When it comes to dispatchers, you will probably find a wide range of opinions about the performance of their job. From those who believe that they are the backbone of the office to believing their best friend and perhaps the worst enemy that a truck driver may have as well. The number of opinions about dispatchers is actually surprising considering that you may often find a wide range of opinions about the same dispatcher from every driver and employee of the firm.
So, when it comes to truck drivers who want to improve their hours on the road and perhaps get more weekends off from work, establishing a good relationship with dispatchers is a crucial part of the process. However, before you can start working on that relationship, it helps if you understand the view from the dispatcher who like the truck driver is trying to do what is best for their company.
How Dispatchers See Their Role
Unlike the truck driver who is on the road, the dispatcher usually sits at a small workstation and is in contact with all the drivers who are out on the road. They have to balance not only your needs, but all the other drivers as well which means that there will be days when you will have to drive too many miles empty or some other unwanted situation will occur.
Dispatchers are typically bombarded with phone calls by drivers who ask them to do many different things. It can be very difficult for them to be dispassionate about their work especially when they get insulted or treated poorly for something that is beyond their control or worse, when they’ve made an honest error that is not well understood by the driver.
Admittedly, truck drivers are interested in getting to haul good loads over an appropriate distance so that they are well paid. It may seem strange, but both drivers and dispatchers are interested in the same thing, but all too often neither of them can see the other’s point of view.
How to Work with a Dispatcher
Once you understand their role, then it becomes a lot easier to work with them. Here are some pointers that will help you build a good relationship with your dispatcher.
Keep Calm: Your relationship should be strictly on a professional basis which means that you will need to stay calm and composed when speaking to them. Naturally, you will have some disagreements, but phrase your view in how it affects what you do instead of lashing out at them. This will at the very least keep things calm between both of you.
Be Proactive: The more efficiently you can do your job, the better the dispatcher can help you out. Of course, there will be times when you cannot complete your run because of conditions beyond your control, but the more efficiently you can driver your rig, the easier you make it for the dispatcher to work with you.
Of course, there will be times when you might want to scream at your dispatcher, but you should definitely refrain from taking that action. If there is a real problem or perhaps something that is not being worked out, then you should go higher up in the company to see if it can be resolved. Otherwise, it really pays to spend a little extra effort working with your dispatcher.