Sat. May 25th, 2024

Truck dispatchers are essential for your trucking business if you really want it to prosper. Think of them as your helping hand: dispatchers manage all the logistics and create the most optimized ways for drivers to do their job. Hiring a dispatcher is your power move ‒ you get the best-paying freights, proper truck maintenance that complies with federal law, and, of course, more clients.

Yes, you get more clients ‒ dispatchers are great freight finders! Often they come with a list of clients they trust, providing you with stable and big loads. Having a dispatcher will ensure you have a decent revenue no matter the season.

The struggle of being a truck driver

Truck drivers basically live on the road, jumping from one route onto another. Their trucks are basically their family members in terms of taking care of and spending a lot of time together. Trucking takes over most of the time ‒ if you have a family that waits for you, managing your time becomes quite a challenge.

Additionally, you cannot just pretend you don’t care about your truck ‒ it’s what keeps you fed! If there are major issues with your truck, you go out of service, meaning you’ll lose a big part of your revenue to the time you’re not taking any loads. The worst thing is when your truck breaks in the middle of your route ‒ this kind of delay is really the worst, and most of the time it happens due to the serious lack of maintenance.

So, as a driver, how can you manage your primary job responsibilities, truck maintenance, route management, and some of the paperwork? The lack of time is the main struggle of every truck driver ‒ you just can’t be everywhere at once.

And if you break down far away from the delivery point, you really need someone to help you. This is where you really need a good dispatcher.

The dispatcher’s primary responsibility is to ensure everything goes safely and smoothly. And if it’s not, it’s also their responsibility to fix most of the issues. Even if it’s the middle of the night and you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, a decent dispatcher will take care of everything to make sure there are no serious delivery delays and no harmful impact on the business.

How can a truck dispatcher improve your trucking experience?

If you’re an independent trucker, a dispatcher is someone you really want to have around. There are several reasons for this conclusion:

  1. You need a backup ‒ always! Things can get unpredictably bad at any moment, and instead of getting desperate, you’ll know that there’s a person who will take care of the issue. Managing big and small problems is essential in terms of maintaining a good business reputation, and a dispatcher is the best person to do that for you.
  2. You need more time. For family, for rest, for recovery ‒ everything has to be healthy (and actually, it’s written in the law). The dispatcher’s job is also about scheduling freights in a smart way to make sure you as a driver get enough sleep and recreation time.
  3. You have to stay informed. Weather and traffic conditions, roadworks, and any changes that might affect your route are just the kind of stuff a dispatcher takes care of. This way, your routes are better organized and you remain informed about the situation on the road.

If you’re not the only driver in the trucking company, a dispatcher will figure out the best schedule that works for everyone and ensures there are no delays. Also, dispatchers take care of trucks and driver’s safety ‒ every company should treat these things seriously because there’s nothing worse than an out-of-service order when you have a lot of clients to take care of.

Dispatch services are fundamental for steady work in the trucking industry ‒ when you have a nice flow of clients, you cannot afford delays. Dispatchers are always there to help truck drivers, and hiring one is the best business decision that can be made in this industry.

Department of Transport and Federal Moto Carrier Safety Administration keep track of the safety records of trucking companies to monitor their safety requirements compliance and eliminate unsatisfactory companies from roads. This way, public roads get safer and trucking companies provide their drivers with better work conditions. Trucking safety should be maintained both by authorities and by trucking companies ‒ this is why safety records exist.

Safety records are relatively public data that contains information about crash reports, company ID, out-of-service summaries, and cargo information about trucking companies.

How to check if you comply to DOT requirements?

The DOT keeps an account of safety records to create safety ratings and eliminate dangerous elements from public roads.

Your trucking business should be compliant with DOT requirements in order to operate safely and legally. Foremost, check if you meet these fleet requirements:

  • you need to have a copy of relevant FMCSA safety rules in the company’s office;
  • your vehicles go through pre- and post-trip inspections, with results documentation;
  • you have a developed truck maintenance program with relevant documentation;
  • every truck has its DOT number on it as a part of vehicle marking;
  • every road incident is reported and documented in records.

Of course, drivers also have to meet safety criteria ‒ this is there as well as the company’s responsibility.

Drivers have to be provided with a copy of relevant FMCSA rules and have a signed agreement to follow said regulations. Also, the company has to keep track of safety history and qualification data for each driver, as well as hours of service (this implies that every driver should have a registered ELD).

Every driver has to go through DOT drug testing before employment ‒ the results should be documented just like any accidents of alcohol or drug abuse from their previous jobs.

These two lists cover it all. If your company meets all of these criteria, you’re on the safe side ‒ make sure you review compliance on a regular basis.

The best way to check compliance is to use FMCSA data record systems. FMCSA website advises using these two services among the others: The Company Snapshot and Safety Measurement System (SMS).

The first service is free to use ‒ you can type DOT number or company name and get records about your company’s safety records as well as crash data and out-of-service summary.

With SMS, you can also type the company’s DOT number or name and get more insight into crash reports, investigation data, and roadside inspections from the last two years. FMCSA uses this information to assess the risks and keep track of violations.

Why are safety records so important?

Checking your safety records from time to time ensures your trucking company avoids legal problems with regulator authorities and maintains your business. Knowing your risks is important ‒ evidence of safety rules violations can even discontinue your company’s license.

Take care of your drivers and customers ‒ check your safety records regularly and make sure you maintain a decent image in the eyes of your customers and transport authorities.

  1. How to find a company security certificate?

The company’s safety ratings can be found on the SAFER website. You can view the safety rating of any vehicle carrier with an active US DOT number. Click the “Company Snapshot” button and search for an operator by US DOT number, MC number, or name.

  1. What is a good CSA for a shipping company?

What is a good CSA score? You want to stay below that 65 percent pool, and if you are a hazard bearer, you must keep it below 60 percent. In addition, for each major violation, you are assigned a severity weight that reflects the risk of an accident for you or your truck.

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