Big Trucking Companies
We’ve all heard it on the CB, in the forums and at the truck stops. Every driver has something clever to say about any one of the trucking companies out there. Whether you work for Schneider, JB Hunt, FedEx or even Swift, you have heard it all. You may have even driven for one of these “big” trucking companies and feel betrayed by something that happened between you and someone in the office. You may have seen some of these bigger trucking companies drivers get into frequent accidents. Or you have seen their drivers making some dumb mistakes. You have to remember that you too were a rookie once too. And the horrid training conditions that are in place for new drivers are not benefiting anyone. I am not here to defend any of these trucking companies, I am going to hopefully enlighten you. And try to help you stay positive in a possibly negative situation.
Honestly, in my opinion, most of the trucking companies out there are actually the same. You will have dispatchers that have never driven and don’t have a clue. You will have silly company policies you have to abide by. And you will just have “those days” where it seems the world is against you. Don’t let this stuff discourage you from your purpose on the road. You are out there to earn money and support your family. My philosophy has always been to work for a trucking company that has a big freight network. This means that if you hold up to your end of the deal you should be getting miles in return. What is your end of the deal? Your part of the deal is to have a good attitude, drive safe and be efficient. Their part of the deal is to give you the miles to run to make money.
The next time you get a load that has short miles, don’t get all upset and reject it or complain. Remember, you are away from your home and you are a truck driver. It is your job to pickup and deliver freight and the short miles you receive are indeed freight. What would happen to a school janitor if they said to their boss they were not going to clean the bathrooms because they simply don’t clean bathrooms. They would probably end up looking for other employment. This is no different than you rejecting a short mile run just because you don’t run short miles. Typically with my experience, the dispatcher just needs some help. If you provide the help that they need, you will generally be rewarded with a longer mile run. And that dispatcher may just remember you the next time you come around and give you a longer run because you did them a favor. If you reject their load though, you will probably just sit and you will definitely get remembered for being difficult.
The office staff at trucking companies are generally filled with a few ex-drivers and mostly people that have no clue. They all have their different personalities just like all of us drivers have different personalities. After all, we are dealing with the human factor here. None of us humans are perfect. And even though you are upset with them at times, you should probably try to politely educate them on your situation. If you are having a personality clash with your dispatcher, then you should be able to bring this matter to the attention of someone at the company and they can make a switch. And if you have been behaving yourself I do not see why helping you out would be much of a problem at all. But, if you have been stirring the pot constantly you will probably not get the help that you need to succeed. Little things that eat at you turn into big things over time and our minds our definitely our own worst enemies. We can start with a coffee spill or a traffic jam and that can turn into Armageddon! It is not unhealthy to voice your displeasure with things, but use your spouse or a buddy. Generally they can help talk you down from the edge. Then when you are ready to communicate effectively, give your dispatcher that call.
Whatever the issue is with any of the trucking companies out there, I can guarantee you that the grass is not greener on the other side. Really, it is the same. It is up to you to make the best of it. If you develop good working relationships with the people at your company and help them out when they need you. They in turn will help you out when you need it. I have had several experiences at my company where I brought a concern of mine to the boss at the terminal. As long as I was calm and had a good attitude and my request was not unreasonable, it was met with cooperation. However, whenever I have gotten upset and started huffing and puffing, usually my concern was met with defiance and eventually threats. Getting upset is not the way we can get our trucking companies to work with us. If it helps, just think about the time you have to spend in front of the office people. It is very small compared to being out on the road.
Whichever one of the trucking companies you work for, take pride in yourself. It does not matter what the name is on the door. It matters who drives the truck. The truck drivers make the trucking companies. Don’t let the attitudes of a small portion of people get you down. There are good and bad drivers at all of the trucking companies. There are good and bad dispatchers at all of the trucking companies. They are all the same. The difference is YOU! Make the best of wherever you are at. Take care of your business. Your business is to drive miles, earn money and take care of your family. You will be much happier and healthier in life if you keep a good attitude.
As always, let me know what you think. Questions, comments or concerns in the comments section. We will see you out on these snowy roads and be safe out there!