Alex S – Status Trucks DispatcherOctober 19, 2021
Justin F – Status Trucks DispatcherDecember 15, 2021
Hello, my name is Benjamin and I’ve been a dispatcher for the past six years. What I really do like about the trucking industry is that it never has a dull moment. You get to meet new people here consistently. Whether it be Owner Operators who are just starting their trucking careers, other dispatchers or brokers; meeting and getting to know each other is what makes it interesting. Like any job though, obstacles arise but it’s an opportunity to create a better relationship between a dispatcher and Owner Operator.
As a dispatcher you have the opportunity to create a close bond with your Owner Operators. Being able to connect with drivers is something that I personally look forward to. Helping them to achieve success in their trucking career is always one of the best feelings.
For Owner Operators, to make money in the trucking industry, it is important to understand their hours of service and DOT requirements regarding safety. Owner Operators must understand why they need to maintain their equipment and how to run it properly. An Owner Operator who is safe on the road always makes things much easier for everyone. Less stress, less worry, and the driver becomes more reliable.
What I would like to say to all Owner Operators out there, is that in this industry sometimes there are ups and downs – it’s bound to happen. In those times trust your dispatcher so that it can become an easier process. I know Owner Operators have been lied to by brokers and even dispatchers. Unfortunately, it can happen but if you learn to hear the dispatcher and build a working relationship based on trust it’ll get you so much farther. It can become a great bond, not only to make money in the trucking industry but to be able to create a positive, beneficial and safe environment altogether.
In my opinion, the best strategy to make money in the trucking industry is to be able to make sure that the Owner Operator is happy with the loads you’re finding. You have to know what they like and what they don’t like. It is important to try to find loads in the right places at the right times, even if it’s difficult. You have to take into account the seasons, according to where the good loads are. It all depends on the seasons. Sometimes the West Coast is very good and sometimes it depends on where the produce is. If there’s produce out of Florida, Michigan, or North Carolina a lot of the time we can get good loads out of there because there are so many reefers that are coming in that nobody wants to work with.
As a dispatcher, if you’re able to negotiate for more money with brokers and have that type of relationship with your Owner Operators so they can trust you, it means so much more than anything else. If you want to make money in the trucking industry teamwork makes the dream work! Being able to have somebody that can trust you, knowing that you’re going to pick the best load for them, and knowing that they’ll be responsible with the load means a lot in the trucking industry. You have to be able to get to know the person and sometimes know them personally.
I’ve been dispatching for about six years now and it’s important to understand that Owner Operators go through the same things as everybody else. Things can happen at home with their families when they’re out on the road and if you’re a dispatcher you need to understand that – you can’t have a cold heart. In whatever I do I truly believe that you need to have mutual respect with your driver. There is a personal line some people think shouldn’t be crossed, so you have to understand that and respect people’s boundaries. You still need to develop a good personal relationship though so you can take care of the Owner Operators and know their needs.
Safety is the most important thing a driver can focus on when starting a trucking career. They need to make sure that they maintain their equipment to prevent breakdowns while out on the road. Ignoring your daily maintenance creates issues like becoming late to deliveries, and it will inevitably keep building up. A reputable trucking company will always work with an Owner Operator to help remind them of their wear and tear.
The first thing I learned when I was starting a trucking career and became a dispatcher was tracking and tracing. I strongly believe in tracking and tracing because you need to know the cities your driver is going through, your driver’s hours, and of course where the good loads are located. Calling your drivers on a regular basis is also a good opportunity to get to know them. It’s very important because it teaches you not just to call the Owner Operator and ask ‘where are you at’ or ‘what you’re doing’ but instead to ask ‘how are you doing?’ or ‘is everything okay?’ It creates an easy way to talk to the driver in the beginning for me.
The difference between a good dispatcher and a bad one is that a bad dispatcher just books loads. A good one talks to their drivers, sends emails to the brokers to let them know where the Owner Operator is at, they can learn the systems of the company, and so on. A good dispatcher is someone who not only cares about making the most money for their Owner Operators but also looks at the driver’s preferences of how they want to run their truck. There are Owner Operators I’ve taken care of that can’t go to high mountain places because of the oxygen level, in that instance that’s something you need to know before booking a load for them.
To make money in the trucking industry you need to understand what the Owner Operator needs and what they don’t need. This also ties into how you speak to them. The Owner Operator needs to know that they’re driving with a reputable trucking company and a lot of that comes down to how an Owner Operator is treated. The way you speak to a driver should always be with respect. A great dispatcher can be open and know that the needs of the Owner Operator are important. A bad dispatcher is someone who doesn’t care where they send their truck, and they don’t communicate with any sense of direction or respect.
Being in the trucking industry, I know that there’s a lot of options. I always say to look at what’s best for you and what places can find you the most money. If an Owner Operator is not happy you’re always going to hear them complain. The most important thing is to try to make the Owner Operator happy, even if everything cannot be catered to them. Your relationship with your Owner Operators has to be open, trustworthy and understanding. To be able to make money in the trucking industry you’re not always going to get what you want as a driver or dispatcher, but when you work for it together it becomes that much more rewarding.