Adventures in Dispatch - Tales from a South Dakota Trucking Company
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a trucking dispatcher? They experience the good, the bad, and the ugly of life on the road; and, at K&J Trucking, they try to do it all with a smile on their face. Read on as our dispatchers share some stories of what dispatching is really like at a South Dakota trucking company like K&J.
You Get Used to the Noise
When you step into the K&J Trucking Sioux Falls dispatch office you will probably hear three things: talking, ringing phones, and typing. Dispatcher, Mike Bose explains what a typical day looks like for a dispatcher, "When we come in, the first thing we do is look at yesterday's trucks and ensure that they got where they were supposed to go. Then we check in with today's trucks to make sure that they are getting where they are supposed to be so they can pick up the loads we have planned for them."
Whatever they are working on, dispatch has to be prepared for interruptions. They come all the time. Dispatchers are regularly fielding calls from drivers that have encountered issues or setbacks on the road. Sometimes it is something simple and other times it requires a lot of legwork. One example is family emergencies.
K&J Dispatch prides themselves in doing a great job of routing trucks back in cases of family emergencies; even if that means that dispatchers are bending over backwards. They try to make sure drivers are treated like a member of the family.
"To be honest, sometimes it is honestly frustrating doing this job," Bose laughed. "But when you can get someone the load that they want, going to the area of the country that they want to visit, that is when it is super rewarding. If we can, we love to help our drivers get to where they want to go. If they would naturally go there anyway to visit family, they may as well drive truck there, get paid and help K&J deliver loads."
The Search for Freight
The other portion of a dispatchers time is filled with searching for freight. Don Ihler remembers a story from a former employee they were training to book freight. One day while Ihler was away at lunch, the new dispatcher booked his first load to the Bronx and was quite proud of himself. That is, until he learned that K&J Trucking doesn't service the New York City area. "We had fun joking around about that for a long time," Ihler said. "But, it was a good learning experience for him and he went on to be quite successful here."
They Hear All the Stories
Dispatchers are often the first to hear about the interesting things that happen on the road. Ihler remembers one driver who saved a family from a tornado in Nebraska. Apparently the K&J driver saw a vehicle on the side of the road hoping to wait out the storm. He knew that there was no way the car would make it through the tornado. The truck driver then got out of his truck, pounded on the window and convinced the family that they needed to get out of the car and into the ditch with him. "They huddled together near the fence line and watched as their car got picked up and thrown," Ihler said. "I'm totally convinced that he saved that family."
More Than a Number
Truck dispatching can be a stressful job, but the dispatchers at K&J Trucking try to see the bigger picture. "At K&J our drivers are never a number to us. We know them by name and we have inside jokes with them. They share their lives with us and we are family," Cynthia Pischke said. "I once had a driver ask if I had kids and I said, 'Why would I when I have 95 of you right here driving me crazy?'"
There isn't a single area of our lives that isn't touched by the trucking industry; and dispatchers help run it all. So if you haven't thanked a dispatcher lately, comment below and let them know that their hard work matters!
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