The job of trucking dispatchers is integral to managing construction logistics. Without strong dispatchers, projects fall apart. Dispatchers often work their way through the ranks of an organization and know the business inside and out - because they have to.
But learning how to be a successful trucking dispatcher can be quite a trial, and mistakes can be costly - both to your employer and your career. Fortunately, dispatchers who are looking to improve their game can sidestep many of the difficulties by following a few key guidelines. We'll walk you through some of our best dispatcher tips to stand out among your colleagues.
1. Know Your Market
Local knowledge is one of the biggest assets you can have as a dispatcher. This includes knowing the best routes and shortcuts, as well as having a firm memory of current pricing. This knowledge will enable you to make the most efficient dispatching decisions on the fly - a valuable ability since time is of the essence for most contractors and haulers.
But most importantly, it's most important to know your area's truckers. Who can always be counted on to show up when and where they're needed? Who is the most professional and organized? Who is highly skilled and can get the job done in tough conditions. Having a firm grasp of who is dependable can help you consistently make good hires, allowing you to keep both your drivers and your contractors happy.
2. Manage the Chaos
Dispatching trucks is hectic work. Your desk is always flooded with paperwork. Job changes will come in at a moment's notice. And it will be up to you to coordinate between multiple schedules to accommodate a project's timeline. Your phone will be ringing off the hook throughout your long workday, and you'll be expected to have all the answers to each challenge in the moment.
This is why staying organized and managing the chaos is one of the most important tools for success. You'll need to create a system that helps you stay organized, while ensuring that all the information you need is at your fingertips.
3. Be Patient
When things go wrong on a haul, you're often the one in the line of fire. If things go smoothly, you're in the clear. But as soon as there's a hiccup, the blame falls on your shoulders. This can make the job frustrating at times. It can be tempting to "fight back", but beware: you risk alienating your work contacts if you go too far.
It's best to be patient with people when disputes arise. Whether it's truckers, foremen, or other job site contacts, you need them on your side to keep excelling at your job. They will continue to be the people you have to coordinate with on a daily basis, so it's worth it to keep your cool.
4. Be a Great Communicator
The remote nature of your work makes it especially important to flex your communication skills. Whether you are working from a pickup truck, the dispatch office, or at home - you need to be sure that everyone knows where they are supposed to be and when they need to be there.
Make sure that you're getting the information you need from the construction crews and material producers. You'll be able to use their insights to decide whether or not you need to scale trucking up or down. It will also be valuable for keeping your truckers informed of all the details they need to pull off successful hauls.
5. Leverage Technology
In a job this complex, getting by with scratch pads and phone calls isn't going to cut it. You can significantly amp up your efficiency when you make use of specialized tech.
Today, there are transport logistics management programs created to make dispatching so much simpler. It's worth looking into these apps and software to see which one can help you get the most done, in the most streamlined manner possible. If you choose carefully, you can see major improvements in your work performance and the results you get out in the field.
Outperform Your Peers with TRUX
It's easy to stand out among your fellow dispatchers when you've got the right tools on your side. TRUX is one of the industry's most effective platforms for managing every aspect of dump trucks and hauling jobs. From driver assignments to invoice processing, TRUX allows you to accomplish all of your most important tasks through a single portal, giving you a smoother workflow that always stays clear - even when projects get complicated.
Dispatchers who use TRUX love its powerful features:
- Local hauler network and favorite lists
- Easy reordering
- Drag-and-drop hauler assignments
- Schedule planning
- Job instruction fields
- Coordinated communication between all relevant parties
- Digital e-ticketing
- Automatic load slip and invoice processing
- Automatic compliance management
- GPS route tracking
- Order delivery tracking
- Cycle time analysis
By integrating TRUX into your work process, you can get your daily tasks done faster and with far less hassle. Breeze through your dispatch assignments and get everyone on the same page, without dozens of phone calls, miscommunications, or no-shows. You'll get a chance to cut down on your stress, leave the office in time for dinner, and do it all while impressing your team.
If you're ready to revolutionize the way you dispatch, tell your boss you need TRUX.
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