dispatching trucks receive calls for truck services, coordinate pickups and deliveries, and handle other logistics. They also rely on software to bill operations, track containers and complete other tasks.
As a truck dispatcher, you need to keep accurate records and comply with transportation regulations and safety standards. This helps you stay organized and reduce costs.
Dispatchers Communicate With Drivers
Dispatchers play an essential role in the trucking industry, as they are responsible for ensuring that freight is transported to its destination on time. They manage routes, schedule pickups and deliveries and monitor driver performance.
Whether you are a newbie or seasoned driver, it is important to communicate with your dispatcher in an effective manner. This can help you to avoid mistakes and miscommunications, which can result in delays and unnecessary costs.
One of the best ways to communicate with a dispatcher is to ask questions. This will allow the dispatcher to better understand what you need and to respond quickly. This can also make the trucking process more efficient for both parties.
Another way to communicate with your dispatcher is through email or text messaging. This is especially helpful if you have specific details about the load that can’t be relayed over the phone. In these cases, it’s often best to send a written message that can be referred to later.
It’s also a good idea to send messages regularly, preferably at least twice a day. This will ensure that your dispatcher is up to date on all of the information that’s relevant to your load.
When you call your dispatcher, be sure to provide them with your unit number and first name so they can identify you. This will save both you and your dispatcher a lot of time.
Besides the phone, you can also use email to share load information with your dispatcher. This can be a great way to keep your dispatcher up to date with rate confirmations and load details as they arrive.
Many dispatchers are also on the road and may not be able to answer your question right away. However, you should not give up. In most cases, a dispatcher is on the phone with 30 to 40 drivers at any given time.
To ensure that you’re always on the same page with your dispatcher, it’s important to build a strong relationship with them. This will go a long way in helping your trucking career progress smoothly. You should also be willing to give feedback to your dispatcher, so that they can improve their services.
They Manage Routes
A truck route is a series of stops that a driver must make to complete a delivery or pickup. These routes are typically created manually, but they can be automated with routing management software. The right route dispatching system will use real-time data to ensure trucks get where they need to go efficiently, saving fuel and reducing the number of miles they travel.
The process of routing involves combining the right freight with the right truck based on a number of factors, including destination, delivery windows and driver profiles. It also includes managing workloads and planning breaks so drivers don’t exceed maximum driving hours.
For this reason, many companies turn to Google Maps to plan routes for their trucks. However, this ‘quick and easy’ application is not suitable for truck route planning because it does not account for the difference in driving time between vehicles. It also does not include all of the restrictions that truck drivers face, such as sharp turns, steep inclines and low-clearance bridges.
With routing management software, dispatchers can quickly and easily create routes with multiple stops that are suited to each driver’s abilities and schedule. These routes can be exported to other applications, such as Excel, Google Drive, and Garmin.
Once the routes have been created, the dispatcher can monitor their progress in near real-time and make necessary edits to accommodate any last-minute changes or timing issues that may come up. They can also view orders, stops and customer information on a map.
This software makes it easier for dispatchers to communicate with drivers, customers and managers while ensuring that deliveries are made on schedule. The software will notify all relevant parties when a delivery is ready for pick up or when a stop has been completed.
Dispatchers can also set up automatic notifications to alert customers when their delivery has been completed. They can also receive auto-notifications of work order progress and completion status, which enables them to invoice clients immediately after a delivery has been completed.
The process of routing can be made much easier with a solution that allows dispatchers to easily manage 2-5 times more vehicles in the same amount of time, allowing them to increase the number of deliveries and services their fleet provides while increasing efficiency. For example, Digital Dispatcher’s route optimization tool uses a mobile application and is affordable and quick to deploy with no long-term commitment.
They Schedule Pickups and Deliveries
Dispatchers use GPS, mapping, and logistics software to develop efficient routes that meet their company’s delivery schedules. They also serve as liaisons between drivers and customers and manage last-minute logistics issues and scheduling changes.
A dispatcher needs a strong understanding of the area where their trucking company operates, including major thoroughfares, height and weight restrictions and road conditions. They also need the ability to resolve unexpected issues with their delivery routes quickly.
In addition to planning deliveries, dispatchers also provide customer support and handle billing paperwork for the shipping company. They can also find loads for their trucks through freight brokers and load boards.
To be successful as a dispatcher, you must have good communications skills and thrive under pressure. You should complete a professional training program before you start working in this field.
The American Logistics Academy offers a variety of truck dispatching training courses for new dispatchers, including on-site and online options. The courses teach you the basic principles of truck dispatching and cover topics such as dispatch protocols, computer programs, and route management.
Dispatch software, such as OptimoRoute, uses real-time traffic information and detailed data on road conditions to plan routes. It also considers historical loading times and other factors, generating precise ETAs and schedules.
Another important aspect of a dispatcher’s job is to ensure the safety of their drivers. They should add driver breaks to their schedules as soon as possible and comply with regulations. This helps their drivers stay happy and healthy while on the road.
A dispatcher should be able to communicate effectively with drivers and customers, and they must be flexible enough to change their schedules as needed. They should be able to respond to emergencies quickly, as well.
Dispatchers can also help emergency responders by providing them with elapsed time notifications and personnel accountability reports. These notifications are a vital part of situational awareness and can be especially helpful in situations where the caller is disoriented or unable to communicate clearly. They can help a dispatcher quickly construct a plan of action that could save lives, or help a response team get to an emergency site quickly.
They Monitor Drivers
Dispatchers monitor drivers throughout the day, checking on their loads, routes, and orders. This is a critical part of their job because it ensures that all deliveries are made on time and that all drivers are paid for their work.
Using a dispatching software solution that uses GPS tracking allows dispatchers to see where their drivers are, how long it takes them to get there and if they’re on schedule or behind. This gives them peace of mind and helps them make the best decisions possible.
At Interstate Distributor, a carrier based in Kansas City, Missouri, dispatchers use software from McLeod Software to track their drivers’ hours of service and to assign loads according to drivers’ availability. It also provides drivers with instructions on their routes and sends them updates on load progress.
For instance, when there’s a snowstorm, a dispatcher may advise drivers to stay off the roads and take rest stops in case their truck breaks down. She might also remind them to carry extra warm clothing, tire chains, a long tow chain and washer fluid to protect their equipment from icy conditions.
In addition, a dispatcher might tell them not to drive in packs because it can cause accidents. They also might suggest that drivers check their tires, wipers and mirrors before driving in heavy rain or snow.
Dispatcher training and years of experience can give dispatchers a sense of foresight about the potential dangers of different weather conditions. For example, they may inform a driver that it’s better to stick to main roads and avoid plowed areas because cars can follow them or because they might run out of gas before reaching the destination.
Some software companies, including Tripshot, make it easy for dispatchers to check a driver’s progress. They allow a driver to mark a ride “Complete” or “Cancelled” when they reach a geofence for the route they’ve been assigned.
Similarly, when a dispatcher changes an assignment for a driver, he or she can click on that change and re-route the delivery immediately. A notification is sent to the driver’s mobile device to let them know about the change, allowing them to update their schedule.