- Truck dispatchers are essential in managing schedules, organizing shipments, and interacting with drivers and clients.
- Although no formal degree is necessary to work as a truck dispatcher, relevant training or experience may be advantageous.
- Dispatchers must feel at ease with a variety of equipment and software for the purpose of managing shipments and following drivers,
- To guarantee that goods arrive on time and in good shape, a dispatcher must be able to handle unforeseen difficulties and make prompt judgements.
Being a truck dispatcher is a job that many consider easy. While people have their own viewpoints, being a truck dispatcher is by no means an easy job. It requires one to be highly diligent and responsible.
Though let’s say that you have decided that being a truck dispatcher is the right job for you then, you would need a blog that tells you how to become a truck dispatcher. So, here you will learn how to get your dream job.
Current trends open up a window for inexperienced freight dispatchers that are passionate about their job. This is because the trucking industry is preparing to replace bad trucking dispatchers as they can cause massive problems in the supply chain.
Table of Content
Why Should You Make Your Career as a Truck Dispatcher?
The primary reason behind the selection of a career is usually a passion for the field. Though there are still other factors that attract many to the field of truck dispatching. Knowing these factors in depth will refine your judgment greatly.
1. Passion for truck dispatching
There are people that love working with trucks yet don’t want to shoulder the burden of directly operating one. Such people usually choose to end up as a truck dispatcher to fulfill their love for the industry.
You will also see those that are passionate about supply chain management serve as truck dispatchers as they know management very well. Overall those that want to be a part of the supply chain tend to become a truck dispatcher.
2. Financial incentives
While most would choose to be a truck dispatcher because of their interests, there are still others that choose the job for its financial incentives. The average salary of a dispatcher ranges from 30,000 to 60,000 USD per year which is certainly not bad for a desk job.
It is one of the few desk job fields that doesn’t explicitly require you to have a bachelor’s degree. It is a field that only asks you to be responsible and capable of handling fright issues effectively. A freight dispatcher also usually deals with tasks that are fairly straightforward and simple
Considering the salary rates, many people with nothing but a high school diploma wouldn’t hesitate to join the line to become a truck dispatcher. Truck dispatching is indeed a line of work where you could get paid more than average.
3. Remote work setting
Given that you have enough experience as a successful truck dispatcher, no company would hesitate to let you work remotely from home. This is yet another unique factor that makes the job of a truck dispatcher desirable.
A truck dispatcher job inherently requires you to be away from the people that you’re dealing with. This is because you will mostly be dealing with customers and drivers, both of whom are going to be away from the depot.
You can also choose to start your own business like other trucking dispatchers, to potentially earn more than a job. Though this requires previous experience working in the transportation industry.
4. Dynamic work environment
How do you mix the thrill and joy of a hands-on job with the simplicity and comfort of a desk job? By getting hired as a trucking dispatcher of course. While you wouldn’t be fright hauling yourself, you will serve as an integral link between the trucker and the customer.
Because truck dispatchers find their jobs interesting and engaging, they also tend to have greater job retention rates. Doing what you love on a daily basis is a boon that many desk job workers could only wish for.
What are the Responsibilities of a Truck Dispatcher?
Depending on who hires you, your responsibilities could swing drastically. Though you will mostly be hired by one of two entities. You will either be hired by owner-operators or by bigger shipping companies.
Since these employers require you to adopt different responsibilities, you need to know said responsibilities in depth. A freight dispatcher’s responsibilities will mainly be scouting free load boards or scheduling cargo.
If you are working for owner operators then, you will have to look out for gigs on a high-quality load board and dispatch relevant loads to the assigned drivers. If the work of an owner operator sounds lucrative to you, then you might be able to become a cargo van owner operator yourself.
Though if you are hired by a relatively established single company then, your job will be to simply dispatch various cargo loads to the company drivers without scouring a load board. While this is a more straightforward option, it lacks the thrill that some truck dispatchers look for. Here is the checklist for truck dispatchers that will help you understand more about the responsibilities.
How to Become a Dispatcher for Truck Drivers?
1. Get the required qualifications
You shouldn’t need anything other than a high school diploma to qualify for most truck dispatcher jobs, though some employers might require additional qualifications. Either way, something like an associate’s degree will surely boost your chances of getting hired.
You could also opt for a specialized truck dispatcher course if you want to refine your understanding and knowledge about the subject. Though you will have to make sure that you’re getting your course from an accredited institution for it to carry any weight.
2. Understand truck dispatch software
When you’re getting hired by a company they expect you to know the trucking industry and its related truck dispatching software inside out. This is an area where you cannot afford to disappoint your employers.
If you’re unsure of your dispatching abilities then it would be a good idea to invest in online courses that can teach you more about the industry software. You can also use the industry’s mapping and scheduling software to gain some hands-on experience yourself.
While you’re at it, you might also want to work on your computer skills as they do come into question during interviews. You also need to understand their routing software in depth so that you don’t run into any issues juggling multiple tasks on the job.
3. Gain relevant experience
Regardless of the field, one will have to gain experience in order to gain the trust of potential employers. This is especially true if you are applying as an independent truck dispatcher because the employer will have to doubly ensure that you’re up to the task.
Unless you’re applying for an entry-level position, gaining experience is crucial for any freight hauling company to consider you as their freight dispatcher. While it might sound challenging, it is easy to gain experience in the industry as a freelance freight broker.
As a freelance freight broker, you can gain a lot of experience in taking care of scheduling and freight issues. You can also get insights into the working process of a truck driver and truck driver logs to refine your dispatching services.
Gaining experience will also make you a better truck dispatcher as you will learn a lot more about freight transportation. Once you have accumulated enough experience you should have an easy time getting hired as an independent truck dispatcher.
4. Refine skills
In the modern competitive environment, it is not enough to simply meet the entry requirements. Many freight dispatchers are constantly going above and beyond to consolidate their place in the industry. This is why you would want to refine some of your skills to edge out your competition.
Hiring managers around the planet are looking for employees that possess legitimate strong skills that will make them good at their job. Contrary to popular belief the job of a freight dispatcher does not end when they dispatch trucks.
They will also face time where they might be conducting negotiations with businesses or resolving billing issues with customers. The other tasks call for great interpersonal skills which a freight dispatcher should have as a prerequisite.
When a truck dispatcher has superior communication skills with superior knowledge of state and federal laws they become invaluable to every single shipping company. With complete knowledge of things such as truck weight limits, you are more likely to land your dream job.
5. Apply to jobs strategically
While going on job boards and spamming applications everywhere might sound like a good idea, it is better to choose your target employers strategically. This will not only help you save time but also give you greater chances of getting hired.
This is also a great time to put your communication skills to the test. You need to especially look out for companies that urgently need a truck dispatcher as they are more likely to hire you instantly given that you have the required expertise.
One of the best ways to get a job is to make a few phone calls to your personal connections and ask them if they have any jobs in sight. References carry weight and greatly boost your chances of getting hired.
Though you need to quickly expand your professional network for greater opportunities. A truck dispatcher will also have a great advantage over their competition if they adopt software that saves them hours of work in their daily life.
Avail One-click Dispatch on Upper and Reduce Your Working Hours
Being a truck dispatcher is no easy job when you have to plan and schedule hundreds of routes every single day and have every driver collect them. It is high time to bid farewell to these issues of the past, for Upper is here to revolutionize the transportation industry.
Upper’s state-of-the-art route planner is a boon for any truck dispatcher, as it allows them to complete tasks that take hours in mere minutes. One such feature is the ability to import hundreds of stops from an Excel sheet into your route plan.
You can also schedule routes months in advance so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting any future stops. Best of all is the ability to instantly send routes to your drivers with the one click dispatch feature.
Plan Unlimited Optimized Routes Within Minutes
Create a route plan, get optimize routes and dispatch them in just a few clicks. Switch to Upper’s automated process and reduce your working hours to minutes.
A Trucking dispatcher is advised to handle anywhere between 2 and 15 trucks at a time. This is because as the workload gets greater the chances for accidents caused by mismanagement go up drastically. This is why dispatchers are limited to handling a small number of drivers.
If you have a knack for doing business then it is better for you to become a freight broker as it requires you to be your own boss. Though if you like a consistent and stable income you might prefer being a freight dispatcher.
Unless you have years of proven experience as a truck dispatcher it will be highly difficult to land a home-based dispatcher job. Though you could always act as a freelance dispatcher for individual owner operator groups.
To become a truck dispatcher one has to outwit the sea of competition ahead. Even the process of hiring is not as simple as it used to be. With all of these challenges mounting on applicants, it is normal for an aspiring truck dispatcher to feel demotivated.
Though with enough determination and skill, any beginner should be able to achieve their goals in the transport industry. Your sole focus should be on refining yourself and your skills to best suit the employer’s needs.
The real challenge starts when you start working, as you will be responsible for monitoring transport routes and handling the customer service experience. You will also have to know all the safety regulations to ensure that every independent dispatch is successful.
With software like Upper, a dispatcher has less burden on their shoulders. This is because Upper ensures that you can create the most perfectly planned routes within minutes. Start Upper’s 7-day free trial to see how it can be your go-to software.