Truck dispatchers are responsible for coordinating the movements of trucks that are entering terminals. Dispatchers communicate with truck drivers through computers, phones or two-way radios, and will assign drivers to trucks and make sure that they leave and arrive on schedule. Truck dispatchers are available at all times to answer any questions from drivers, help them avoid traffic jams and keep them aware of inclement weather ahead.
Truck dispatchers are required to have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. Many truck dispatchers begin their career as drivers, where they learn driving regulations and the ins and outs of a trucking company’s operations. If a driver develops an interest in becoming a dispatcher and shows a proficiency in this field, it can lead to a promotion as a dispatcher. Once given the job, dispatchers will receive on-the-job training.
Dispatchers keep track of the progress that drivers make along their route by using large control boards in a company’s office. Truck dispatchers will also check drivers in and out of terminals and transfer the trip records into a company’s files. Not only do dispatchers deal with drivers on a daily basis, but they must handle any requests and complaints from customers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck dispatchers are required to have strong communication skills and the ability to work under pressure. Dispatchers must be able to speak clearly, so that they can be easily understood by drivers. Truck dispatchers can receive in influx of calls and problems at the same time and need to stay organized and prioritize the order of calls.
Truck dispatchers generally work a 40-hour week, and spend long periods of time sitting at their desk. Dispatchers work on a rotational basis, including nights, weekends and holidays, in order to accommodate the drivers who are constantly on the road.
SimplyHired.com shows that the average salary for a truck dispatcher is $30,000 per year as of 2014. Individuals who remain with the same company for a number of years and demonstrate the ability to handle assignments efficiently and effectively, can find promotional opportunities as truck terminal managers.