The Driver-Dispatcher Relationship
Last time we talked about the relationship between the Broker and Dispatch, now let’s talk about the relationship between the dispatcher and the driver. Some may say there isn’t much to say, but I greatly disagree. Your relationship with the driver is very important and can make or break your day.
What you should know about the driver is that they are in their truck for hours at a time. Most of them are single drivers and so they are not just in their trucks for hours at a time but also by themselves. Now many may say that that’s what they signed up for. Some may say well I’m not in a truck but I am alone at work by myself for long hours at a time. None of these things matter. The thing that matters the most is the sacrifice that they give on the job.
Drivers are away from their family and love ones for sometimes weeks at a time. Most of them are not out there because they just love being on the road. Many are on the road to taking care of their family back home. I always say I never know what drivers are going through on the road. I know coming home from work is really hectic for me and I’m just in a car on the streets. People cut you off, drive crazy, and traffic can be stopped and go. I only can imagine doing this on the highway with 40,000 or more pounds on your back in an eighteen-wheeler.
When a driver calls into dispatch it’s to hear a friendly voice along with entrusting you with the information that you give them. Dispatchers are the middle man for brokers and drivers. With that being said the driver hopes that you are giving them the correct information. When I have drivers call in and just start talking about non-related load stuff. I just listen sometimes. A lot of drivers just want to vent. They may just need someone to pick up the phone and hear what they are going through.
Building a relationship between the dispatcher and the driver starts from day one. The day that the driver becomes a part of the team is when it starts. Become familiar with the driver. Learn their name. Find out if they prefer a nickname or just be called Mr. or Mrs. Driver. Find out how long they have been driving. Veteran drivers usually are set in their ways and have their way of doing things. See if there is something that you can do to make them comfortable with you.
After the driver and you have become acquainted now is the time for you to explain the position you play in the company. Rule of thumb always be upfront and don’t promise anything that you can’t produce. Drivers like brokers will respect you more if you are honest and upfront with them. Like all relationships with time, it will grow and develop more. Just remember drivers are the key ingredient to trucking. Without them, we have no job.
– LaChunda Hunter