Dispatch Question

Topic 32578 | Page 1

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Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everybody. I got my cdl last year and I've been with the same otr company about a year and a half. it's a smaller outfit, a white volvo mafia type. but it's pretty cool. I make decent money and get decent home time.

I noticed something odd, though. we have a contract with a larger company, pulling freight for them. they have about 20 destinations on this particular contract, and they spread the loads around to us drivers. here's where it gets weird.

if I get a run that I like, I'll tell dispatch that was a great lane. "that is a great run, unloaded fast and there's an awesome diner on the way" if it's a funky run, I'll tell him that was a difficult lane. I do it in a factual way. "that run was tough, they took 6 hours to unload me but I got it done" or "that is a hard run and the shipper is very small.

someone backed into my truck while i was on the dock" (yeah, that happened) and I leave it at that. I take everything, I don't refuse loads. I thought it was a good idea to provide basic feedback to dispatch, about the places we go. I was wrong. here's where it gets weird. if I tell them I like a lane, they never give it to me again. the ones I let them know i had difficulty with, I get sent those over and over again. I decided to test this theory. they had started including a particular run on my schedule, week in and week out.

it's a small receiver, so backing is pretty difficult and they take a good while to unload you. after about the sixth week of going there, sometimes multiple times a week, I told dispatch that I love that run. it's awesome, thanks so much for sending me here! they never sent me there again. I don't give feedback to him any more, but the damage is done. my friend works there and he has experienced the same thing. He gets sent on the runs i enjoy, i get fed the ones he likes. Even if we are on the yard at the same time, with the same hours. its weird.

I've had some problems with this dispatcher. he calls at 630 every morning, waking me up, asking where I am, my eta. he won't stop. he can see that I didn't get shut down until midnight, nevermind. he calls anyway. does it to everyone. we've had words over it. it does no good, so I turn my phone off at night. he made me miss family vacation over the 4th and I had to cancel our hotel rooms. not the end of the world, but there is obviously some animosity there.

He told me I was going to get a 34 on the yard, so i stayed up late the night before talking to the wife and kids, only to get woken up to knocks on my door at 8:30 am, being told i have recap hours i have to go now! I did it, but i told him we have to work on our communication better, because i stayed up all night and now im exhausted. that conversation didn't go well. He got an attitude and so did I. I try to be factual and professional, when i talk to people. but if they get a nasty attitude, i have a habit of matching their energy. When I put in for home time, I have learned to tell him that I need to be in several days before I really need or want to be home. he micromanages a lot, which is annoying. but I've never been late or had a failure on a load. is this normal? I've been thinking about switching jobs over it.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

I avoid small companies for stuff like this. I bet they know your name.

If you're not happy, leave. I'd just caution that the grass isn't always greener.

Think about what you want and what's important to you, then create a list to ask recruiters. Make your decision from there.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

What's the purpose of telling dispatch your thoughts about each load? Doubt they care, their job is to get these loads assigned. You also open yourself up to the dispatcher intentionally giving you the runs you dislike if you make them upset for any reason. If I'm sleeping my phone is set to do not disturb. The only call that will come thru is my wife. Sometimes stuff happens with freight that makes getting home on time difficult. Even more so for smaller carriers that are trying to fulfill contracts. They just don't have the drivers available to T-call loads as often, and may need you to stay out past your scheduled hometime to meet the terms of their contracts. This is yet another reason most of this forum feel the mega carriers are the best places to work. If you've already addressed the issue with your dispatcher and nothing changed your next step is escalate it to their boss. If there's other dispatchers at your company maybe changing dispatchers would help.

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.
Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

It was a rookie mistake. something I read, before I got the job was to give feedback to your dispatch about the places we go and what's good and not good. on paper that maybe makes sense, in the real world it's not good

Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

I gained some insight as to dispatch and sales since coming over to Prime’s tanker division. My FM and sales often work out of an office where we get our tankers washed out and I get a chance to see them at work. It’s like watching someone play Whack-a-Mole. They are just trying to keep their heads above water to make sure that loads are assigned, picked up on time, and delivered on time. That is not to say that dispatchers don’t’ take into consideration a driver’s individual preferences, but that it secondary.

As far as telling dispatch about each and every load, that’s too much information. My FM just has trouble keeping up with the business relevant messages. Extraneous messages about each load that you like or don’t like, will most likely get ignored.

That being said, my FM does appreciate information about a shipper or receiver that helps advance their objective. If I’m going to deliver a load early, I will let him know so that he can begin planning my next load. If a shipper or receiver is unusually difficult or significantly delays me, I will let him know. Because that may make the difference as to whether they take those loads in the future. But, it has to be an unusual problem. When I drove flatbed, I would occasionally complain about a shipper that I had didn’t like and I would generally not get them again for a while.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It was a rookie mistake. something I read, before I got the job was to give feedback to your dispatch about the places we go and what's good and not good. on paper that maybe makes sense, in the real world it's not good

With 99% of companies, giving feedback like that to dispatch will typically be greeted with something in the realm of: "What are you telling me for? I don't build the roads to get to the locations, and I have nothing to do with how the docks are set up. Glad you got it delivered."

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

It was a rookie mistake. something I read, before I got the job was to give feedback to your dispatch about the places we go and what's good and not good. on paper that maybe makes sense, in the real world it's not good

double-quotes-end.png

With 99% of companies, giving feedback like that to dispatch will typically be greeted with something in the realm of: "What are you telling me for? I don't build the roads to get to the locations, and I have nothing to do with how the docks are set up. Glad you got it delivered."

Where did you arrive at this "99% of companies" non-fact, Ryan?

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ryan does not speak for all of us and all companies:

With 99% of companies, giving feedback like that to dispatch will typically be greeted with something in the realm of: "What are you telling me for? I don't build the roads to get to the locations, and I have nothing to do with how the docks are set up. Glad you got it delivered."

I agree with PackRat…

How do you know this Ryan?

That may be your limited personal experience with your employer, but I can assure you it’s not the case with any of the companies I worked for in the past, or the one I work for now.

Same holds true for Chief Brody. Please stop posting statements like this as fact representing all of us or all companies. You cannot possibly know enough to make a blanket statement like this.

Any feedback…

Keep it professional and pick your spots. Anything unsafe should be reported.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

My experience with dispatch..... He can't control the load or customer. The load needs to be done and someone has to do it. When I vent, he apologized. But what can he do? However, if there is a place I absolutely refuse to go due to personal safety in an inner city... I never get that load again.

Even I am getting a little annoyed with Ryan's generalizations and assumptions.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kiersey,

Running a Dedicated account like Walmart or other retailers, many times offers a different set of variables.

On the Walmart account, the more experienced drivers would report to driver management/planners on any conditions in and around the stores that could present an issue with delivery and/or safe passage. Those environments are in a constant state of flux. At times they (dispatch) actually could affect an outcome by reporting an issue to Walmart DC management requiring attention. But for the most part it was a communication exchange designed to inform other drivers of potential hazards and delivery implications, many of those drivers unfamiliar with the account because they come and go. Especially true during the major holidays.

My point to Ryan; there are so many variables he cannot possibly offer factual information on the subject of informing dispatch for every company, every account and every driver. This is just one more example of him offering feckless advice and information.

My experience with dispatch..... He can't control the load or customer. The load needs to be done and someone has to do it. When I vent, he apologized. But what can he do? However, if there is a place I absolutely refuse to go due to personal safety in an inner city... I never get that load again.

Even I am getting a little annoyed with Ryan's generalizations and assumptions.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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