone showed me a FB photo a few weeks ago. It's weird to not actually know the person you have to work with every day, we have never met.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

What does a dispatcher look like? Ha ha, I have had the same one for 4 years and had no idea until someone showed me a FB photo a few weeks ago. It's weird to not actually know the person you have to work with every day, we have never met.

I was hoping to meet mine at orientation.

How often do you go to the terminal? I was thinking unless they have some type of maintenance program, I may never see the terminal again after orientation, LOL.

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.
Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

I just realized you are from WI and still haven't met your dispatcher , LOL

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I met my dispatcher the day I went solo on March 3rd 2017 and haven't seen him since. I don't like change either so I'll be bummed if he ever leaves or changes position within the company. We have such a good relationship. He knows what I like and vice versa.

I'm sure my track record as a driver would speak for itself, even with a new dispatcher, but still the uncertainty of what to expect would probably drive me batty at the onset.

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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