Getting along with your dispatcher is extremely important, if you’re a trucker.
As a professional driver, it’s necessary to understand your position in the trucking industry. If you are a brand new driver, you are the new worker bee at the trucking company and most likely on the bottom rung of the company employee ladder.
Your job is to do what you’re told and do it to the best of your ability. Truck drivers by nature tend to be the independent type and some don’t play very well with others.
Getting along with your dispatcher is sometimes an easy task, if your dispatcher is the calm, likable experienced type. They’ll help guide you through the pitfalls of getting your loads and getting them delivered successfully.
Sometimes though, you may end up with a dispatcher who knows nothing and doesn’t care if you live or die. Your well being and success is clearly not his problem. He is paid to give you your load assignment period. He is not required to be friendly or knowledgeable. Still you need to take your orders from him until you can find a better job.
Dealing with dispatchers is like every other area in driving professionally. You need to deal with every situation as a professional with safety always being a key consideration.
Unfortunately, you’d need to learn to get along with your dispatcher, even when he or she is a real jerk.
Some dispatchers aren’t smart enough or experienced enough to make the safe decision. However, that’s always going to be up to you in all aspects of your driving job.
A dispatcher’s job is to move as many loads as cost effectively as possible. That’s what they’re paid to do. They’re not getting paid to be your friend.
With this in mind, remember that the dispatcher controls your pay check, like it or not. This guy or gal will be in control of how many miles you receive. Don’t forget, you get paid by the mile.
So you’ve go to work with them or find a different driving job, which may or may not be better.
My advice is take it in stride and keep a record of everything you are asked to do by dispatch. Keep this record electronically if possible. Electronic onboard recorders are a great tool for this.
If you see a flaw in the dispatcher’s plan which may jeopardize your safety or the truck in any way, point it out to the dispatcher electronically so you have a record of the conversation.
Trucking companies are legally liable if one of their employees like a dispatcher makes an illegal move, like asking you to run over your allowed hours of service.
If the dispatcher continues to insist, being it a violation of HOS rules or attempting to insist you drive in dangerous conditions, ask to speak to a manager or the safety department. Make your concerns part of the record. In other words, cover your butt.
The dispatcher may not care if you crash the truck, but the boss will.
Good Dispatchers = Most Likely Good Company
Good dispatchers are usually a sign of a decent trucking company. If you find yourself unable to communicate with your dispatcher effectively, it’s a sign that you either need a new dispatcher or maybe it’s time to start job hunting.
Be patient and be tolerant but don’t take dangerous risks.
- Are Dispatchers Contributing to the Driver Shortage?
- Your Guide to a Trucking Career
- Job Search by State
- The Ups and Downs of Long Haul Driving/ OTR