A Reddit poster, also a fleet manager, recently posed the statement,
I manage 120 drivers and 100 trucks on dedicated automotive routes. What sorts of things do your fleet managers and dispatchers do that makes your jobs harder and easier. All feedback is welcome."
We thought this was an interesting question and we wanted to extract the most valuable answers for our readers to ponder.
"All I can say is do listen to your drivers when they tell you the situation on the ground. If they say there is a problem at a shipper or receiver, take their word on it and most of all keep them informed on what your doing to resolve it. Radio-silence is hugely frustrating on the driver's end because you feel like nothing is being done, while I know damn well everyone is working like mad to get it fixed in the office."
"Just having your dispatchers send a few words every 10-15 minutes or so (if you've got Qualcomm or something similar) or a call up to let them know the score after about 30 minutes or so. It lets them know they are not forgotten, and if you can give them something they can work from their end to resolve the situation. Some drivers will groan about having to do 'your job' but it keeps them participatory and involved in fixing the problem."
"Don't punish people for not going the extra mile, but also don't look to those people to do the extraordinary."
"No matter how bad it is tell the driver the truth."
"Make sure the driver has enough hours to make the pickup/delivery times. Many times he had to refuse a load because they're was no possible way to make it oh time with the amount if hours left."
"Average speeds are only possible in good weather/rural areas!"
"Try to get to know your drivers. Some drivers want as many miles as possible, some need more regular sleep. Some might want to run hard for a few weeks, then might need a slow day or two. A driver that loves running nights might need a break from them every once in a while. For some gone time is very important, others but not much."
"Answer the phone. When a driver tells you they can't make an appointment time it's probably because they can't fucking make it. Listen to them and help them resolve the issue early. Don't just ignore it until your shift is over and hope it gets resolved before you come back."
"Go out as a passenger with a driver. Watch him coordinate with dispatch. See first hand the issues we face. It will help you do your job."
For more thoughts, take a look at the Reddit thread.