Discover the Best Dispatch Software for Trucking + How to Improve Driver Communication with SMS
Communication is essential for trucking, logistics, and transportation companies.
So, many logistics managers and dispatchers turn to truck dispatch software to keep connected with truck drivers and other stakeholders.
But what’s the best dispatching software for trucking? And how can you use it to improve communications?
In this post, I cover:
- What trucking dispatch software is
- The 7 best dispatch software for small trucking companies and larger operations
- 10 ways to text drivers and improve communication + text message templates
- Answers to frequently asked trucking dispatch software questions
By the end, you'll have all the insights you need to choose the right software solution and improve communications.
Read on for more.
7 Best Dispatch Software for Small Trucking Companies and Larger Operations
Below is a list of various trucking dispatch software. These solutions are numbered but ranked in no particular order.
Best for: dispatchers, drivers, and others who need to send or prefer text messages
Dispatch text messaging through MessageDesk can help with:
- Internal team communication
- Conversation routing and assignment
- Updates on locations and shipments
- Team-wide announcements, updates, and alerts
- And more
But these capabilities don’t end with your staff. You can also use this to answer queries, reduce call volume, and maintain communication with customers.
Start with a free trial - prices then start at $14 per month. Custom and enterprise pricing is also available.
- Supports 10-digit local and toll-free SMS phone numbers
- Shared team SMS inbox
- Text message broadcasts for mass texting
- Keyword-based text message autoresponders
- Call forwarding and voicemails to any number
- Supports high-volume carrier-verified A2P 10DLC text messaging
- Text message templates, tags, MMS, and links
- Scheduled and automated text messages
- Desktop, tablet, and mobile apps
- Built-in opt-in and opt-out tools for TCPA compliance
- Integrates with QuickBooks Online
What customers say:
Best for: for HR operations and employee scheduling
Logistics companies use Connecteam to create and manage employee schedules. Dispatchers can assign shifts, notify employees about schedule changes, and ensure efficient workforce management.
For new hires, you can use the tool to facilitate onboarding processes. Simply start by sharing training materials, policies, and procedures through the app. Additionally, it’s a great solution for tracking driver performance, rewarding workers, and tracking attendance.
- Time tracking with GPS capabilities
- Employee scheduling
- Breadcrumbs technology
- In-shift communication
- Employee training and rewards programs
- Real-time chat
- Surveys, events, and company-wide updates
- Forms and checklists
What customers say:
Best for: dispatch and logistics companies operating internationally
Onfleet offers a unified platform for international dispatch companies to manage and coordinate delivery operations across various regions and time zones.
Their route optimization algorithms also help dispatchers plan the most efficient routes for deliveries. It will even factor in considerations like traffic and road conditions.
Onfleet also offers multi-language support. This allows dispatchers to communicate with drivers and customers in their preferred languages.
- Route optimization
- Driver onboarding
- Advanced reporting
- Driver chat
- Proof of delivery
- Real-time driver tracking
- Integrated customer communication and feedback collection
- Automatic status updates
What customers say:
Best for: for streamlining accounting and operations
Logistics companies use ProTransport to effectively track and manage their fleet's financial health.
This transportation management software allows logistics companies to accurately bill customers for transportation services provided.
It automates the process of creating invoices based on completed deliveries, rates, and contracts. Logistics companies can also manage complex rate structures, expenses, and cash flow.
- GPS tracking
- Built-in messaging
- Automated compliance alerts
- One-click IFTA calculations
- Alerts scheduling
- Third-party integrations with tools like RTS, Samsara, or diverse fuel cards
- Detailed reporting
Best for: load board and freight management
Truckstop is a platform for dispatching truck drivers that serves as a marketplace and resource hub for carriers, brokers, and shippers. Shippers can post loads to the Truckstop marketplace, gaining visibility and accessibility to a wide network of carriers and brokers.
- PER-LOAD cargo insurance
- Carrier onboarding and monitoring
- Decision tools
- Freight market insights
- Truck posting
- Rate negotiation
- Fuel and route optimization tool
- Heat map, load, and truck searching
- Compliance assistance
- Document management
- Risk management
What customers say:
Best for: mid-sized trucking and logistics businesses
Mid-sized trucking companies rely on TruckingOffice in various ways. They use it to centralize operations, improve efficiency, manage drivers and loads, optimize routes, and maintain accurate financial records.
The tool’s strength is in driver management. It allows you to accurately manage driver information, schedules, and performance. Plus, you can always track driver hours, rest periods, and compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.
- Electronic logbook
- IFTA reporting
- Fleet maintenance
- Invoicing and expense tracking
- Premium routing
- Secured file storage
- LTL dispatch
- Driver settlement management
- Mileage add-on
7. Trimble Transportation
Best for: Best trucking dispatch software for ensuring safety and compliance
Trimble Transportation overview:
Trimble's array of fleet mobility solutions offers a diverse range of hardware and software solutions. Each enhances fleet tracking and communication capabilities.
For example, you can use their fleet mobility solutions to protect equipment, communicate with drivers, and predict and respond to route changes before they happen.
Trimble Transportation features:
- In-cab hardware and software
- ELD and HOS compliance
- Maintenance management and warranty tracker
- Remote diagnostic tool
- Routing and optimization
- Market insights
- Resource planning
- GPS fleet tracking
- Route optimization
- Supply chain visibility
- Video intelligence
10 Ways to Use Trucking Dispatch Software to Improve Truck Driver Communication + SMS Templates
Wondering exactly how to improve your communications with driver texting? I've got you covered.
Below are a few text message templates for dispatchers and logistics companies. I recommend saving them ahead of time to your truck dispatch app.
You’re also always free to copy and paste from our collection of text message templates.
1. Shift and job notifications
Communicating with employees and keeping drivers informed about their schedules is essential. This keeps everyone prepared in advance. It can also reduce wait times and optimize delivery schedules.
Over time, this reduces confusion, and missed appointments or shifts, and optimizes the fleet's use.
2. Real-time route updates and changes
Traffic congestion, road construction, or unexpected events can lead to a route change. Text dispatch software can send these changes in real time, preventing unnecessary delays.
Modern trucking dispatch systems also integrate with mapping and traffic tools. When a faster or safer route becomes available, drivers can get text notifications immediately.
Some of the best dispatch software for small trucking companies will even calculate expected delays.
3. Weather or traffic alerts
Safety first! SMS trucking dispatch software can text alerts to drivers. Alerts can notify about adverse weather or heavy traffic and prevent accidents to ensure timely deliveries.
Some dispatch software integrates with weather forecasting tools and traffic monitoring systems. This makes it possible for the trucking dispatch software to send automated alerts to drivers traveling toward or currently in affected regions.
This proactivity reduces the risk of accidents and cargo damage.
4. Vehicle maintenance reminders
Regular maintenance ensures that trucks remain in good condition. This reduces the chances of breakdowns during shipments.
Trucking software for dispatch can track the mileage or hours of each vehicle. Based on the manufacturer or company-set intervals, it can also notify drivers or fleet managers when maintenance is due. This prolongs vehicle life and ensures regulatory compliance.
5. Cargo details and special delivery or pick-up instructions
You can use truck dispatch software with text messaging capabilities to provide specific details about cargo, its handling, and special instructions.
6. Feedback requests post-delivery
Continuous feedback helps improve the delivery process, address issues, and enhance client satisfaction.
After a delivery, the software can prompt drivers to provide feedback. This feedback can relate to road conditions, client behavior, unloading facilities, or even the condition of goods upon delivery. Over time, this feedback helps in refining operations and improving client relationships.
7. Documentation and proof of delivery alerts for delivery drivers
Documentation ensures that both the sender and receiver agree that delivery took place. It can also safeguard against potential disputes.
Dispatch software can prompt delivery drivers to upload pictures, digital signatures, or other proof of delivery instantly. This reduces paperwork, hastens billing cycles, and provides an archive for future reference.
8. Emergency and critical communications
Timely communication can ensure driver safety and help you adjust operational plans. This is especially important in the event of emergencies like natural disasters, civil disturbances, or critical company-wide updates.
The dispatch software can send mass alerts to all drivers, or specific alerts to those in affected regions. These messages can include instructions on where to divert, safe zones, or how to handle certain emergency situations. Rapid communication in these instances is invaluable and can prevent loss or harm.
9. Truck driver safety messages
Dispatch software can send automated reminders based on scheduled departures. The software can also provide a digital checklist, allowing drivers to confirm each step of the inspection and note any issues.
This ensures drivers inspect their vehicles before every trip to identify any potential safety issues.
Dispatch software can also infer from driving habits and drive time data. This makes it possible to prompt drivers to take Federal Motor Carrier safety mandated rest breaks. It can also suggest nearby rest areas or truck stops.
10. Truck driver appreciation messages
Want to improve driver engagement? Get creative and text trucking drivers messages of appreciation.
Frequently Asked Trucking Dispatch Software Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked dispatch trucking software questions. Have a question that’s not on the list? You’re always free to connect with our team for answers to specific questions.
How do truckers communicate the most?
Truck drivers often rely on a combination of communication tools to stay connected while on the road. Citizens Band (CB) radios help them communicate with each other.
They also rely on cell phones (phone calls), driver apps, fleet management tracking systems, and other satellite communication devices.
How does trucking dispatch software work?
The trucking industry uses trucking dispatch software to manage and optimize the operations of truck fleets and drivers.
They’re used for general communications as well as specific processes. This includes order and load management, route planning, and even real-time time tracking.
Additionally, you can use dispatch software to:
- Communicate with customers
- Keep records of operations
- And ensure your trucking company stays compliant with all regulations
What are some of the benefits of trucking dispatch software?
Trucking dispatch software has plenty of benefits for owner-operators, dispatch officers, drivers, and customers alike.
Besides increasing time and cost efficiency, you can use truck dispatch software in other ways. This includes optimizing routes, reducing paperwork, allocating resources, resolving issues, and increasing driver satisfaction.
Trucking companies that implement dispatch software also have a competitive edge. They can provide more efficient and reliable services to customers.
How much does trucking dispatch software cost?
Software for trucking dispatch can cost anywhere between $10-$200 per month. Note that some tools offer custom quotes or per-truck pricing, so costs can quickly add up.
In limited cases, you might be able to find trucking dispatch software that’s free and open-source. Keep in mind, that the majority of platforms out there come with a free trial.
Is there any free trucking dispatch software?
No, there is no free dispatch software for trucking. Some options, like OpenTMS or uRoute offer limited free access. While these solutions offer basic functionality, they lack many advanced features on offer through paid dispatch software for trucking companies.
Final Thoughts and Next Steps
Using text messaging for transport, dispatch, and trucking can help you overcome a variety of communication hurdles. The right text dispatch software can be invaluable when fostering effective communication across office personnel, drivers, and clientele.
However, the efficacy of your communication hinges on the platform you select. MessageDesk can help you optimize text messaging efficiency and enhance customer service.