Game: Great Dispatch Stories

Topic 24727 | Page 1

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Rainy D.'s Comment
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Youtubers and Facebookers are constantly complaining about their companies and dispatch. They fail to mention all the help the in house support teams such as Dispatch and Road Assist provide.

Please give an example of how your support team.helped you.

I was 5 months solo when a drunk driver made a right turn from the hammer lane into my trailer tandems. I had never been involved in a collision before and it was surreal to see that white car spin around in the mirror and hit the jersey barrier.

The night dispatcher at the time remained on the phone with me until police arrived to make sure I was safe from the intoxicated driver. He calmed me as best he could, and I will never forget it. Its 3 years later and he and i still joke and talk despite him now having his own fleet of lease ops (I am a company driver and have a different fleet manager).

When I get irritated with a particular person or situation, i remember all of the awesome help i get from my support team.

Your turn....

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

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.
Old School's Comment
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Rainy, this is a great idea simply because it points out how important your relationship with your dispatcher is when it comes to being successful in trucking. The folks who are struggling are constantly pointing to their dispatcher as the reason for their shortcomings. It's so obvious that each dispatcher wants their drivers to be successful, that it's baffling as to why so many drivers think they can cuss and treat their dispatcher as if they were the scum of society. Most dispatchers make less money if their drivers aren't making good money. No dispatcher wants to keep a driver from success, but very few drivers realize this relationship has to be reciprocal.

Last week my dispatcher and I were discussing available loads that we had to get done. One of them a JIT load that we do each week. He mentioned the JIT load, and told me he had that one covered by an experienced driver that was on loan to our account for a few weeks from another group of SAPA drivers. He also mentioned what load that driver was currently on, and that the driver said he'd be back in time to take care of the JIT load. It sounded odd to me because I've done that run plenty of times, but never been able to get myself back in time to handle that JIT load.

So, I asked him, "How are you so confident that driver will be able to get back in time to cover you on that JIT load?" He responded with the fact that this was an experienced driver and we've had other drivers who can turn that run over and return on the same day. So I asked him, "Who has been able to do that?" He started thinking real hard and couldn't give me an answer. Finally he blurted out, "Tommy! Tommy always got back on the same day on that run." I started laughing and reminded him why the big wheels at corporate fired Tommy. It seemed he couldn't operate for more than two consecutive days without unplugging his ELD and just driving however much he wanted!

I'm trying to make a long story short, but not doing very well at it. Anyway, I told him which load I would take (I usually get to pick and choose), and then I told him I'd be there in time to do that JIT load if his other driver lets him down. I just wanted him to know that info so he'd have a backup plan if needed, and I was certain he would need it.

Sure enough about two hours later he called me in a panic. The driver called to inform him that he didn't have enough hours to make it back. He was so relieved that I had communicated with him my availability. We would have been in some deep doo-doo had we dropped the ball on that JIT load. So he handed the ball to me and I went for the score. It was a perfect move. After it was all over with he sent me this message.

Dale, have I said thank you lately? Yet again you've saved my *** from getting into some real trouble. Thank you sir! I can't believe you got that done on recaps, but then I looked at your recaps and you have double digit hours each day - that is awesome! Nobody works their clock like you do. Any franchise would be glad to name you their #1 draft pick. Thanks again!

Anyway, it's really important that we have great relationships with dispatch and when we do we will find the special treatment we receive is in the form of trust. There is nothing more important to your success out here than building a firm foundation of trust with your dispatcher. You simply can't do that if you're constantly dropping the ball then laying the blame on your incompetent dispatcher. We own our mistakes, and we own our success. We move this relationship forward with accurate communications concerning ETA's and stellar performance records. Talk is cheap. Results speak volumes.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

G-Town's Comment
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Rainy, really, really great idea. I’ll post something when I’ve got some time to write it.

Rainy D.'s Comment
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the special treatment we receive is in the form of trust.

This right here is the whole secret to success in trucking. When a fleet manager and driver trust each other, great things happen. Even if you dont understand time management or HOS , the FM can help or even hook you up with an experienced driver for guidance.

One driver asked my FM for "out of route" miles to be paid and my FM couldnt understand why the driver went out of route. I know that customer well and explained there is a low bridge clearance on that US route. Yes, the route is a truck route and a tanker or flatbed might be able to get under that 13ft 4in bridge, but my reefer isnt trying it.

My FM immediately pulled out his atlas and said "See, this is why i ask you these things." i showed him the low clearance. He didn't even seem amazed at my miraculous ability to know the route to just one of thousands of customers. I joked he just expects it from me. He trusts me. And I trust he will get me home on time, make sure my pay is right, give me awesome loads, and even function as my therapist when i need emotional support.

I love my FM. Unlike some other drivers, I make it a point to get to know the weekend and night dispatchers too. If they need help with a relay/repower, I do it. But they help me in extending load appointments or getting me loads I want.

Again, its about Attitude. How you react to them dictates how you are treated. If a driver constantly complains and never give back, who would want to help them?

That's not to say they are all perfect. Im not either. But i love my job and my company. I am forgiven my screw ups, so its only fair that i forgive theirs.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big T's Comment
member avatar

Last year I had a four wheeler try and commit suicide using the front bumper of my truck. Somehow I managed to stop my truck in time to prevent his success but it screwed me up.

We delivered our load and got a load back to jurupa so my student at the time could upgrade. I called my DM and told her what happened and requested a 34 hour reset once I got back to the terminal. She told me not to worry about it and she would take care of it.

I walked into the office as is my usual practice. I check in with my DM anytime I pull into the terminal. She took one look at me and told me to go drop my trailer and go to the hotel.

My wife and daughter came up and I got the first night of actual sleep in almost five days.

Monday morning my DM called me to make sure I was better or if I needed more time after i delivered the run i was on.

People don't realize sometimes how emotionally involved our DMs are in their fleets. My DM gets upset if a driver gets home late or stuck somewhere.

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.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar
People don't realize sometimes how emotionally involved our DMs are in their fleets. My DM gets upset if a driver gets home late or stuck somewhere.

Very true. The first time i ran over a deer at night, my FM called me as soon as he got in in the morning. He was honestly concerned for.me. Today i called him, "I need you for emotional support" hahahaha.

One time the guy covering his vacation had everyone going in the wrong direction despite their home time requests.

My FM flipped out!!! It was a "lets not call him for.anything today" type.of situation lol.

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.

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.
Junkyard Dog's Comment
member avatar

I'm only into my 8th month of driving solo but I've had three different dispatchers. First guy never answered the phone and it wasn't just me other guys told me he would never answer his phone. So they got rid of him. The second guy Randy was my favorite and still is they moved him to load planner which is what he did and his previous job. If he didn't answer the phone he was back to you within 15 minutes. He taught me so many things about how things worked at the terminal. Load planning, night and weekend dispatch who to talk to if I had issues he couldn't deal with. Once he saw I would run my butt off he kept feeding me good runs. He knew I was a new driver and I would make screw-ups and he always had my back. Couple months ago he went back to load planning but he told me if I ever needed anything call or text him. My new dispatcher has some issues... I think it has to do with anxiety and he probably has problems at home. He does get back to you on questions but he just gives me runs that don't make sense? Yesterday I dropped a load off and when I got my pre-plan told me to wait a day and a half to get loaded in the same town only an hour from the terminal. The problem with this load was it was to Salt Lake City less than 1200 miles but it was to be delivered in 5 days? I easily run 600 miles a day as long as I'm not setting at a shipper or receiver and I just said what the hell? And I just came off a 34 reset because he gave me a run before that that was only 600 miles to be delivered in 3 days. So I texted Randy my old dispatcher who do I need to talk to you about this? He has done this stuff to me before. He texted me the extension and name in charge of the dispatchers. I didn't even get a chance to dial the guy's number when my dispatcher called me and said we've been looking at your run and it doesn't make any sense... you figure? I knew Randy got on it right away and they ended up having me come to the terminal and grab a load going to North Carolina. Same miles 2 days and I'm here ready to deliver tomorrow. Texted him thanking him for having my back he message me back anytime brother you're worth it. My trainer who I talked to weekly keeps telling me to get off his board and get a different dispatcher but Randy has told me several times be patient with him we think he's getting better... I sure hope so.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

I had the best one I ever worked with offer to pay my bail once!!!

I was asked to do a hot load from Morton IL to Fort Wayne In. It was set to deliver at 1500 hrs on 12-31. Yes New Years Eve. I thought it was odd as it was a small mom and pop bakery company. The load was M&M’s. Not exactly what most folks would really need in a rush. I questioned it, and she double checked with the sales folks and load planner. She confirmed all the info was correct. I picked the load up and ran it. I got to the customer at 1330 hrs. I passed the employee parking lot, and it had a few cars in it. I drove around back and in a dock was a running day cab backed into a door. I thought ok, I guess someone is here. I walked up to the shipping office door. It was unlocked and I walked inside. All the lights were on. 3 steps inside I heard a familiar beeping noise start.... Yup I just set off the burglar alarm. I walked outside and sat on the steps because I knew in a few minutes the local police would arrive. A young rookie cop arrived and we talked. He was pretty good about everything. I called my dispatcher and told her what was going on. She laughed, then realized I wasn’t kidding. She spoke with the officer for a minute and I got back on the phone. She apologized and started hyperventalating on the phone. She said, I’ll areange for your bail if they take you in.... She was serious...I had to put the officer back on the phone with her to assure her I wasn’t going to jail. It wasn’t real funny at the moment, but after it was sorted she always said I was the only driver she knew too break into a business to deliver.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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
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Bump

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