Communicating With Dispatch

Topic 25518 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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Bruce wrote:

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Rob D, (I think there are getting to be too many guys named Rob on TT, it confuses old guys like me!) LOL

Like most things in life, striking a balance is always a good practice. There is such a thing as too little communication, for sure. And there is such a thing as too much if it's unnecessary communication. The grease illustration you used is a good example. If you went to all those stores and couldn't find any grease, your manager might question your competence! Or if you kept calling in about the same thing all the time, your manager is certain to get frustrated. But if you encounter a new or unusual situation and you are unsure about it, they WANT you to call in. Especially if your call can save you from doing something that would cost the company money. Our superb classroom instructor had an expression: "Smile and dial".

And if you work for a company with a phone policy like Schneider's, you cannot use your phone while the truck is in motion. We have to stop in a safe place before we can make a call or send a message. So the wheels stop turning for us when we have to call in. If we're put on hold, we have to sit until we finish the call. That forces us to be judicious about calling in.

Remember that your manager and dispatcher know that your education is not finished when you graduate from training. Really, it's just begun, and they are there to HELP you. They are your security blanket. The natural progression is to be liberal about calling in at first, and then those calls will naturally diminish in frequency as you gain experience. At least that has been my experience so far.

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Bruce you do realize the conversation OS referenced in this post is an electronic one. A phone call should only be out if necessity and perhaps a way to follow up on a free form macro conversation that occurred in the QC. There is no record of phone calls...anything entered into the QC can be referred back to.

Guys...I urge you to reread OS original post, notice the time stamps on the delivery receipt and realize it’s not a phone conversation.

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And I could be wrong, but I believe they are archived, and cannot be deleted from the system, so they also serve as a legal document if you ever need to CYA

Correct

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
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Thanks for catching my confusing comment, guys. I should have been more careful. When I said calling in, I meant communicating by phone or the messaging function of the MCP or, in our case, the tablet Schneider provides us with. And obviously, we have to be stopped to use either the free form messaging or the form messages on the app. Our tablets have the lockout feature that kicks in while driving. Unless it's urgent, I'll use the free form messaging so my DBL can get back to me at her convenience.

Old School's Comment
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Here's an update...

I delivered as promised. That's critical - I always hold myself to that standard. That's how you build trust with your support team. They have got to have confidence in the information you provide them with.

I should add here that I was scheduled to deliver this by tomorrow at 1800. I pushed my appointment forward which makes it critical that I inform my dispatcher when I will be available. If I hadn't done that I'd be sitting here all weekend wasting valuable time. He wouldn't be expecting to give me another load until Monday.

By keeping him informed, I now have been assigned a load with 1,420 miles that I can complete on Monday. Now I can earn an additional 750 dollars instead of taking an unnecessary 34 hour reset. Does that show you the value of helpful accurate information being given to your driver manager?

Try to think of it like this...

Your dispatcher comes to work everyday and stares intently into a pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces, hoping to put it all together, solving several puzzles for the day. He's sorting information and fitting it together so that he can utilize his drivers in the most efficient productive way. It's easier and more efficient to solve big jigsaw puzzles by sorting the pieces that most likely go together. You know, the ones with the straight edges all form the border. The sky blue ones are all part of the sky, and so on.

When you're providing accurate and timely information to them, you are making certain pieces (the pieces that pertain to your success) of the puzzle stand out. You are defining how and where they fit together. Information like that assists them greatly. They can keep you pre-planned and busy if they can tell how the pieces go together.

Without accurate helpful information it's all just a confusing pile of pieces with no definition. Therefore they don't know what to do for you until you inform them that you're empty. Then you may have to sit for a day or two before they can give you some priority.

Once you realize your responsibility in this, it makes it real clear how much power you have over your own destiny in this job. It's something that many drivers never learn. Even after years of being out here, there are people who act like I'm speaking a different language when I try to explain this stuff to them.

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.

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.
Viking's Comment
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Just the other day I picked up a refer backhaul drop and hook. Upon inspection I noticed the shipper set the refer incorrectly according to the BOL. Not by much but when your 1-2 degrees from 32f and the loads not supposed to freeze not much can be a big deal. I corrected the refer setting to the bol. Then I noticed The refer was also almost empty. We are supposed to only fuel our refers at the terminal.

Before leaving I sent in a freeform informing them I needed refer fuel, where I was going to get it, and about the refer temp difference. I also included my ETA to delivery. The message I got back from them was " Thank you for letting us know, and figuring out a way to get it done. You always do."

That brought a rather large smile to my face. smile.gif

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.

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.

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