Chain Of Command: Load Planners Vs Driver Managers

Topic 4538 | Page 1

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Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

So I am in the middle of reading Brett's awesome book and I'm at the part where he talks about knowing your chain of command at your company. It definitely sounds like working for a company where the driver managers are in control of the load planning is the best option vs companies where they are just the middle man and have less control over where you go. What companies let their DMs do the load planning? It would be nice to have a list or to hear from folks who work for such companies. Or if there is a section of this website that covers this and I missed it please let me know, thanks!

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David's Comment
member avatar

So I am in the middle of reading Brett's awesome book and I'm at the part where he talks about knowing your chain of command at your company. It definitely sounds like working for a company where the driver managers are in control of the load planning is the best option vs companies where they are just the middle man and have less control over where you go. What companies let their DMs do the load planning? It would be nice to have a list or to hear from folks who work for such companies. Or if there is a section of this website that covers this and I missed it please let me know, thanks!

Im unsure as to what Company's do this, I know when I was at swift, It was Planners > DM > Drivers. I would go to the planners when at the terminals and ask for loads rather than wait for DM(s) to,

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.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

HAMMERTIME's Comment
member avatar

I'm only speaking from my experiences but I feel like the bigger companies I worked for the Planners were in charge and the Driver Managers just dispatched what they give them. I'm currently driving for a smaller company now and I can more often than not determine where I go but at the same time you also have to understand how their freight moves, so you can't be asking to go into States where you know they don't pull any from. I always ask to Stay out of California and the only reason why I ever go into this Crap Hole of a State is to get home because I live in Idaho and more freight options are available to get me home in time.

For people that say California isn't that bad, well I just spent 2hrs going up the I15 from Rancho Cucumanga to US395 which is only 30 miles. Today was a very bad day for me, cars overheating everywhere, wrecks because these fools don't know how to drive and a car caught on fire and started a brush fire. It was ridiculous.

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.
guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I will use an example for the answer to this. And it fits the trucking industry very well.

Parents will know this very well. You take care of the kids all day long. If you were a stay at home parent you know how tired you were by the end of the day. Now you spouse comes home and brings in the neighbors kids in as a favor so their parent can go out for the night.

Truthfully after watching your kids all day long would you really want the 2nd job of watching someone else's? Doubtful.....

Dm's have a hard enough time dealing with the "kids" in their fleet. Sometimes as many as 80. It's a full time job. When I say kids I mean exactly that. The mentally out here today is total different than 16 years ago.

So now with that full time job what dm would want the extra job of planning the loads also? Now it does happen at the smaller companies. 5 to 10 truck outfits and mainly they deal with the same customers but when you have 8k plus trucks on the road you have to have a few hundred customers.

Truthfully I would not want a dm/load planner. They would be stressed out to do a good job.

The biggest mistake in trucking is truck/load abandonment. It's a career killer. The 2nd biggest mistake is refusing a load. Now what if your dm did plan the loads and the company just got this huge account that paid well but it was going to the NE and the only driver near there refused the load? Now your dm/load planner has no trucks near the area and risk loosing a major contract for the company. Think he would be stressed? You betcha he would.

Now you not knowing any of this call your dm and he jumps down your throat to blow off steam..... Would you really want your Dm to also plan loads for you and the other 80 driver I the fleet?

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Joanna 's Comment
member avatar

So it sounds like the odds are I'll get the middle-man DM because I will probably end up working for one of the larger companies. Guy, you make a lot of valid points, though. I certainly wouldn't want my DM to be too stressed out. I would never abandon a truck or refuse a load unless I wanted to commit career suicide. I just hope that If I consistently do a good job and prove myself worthy that my DM would have enough pull to get me the good loads. I guess I can't worry about that too much, though, since it is out of my control. All I can do is focus on doing the best job I can do and have faith that the rest will fall into place.

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.
Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar

Joanna, what GuyJax said will work for you. Once you have credibility with your DM you will be able to make requests. They may not happen right away, but, in my experience, they do happen. I never ask for a specific type of load, but I do occasionally ask to head a specific direction; west, north, etc. Frequently, that takes a load or two and then I'm going that direction. We have a little over 1100 drivers and I've been told (don't know it for a fact, but seems to reasonable) that planners will start to recognize your truck # or name when there is a "hot" load and you come through for them. I NEVER complain about the length of a load or loads and eventually, I get a really sweet load that makes up for the "others" I have been assigned. That is why it is so important to build a working relationship with your DM. They are the ones that may "refuse" a load for you or at least negotiate a better load now or in the future based on past performance.

At the same time, I always remember that I am just one of those 1100+ drivers and my view of the company's world is like looking through a straw. At the end of the day, what ever makes money for the company makes money for me.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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