Like it or not, your dispatcher will be one of the most important professional relationships that you have as a commercial driver. They are the ones who assign the loads and they also play a large role in what your paycheck looks like. The first step in getting along with your dispatcher is to understand where they are coming from. Their job can be just as stressful as yours, and they can feel immense pressure to please the customers and the drivers. Always try your best to be courteous and understanding and prove to your dispatcher that you are someone that they can rely on. Looking to improve your relationship with your dispatcher? Read on!
Don’t ever make promises that you cannot keep. As the driver, you will have a better understanding of potential slow-downs and obstacles than your dispatcher. It is important that you are always honest with them and explain any obstacles that you foresee. Never tell them that you simply can’t do a task though. Try saying something like, “I will try my very best to meet that goal but I want to let you know that these potential obstacles may arise.” In this instance, you are keeping your dispatcher in the loop without promising them anything unrealistic. Broken promises will just make you seem unreliable and will ruffle feathers, so be careful when making them.
Dealing with Pressure:
In a perfect world, your dispatcher would never pressure you to accept crazy delivery schedules or to run the truck when you are tired. Unfortunately, that isn’t the world we live in. Safety always needs to come first, so don’t allow yourself to be pressured or bullied into accepting unrealistic delivery schedules. If your dispatcher is trying to force you to run when you are tired or when the conditions are unsafe, consider speaking with the safety supervisor, who will help to resolve the issue.
It’s also a good idea to keep all communications between you and your dispatcher in the event that a problem ever does arise. For instance, if you message your dispatcher and say that you are too tired to make a delivery and they try to force you to carry on, that proof will help you when you bring the instance to the attention of your dispatcher’s supervisors.
It is the dispatcher’s job to make sure that you have all necessary trip and delivery information. Sometimes the plan can change, and the dispatcher will want to know that you have received their messages. Try to respond to messages in a timely manner so that your dispatcher isn’t left wondering if you are on the same page.
It is also important that you learn to speak up. Communication is the key to every good relationship. If a mistake was made or if there are loads you don’t prefer, be open and honest. Most dispatchers want to receive feedback and they also want to maintain good relationships with all of their drivers. Remember that people are more inclined to help you when you are polite to them. Don’t cuss and yell because that will lessen the impact of the point you are actually trying to make.
Try not to call your dispatcher unnecessarily because you didn’t check your messages or are delayed due to something you should have fixed during your pre-trip inspection. You are supposed to be a professional, so don’t expect your hand to be held. As you gain more experience in the industry, you should be more capable to solving your own problems.
Be a Team Player:
Never be overly selfish. Understand that there will be times when your dispatcher will ask you to do something that you may not like. Don’t take it personally. Sometimes situations come up where your dispatcher is out of options and simply cannot please everyone. Accept runs that you don’t like to help them out and be a team player. Everything can’t be all about you all the time. If you come across as being hard to work with or selfish then you may be overlooked for high-paying runs in the future.
Learning to get along with your dispatcher will not only make your job easier, but may also help make you more money. Try your best to become their “go-to” driver by being one of the most reliable and efficient workers on their team.
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