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Dispatchers and Driver Favoritism

tow 7b627By Randall C. Resch

The issue of dispatchers displaying driver favoritism again raises its ugly head.

Favoritism in any company—whether real or imagined—grates against morale, operations and tempers. Management must immediately address the cause to prevent rebellion amongst driver ranks.

Two dispatchers were openly accused of dispatching calls outside rotation to other drivers on three occasions, although these companies all dispatch calls on a rotation list basis. Drivers blamed their dispatchers for playing favoritism toward other drivers.

On the surface, the process doesn't appear a tough problem to solve. Management should quickly determine if a dispatcher's actions were justifiable when choosing to go out of rotation. There are justifiable reasons that rotation can't work for all scenarios.

Who's In Charge?
Some drivers are bound to whine and sniffle that they're not getting their share of gravy jobs or recovery work; that's the nature of the industry. However, when it comes to dispatching out of order, drivers aren't aware of details that come with each individual call that causes rotational change.

Tow owners should set rules as to how drivers and dispatchers interact. Drivers typically have no direct contact to what tow and dispatch activity is occurring. If drivers are sitting in the driver's room, they won't know what's going on. It's easy to feel they've been intentionally overlooked when that isn't the case.

A company's employee handbook should have written policy addressing dispatch activity and who's in charge of truck and driver movement. Employees should know what's required of them with management firmly supporting dispatch.
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