Dispatch pros know that when an important shipment of goods needs delivering within a tight deadline, drivers may have to make an extra-long trip, all in one shot, to get the job done.
Even though there are hours of service regulations (HOS) in place to help prevent driver fatigue, driving for 9 or 10 hours straight can make anyone’s eyelids start to feel heavy!
If you’re planning to train for a career in dispatch, you’ll learn that staying in contact with drivers while they’re on the road is an important part of the job. Here are a few tips students learn for helping drivers stay sharp during long hauls.
Dispatch Training Teaches Effective Route Planning Techniques
During dispatch training you’ll learn about route planning, which basically means finding the most efficient way to get freight from point A to point B. Effective route planning involves factoring-in variables like driving distance, weather conditions, highway construction, and more.
When deliveries require drives that are longer than usual, dispatchers also use route planning to strategically plan breaks for a driver, which helps avoid excessive fatigue (and the dangers that go along with it). Sometimes, just getting out of the cab for a few minutes to stretch their legs, get some fresh air, or grab a coffee can help drivers stay alert.
Pros with Dispatch Training Perform Regular Radio Check-ins
Anyone working in the transportation industry knows that when drivers are busy – so are dispatchers! On any given day, you could have several drivers out on the road, which means numerous delivery schedules and driving routes you’ll need to help oversee.
When one of your drivers is on a longer trip, checking in with them regularly by radio or phone is helpful for preventing fatigue. Even if the ride’s going smoothly and there’s not much to update them about, a little human interaction can go a long way to keeping their senses sharp.
When dispatchers know in advance that a driver is planning a long drive, they may set predetermined check-in times with him or her – say once every hour or so – to ensure alertness.
Dispatchers May Schedule Multiple Drivers for Long Hauls
In your dispatch course you’ll learn that some Canadian freight companies deliver loads across the country, or even to far ends of the United States. Depending on the schedule for long hauls like these, dispatchers may schedule more than one driver to carry out the delivery. Having two drivers in the same truck can double the driving distance covered in a single day.
The truck will make longer distances without having to stop, giving the team a better chance of meeting tight delivery deadlines. And crucially, the drivers can talk to and monitor one another, which is another great way to keep on-the-road fatigue at bay.
Looking for dispatch schools that will prepare you for a successful career in transportation?
Visit ATC to learn more about our program, or get in touch with an advisor today!