Schools Training

More to the Trucking Industry Than Just Driving: Dispatcher Training

19 JAN 2012
Career Path : Automotive

There’s no doubt about it: the trucking industry is a pillar of our economy. According to Transport Canada, this industry, which is said to be responsible for the flow of most goods between the Canada and the U.S., generated an estimated $67 billion of revenues in 2005. Although Statistics Canada has identified “truck driver” as the most frequently cited occupation for Canadian men, it is clearly not the job for everyone: it can mean long hours and lots of time away from home. But there is another way to get involved with this lucrative industry: by taking dispatcher courses at dispatcher school.

What Does a Truck Dispatcher Do?

Dispatchers are communications specialists. They are sometimes described as the nerve centre or command central for trucking companies, because they coordinate the movements of all trucks and freight. They:

  • match freight with trucks, ensuring that the company’s assets are well used at all times (i.e., that no truck makes a long trip without carrying a load)
  • map out routes
  • assign drivers to trucks
  • facilitate border crossings
  • consolidate orders
  • keep records
  • make arrangements for specialized freight
  • optimize fuel use
  • ensure that drivers have required certifications
  • act as a link between the customer and the trucker
  • keep track of truck maintenance schedules
  • coordinate inspections
  • log all communications

Do You Have the Right Personality to Consider Dispatcher Training?

Thinking of taking dispatcher courses, but wondering if you have what it takes? Ideally, dispatchers should:

  • be sociable people
  • like using computer tools
  • be comfortable with staying seated at a station eight hours a day, five days a week
  • have strong decision-making skills
  • be able to multi-task

Typically, they need a high school diploma. Some dispatcher schools also offer specialized training in dispatching, teaching dispatchers how to use the tools of the trade.

What Kinds of Technological Tools Do Dispatchers Use?

Dispatchers use a variety of tools, including:

  • Global Position System (GPS) – Satellite systems are used to keep track of trucks and orders in real time.
  • two-way radio
  • telephone
  • computers
  • PC Miler: a mapping software that helps dispatchers plan routes
  • LoadLink: an Internet tool that helps companies manage loads
  • Freight Logix

Interested? The Next Step is to Find a Dispatcher School

If you like the idea of making sure that a trucking operation is well run, you may want to consider taking dispatcher training. It could make you more attractive to potential employers.