Can I Be A Dispatcher In Trucking?

Topic 24208 | Page 1

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Nell D.'s Comment
member avatar

Good morning,

I have been thinking of going into dispatching in the trucking industry. I have had 32 years going up the ladder in school transportation and it's time to move on. I was a dispatcher for over 5 years, I have two way experience, software and use of tracking vehicles-we had Zonar where I am now just doing routing. I do have an associate's degree in business. I have had a class B CDL since 1982-back then it was a class 2. I had taken the 19-A examiner course in NYS to become a driver trainer.

What can I do so I can become a dispatcher for the trucking side. I am not afraid of learning new software-I have certification in the Transfinder one I use now. I am wanting to hone up on what I need to learn to switch. Can anyone give me any pointers? I have read about the Qualcomm , I used something similar when I first moved where I am now when I was driving a trolley for them to relay messages to us on the road. It also showed where vehicles were. Zonar gives me the information on speed, location, the route, times for pick up and where the vehicle has stopped along the way.

I appreciate any tips.

Nellie D.

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.

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi. At my company i think you need a bachelors degree or driving experience, and people start out for a few months with inbound load verfication calls from drivers. Basically you verify the information on the bills. After that, you become a night dispatcher for about 2 years. You do not have your own fleet and although you may cover the same drivers for a time, you may switch fleets several times. Then you go to day shift covering weekends and vacations for fleet managers for about a year. Once you are presumed ready you get your own fleet.

So basically, it is hard work, 12 hour days, aggravation putting up with driver attitude problems and everyone complains about n8ghts and weekend dispatch.

But im told at my company they make "good money"....in MO.

I know my company has changed systems for dispatch twice since i been here so i dont know the program. Some companies dont use Omnitracs they use Peoplenet. But you get training so i woukd just contact HR at one of the companies near 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.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

At my company, they'll hire a dispatcher off the street with no experience in trucking or logistics whatsoever, when they happen to have a position open. They typically don't have much turnover there so that doesn't happen often. They'll put them with an experienced dispatcher/fleet manager who trains them on the job.

I know 2 drivers who became dispatchers at my company, but after a few years went back to driving here, because they said they made more money driving. Personally I don't know what they earn but I do know experienced drivers here are treated quite well overall. We've also had a couple dispatchers who changed positions and became load planners. Our receptionist (does way more than that, but her title nonetheless) actually fills in as a dispatcher to cover for vacations lol. I think she dislikes doing it, but with a "smaller" company, it's more about just doing whatever needs to be done. Last summer when filling in, she mentioned she'd be happy to get back to her normal job. I found a coffee mug that said "You don't have to be crazy to work here... we'll train you" and bought it for her. She loved it and of course everyone got a good laugh out of that. While West Side will hire them with no experience, if they don't pick up the job fairly quickly and drivers don't want them as a dispatcher, if they like the person, they'll try to find a different position for them instead of just firing them. Me personally, I'd never want that job, but some people love it.

I think it depends on the company on how to become a dispatcher and their requirements.

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.

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.
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