If you’re ambitious and dream of being your own boss, then a career owning and managing a fleet of trucks may be for you. Of course, being a fleet owner is not something you should do without first having experience in the trucking industry. That said, you may be wondering what type of experience will serve you best.
While many fleet owners start off as truck drivers, you can also find success as a fleet owner if you first train and work as a dispatcher. In fact, dispatchers have a number of advantages when it comes to running a fleet. Read on to learn a few of those advantages.
As a Dispatcher, You’ll Understand the Common Challenges Drivers Encounter
A dispatcher is like the middleman between a fleet’s drivers and its managers. As a dispatcher, you’ll be in frequent communication with drivers, by directing them where to go and listening to what challenges they are encountering. This constant communication will give you an indication of some of the obstacles drivers frequently face and how these impact management decisions. For instance, you’ll get an idea of how many trips drivers are able to complete in a given day, what sort of unforeseen circumstances (like repairs, accidents, and breakdowns) occur, and other practicalities that can affect a fleet’s bottom line. In turn, this can help you make decisions as a fleet owner, such as how many deliveries to schedule in a given day and how many drivers and vehicles you will need.
Being a Dispatcher Gives You Insight Into How Fleets Are Managed
As that middle person, you’ll also have a lot of interaction with fleet management when working as a dispatcher. Your contact with management can give you valuable insights into how a fleet is run, including what rates are charged, how fuel costs are managed, and what insurance and background checks are required for hiring drivers and buying new vehicles.
Your experience with the management side of the business will vary depending on the company you work for after completing your dispatcher courses, but you’ll get a good idea of some of the big decisions that fleet operators have to make. For instance, if you dispatch for a fleet that primarily leases its vehicles, you can find out what advantages and disadvantages leasing offers over owning. You can also get a sense of how many trucks you will need in order to complete a given number of deliveries or to reach a target amount of revenue.
Building Relationships After Dispatcher Training Can Help With Driver Recruitment
As you may learn during your dispatch training, dispatchers spend a lot of time talking with drivers. This gives them unique insights into what drivers want and don’t want from their jobs. This information can prove a huge advantage when it comes to recruiting drivers. Given the current shortage of truck drivers across North America, recruitment is one of the biggest challenges of running a fleet. By talking to drivers, you can figure out what aspects of your company are most likely to attract new employees.
Sometimes, you may be surprised by what is most important to drivers. For example, while you may assume that salary is a top concern for most drivers, when talking to them, you may find that many are equally concerned about other factors, such as how much time off they are allotted and the types of vehicles they will drive. That sort of knowledge can help you determine important business decisions when you start a fleet business, such as which vehicles you should purchase and what benefits you can offer potential drivers.
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