When Truckers and Dispatchers Work Together, Magic Happens

Imagine being a truck driver pulling into a truck stop only to be approached by another driver from the same company looking to complain. That driver says he has been parked for hours waiting on a new load from the dispatcher. You respond by explaining you have a load ready to go as soon as you fuel up and get a bite to eat. Your coworker insists there are no worthwhile loads available.

This scenario is actually part of a blog post recently published on the Trucking Truth website. The trucker who wrote the post went on to explain that his waiting load was a pre-planned load of garbage he and his dispatcher worked out ahead of time to avoid him having to deadhead home. That other driver he encountered at the truck stop did not have a load only because he refused to haul garbage.

Here’s what happened: the first driver ended up putting in 1,200 miles and getting a more lucrative load a couple of days later while the second driver was still parked in the same truck stop spot waiting for something better. The moral of the story is that magic only happens when truckers and dispatchers work together.

Don’t Worry About Forced Dispatch

The Trucking Truth blog was mostly about forced dispatch; a practice implemented by motor carriers who don’t want to give their drivers a whole lot of choices about what they haul. It is a practice that is implemented for the sake of dispatchers, so that they don’t go out of their minds trying to make both truck drivers and shippers happy.

The point of a blog post was to tell truckers to not worry about forced dispatch. Rather, go with the flow. Any load is a good load is long as it keeps the wheels turning and the paycheck rising. Truckers who are overly fussy about what they haul make headaches for dispatchers. Furthermore, dispatchers with headaches avoid going to those drivers causing the headaches.

That second driver in our story lost two days’ worth of work because he thought himself too good to haul garbage. But what’s the problem? A loaded trailer is a loaded trailer. A driver doesn’t accomplish anything by rejecting a load of garbage and then waiting two days to get something more palatable on his truck. That is just wasted time.

Drivers and Dispatchers: Take Care of Each Other

All the problems between dispatchers and truckers cannot be blamed only on the truckers. There are some dispatchers who just don’t seem to care how their decisions affect drivers. Some even go out of their way to make life miserable for drivers they don’t like. That’s not right, any more than a driver refusing a load just because he doesn’t like what it is.

In the end, drivers and dispatchers need to take care of one another. As Utah-based C.R. England explains, a dispatcher who takes care of his drivers is one who builds a relationship of loyalty with them. The driver who takes care of his dispatcher immediately jumps to the top of the list when work is light or an especially lucrative load comes in.

The icing on the cake is the magic that happens when drivers and dispatchers take care of one another. They end up making a good showing for the company which, in turn, generates more business. The company looks favorably on that team to the extent that they get more of the increased workload. In the end, everyone comes out a winner: driver, dispatcher, company, and shipper.

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