Irritating Weekend.

Topic 26560 | Page 1

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Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi all, just more of a venting here with people that will understand. Yesterday (Saturday) I drove 80 miles to pick up a load only to find bnb out it was picked up the night before. I'm assigned a new load and drive 100 miles but have a 12:00 appointment to load. I sit at a pilot 25 miles away for 19 hours and arrive 1 1/2 hours early only to find out it was the right company but the wrong address. Worse yet they dont load on the weekends as they are closed. My dispatcher asks me "are you sure, have you called them I show they are 24/7." I said I'm on their lot and gave them the # to the lot that ships. My clock was started when i drove there so it messed up a 34, i dont gain hours for 2 days and I've now been waiting 3 hours for the load they are supposed to be working on. Argggghhhhhhh. Thanks, just had to vent.

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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Bummer. What company do you drive for? Sounds like a perfect storm of mistakes. Was it all screwed up by your dispatch?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I believe I can say your problems aren't original, but they are for you! I lost a weekend the same way. So I learned that if the timing is dicey, I call ahead before I move my truck! I remember two times the call saved the day, the shipper (even a 24/7 shipper!) said the order wasn't ready and check back in a while. Both times, I had to wait 24 hours (several "in a while" phone calls later).

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.

Joseph I.'s Comment
member avatar

I find my dispatcher give me hours that shipper is open and actual hours different quite often. I will check with google maps which for a lot of places gives open hours, which does not always mean hours that they load or unload, and if hours differ between the 2 I will call ahead to double check. I find mostly the problem comes from the logistics firms as the shipping papers have incorrect hours on them. Sometimes it is as simple as time changes between where shipper, logistics and dispatch are many times different.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Michael, I've always been a big fan of calling customers. You'll often find out something important about the directions getting in there, but it obviously would've helped prevent a lot of running around chasing your tail in both situations. Call the customer to verify the directions, the load information, and move appointment times ahead if possible.

Being proactive as a driver is a critical component to turning a lot of miles out there. Don't rely blindly on the information you get on the Qualcomm. Verify it. Finally, don't sit back and wait for dispatch and customer service to handle things for you if you can do something about it yourself.

Driving a truck is often like running a small business. You're managing a lot of things at once out there. Gather all the information you can, verify everything you're told, and manage that truck like it's your own.

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.
Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Well here it is almost 9 pm, 3 hours left on the 14 still sitting with no response. It's the weekend dispatchers as I never have any issues with my regular. This is one reason I usually just take a reset every weekend. I actually went to a truckstop when I posted this knowing I was done till the morning. I know weekend crew is a skeleton crew but gee wiz, dont tell me you are working on a new load then never respond. Sadly Brett, its international paper so it never crossed my mind they would be closed. Lesson learned. I was always under the impression calling customers was frowned upon although from now on I will probably start calling if it could benifit me. Fortunately my regular dispatcher will put me in for layover in the morning but it still wont cover what I would have made in miles. I would have liked to have a fresh clock though. (Any weekend dispatchers reading cover your eyes) This is why I dislike dealing with the weekend crew! At least I'm only 7 or so miles from the pick up location so it should be a quick loading early in the AM. Oh well, at least I dont have a truck payment. I'll still run 2500 or so miles this week so it's not that bad, I managed to watch several ball games too!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I was always under the impression calling customers was frowned upon although from now on I will probably start calling if it could benefit me.

It's not frowned upon at all. I've always encouraged people to call customers, and your situation is a good example of why. There are a lot of reasons though - getting better directions, moving appointment times forward, alerting them you're on your way so they can prepare, find out about unexpected delays, etc. It can always benefit you to call the customers. Most of the time you couldn't have known what the benefits might have been without calling.

This is why I dislike dealing with the weekend crew!

No one likes dealing with the weekend crew. It's something you should try to avoid at all costs. Getting set up for the weekend by your main dispatcher is a very important strategy for turning maximum miles. Once you're in the hands of the weekend crew, your weekend is usually shot.

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.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I call customers often if I need to. One of the major problems I have encountered is getting an accurate phone number, either on the dispatch message, or off the internet search. Many times it's a dead-end voicemail that leads nowhere. Try multiple phone numbers when you can. I also write down the best number for future reference.

You don't have to inform the person on the other end that you are the driver..... "Good morning! This is XXXX from ACME Transportation and Cartoon Gadgets calling. We have a driver that can be there in less than an hour. Any way you could move your appointment up, and get your needed product shipped/unloaded earlier?"

Sometimes the customer will say yes, so it never hurts to ask.

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