Is This Just A This Company Problem Or An Everywhere Problem?

Topic 30109 | Page 1

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Alex's Comment
member avatar

I can always tell when my fleet manager is off for the day. How, you ask? I have a question for dispatch, in this instance trying to confirm whether or not my next load is a 24hr drop and hook as I've been getting unloaded since 830 AM with no end in sight.

I call, and by some miracle the phone is actually picked up. (Usually it just rings several times and you're hung up on if your fleet manager isn't available.) I relay the situation to the person on the other end. "Good question, let me transfer you to so and so, they're in charge of you guys while fleet managers gone." Ring, ring, ring click.

I wait a bit thinking I'd possibly get a call back before sending in the same message on the qualcomm , mentioning the phone cut out. Thirty minutes later, no answer.

I get that they might be busy, but this isn't the first time I've not received a reply and it's almost a guarantee that if the phone kicks me over to the 'first available' hold it'll cut out. I've asked my trainer if there's an issue with the phones and was told he and several others have the same issue. They look at the caller id, see it's not one of their guys and let it ring.

The load assignments do list pickup deadlines and things of that nature but in my short time solo I've found more than a couple to be less than accurate.

Honestly this is the only real issue I've had with this company, and can live with it for the most part but I know eventually it will cause a problem.

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.

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Could be they are very busy. Could be the back up dispatch is truly doing a poor job. Could be lots of things or nothing at all. These company dispatchers could be covering from 25 to 350 drivers. Your question may not have been at the top of the priority list.

I would send any important questions in on the tablet. If no answers are received, how about calling the customer? I do this normally and get an appointment moved up if possible. After that, send the message in to dispatch letting them know. If you are questioned as to why, tell the truth: "I had no reply from dispatch after X amount of messages and X amount of time passed waiting for a reply."

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I agree with PackRat. It's hard for new drivers to understand just how overloaded these dispatchers are. When your dispatcher is out, the other guys are taking on his drivers and they are probably considering their own drivers as their priority. Imagine the problems you are experiencing and then multiply that by about 100. That's probably how many crisis those dispatchers are handling at the moment. This is a common problem just about everywhere. My dispatcher had this wonderful habit of planning out my loads for an entire week whenever he would take a vacation. I loved it. I'd work all week without needing to talk to anyone.

Hang in there and use your tablet to communicate whenever you can. Let them know you have an urgent issue and would appreciate a response. PackRat gave some great advice. Follow up with a phone call if needed. Be upfront and firm while being calm and professional with 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'm always calm and professional with them and they are with me as well. I just thought it was odd that the 'hold' lasts about 10 seconds or so and then hangs up if you don't get connected to someone right away. I do use the tablet if I'm able to get parked somewhere safe, but find it easier over the phone simply because of the numerous different abbreviations each of them use aren't always self explanatory. The QCs odd pronunciation when it reads it out to you while driving doesn't help things either.

I've mentioned the phone disconnecting to them in the past and never did get a straight answer about it. They did seem aware of it, so I'm not sure why it hasn't been corrected yet. My trainer mentioned it's been like that since he started with them a little over a year ago.

I have called the customer myself with questions or issues I've had and then updated the company on it if necessary like Packrat mentioned but I'd say a good half of them either don't have a number listed or it's incorrect, though I imagine that's a rather common occurrence.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Well, use your resources for the phone numbers. I'd bet safely that more than half the phone numbers I'm provided on the load notes are incorrect. I get on Google and look up the customer. While I'm looking at the map satellite view, I also write down the phone number.

Try to be as self-sufficient as possible on the road, being your own problem solver. I correspond with dispatchers as little as possible on the computer, or on the phone.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Once again, I agree with the PackRat. You can get a lot of your own information right there from your smartphone. I do that all the time.

Alex's Comment
member avatar

I've been sent to more than a few places Google couldn't find me a number for them, or it was disconnected. I'd say most of the loads we do are like that for whatever reason, annoying as it is. We do a lot of Coors loads out of Golden CO and even dispatch doesn't have a number for anyone there.

Have yet to top the paper place I went to that had a sign with a number to call for deliveries as there was no access to the building due to covid and getting a drunk person on the other end at 9AM on a Tuesday.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

I've been sent to more than a few places Google couldn't find me a number for them, or it was disconnected. I'd say most of the loads we do are like that for whatever reason, annoying as it is. We do a lot of Coors loads out of Golden CO and even dispatch doesn't have a number for anyone there.

Have yet to top the paper place I went to that had a sign with a number to call for deliveries as there was no access to the building due to covid and getting a drunk person on the other end at 9AM on a Tuesday.

Alex,

This IS often a problem, 'for starters.' If you would, please read this thread, where Keith A. gave some IMPECCABLE advice to Mr. 87Wrangler via the photos of his 'handy dandy notebook.'

Helpful Tips from Keith A.

When you DO finally find the right directions/phone #'s, and whatnots for each receiver, WRITE IT DOWN like Keith does. It'll save your hassle 'next time.' (There usually IS a next time!)

Best of luck;

~ Anne ~

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