Dispatchers are the behind-the-scenes powerhouse that keeps the trucking industry on track. They put the needs of drivers before anything else, supporting them to get the miles they need to care for themselves and their families. We caught up with Josh Johnson, Driver Manager Team Lead and the 2022 Administrative Employee of the Year here at Carter Express, to learn more about a day in the life of a Carter Express dispatcher.
Dispatchers are hardworking, natural problem-solvers who aren’t afraid to make a decision. They have exceptional communication, cost-saving, multitasking, and computer skills that make them an invaluable resource. We are honored and proud to have had Josh on the Carter team for almost 15 years. A typical day begins with him checking drivers’ locations and hours-of-service statuses to ensure no violations occur. He spends the rest of his day taking calls from drivers with questions or concerns, supporting drivers and route managers, and ensuring our drivers get where they need to be, safely.
Knowing the driver
Creating a close relationship with their drivers is one of the most essential responsibilities of a dispatcher. Carter Express dispatchers are committed to understanding each driver’s preferences and needs so that they can best support them throughout a long, satisfying truck driving career. Building rapport with drivers makes everything run more smoothly and is a core principle at Carter – it’s also one of the reasons Josh decided to partner with us. “I’ve built so many great relationships with both office employees and drivers,” he said. “This place is truly a family atmosphere.”
On a daily basis, dispatchers make sure that deadlines are met, efficiency is improved, customers are happy, and – most importantly – that drivers get home safely. Dispatchers organize driver schedules to ensure that they can complete their routes safely and without violating hours-of-service regulations or making the driver feel undue stress. Josh provides Carter drivers with estimates of when they’ll get back from the route they’re running, how many miles/hours they’ll be on the road, and specs on parking, all to simplify their time in the driver’s seat. Dispatchers utilize their refined computer, time management, and cost-saving skills to create schedules that save the fleet time and money while saving the driver stress!
A significant aspect of being a dispatcher is multitasking and switching between various planning systems. Dispatchers use GPS, smartphones, bypass systems, and other management software to ensure complete harmony when planning routes for drivers. Good dispatchers also create feedback channels where drivers can give their input so it can be implemented going forward and the best driver experience can be cultivated!
Working as a dispatcher means you must maintain laser-like focus and always be one step ahead with knowledge of nearly everything so that you can be the best resource possible for drivers. The one piece of advice Josh has for dispatchers beginning their career? “Learn as much as you can in as many divisions as you can. Different issues will come at you each day. You have to stay calm and learn how to deal with the issues.”
Dispatchers are constantly working hard to schedule loads, take calls, closely monitor their drivers’ routes, and ensure their drivers are set up for success. They display extraordinary levels of organization, and adaptability and can solve complex problems in a time-efficient manner. This attitude of flexibility and quick thinking allows them to do what may be the most critical part of their job: keep everyone happy and keep everything moving!
Carter’s dispatchers always keep driver safety and satisfaction on their minds. If you’d like to learn more about how Carter prioritizes drivers, connect with us today.