Roehl Transport & Forced Dispatch - New CDL Graduate Needs More Information

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Marc, earlier in this conversation I provided a link to an article that explains the whole concept. It should be helpful to anyone wanting to understand the practice of being force dispatched. Also Roehl assigns their new drivers to some specially trained dispatchers to kind of make their transition into this career go smoothly. They purposely don't overwhelm the new guys with extra difficult assignments. It helps the driver get accustomed to the job, and it helps the company recognize those drivers who probably aren't going to make it when the going gets more challenging.

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
I get the concept and see both sides of the issue. As a Noob I am looking to have the ability to learn to do this and hopefully to perform at a high level. My objective was always to find an opportunity to succeed. I assume Forced Dispatch is still tempered with the employer not intentionally "setting up a rookie to fail." How does this really play out in the real world? (I can't see a DM intentionally sending a rookie to a place they know will be a nightmare early on. Or is that being overly optimistic?).

Marc, I think that's a well put concern. Anything safety sensitive is generally learned best by incremental advances. Trucking is definitely one of those things. The problem is that some people who claim to want to perform at the highest levels are often the same people who back down from the very challenges that help them get to those higher levels of performance.

We need to have a mindset that is open to challenging ourselves. This is not a flippant approach to just trying anything that presents itself, but knowing how to attempt something new and challenging. Here's an example of what I'm talking about...

Recently I was with my dispatcher when he got a call from a fairly new driver on our account. This driver had dry van experience, but was new to flatbed. The driver was telling the dispatcher that there was no way he'd be able to back into the building at a certain customer and he needed them to unload him out in the parking lot. Confused over what the problem was, my dispatcher asked me, "What do you think the problem is? I've never heard any of our other drivers complaining about this location."

I explained that it's a blind side back, and there's considerable stacks of materials that are in potentially hazardous positions hindering you as you back in. The dispatcher asked me to talk to the driver and see if I could help him get it done. After just a few minutes it was obvious he just didn't have the patience or willingness to work his way through this scenario. He just wanted to make it easy on himself.

After teaching him over the phone how he needed to back up just one or two feet at a time then get out and assess the situation. He thought I was crazy and claimed that would take him forever. I agreed it will take some time, but you can get it in that way and you can do it without hitting anything. Our goal is to serve the customer's needs professionally and safely.

I managed to help him get it in, but afterwards he called the dispatcher to tell him not to send him to that customer again. He doesn't want to take the time or face the challenges that will help him perform at the highest levels. He wants to earn top pay, but it's only lip service. I realized our dispatcher saw right through this guy when I heard him say, "Look man, almost everyday you're calling me about something that you can't do or don't want to do on this account. I'm going to have to send you back over to dry-van if you don't push yourself to learn new things."

Anytime we are faced with something new and challenging we have to be hyper alert and extremely cautious with our approach. That's how we learn incrementally. That's exactly the approach I took with helping this driver. It worked. We got him in and he didn't hit anything. He just didn't want to be bothered with learning something new - he wants all the easy miles and customers. I'm getting near to a million miles under my belt and I'm still facing new challenges each week.

You'll never stop learning in this business, and it's best to get it set in your psyche now how you approach these new challenges. That's how we get to be those who perform at the highest levels. I think we have to do away with this whole notion that these companies are "setting up a rookie to fail." They need successful drivers. The way the drivers get to that level is to be the type of individual who takes on new challenges with boldness and caution, not with cavalier reluctance.

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.

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.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

What we got from Old School right there is super valuable advice about attitude and problem solving.

I would just add my modest contribution in answering Marc's concern. Many times the dispatcher doesn't know what they are sending the driver into. Has he ever been a driver? Maybe. Has he ever been to that location? Maybe, but probably not. Remember, the dispatcher was not your trainer and does not know your strengths and weaknesses. So he doesn't know what constitutes a "nightmare situation" to you. My very first delivery was a nightmare situation to me because it was, well, my first delivery. I've been to others that were nightmare situations to me just because there was some element of the assignment I'd never encountered before. The trick, as Old School said, is to take the time to think it through, get out and walk around and evaluate, think, and plan how you're going to get it done safely.

One of the cool features of this forum is that we all post our experiences about difficult situations and how to avoid them, if possible. And if not avoidable, then how to deal effectively with them. We learn from the mistakes of others or how they narrowly avoided a mistake. Already in my brief career, I have used things I learned here to identify potential pitfalls on a number of occasions. It's continuing education at it's best.

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 often tell my FM about difficult customers and warn him from sending rookies.

However, i have one customer in a downtown unsafe area i will.never go to again. I told him 2 years ago...and never got thar load again.

You can also turn down loads based on home time issues or HOS. Even in forced dispatch, it can be done.

Get in good with yout FM and miraculously, loads become easier ones.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Marc one problem of a dispatcher not sending a rookie to a difficult place is the drivers proximity to the load. If the rookie is only 5 miles away, the company isn't going to send another driver that's over 100 miles away to grab the load. It also wouldn't be fair to allow the rookie to get all the easy miles and dump it on another driver to do the hard part. I believe Old School and Brett have mentioned how they've had a bit of experience with drivers picking up on west coast and as soon as they get near the Northeast the drivers all suddenly become ill and cant deliver it the last 50 miles. We've all had deliveries we just scratch our head and think there's no way we can do it. It doesnt matter if it takes an hour to get it in, if you do it safely without hitting anything that's all that matters. I've been driving about a year and half and will still GOAL if I have even the slightest doubt of where anything is. I started right out of school doing food service. I had to back into alleyways in downtown des moines during rush hour. I had a couple times I had the entire road blocked 10 minutes while trying to get in, but I did it safely. The only way to get better is to push yourself and ignore and honking or yelling. What you dealt with for Target is different than OTR. I'm not sure the way they choose who goes to what store but with the grocery chain I deliver for it's all seniority based, we pick routes daily. You can bet that 4th from the bottom (of 160 drivers) that I'm getting some tricky places because others didnt want them regardless of their skill level or mine.

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.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

As a company driver at prime, I'm not supposed to turn down loads. This winter I was being sent to drop in MN but the forecast called for 3 days of snow. I called my FM & explained that my drives were nearly bald & that I had just had traction problems merging up an on ramp. He quickly took me off that load but 2 days later sent me MI, where I had to chain up just to get out of our drop yard that was iced up. Lol. Maybe if I had taken the first load, the worst that could've happened was getting shut down but wouldn't have had to chain. Oh well, right after that he routed me through our terminal & got new rubber all around.

If it's a safety issue or HOS issue, calmly explain your situation & it'll get resolved. As has been stated numerous times, the more you help them get their jobs done, the more they help you earn good money & problem resolution. The more you challenge yourself, the higher your chances progressing & earning quickly.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone. Hope I didn't hijack this thread. (That wasn't my intent).

Maybe I am learning something here... I can't even tell you if J.B. Hunt has "Forced Dispatch" as I guess I did remove it from my "list". In fact... I pretty much tossed "my list". Yes Brett... I will admit to having setup a spreadsheet!

Once I found the spot that I thought worked for me... it all became irrelevant... just as I was told it would be!

So I think I get it. With a "can do" and "do it safely" attitude one needs to accept the assignment and figure out how to get it done safely. I guess for me the nightmare scenario would be blocking a busy road in rush period traffic while GOALing every 1-2'! But that would beat many other TRULY nightmarish scenarios. Just so there's not an ambulance trying to get past.

My job and my license is my problem. Other motorists inconvenience is their problem. Rush to appease others is ALWAYS a mistake which can have serious consequences.

Learning that Noobs are assigned to "special" dispatchers is something I had not considered. But yes... I get that if I am closest to the load... it may not matter.

So when training at Target DC, trainer got his assignments in the morning. Usually 2 runs... DC to a store about 1.5 hrs. away. Double drop and hook , back to DC. Repeat to another. Occasionally a backhaul from a 3rd location. That was the day. (Pretty good local gig for those who want it).

Once back there and "trained" I am slated for Amazon Regional 7-State run. It is supposed to be DC to DC and/or backhauls - 5 or 6 nights out then home (but not necessarily weekend off). I think 5 nights is standard... bonus for 6th night out. Mostly night driving.

Gee! I get excited just thinking about it!

I will leave it there for now.

Just trying to soak up what I can and contribute what I can.

As many have said... this is a special place.

Thank you all!

thank-you.gif

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.

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.

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.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Andrew J.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m a current Roehl driver in the reefer division and yes they are forced dispatch. When I first heard it I didn’t like the sound of “forced dispatch”. But it’s not a big deal. The way I look at is that it’s work to get paid. I’d rather be forced diaspatched than sit and not get paid away from my family. If I’m going to be out here doing this away from my family I’m going to get paid. I very rarely sit here. Usually when I’m 100 miles away from my drop off I get a preplan for my next load. They definitely keep you moving here. So bottom line don’t worry about Roehl is a good company.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Eric S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey - thanks everyone for all of the great information. There's a lot of terminology I'm still working on learning so I don't make a mistake when talking to recruiters and going for interviews.

I really want to find a company that offers a good training program for new CDL grads. I've been reading about Old Dominion and they sound great. It's just difficult to find where these companies have terminals. I'm in North Orange County in Southern California. Does anybody know if OD is anywhere near me?

I'm thinking of doing regional since they don't seem to be out for weeks at a time, and quite a few of them offer no-touch freight. Hope I'm clear on this. Doing P & D sounds like a really tough and physical type of trucking, and I'd rather just stay away from it - at least until I'm comfortable maneuvering in city traffic.

I can't say how happy I am to have found this forum. Most everyone on here offers great advice.

Thanks again.

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.

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.

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.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

Hey - thanks everyone for all of the great information. There's a lot of terminology I'm still working on learning so I don't make a mistake when talking to recruiters and going for interviews.

I really want to find a company that offers a good training program for new CDL grads. I've been reading about Old Dominion and they sound great. It's just difficult to find where these companies have terminals. I'm in North Orange County in Southern California. Does anybody know if OD is anywhere near me?

I'm thinking of doing regional since they don't seem to be out for weeks at a time, and quite a few of them offer no-touch freight. Hope I'm clear on this. Doing P & D sounds like a really tough and physical type of trucking, and I'd rather just stay away from it - at least until I'm comfortable maneuvering in city traffic.

I can't say how happy I am to have found this forum. Most everyone on here offers great advice.

Thanks again.

If you plan on driving in your area then I wouldn't get too hung up on the city traffic issue. With the traffic you guys get? You'll be an expert in no time or jobless depending on how quickly you adjust. I said all that cause OD is hiring in your area but its P&D.

You can find it here

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.

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.

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.

P&D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.

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