The fleet manager, or dispatcher, is a drivers travel agent so to speak, they make the arrangements for the pick up and deliveries. If an issue pops up, the driver calls the fleet manager to get an assist.
On top of all the stresses of this job, I can now see why the communication and relationship is so important between a fleet manager and the driver. I am also more amazed at how drivers back in the day did it, when it was pay phone to communicate!
Imagine having 41,000 lbs strapped to you, 70 ft long, and you have an issue, even a small one, imagine the stress you would feel. Maybe all you want to do is find a place to stop and sleep for the night with your clock tick tock tick tock ticking and the planned place is full, but you are not sure what is beyond and in your reach with the limits of the DOT clock? Feeling of stress to do you job legally, do your job well, and then provide your body with just the basics to survive, it is a lot.
One more reason to give a friendly wave or even just try a big smile to them when you see them out there.
In an attempt to let people know what it is like for over the road drivers, I am heading out with Jim Palmer Trucking driver Allie Knight.