As drivers we know how difficult it is when we get caught without a shipment. Often, it’s easy to become frustrated and impatient when you’re stuck in a particular location and waiting for your dispatcher to call you with your next load. If you’re a company driver or owner operator leased to a carrier, you may not know what all goes into working for your shipment in the back office.

I’ve been the owner of my trucking company for 17 years and make no mistake; this is not an easy business. Along with drivers and shippers, trucking companies deal with many people in order to get the job done. As an Independent owner operator, I’m fortunate to have my wife be part of this business. As she will tell you, her responsibilities throughout the years have been at home base handling everything other than driving the truck and maintenance.

If you’re a driver and stuck without a load, it may seem as if your load planner/dispatcher is not working to get you a load. Keep this in mind; if you’re truck isn’t moving, the carrier isn’t making money. I’ve watched my wife work on the phone/computer countless hours to get our drivers profitable loads and shipments so they could be home for the weekends with their families. She developed a solid customer base so that we and our drivers could make more money and therefore we rarely had to count on brokered loads. However, at times when a shipment canceled or was rescheduled, she needed to find a load. Her duty was to keep the trucks rolling for profits while taking care of driver issues and making sure that he/she had plenty of home time. Drivers requested home time for children’s school events, birthdays, vacation, anniversaries, holidays etc… Karen was always accommodating and worked many extra hours to logistically make sure they made it home on time.

The office staff of a trucking company has many responsibilities. They are often “caught in the middle” of duties between keeping the driver happy as well as their customers/shippers. There is a balance needed in order to keep profits flowing and drivers happy
The next time you’re waiting for a load assignment, it’s really in everyone’s best interest to get you rolling as quickly as possible.

Comments (5)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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I had two trucks of my own and five owner operators at one time.They learned a lot during their time with us and now operate on their own authority.

May 01, 2013 19:26:58 PM

You can ask Karen at the show in Dallas later this year.

May 01, 2013 19:23:35 PM

Nice thought out article! And you are correct the office folks are in the middle between the drivers, the customers and upper management and no control over any of them. It takes a lot of skill to keep all three happy at the same time but that's what successful dispatchers do. Like good drivers, if you have a good dispatcher, you better take care of them.

April 25, 2013 10:49:22 AM

Is Karen looking for more work? I'd love some help with the dispatching process!

April 24, 2013 17:38:52 PM

How many trucks do you own? I know at one time you had two. If your business is going I think that is wonderful. Also sounds like your wife is an excellent business partner!

April 23, 2013 8:26:23 AM