Trying To Deal With My Driver Manager

Topic 25286 | Page 2

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RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

This is for anyone who wants to reply:

Have you ever found yourself in an "iffy" situation and thought to yourself, "should I get in touch with my Fleet Manager , or should I try to manage this on my own?"

I know there are a lot of variables that go into making such decisions. However, what's a good rule of thumb for when to ask for assistance and when to give it a go on your own?

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.
Matthew W.'s Comment
member avatar

So, at my previous job the training was similar in a way to trucking in that you feel thrown off the deep end so to speak. What no did there was give myself a time window. If I can't solve the problem myself in 15 minutes, I seek help. Now when I seek help, I go first to me trainers. So me personally id suggest contacting your trainers first if you have a problem, and then try dispatch if they cant help you with it. I am a rookie driver here, so feel free to take my post with a grain of salt.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

This is a great thread with a ton of useful information and questions. I asked my road trainer how often he talks to his DBL (DM). He said “hardly ever”.

Seems to be a common denominator among the top drivers since they are problem solvers and probably were before they even started driving.

Another characteristic of a top driver is knowing when to contact the manager and when not to.

Shout out to my DBL who is the nicest person and I’d like to chat with her more but I know she’s as busy as a one eyed cat watching two rat holes.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

This is a great thread with a ton of useful information and questions. I asked my road trainer how often he talks to his DBL (DM). He said “hardly ever”.

Seems to be a common denominator among the top drivers since they are problem solvers and probably were before they even started driving.

Another characteristic of a top driver is knowing when to contact the manager and when not to.

Shout out to my DBL who is the nicest person and I’d like to chat with her more but I know she’s as busy as a one eyed cat watching two rat holes.

A positive, can-do attitude is also vitally important to having an excellent relationship with driver management.

I use the phrase “you reap what you sow” frequently...it’s sooo true. Act like a jerk, expect to be treated like one.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Have you ever found yourself in an "iffy" situation and thought to yourself, "should I get in touch with my Fleet Manager , or should I try to manage this on my own?"

I know there are a lot of variables that go into making such decisions. However, what's a good rule of thumb for when to ask for assistance and when to give it a go on your own?

Excellent question.

In general, you should contact your dispatcher if you have any questions related to the load itself or to your schedule. For instance, if you're unsure of appointment times, the load number that identifies the load, or whether you actually have the correct load you were assigned to then contact dispatch for that. If you have any concerns about your ability to arrive on time for an appointment or you see something that may cause you a major delay then let dispatch know.

What you want to avoid contacting dispatch about is anything related to driving the truck itself. They probably won't be able to help. So avoid asking them about how to work your logbook hours, what routes to take through cities, how to schedule your driving time vs rest time, and things of that nature.

Think of dispatch as load schedulers and information relayers. If you have questions about scheduling, load identification, or any of the information related to your loads then ask dispatch to clarify. Anything related to actually driving the truck isn't really part of their job and they likely won't be able to help you.

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.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

I have a question for Silver.

Why are you calling him? Put everything in writing on the Qualcomm. He cant yell in writing unless in all caps, and any snide remarks would be recorded. Also, if he calls, hang up. then message "Sorry, no cell service here".

This ends the problem. He wont say anything unprofessional on the QC and you wont hear his tone of voice to know if he is mad.

My FM.prefers messages cause he can priorotize them. If someone is calling to complain his radio isnt working while the FM is dealing with a jack knife accident, it can be frustrating for him. I do not even put non priority questions on the QC, I email him with that stuff. I use the QC with ETA and load issues.... but email him things like "my pay missed a reimbursement" He has a whole.week to fix my pay, so I am not tying up his "right now"time.

I went 8 weeks without calling him, then called him "I missed you. How are the wife and boys? Did your sons team.win the bball tournament?" He was glad a driver wasnt calling to yell at him!

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.

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.
RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

So, at my previous job the training was similar in a way to trucking in that you feel thrown off the deep end so to speak. What no did there was give myself a time window. If I can't solve the problem myself in 15 minutes, I seek help. Now when I seek help, I go first to me trainers. So me personally id suggest contacting your trainers first if you have a problem, and then try dispatch if they cant help you with it. I am a rookie driver here, so feel free to take my post with a grain of salt.

Don't sell yourself short, Mathew. That's good advice. You are right about asking your trainer for help in a lot of situations and I'm sure trainers expect their former students to seek their help. Thanks for response!

In general, you should contact your dispatcher if you have any questions related to the load itself or to your schedule. For instance, if you're unsure of appointment times, the load number that identifies the load, or whether you actually have the correct load you were assigned to then contact dispatch for that. If you have any concerns about your ability to arrive on time for an appointment or you see something that may cause you a major delay then let dispatch know.

What you want to avoid contacting dispatch about is anything related to driving the truck itself. They probably won't be able to help. So avoid asking them about how to work your logbook hours, what routes to take through cities, how to schedule your driving time vs rest time, and things of that nature.

Think of dispatch as load schedulers and information relayers. If you have questions about scheduling, load identification, or any of the information related to your loads then ask dispatch to clarify. Anything related to actually driving the truck isn't really part of their job and they likely won't be able to help you.

Thanks for laying it out so clearly!

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

First, the thought of going months without speaking to my FM makes me even more committed to pursue trucking.

Second, how does a FM or DM determine early which drivers have top tier driver capability? Do they "test" the rookie drivers to see how they handle tough loads? On another thread, someone's first load was 620 miles in 24 hours. The driver did a great job managing time, but pushed his 14 hour clock to the limit. Did this DM want to see how the rookie could handle it?

Also, Old School had commented in another thread that your DM will begin to see HOS patterns in drivers. I understand this to mean that a DM will only give a driver load he thinks he or she can handle. So is the key to perform well early with the "tests" so that they DM gives you plenty of miles?

Considering the above, I assume that Silver's DM has made him a low priority because of past performance. Given that the DMs are very busy and assuming that Silver wants to improve his performance, how does he show that he is improving his performance if his DM has neither the time or motivation to get him more miles? In other words, how does Silver get the chance to show his top tier driver capabilities if he only gets "easy" loads?

Rob D,

Every dispatcher works differently. I know some who start newbies with less miles for them to get adjusted. Others throw miles at them to see what happens. It isnt just about getting it done and time management. My FM told me he gives a lot of miles the first week for a few reasons:

1. Can they manage the time?

2. Can they determine they wont make it?

3. Will they inform me they wont make it?

If a driver doesnt message him about being late, or doesnt realize he will be late, then my dispatcher needs to pay more attention. If the driver knew he wasnt going to make it but notified dispatch early enough to change the appointment or swap with another driver, dispatch doesnt need to watch that driver as closely because the driver will communicate problems. If the driver got it done, he is way ahead of the game.

In the example you sited, that was a typical rookie move of "i gotta get there and i do not know another way". An experienced driver could easily have driven say 300 miles, taken a 10 hour break then driven the rest. The rookie put undue stress on himself to find parking while trying to play beat the clock. I can easily drive 750 to 800 miles in 24 hours without that stress because i know how to manage my time. Adding the stress of beat the clock combined with parking issues can be a distraction and cause an accident.

As far as FMs watching our patterns, yep. They see how early we arrive at customers, how often we park at customers, how long we break.

I usually take a 10 hour break, but longer ones when i have large appointment windows. One of the drivers on my fleet is complaining about less miles and not getting home on time. However, she takes 14 to 15 hour breaks. So the same load that would have gotten me home doesnt work for her because she is well.... lazy . even when trying to get home.

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.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Not all trainees and trainers get along in the end though.

I constantly write this on the forum, but meet some experienced drivers at your company who are willing to help you. I had a list of 20 drivers and saves when they prefer to drive. "Jill drives nights, tom drives days" etc. Having friends in your company is great cause there are policy and procedure differences from company to company.

I rarely called dispatch who may or may not have driven and probably would have told me to message another department like Road Assist ot product Claims.

This way drivers help guide you. Later, you be the guide for other drivers.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy:

Thanks. This is very helpful. I've got a lot to learn.

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