First Week...are All Companies Schedules This Tight?

Topic 25309 | Page 2

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Scott D.'s Comment
member avatar

Iv read most companies test the new drivers like this at first.. they are checking you. IE can you do it, or will you communicate that your gonna be late ect.

Ken M. (TailGunner)'s Comment
member avatar

Sometimes there is a delivery appointment on the bills, just to fill the space. I have had many loads with appointments that are bogus, no appointment needed. I would call someone and check.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Quirky, yeah, pretty tight assignment. I’ve had those also and they can make a new driver nervous. My driver manager has 3 rules: communication, communication, comunication. If I have concerns about a delivery window, the sooner I call or message, the better. I’ve yet to have an issue that she can’t fix. But she can’t fix something I fail to communicate about.

Driver 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Quirky B,

I know I am not in school yet, but your post made me think about how I would handle the situation as a new driver, based on two things I have learned on this form: 1) establish a good relationship with your FM and 2) show that you can perform. Bruce's point about communication relates to point 1.

Many have provided suggestions as to how you can make this schedule. You've got 808 miles and 28 hours to get there. You will need a 10 hour break in between. So you can plan a trip that lets you try to make the appointment but at the same time keep your FM informed of your progress as follows.

Message your FM "808 miles in 28 hours. Tight schedule. I'll keep you posted"

Right after pickup message your FM "rolling. Update you tonight."

See how many miles you can get in the first day. If you can cover 550 miles the first day, you've made good progress.

At the end of the day message your FM "550 down 258 to go in 6 hours. Looking good."

When you are rolling the next day message your FM, "rolling. Let you know if I encounter problems."

If you start running behind the next day, message your FM as soon as you think you have problems. If you going to be an hour late, let him or her know so she can let the customer know. Surely they all must realize this is a tight load. If your company has to tell the customer its going to be an hour late, at least they can tell them in advance.

My thoughts would be that your FM will learn these things about you:

1. You don't refuse tight loads.

a. I don't know if you are forced dispatch.

2. You will let him or her know if you have concerns making the appointment, but with a positive "can do" attitude.

a. This also lets your FM know that you recognize the tight schedule and have a plan to get there on time.

b. The detail in the message allows your FM to just look at your message without going back to look at the load assignments.

3. You will keep your FM updated with substantive information in an efficient way.

a. Reading all of messages above and replying with "Thanks" should take your FM about 1 minute total.

b. A 2 minute phone call would double the amount of time that your FM spends communicating with drivers.

c. With 100 drivers, that's an extra hour and 40 minutes per day.

4. If you make the appointment, he or she knows you can perform.

Good luck. I am really interested to hear the outcome of this load.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Rob, your detailed comment is very impressive coming from someone not even in school yet! Looks like you are way ahead of the curve at this point.

I might mention that if Quirky has to get off the road and park to send all those messages along the way, as we have to do at Schneider, he will definitely be late.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce,

Thanks.

I am glad that Brett allows people like me to make comments and try to contribute to the conversation. I have learned so much already this website through the articles and forum.

My target date for starting school is next spring, so I have a lot of time to learn more.

With regard to stopping for messages, I did not intend to suggest that he need to stop for each one, except the last one where Quarky might be running out of time. And that might be better handled with a call.

As you point out. I am not even in school yet, so there are so many things I don't know.

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Noob disclaimer: PLEASE RELY ON WHAT THE PROS SAY!

Having said that... I was told while training at one account the other account I was headed for scheduled similarly. They would do that same (impressive) math only just using time and miles. No fuel stops, no legally required stops or breaks. Didn't get into time zones but I doubt if they considered it (unless it added to not subtracted fom driving time). The DM added that RE: bathroom breaks the attitude was "You should have done that YESTERDAY!"

I only point this out because it was a (major online retailet) relatively new account and the (major carrier) company was working hard to get them to understand that they can't really schedule like that. It is possible that this is such a scenario where they have simply "passed on" the order as submitted and it is totally reasonable to question the tight schedule. It almost sounds like an example of the very behavior they were trying to get the customer to change!

(This in NO WAY suggests not following any other suggestions previously given, especiallyby the experienced professionals here. I am merely suggesting a possible reason).

Of course not sure what happens when they schedule this tightly two days in a row. Perhaps one is only supposed to use the bathroom every 3rd day (or on a 10-hour break or 34-hours reset)!

Be safe!

good-luck.gif

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Rob, you are doing a great job of setting yourself up for success.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Marc, I’ve heard the term “impossible dispatch snowball”. I got caught up in one of those at the start of a duty cycle and it dogged me for an entire week until my 34 reset. For some very strange reason this happens to rookies much more often than it happens to the experienced drivers. Lol

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar

Bruce: Thanks.

Marc Lee: I completely agree that the experienced drivers know WAY MORE than me. I'm just trying to apply what I've learned so far from Old School, Turtle, G-Town, Rainy, and others.

I only continue to comment because Brett takes the position that the dialogue on the forums, even from people like Professor X, prove useful for new drivers.

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