Advice Please - Started Solo And Second Time This Is Happening.

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Turtle's Comment
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When I discussed it with my DBL, he said Schneider requires us to have a full 10 hour break. So using the 8 hour provision would be breaking company policy as well.

Ok, well that's easier to understand. I kept hearing the term "split" thrown around, and wanted to make sure anyone reading understands he difference.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Thank you Packrat and Rick. I will call my fleet manager and let him know the situation.

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DO NOT CALL!!!!!

Put it in the QC. Put everything in the QC so two months later when a service failure pops up on your record, you have it in writing. Happened to me, Diver Driver and Turtle. Then they got removed. We also had a new dispatcher who told me to do something stupid. I told him flat out "that is stupid and will make both loads late". I did as told. The next day i got a call from a higher up asking why the load was late. "Read the QC. I am sleeping." CYA always

If he wants you to drive, you tell him to either change the appointment time or extend it to a window so you can sleep a bit then go. They often know the long customers. In a situation like that, i write "Going to sleep until X time. ETA to shipper is..." then he changes the time.

Hey, Rainy. For us mortal drivers - that might not have the cache that you do - would that sort of thing work? I'd personally feel a little uppity if I started dictating terms to dispatch. I have started building a good relationship with my FM but, I'm not sure how she'd react if I took this kind of initiative.

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.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
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RD, I don't mean to answer for Rainy, but I never found a question I couldn't approach my DBL about. It's all about the phrasing and attitude. Anything put into a question form and asked with respect always works.

RealDiehl's Comment
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RD, I don't mean to answer for Rainy, but I never found a question I couldn't approach my DBL about. It's all about the phrasing and attitude. Anything put into a question form and asked with respect always works.

That's very true, Bruce. And thanks. The shady area I'm concerned with is communicating by QC messages. Sometimes it is hard to express the meaning of your words, and QC messages dont give you a lot of space to work with. A request, when spoken, might have a higher pitch at the end of the remark. However, the same exact remark without inflection could sound like a demand. I know I'm splitting hairs here, and Rainy's advice might have been geared toward more established drivers anyway. Rather than someone who is new.

Rainy 's Comment
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It is about communicating not dictating. We are here to do a job and they are our support team. "I didn't get enough sleep and need it, can you get me something that picks up later tonight please," is a matter of fact. Doing it before you get another load lets the FM talk to the Sales/Planners to select a load that fits your schedule. Telling them after makes the FM look like he has no clue what is going on in his trucks. Telling them you need sleep actually proves to them you know your body and when you are safe to drive. Sometimes my FM gives me the preplan but doesnt send the assignment until i give him an ETA. That means they can change the appt before i get the assignment. Learning which are drop and hooks makes a difference too. Easy to extend those. But not all places are 24/7. Sometimes i go pick up the load then take a nap getting loaded or even park after loading.

I was once preplanned on a load and got stuck at a receiver for 6 hours. I messaged, "Still getting unloaded. Gonna finish the 8 here then shoot you an ETA to shipper. Gotta get washout and fuel."

The response was "You exceed my daily expectations". I kept that message somewhere cause i was new and was shocked that just doing what i thought was my job was exceeding expectations.

When you start telling them what you need to get the job done, they realize you know what you are doing and move on to clueless people to help them. They also stop watching your truck as closely.

We had a new guy on dispatch last night and I gave him 30 hours notice i needed a repower. He didnt understand me so i said screw it. I waited for day dispatch (FM is on vacation). "Good morning. I need a repower. The easiest place for you to do it is Phoenix, Tollerson, Buckeye area. ETA to Phoenix Flying J 5 hours".

Amazingly, i was later told a team was gonna meet me.....where???? at the FLying J in Phoenix. Hmmm.... make their job easier and they love it.

My last trainee who went solo got annoyed with our substitute. Mike wanted a 34 and dispatch wanted him moving. and he wrote "Sir, I know I am new but, I know what I am doing (Rainy) trained me. I am taking a 34 and can still be 7 hours early."

The reponse was "10/4 thanks be safe"

They want you to be safe and tell them you need sleep. You can play games with them and go "on duty" and need to restart your break over...but that leads to being a problem child and wastes your time and money.

The load I swapped with delivers here tonight, then i pick up 60 miles away at noon tomorrow.... then 60 miles back 24 hours later. Some people would whine and complain. I didnt because this same guy who gave it to me swapped me out of a load so i could be home by Christmas Eve after I got delayed by a shipper. I dont whine about stuff they need and they give me everything i need. I also realize i only have 2 hours left on my 70 and this short load will aloow the recaps to build.

Be polite. Get what you want.

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.

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.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

The QC covers our butts and theirs.... (Prentend i messaged i was shutting down due to wind. Someone places a service failure on both me and my FM. Guess what.. if the message is in the QC it just saved the FM too, not just me. If no message and i told him on the phone it cant be proved).

They get sooo many stupid calls they can't handle it all at times. They want you to use the QC. When he is busy he reads too quickly and only retains the first line. So i started writing "3 things: 1) hometime Monday 2) Need a PM, need time on load 3) Reefer alarm going crazy but temps are fine."

He laughed the first time he saw that and thanked me cause he was busy.

You will get there. I ised to drive him crazy by telling him at 1600 every day "Will be at shipper at 2300 for 0700 appt". lol after a couple months he said "i get it....you are great at being on time".

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the detailed explanation, Rainy. I'm sure you know I was not doubting your methods (as if). Just wasn't sure about how to put them into practice without coming off as a driver who makes too many demands. As usual, your examples really help to make things clear.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Sit and talk to the FMs in person when you can. See the stupid things drivers complain about. I saw a guy message saying he went 3 miles to a washout and wanted to get paid. With zip code to zip code, it would be nothing anyway.

I was shocked. I drive "extra" miles all the time. I work it out in my head that if i drove say 25 miles, they are only gonna pay me for 20. Thats $10 and after taxes $8. So why would i bust stones over $8 when i get hundreds in "extra" pay that Old School spoke of. That extra special treatment of which Old School and Brett speak.

I am not gonna type specifics... but do a great job and even if the FM thought you were a miserable person you would still get benefits.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

TIP:

Before going to a customer look at not only the Google.map for layout, but read the reviews. Most long unload places have a ton of complaints. I then message dispatch "Going to be here a long time. Drivers say unload has been excessively long".

That way you give him a heads up while still allowing yourself extra time to sleep or have him delay giving you a load.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

Now I won't shut up sorry... but something else i do...

I email my FM "non urgent" things, but QC urgent. They are both in writing and can be proved but this shows I value his time.

For example, "I didn't get paid a day of shop time last week" or "when do i get my next vacation" is something he can work on when he gets time. So I email it. He is getting 30 messages at a time. Is this as important as another driver saying "I need money on my card for a lumper cause i am getting unloaded right now" or "I need to get home ASAP, my wife is in the hospital"?

Another FM noticed I did this and when I explained why...he said "wow, that is really smart. I am going to tell my drivers to do that. It allpws me to prioritize and give each driber the attention they need".

My FM.responds to emails quickly too, but on a busy day for him, i know he appreciates it.

You also need to ask your FM directly how they want things done. ReihlDeal and Miss Myoshi had the same FM. I seem to to remember their FM wants home time requests done on the phone to clarify date and day. One driver asked for "Mon July 4th" in writinf, but July 4th was Thurs, so which did the driver want? the 4th or Monday? My FM wants it in writing, he won't accept it over the phone.

A simple "how do you want me to handle this" is much appreciated. Christian R and I were at the terminal and our FM came by. Christian asked "what do you want us to do when night or weekend dispatch tells me to do something I know is wrong or can be done differently?" Our FM responded, "Do what you need to do and I will deal with it when I come in."

I am not sure if this was his repsonse cause he knew i trained Christian and trusted he would do the right thing. He has always known I am gonna do what I need to do.

It sounds bad to say it, but I have driven trailers that desperately needed repairs into the terminal despite what Road Assist or Dispatch said. One reefer was alarming "temps out of range". I was running from California to NJ as team and had to pass Springfield anyway. I was told to drive it to NJ then take it to the Pittston terminal. Negative, not happening. When night dispatch saw Road Assists message, he said "Please talk to the daytime Road Assist people". I already made a shop appointment by that time. Dispatch then called me and said "Good. that was a bad call by that guy but i cant technically orerride him". I am the one in the truck, so I can lol. Another time I picked up a trailer 80 miles from Springfield and was supposed to pick up a load and run it into the terminal. Instead i told them i was bringing the empty trailer to be repairs. The door hinges were broken and it nearly fell off, and the tandems wouldnt lock and were sliding back and forth when driving. I didnt want a new driver picking that up.

When dispatch put up a fight over that trailer cause they wanted me going for the load, i said, "Should we call Robert Low and ask if he wants me to risk a new driver losing the door or having an accident?" yeah.... his attitude changed really quickly and called me admirable. The dispatcher was a great guy, but his job was to worry about the load. Mine is to worry about everything lol

Learn your job and do it.

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.

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".

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.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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