Hi, my name is Angelica, I am a truck dispatcher at Status Transportation. I decided to become a dispatcher about two and a half or three years ago. A friend came to me about a position she had for a job dispatching box trucks. It’s very similar to owner operator trucking jobs because it’s the same style of dispatching, the difference it’s just the commodity and the size of the freight that you can haul. I did that from home and that opened up something for me that I really enjoy doing as a dispatcher.
To be a good owner operator dispatcher you definitely need to have good communication skills, organization is a very important part, as well as being able to handle a fast paced environment. On a day to day basis dispatchers deal with different customers and different people, and you need to know how to handle their customer service differences. As a dispatcher, you must know your owner operator truck driver well enough to know his needs, that way you’ll know if it’s worth taking a load based on how much it’s paying and the area where you are going.
I don’t think I have a certain strategy that’ll help me find a good load, instead what I like to do is get to know my drivers well enough that I know what they like, what they’ll scale, and what areas we want to be in. I talk to my drivers a lot before booking a load so that I know how to find the next load. Also, I try to keep good communication with certain customers so that they can always think of me as a reliable motor carrier when it comes to offering the best load possible.
Advice when starting off as a dispatcher, it’s not easy, it’s definitely something that will make or break somebody when it comes to customer service. Also, having the energy, you have to be willing to get going. You gotta get your truck going, you need to get the best load, you gotta do it very quickly and you have to know what you want. You definitely need patience, and at the same time, you need to have an open mind that maybe if you take a load to an area where you don’t think might be good you’ll come out in a better outcome for the next load possible. Sometimes you have to take a hit to get to where you need to be the next day and make the owner operator pay that you need to make.
Being a dispatcher has its goods and its bads, definitely, there is more good than bad. When you have an appointment to meet, whether it be a pickup or delivery you do have to make sure that your owner operators can make it. It could happen that you can’t meet those times or something may happen along the way. For example, the driver may break down and you do have to be quick and let the customer know so that you can find alternative ways to get the product to where it needs to be. But on the other hand, there is a fulfillment within yourself of knowing you are helping to move freight from one side of the country to the other and the fact that owner operators are making money and you are making money.
Some drivers love the traveling aspect of it, they send me pictures of the views and definitely is very fulfilling to have drivers that enjoy their owner operator jobs as much as you enjoy yours. Dispatching can be stressful it does have its bads, especially when they break down and you have to go out of pocket to pay or you can’t take the product to the area where they need it to be but it’s more good than bad definitely. Being a dispatcher is very fulfilling.
I feel that as a dispatcher it’s very important to have a friendship or some type of close connection with your drivers. Not only are you working with them all day, sometimes you talk to them after hours and you hear about their families and you know about their situation because you deal with them on a daily basis. It’s a good feeling to know your owner operators well enough to know what they want, what kind of loads they are looking for, and what kind of money they want to make. Having a good connection builds the type of trust where I can tell them look today we’re gonna take a hit but tomorrow we are going to be better. That way they’ll be more willing, more understanding, and know that you as a dispatcher are going to pull through for them. At the end of the week, they will make what they were planning on making no matter what issues may be throughout a load or throughout the week. That’s why it’s very important to have good communication and friendship with your owner operators.
For all the new owner operator truck drivers thinking about coming on to Status Transportation, I will definitely let them know that me as a dispatcher I do like communication with my drivers. I do like to feel as if I’m a friend or even as I say sometimes a work wife, just because sometimes they are more in communication with me than they are with their families. I do want to have that feeling that they can trust me and talk about what the next load might need to be, if they have to get somewhere or that they have to do something at the end of the month and you really need to make it home. I really like them to come to me and talk to me so we can plan.
I don’t like to force dispatch, I don’t like to make somebody take anything that they don’t want to take, so I like to know them and make sure that everything fits their needs as well as my needs as your dispatcher. I like to always make sure there is perfect communication and a good stand by with each other.