VOLUME 4 ISSUE 4
WHY DO PRIME ASSOCIATES LOVE CRUISES SO MUCH? WE’VE GOT THE ANSWERS.
New and Improved PEEK INSIDE THE NEWEST TRUCK MODELS IN PRIME’S FLEET AND LEARN HOW THESE NEW AND IMPROVED CABS ARE DESIGNED TO MAKE LIFE ON THE ROAD A LOT MORE COMFORTABLE.
2740 N. MAYFAIR AVE. SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803 417-866-0001 PRIMEINC.COM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER C layton B rown RECRUITING AND MEDIA COORDINATOR A ndrea M ueller RECRUITING AND ONBOARDING K risti Pinck ney
PRIME COMPANY STORE SHOP IN-STORE Springfield, MO Salt Lake City, UT Pittston, PA
KATIE POLLOCK ESTES E ditorial D irector ETTIE BERNEKING E ditor PAIJE LUTH C reativ e D irector CLAIRE PORTER M anaging E ditor HALEY PHILLIPS Proj ects E ditor JAMIE THOMAS S taff W riter SARAH PATTON A rt D irector BRANDON ALMS S enior Photographer & D esigner DYLAN LYLE E ditorial D esigner CONTRIBUTING WRITERS R en B ishop, K aren B liss, T essa C ooper, B rianne M adura, C laire Porter, ichaela SatterямБeld, Peyson Shields, William Thomas
GIVE US A CALL 417-521-3814 (MO) 570-602-4793 (PA) 801-977-5903 (UT)
Use your Prime Reward Points here!
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Richard Brock, Linda Huynh, William Thomas, Brad weerink LANDRA BUNGE F inance C oordinator BERNADETTE PRY Administrative Assistant GARY WHITAKER Publisher LOGAN AGUIRRE President/ A ssociate Publisher MEGAN JOHNSON V ice President of O perations AMMIE SCOTT V ice President of S trategy and S enior A ccount E x ecutiv e JOAN WHITAKER V ice President of F inance
ON THE COVER
The new trucks on Primes fleet know how to make an impression. Turn to p. 18 to learn more.
Prime Ways PRIME WAYS| |December MARCH 2019 2017
Harold Buzick scuba dives when he takes cruises.
18 TRUCKING ALONG They're shiny, colorful and packed with new features and amenities to help the driver enjoy life on the road. Hop inside Prime's newest truck models.
24 HOT TREND: CRUISES Primeâ€™s drivers and inhouse associates know how to unwind on a good vacation. Their vacation of choice? Cruises! Get the inside scoop, tips and tricks.
STAYING ON BEAT
GAMING THE SYSTEM
See why Courtney Hawkins' electronic music has gone viral.
Prime's driver simulation lab shakes, rattles and slides, so new and seasoned drivers can practice in some of the harshest conditions.
11 FIT TO FAT TO PRIME Adonis Hill started off as a personal trainer before appearing on TV. Now he's learning how to stay fit while living life behind the wheel.
32 FAMILY TIME
17 DAILY FORECAST You might not be able to change the weather, but at least now you can see what's coming and change your route.
After 10 years of planning, the Keen family vacation finally became a reality. This family of four spent nearly two months on the road together and now share their memories.
Photos courtesy Harold Buzick, Prime, Matt Keen and by Brad Zweerink
Curious about leasing a truck with Prime? Already leasing a truck but have burning questions about what you can and cannot do to the truck? You’re in luck. Andrew Martin with Success Leasing is here to answer the most frequently asked questions.
e can’t stress enough the importance of drivers’ time in this business. As a company, we have implemented several new operational procedures, inv ested in appropriate technology, built relev ant and requested amenities and created programs that directly focus on drivers’ time and production. nderstanding and determining a new truck’s operation downtime when it needs to be serv iced is at the top of the list in our purchasing decision. aintaining new equipment that provides the ability for our drivers to deliver on-time is essential to our business model. The total operating cost of this new equipment, and a good balance of drivers’ preferred features vs. operational driver proﬁtability are looked at closely. Finally, building a strong relationship with our OE representatives in order to effectively communicate repair issues that come about is extremely important to maintain a ﬂeet that’s also reliable for the on-time deliveries that our customers expect. The operating equipment our drivers rely on to be productive and proﬁtable is an investment worth taking. We take this seriously and with careful consideration. Prime and Success Leasing evaluate several areas within the new truck purchasing process to determine the equipment that will meet our professional drivers’ standards. There are four main areas of focus for Prime and S uccess L easing during this process.
CAN I ORDER A NEW TRUCK AND PICK THE COLOR, GRAPHICS AND EXTRAS? Yes, you can order a truck after you have leased for three months or completed a lease. Just head to successleasing.com and click on the top right hand corner to new truck order. You can pick the model, color and extras on our website. Before the order comes in, you can contact Stripes and Stuff ’s graphics to pick out a graphic package that is personal to you.
DO YOU HAVE A PROGRAM THAT RESULTS IN TRUCK OWNERSHIP? Yes, our lease with a purchase option is a program that at the end of the term has a $100 balloon payment. The length of the contract and down payment can vary based on age of the truck and other factors. Visit the knowledge center on successleasing.com to find more information on this program.
DO YOU SELL YOUR USED EQUIPMENT? •
We do sell equipment through our Pedigree truck and trailer sales. They have used trucks that qualify for the lease with a purchase option program and also have trucks that can be purchased with outside financing.
Photo courtesy Prime Inc.
WHAT BENEFITS ARE OFFERED THROUGH THE BASIC LEASE PROGRAM? It is hard to list them all, but some big ones are the retention and rewards program, forgiven lease payments, downtime pay for breakdowns, a walk away option, zero money down, no credit check, re-lease bonuses, truck customization and a loaner truck program. If you have questions, you can always contact a leasing associate at 1-800-491-1240.
Downtime T otal operational cost B alance R epair issues In this issue you will get to learn more about our equipment and the pride we tak e into k eeping the nicest truck s and trailers on the highways across this beautiful country.
R obert L ow Prime Inc., C E O & F ou nd e r PRIME WAYS
LIFE | DECEMBER 2019
Boguslaw Kwiatkowski works in Prime's maintenance shop in Pittston, Pennsylvania. But before joining Prime, this cycling enthusiast was good enough to qualify for an Olympic team.
Boguslaw Kwiatkowski has been cycling ever since he was a young man growing up in Poland in the 1950s. Now in his 60s and having lived in the United States since 1992, Kwiatkowski still cycles to stay fit and clear his mind. BY JAMIE THOMAS 4
peak ing to B oguslaw K wiatk owsk i on the phone, you get the impression he is someone practical and matter-of-fact. Now in his 60s, he works in maintenance for Prime in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He’s laid back and optimistic, which is why it’s hard to imagine the struggles K wiatk owsk i has liv ed through that led him to where he is today. K wiatk owsk i was born in Poland in 1 9 5 3. T here he attended school at a technical and metallurgical institute, which laid the groundwork for his future career. Now, he uses that ex perience and ex pertise to repair and maintain ualcomm components, and help Prime drivers and other associates with different electrical ﬁxes. But Kwiatk oswk i didn’t ex actly plan on ending up in this career. His path to Prime was a little more unusual. “I was dreaming of being a road cycling rider in racing, ” he says. “ A ge 1 2 , I got signed up with a club for beginners, and we started with 5K and 10K rides.” From the age of 1 2 , K wiatk owsk i saw success through cycling and racing. E v entually, he ev en qualiﬁed to be part of Poland’s cycling team
Photos courtesy Boguslaw Kwiatkowski
“I’m very happy that I can continue riding. Sometimes it helps to clear your mind.” in the 1976 Olympics held in ontreal. Everything looked promising, but looks can be deceiv ing. In 1974, Kwiatkowski married his wife, Alicja, and in 1975, they applied to emigrate to the nited States. At the time, Poland was under a communist government, and when word reached authorities that Kwiatkowski and his wife had applied to move to the .S., the couple’s situation became much more complicated. “At that time, there was no freedom,” K wiatk owsk i says. “ I had to choose to continue to race or to continue to apply ev ery year to the U nited S tates. S o, we chose to get to the U nited S tates.” T heir decision to try to leave Poland meant Kwiatkowski was barred from the cycling team. Despite giving up such a signiﬁcant achievement, it wasn’t until 1987 that he was ﬁnally able to leav e Poland. E v en then, K wiatk owsk i faced additional challenges. B lack listed and unable to get a passport, K wiatk owsk i trav eled to a refugee camp in Italy. The journey meant he had to leav e his wife and two children in Poland in order to clear a path to the U .S . for all of them. “When I got to the refugee camp, when I told the .S. embassy, they checked it out. T hey were q uick , ” he says. “ I was there for six months, and I got political asylum to the nited States. Then it took me two years to get my wife from Poland over here with the k ids.” From there, Kwiatkowski and his family moved to New York where he and his wife worked several jobs, often at the same time,
leaving little time for his old love of cycling. Finally, when he moved to Pennsylvania with his family in 1992, he was able to start riding again. S ince then, K wiatk owsk i has continued riding both alone and with fellow cyclists. “I like to go four, ﬁve days a week,” he says. “ If the weather is bad, I ride on a stationary trainer I have that helps me to k eep in shape.” C ycling now runs in the K wiatk owsk i family. His son, Leszek, got into mountain biking with his own wife, Nicole, and his daughter, K ate, j oined on cycling trails. T oday both K wiatk owsk i and his wife still cycle daily. “ y older brother, he was a bicycle racer, and that’s when I got inv olv ed, ” he says. “I liked to help him with the bike and going on races with him. That’s when I got the spark .” Despite beating the odds several times over qualifying for an Olympic team, reaching the U nited S tates, establishing a career and even beating cancer Kwiatkow-
ski and his family were confronted by loss last year when his daughter lost her own battle with cancer and died at 38 . While talking about his more recent life ex periences and the loss of his daughter, K wiatk owsk i stresses j ust how grateful he is to the Prime family for the support he receiv ed. “ Paul H iggins [d irector of purchasing at Prime, Inc. in Springﬁeld, issouri, helped us in a difﬁcult time,” he says. “Our lives changed, but I’m fortunate to be working for Prime. It’s very helpful.” K wiatk owsk i described how, after he tex ted Higgins to let him know his daughter had passed away, Higgins jumped on a plane to travel from Springﬁeld to attend the service. D espite the adv ersity he has faced ov er the years, Kwiatkowski is still optimistic and still on his bike. “I’m very happy that I can continue riding,” he says. “Sometimes it helps to clear your mind. We’ve had a hard time, but sometimes when you go for a two- or three-hour ride it helps.”
Kwiatkowski heads out on his bike four or fives times a week. For him, it's a chance to workout and clear his mind from the stresses of life and work.
A simple salute After serving in the armed forces, Monte Morrone and Josh Carlson found a new home and a new use for their skills working at Prime. BY HALEY PHILLIPS
“When I started driving, I had been all over the world… to well over 30 countries, but had barely even seen my own country.” —Monte Morrone
Military History: Monte Morrone began his military career in 1994 when he joined the U.S. Marines right out of high school. Morrone became a metalsmith and a hydraulics man on the CH–46e helicopter until he enlisted in the U.S. Army reserves in 2004. While he was in the Army, Morrone served as a combat medic and licensed practical nurse. Though he experienced deployments across the globe, Morrone says a medical humanitarian mission to Uganda, Africa, was his most gratifying mission. “We set up several clinics and treated several thousand of the local population—some of which actually walked several days to be able to be treated,” he says. During his time in the military, Morrone developed determination and a sense of pride in a job well done, both qualities he has found useful in his new career at Prime.
Prime Service: In 2018, Morrone jumpstarted his career as a driver for Prime by beginning his PSD training that September, receiving his CDL and passing with a trifecta in October, and completing his training and leasing out his first truck in January. Since then, Morrone has earned his black hat, four PTC awards and this September marked one year accident-free with no service failures. For Morrone, the best part about driving for Prime is seeing the country. And he gets plenty of opportunity to do just that. “When I started driving, I had been all over the world… to well over 30 countries, but had barely even seen my own country,” he says. Now, he drives between 2,000 and 2,500 miles per week and stays on the road for three months at a time. Morrone credits his time in the military to helping him better cope with being away from his family for so long.
“In the Navy, they have a saying, ‘Choose your rate, choose your fate,’ if you want to do it, you have to commit.” —Josh Carlson 6
Military History: After growing up in a military household, Josh Carlson’s career choice came as no surprise to him or his family. Following in his father’s footsteps, Carlson joined the Navy in 2005 and soon became a Seabee—Construction Battalion (C.B.)—where he helped to build runways, repair roads and dig wells while working on numerous other projects. “My battalion actually did one of the deepest water wells in Afghanistan,” Carlson says about deployment in 2013. In his 14 years of service, Carlson has traveled to Afghanistan, Iraq and several countries in East and West Africa for deployment and humanitarian efforts. For Carlson, it was the right path, but he advises those considering enlisting to do their research and ensure a career in the military is the right fit. “In the Navy, they have a saying, ‘Choose your rate, choose your fate,’ if you want to do it, you have to commit,” he says.
Prime Service: Carlson joined the Prime team in 2014 after he returned home from Afghanistan. When he first started at Prime, Carlson used the wealth of mechanical experience he gained from his time in the military and worked in Prime’s tire department. Carlson continued working as a tire tech until he transferred in early 2019 to begin working for Prime’s dispatch division. Today, Carlson is a fleet manager in training. He says he enjoys being able to help the drivers be better prepared and to adapt when things take an unexpected turn, which is always a risk for drivers while they’re on the road. That ability to adjust quickly is something he learned from his time in the Navy. “Being in the military, not everything is the same at all times,” Carlson says. “You always have to keep your head on a swivel, and then you’ve just got to adapt and overcome, and that’s what a lot of this is.”
Photos courtesy Monte Morrone, Josh Carlson
words from the field
THE UNUSUAL William Thomas has been a flatbed driver for 20 years and a driver trainer at Prime for 10 years. One reason he loves getting behind the wheel is that his deliveries are often a little out of the ordinary, like the time he delivered large panels of glass to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
hen you drive flatbed, you definitely make more unusual deliveries. I’ve hauled just about everything you can imagine. One time, I went out to an Air Force base in Boston that they were closing down. They had an officers clubhouse, and we were loading stuff that wouldn’t fit in a van. So we were hauling all kinds of random stuff like office decorations and even airplane parts. You just never know what you’ll be called up to deliver. It’s not always unusual, but once a month, you’ll get a call to pick up something unexpected. The day we delivered the glass panels to the art museum, I was training Alvin Robinson. He was just out of the army and was a young guy. He’s a cool kid, and we were probably halfway through his training. On this day, I was driving, and Alvin was asleep. When I drive, I usually like to drive from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then switch with my trainee. So when we got to the art museum, it was still in the middle of the night, and the museum wasn’t open. We parked the truck on site and waited until morning, when the museum staff could let us in. If you’ve been to Philadelphia’s art museum, you probably remember the big boulders outside the main entrance. Well, they had to move those boulders in order to make room for us to back the truck in. Then they had to bring in a big crane to offload the windows. These were the biggest windows I’d ever carried. They were huge 10-by12-foot panels, and we had maybe 10 sheets of these. When you’re hauling glass, each pane is nailed together on a wooden A-frame, so unloading is really slow going. So I grabbed my camera and started taking photos. I studied photography for a little while, so I like to get my camera out now and then when I make a cool delivery. That’s something not a lot of drivers do, but it’s something I teach my trainees. Especially when you drive flatbed, you get to see a lot of cool stuff, so you have to make time to stop and check it out. Talk with the people you’re delivering to. I’ve gotten to take some really cool tours and have met interesting people. I also like to rent a car when I have time and drive around to see the sights. If you do this job and all you do is deliver and drive, you’ll get burned out. You have to go see the sights because that’s one of the benefits of this kind of driving. You get to go places and see things on flatbed you don’t see anywhere else.
BY WILLIAM THOMAS
making an impact
Photos courtesy William Thomas, Memory Burn Creative
Photos courtesy Monte Morrone, Josh Carlson
STEP BY STEP
One Prime associate is leading the charge to honor the firefighters who died on 9/11. BY ETTIE BERNEKING
or many, September 11 is a day they won’t forget. The Twin Towers were beacons of international partnership and strength, but as they crashed to the ground in 2001, they became symbols of tragedy. When 9/11 arrives each year, people across the country stop and remember the firefighters who died rushing into the Twin Towers to save the lives of the people trapped inside. Bill Sprague, safety supervisor at Prime’s Springfield, Missouri, terminal, goes one step further. Sprague has spearheaded Prime’s involvement in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb in Springfield. Participants are given the name of a firefighter who died in the Twin Towers and climb 110 flights of stairs—the highest story the firefighters reached before the buildings collapsed. “It’s a tear jerker,” Sprague says. “In the past, they played firefighters’ radio transmissions, so you hear which flight of stairs they’re on and how many people they’re sending down. It reminds
In 2019, dozens of Prime associates joined the annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The event was held at Paster Stadium on the campus of Missouri State University.
you why you’re there.” The first year Sprague participated, it was just him and one Prime driver. The second year, 48 people from Prime joined, and they raised $13,700. All proceeds go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to help families of fallen firefighters. Each year, when Sprague and the other participants reach the 110th story, they ring a bell in honor of the firefighter whose name is around their neck. PRIME WAYS
week in the life
and Sea Intermodal driver Mark Snider keeps his week interesting by spending time in his truck and sailboat.
Mark Snider and his wife, Tina, live on their sailboat named Serenity. They stay docked at Lake Guntersville in Alabama. Tina joins Mark on the road now and then, and the two have had the chance to see a good chunk of country together.
s an intermodal driver for Prime, ark Snider follows the same routine each day. Delivery orders comes in. He picks up the cargo, drops it off, and the routine continues. To mix things up, Snider divides his time between life on the road and life on the water. In his truck, he logs nearly ,000 miles a week. When he’s at home, he lives on a sailboat dock ed at L ak e G untersv ille in Alabama.
home with his family a lot. That was harder for S nider when his k ids were young, but they’ve since ﬂown the nest. Now, his wife, Tina, rides with him most days. “We’re able to spend a lot of time together out here on the road, ” he says.
Living at a marina is deﬁnitely not the same as your normal neighborhood. When you’re on the water, weekends are the busy times, and the marina gets crowded. To avoid the hustle of week end boaters, S nider lik es to spend those days driving, which means his week end is actually during the week . A normal work week for Snider starts on W ednesday when he k ick s off his daily loop in M urfreesboro, T ennessee. H e pick s up loads from customers there, then heads to a railyard in emphis, Tennessee, or arion, A rk ansas. O nce he’s done with a drop, he heads back to M urfreesboro with another load. “ It’s rinse and repeat, ” he says.
THURSDAY T hursday brings another long loop around T ennessee and A rk ansas for S nider. B efore becoming a truck driver, he spent 15 years on the corporate career route. Coming from previous management positions, Snider says one thing he really lik es about driv ing is the freedom from being responsible for other people. Getting himself in the driver’s seat each day is his only concern.
FRIDAY Like many drivers, Snider says a con to being a truck driv er is not getting to be at
S nider and his wife enj oy eating out, and they get plenty of opportunities on the road. Snider says one of the advantages of running the same route each day is knowing which places to freq uent and which to sk ip.
SUNDAY F or S nider, S undays are the end of his week . T o celebrate, he starts the day with a cup of coffee and a cigar. H e says he k nows it’s a bad habit, but a cigar is his perfect pairing for that cup of joe. Snider, his son and some friends ev en hav e a podcast about cigars called C i g a r T i p s t e r s .
MONDAY Snider’s weekend is here, and it’s time to head home to Alabama and to S e r e ni t y — his Catalina 0 sailboat. With the traditional week end out of the way, S nider and his wife have the marina practically to themselves.
TUESDAY Another way Snider passes time on his week ends is playing golf. H e only heads to the green occasionally, because he doesn’t always have the time needed to put in a lot of effort. “I’m extremely competitive, so if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well, ” he says.
SNIDER’S TOP 5 RESTAURANT STOPS Following the same route each day means knowing which restaurants to stop at and which ones to skip. Here are Snider’s top picks for can’t-miss restaurants around Tennessee.
1. The restaurant at Casey Jones Village Jackson, Tennessee You’ll find Southern classics including fried chicken and catfish here. As a bonus, there’s a railroad museum to check out. 2. Taste of Thai Murfreesboro, Tennessee They have all your favorite Asian dishes including lo mein and pad thai, or really get adventurous with the spicy spaghetti. 3. Outback Steakhouse Murfreesboro, Tennessee Make a stop here when you’re on the road and craving a juicy steak. There’s even plenty of room to park a bobtail truck. 4. Wellington’s Fine Bar-B-Que Memphis, Tennessee When you’re craving barbecue, don’t miss this joint. The servings are huge, and the barbecue is juicy. 5. Fin Fusion Murfreesboro, Tennessee This Japanese restaurant is a great stop for sushi.
Photos courtesy Mark Snider
BY MICHAELA SATTERFIELD
close to home
Track Courtney Hawkins doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to teaching others about producing electronic music. BY MICHAELA SATTERFIELD
Photos courtesy Courtney Hawkins
Photos courtesy Mark Snider
nthusiasm is something Courtney Hawkins has plenty of. You can hear it in her v oice, and you can hear it in the electronic music she produces. Based in Springﬁeld, issouri, her inﬂuence reaches thousands of people now, all thank s to her passion for music and inspiring others. When Hawkins ﬁrst began producing electronic music, she says she had to teach herself by crack ing open a few book s. T his was before YouTube made it easy to look up v ideo tutorials, so H awk ins had to learn her new skill the old fashioned way. Now she uses YouTube as her platform to teach other enthusiasts how to produce their own electronic music. Hawkins says she ﬁrst started posting remakes of popular songs to her YouTube channel in 2012, but her channel didn’t gain popularity until she started making tutorials in 2018. It was only a matter of time and a mere 500 subscribers before brands started contacting her about endorsements.
Courtney Hawkins is a marketing analyst at Prime. In her free time, she makes electronic music.
Native Instruments was one of the ﬁrst brands to reach out. H awk ins says they found her on Instagram after she posted a picture with one of their products. A few direct messages grew into a lasting business relationship. Today, Hawkins has almost 10,000 subscribers on YouTube. It’s no surprise H awk ins k nows how to reach people. She has spent a year at Prime as a marketing analyst, so she knows about good communication. She says learning how to establish work ing relationships with Prime’s customers has improved business relationships surrounding her music. It’s not all about the business, though— a love for music is the heart behind it all. Hawkins says experimenting with sounds is one of her fav orite parts. “ I think that is what’s most fun about creating music,” she says. “Rather than just creating something to hopefully sell.” H awk ins says it’s also about passing the baton and teaching others. O ne thing subscribers of Hawkins’ YouTube channel learn about is how to make a beat, which includes creating the instrumental portion of the song, like the melody and baseline. She uses a mix of guitars, keyboards and virtual instruments to create music. She says using a mix of instruments is key. It’s all about layering sounds. H awk ins says she wants to show people it’s not as hard as it seems to produce electronic music. “You can do it if you just set your mind to it and set some time aside to learn things, ” H awk ins encourages. A nd
To create the sound she’s looking for, Hawkins layers a mix of real instruments with virtual ones. Hawkins now creates how-to videos for YouTube where she teaches her followers how to create their own electronic music.
because the industry is predominantly male, she speciﬁcally hopes to inspire other young women like herself. H awk ins has had sev eral opportunities to further her career, but she says she turned them down because they didn’t seem right. S he also prev iously aspired to work with certain artists, but her perspectiv e has shifted. “Now, it’s just about creating and being able to share it with others, and then hopefully sharing some of the knowledge that I’v e learned ov er the years with people, so they can create things, ” she says. PRIME WAYS
Matt Hancock is the new Driver Health and Fitness coordinator at Prime. Instead of working out to get ripped, he believes in working out to meet daily needs.
WELLNESS | DECEMBER 2019
A NEW PATH TO
Prime’s new driver health and fitness coordinator knows big changes can come through small steps. It’s all about staying focused on the goal. BY PEYSON SHIELDS
or M att H ancock , Prime’s new driv er health and ﬁtness coordinator, working out has been a transformativ e ex perience physically and mentally. And he’s learned one big lesson Working out isn’t just about building muscle and getting ripped. It’s about preparing your body for what life has to offer. T hat concept is what H ancock hopes to share with Prime associates. “ E mployees typically spend 33 percent of their life at work,” Hancock says. “I’ve learned to adapt my training routines to the activities of daily living. I no longer workout to lift heavy weights, but to make sure that I can take advantage of all life has to offer.” Hancock has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and human movement and a master’s degree in health promotion and wellness management,plus several training certiﬁcations, but his accreditations aren’t the only credentials he brings to his new role. His personal motto, “take easy small steps for huge, long-term results,” helps guide how he teaches the program to drivers. “Huge, long-term results can be accomplished just by walking and eating a little bit less each day,” he says. “I’m trying to bring that mindset into this role to give our drivers hope that, even with hectic schedules, you can still be healthy.” PRIME WAYS
F rom one- on- one appointments with driv ers to launching the Prime Driver Health and Fitness Facebook page, att’s goals for the program are to align it with what drivers are asking for and wanting, and he is constantly updating the Driver Health and Fitness website ( driverhealthandﬁtness.com) to mak e the transition to a healthier lifestyle approachable and accessible. “The website has information ranging from bodyweight and strength training exercise routines to grocery store cheat sheets and healthy in-truck recipes,” he says. “We will soon be adding an exercise library database, so drivers will know how to do exercises from the routines I’ve posted.” He encourages everyone who participates to be prepared, to be ﬂexible and to not get overwhelmed. Staying focused on the little things is Hancock’s advice for making the difference in hitting your goals. “Seeing how excited drivers are once they have a plan is why I got into this ﬁeld in the ﬁrst place,” Hancock says. “I love being able to provide the tools and resources to lead our associates on a path to being healthier.”
FIT IN A MINUTE
Hancock’s tips for getting active on the road when you’re crunched on time.
5 MORE MINUTES I recommend referencing our easy 5-minute workout program on the Driver Health and Fitness website. The exercises consist of everything from push-ups to squats and core work and spine rotations, which can provide holistic workouts for your overall health.
TABATA Pick any exercise, or a combination of exercises, and perform them for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between each set. Do this eight times, which equals 4 minutes of high-intensity work.
WALK IT OUT You don’t always have to do some extravagant exercise routine. Walking 32 times around your truck equals one mile, which is a great way to get moving after or before a long day on the road.
Photo by Brad Zweerink
From Fit TO FAT
to Prime Certified personal trainer and driver don’t typically coexist on a resume, but for Adonis Hill, his journey to educate everyday people about accessible fitness has landed him here at Prime as a Tanker Over-the-Road Driver.
Adonis Hill is a personal trainer who appeared on Fit to Fat to Fit. Now he drives for Prime and is finding new ways to stay fit while on the go.
BY PEYSON SHIELDS
Photo courtesy Prime
orn and raised in B rook lyn, N ew Y ork , A donis H ill’s career in health and ﬁtness began when he couldn’t ﬁnd the right regime for himself. “I felt like there was more emphasis on selling a product than the training itself,” he says. “I started on my own, was losing weight and people started following me.” As his clientele and followers grew, it attracted the attention of the A & E network show Fit to Fat to Fit, a series where personal trainers gain weight, just to lose it alongside their clients. In 2016, Hill gained 100 pounds in a four-month period and lost it in the same time frame with his client, Alyssa. “Being an example of anything is the best way to teach somebody,” Hill says. “You’ve got to follow what you do. So, if I can show my clients ﬁrst-hand, then I can relate to their struggles.” While the drastic extreme was one made for telev ision, it helped H ill gain perspective of functional ﬁtness and
HEALTHFUL NIBBLES Adonis’ go-to snacks when he’s on the road.
building routines that are ﬁt for everyone. “After that, I got so many opportunities to do other shows, but they wanted to see overweight people struggle,” he says. “You see people doing burpees, which is hard enough when you’re ﬁt It makes great T , but my approach is slower.” Dedicating his ﬁtness career to encouraging lifestyle changes, Hill doesn’t promote quick ﬁxes, but in the New York City area, most of his clients were looking for their golden ticket to 6-pack abs. It was a positive direction toward ﬁtness, but it was not where his passion was leading him. “I love ﬁtness so much, I don’t want to charge for it,” Hill says. “But I have to survive and provide for my new family. I had to ﬁnd an industry where I could make money and start producing my own content that’s approachable for others.” That goal of creating approachable ﬁtness plans led him to Prime. Hill hit the
road with his driving trainer in arch of 2019. At ﬁrst, he didn’t stress about where to ﬁnd a smoothie or a salad. He ate what he could to learn about what’s available to driv ers on the road. A fter a few months of grabbing what was convenient, he made an effort to seek out good-for-you snacks and meals from a grab-and-go salad to a bunless cheeseburger to help transition him back into his healthy lifestyle. In addition to focusing on diet, Hill incorporates physical activity throughout his day. He’ll park far away at truck stops, stretch in the morning and do a 20-minute exercise circuit in his truck at night. And throughout it all, he’s documenting his healthy lifestyle to put intention into his next jump into the ﬁtness industry. “Once you start eating healthier, you don’t want to eat the other stuff,” he says. “You feel better on the inside, and outside, which really motivates you.”
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
When boredom strikes, it can feel like hunger. The motion of drinking water can help fill you up and keep you occupied.
All truck stops sell prepackaged portions for easy snacking; my go-to is cashews.
Loves Truckstop has pre-portioned cups of fresh fruit and vegetables that are affordable and provide great nutrients and protein. PRIME WAYS
PRIME GOOD DAD Anthony Eck Check out his feature on the blog & podcast on www.primegooddads.com! Many long haul drivers wonder about the impact of their absence on their children. While over-the-road (OTR) dads may not be physically present with their children as much as they would prefer, it doesn’t mean they are absent fathers. It may not be easy to be a good dad while also driving over-the-road, but it is possible. Good Dads provide for their children. Good Dads communicate with their children. Good Dads take an interest in their children’s activities. Good Dads model responsible, respectful behavior in caring for themselves and others. Prime Inc. cares about its drivers and their families. With the launch of Prime Good Dads, Prime is initiating practical, day-to-day strategies and activities to help dads stay connected to their kids, whether or not they’re driving across the country.
CONNECTING DADS AND KIDS FOR THE LONG HAUL
Visit www.primegooddads.com to sign up and learn more.
Congratulations to the 2019 highway Diamond award recipients! Excellence Award Reba HoďŹ€man
Emerald Cut Award Angie Sinnes
Highway diamond OF THE YEAR Sherina McConneyhead
Highway Diamonds is a program run by Prime, Inc. that oďŹ€ers support and recognition to their female drivers. The mission of the Prime Highway Diamonds program is to employ and support female drivers at Prime while recognizing and reducing challenges women may face in the transportation industry.
StRong. driven. women.
Visit www.highwaydiamonds.com to learn more.
TRUCKS & TECH | DECEMBER 2019
how we roll
Honoring Those Who Have Served When Robert and Kelly Pence decorated their truck, they knew they wanted to honor U.S. veterans, but they never could have planned on being asked to participate in the honorable Wreaths Across America memorial event. BY ETTIE BERNEKING
ou might not k now R obert and K elly Pence, but chances are you’v e seen their truck cruising down the road. T he couple driv es as a team for Prime’s refrigerated div ision, and they’v e turned their semi into a rolling memorial to fallen serv ice members. R obert himself is an A rmy v eteran, but when he was ready to decorate the truck , he wanted to honor all branches of the military. N ow, the forest green truck , better k nown as the T he G eneral, is hard to miss. T here’s a soaring eagle ripping through both sides of the cab plus an A merican ﬂag decal along the hood. The slogans “These Colors Don’t Run” and “Love Your Country. Thank a eteran”
are slapped along the cab in bold yellow print while the emblem for each branch of the military runs down the back of the cab. T he Pences’ salute to the armed forces hasn’t j ust caught the attention of other driv ers on the road; Prime’s leadership team also took note and ask ed the Pences to haul one of Prime’s W reaths A cross A merica loads in 2 0 1 7 and again in 2 0 1 8 . T he annual ev ent tak es place each D ecember when ceremonial wreaths are laid at military cemeteries across the .S. Some say, “to be chosen to do this ev ent is the pinnacle of driv ing, ” R obert says. And as long as he and Kelly are “breathing and able, ” they plan on helping out whenev er possible.
HONORABLE SALUTE Driver Robert Pence is an Army veteran, so when he decided to decorate his truck, he knew he wanted it to be a salute to his fellow service men and women.
TEAM EFFORTS Robert drove for another company before switching to Prime. He’s been with the company for 11 years now, and actually met Kelly online. When they started dating, Robert suggested Kelly help him drive, but she wasn’t convinced. Kelly is 5 feet tall and worried she wouldn’t be a good driver, but she eventually said why not, applied, and started training with Robert. Kelly and Robert actually got married while delivering a load through Nevada. The couple decided to take a taxi to Vegas and got hitched in 2011.
NOTEWORTHY DECOR When people see the truck and its memorial to veterans, Robert says many of them salute the truck and thank the couple for honoring those who have served. After the Pences having had the truck on the road for a few years, many people are actually used to seeing The General drive past.
Photos by Linda Huynh
A MOVING REMINDER Even though Robert served in the Army, he and Kelly made sure to honor each branch of the military with the truck’s design. Robert says the goal of the design is to remind every generation of those who gave their lives to keep the American dream alive.
During the Wreaths Across America event, people are invited to sign the trailer. When the Pences delivered Prime’s wreath to Arlington in 2017, more than 300 people signed their trailer, and many left heartfelt messages honoring U.S. service men and women.
Wally Anthony leads a driver simulation class at Prime. The class isn’t just for new drivers. Even seasoned associates can hop on.
After 10 years leading the simulation lab, Wally Anthony shares how modern technology helps new and veteran drivers test different road conditions.
fter 22 years as a ﬂeet manager, Wally Anthony knew he needed a change. T hat’s when he learned he was transferring to orientation serv ices to lead a new proj ect— the Prime Simulator Training Lab. That was 2009. In the 10 years since, A nthony has helped up to 1 2 , 0 0 0 Prime driv ers each year get behind the wheel of one of 1 0 simulation machines at Prime’s hub in Springﬁeld, issouri. ade by the tah-based company L , the newly updated simulation machines prov ide driv ers with a realistic driv ing ex perience. T he engine rumbles around you when the k ey is turned. T he console’s design is identical to a F reightliner with the matching wheel, instruments, pedals and more. B ut to mak e the simulation ev en more lifelik e, the entire seat console mov es. W hen the simulated truck slides on ice, the driv er and the seat slide, too. “This is the closest thing to a truck as it gets,” Anthony says. “When the roads are slick in a scenario, the seat console will slide, and you’ll feel the truck mov e. S o when you’re driv ing too fast, you’ll feel it and see it.” A nthony doesn’t j ust work with Prime student driv ers in the simulation lab. H e also trains v eteran driv ers who hav e years of driv ing under their belts. N ew students complete simpler scenarios
including successfully hauling a load to the bottom of a hill in light snow. F or v eterans, A nthony adds wind and a bliz z ard to the same scenario to help seasoned driv ers ex perience especially haz ardous conditions safely. “What we drive home with our Prime student drivers is what we stress for ev erybody, which is to driv e for conditions, ” A nthony says. “The scenarios help all drivers get back to the basics of driving for what’s ahead of you, always look ing forward, check ing your mirrors. It’s always about driving with safety in mind.” Prime student driv ers complete 1 0 hours in the simulation lab as part of their initial training when they drive Prime’s ﬂeet of drivers. But Anthony points out that all Prime drivers can gain a beneﬁt from driv ing in the simulation lab. “For Prime student drivers, there is no grade on the simulation machine this isn’t a test,” he says. “It’s an exercise to help drivers k now how to parallel park without hav ing to worry about hitting a pole. If a driver comes in here and makes a mistake, we talk about it and try again. I want them to make mistakes, because in here, if you cause a major wreck, we just do the simulation again. If we can av oid j ust one serious accident, we’v e both done our j obs.”
Photo by Brad Zweerink
BY REN BISHOP
Eric Allie is a fleet manager at Prime. He uses a weather and traffic map to help drivers on the road.
THE POWER OF
Brianne Madura, IT manager, talks about the latest tech updates happening at Prime and why feedback is and will always be king. BY BRIANNE MADURA
Mapping It Out The Weather/Traffic Map helps managers and drivers stay on the same page with delays. BY KAREN BLISS
Photos by Brad Zweerink
Photo by Brad Zweerink
riv ers and managers face a v ariety of weather and trafﬁc situations on the road, so in order for driv ers to be prepared for sudden up- to- the- moment changes and delays, Prime uses a secret weapon. It’s called the Weather/Trafﬁc ap. It’s essentially a weather-mapping program that allows in- house associates, such as ﬂeet managers, to manage drop offs and pick ups better, as they can v isually see roads that are impacted by delays. If a storm is slowing down trafﬁc on a designated route, ﬂeet managers can chart a new route and update the driv er mid route. S imilarly, if a driv er is about to run into bad weather, their ﬂeet manager can giv e them a heads- up and help k eep them prepared. “A wonderful beneﬁt of this program is that it can overlay trafﬁc and weather so that we can readily understand what the operators are dealing with in real time,” says Eric Allie, a ﬂeet manager in the bulk tank er div ision at Prime.
T he map is still a new program at Prime, which rolled it out about six months ago. A s Prime’s goal is to mak e drop offs and pick ups easier for ev eryone, this program aims to aid the company’s goal of efﬁciency, so driv ers can av oid delays and deliv eries arriv e on time. “There are many different ﬁlters that can be applied to the system that help increase productiv ity, ” A llie says. F ilters on the program include whether the driv ers are solo or work as a team and if delays are due to weather or trafﬁc. As ﬂeet managers get more comfortable with the new program, A llie is ex cited to see how it improv es life on the road for drivers. If delays can be avoided, that’s not j ust a time and money sav er, it’s also an improv ed q uality of life for the driv er as well. A nd while we can’t do much to control the weather, being able to see what lies ahead and work around it is a huge game changer for the industry.
eedback, feedback, feedback. We have been asking for it for years to help Prime Mobile keep improving, and we have added some really great features based off of your suggestions. Enjoy the MyFuel section? Thank your fellow drivers. Like getting fewer QC messages? Thank your fellow drivers. Now, the newest reason you should thank Prime drivers is for their help in adding the latest feature to the app, which allows drivers to rate stops in the Fuel & Services map. The idea came from a Friday morning Safety Meeting suggestion, and the feature means you can now rate fuel locations, washes, service locations and all of the other location types right from the map. By taking the time to rate these locations and update the available hours, you can directly help someone who has never been to a particular area pick the best stop for them, find a place that is open when they need, and help us ask some of these lower ranking places to make some changes. When you want accurate and honest information, you go to the source, and our Prime family is arguably the best source around. Your opinion matters, and now you can share it with our entire fleet and help a fellow driver on the road.
Quick Facts • There are more than 4,500 Fuel & Service Locations listed on the Prime Mobile map. • Of those service locations, 961 of them have reviews. • 61 locations have had their hours updated on the map.
Photos courtesy Prime
It’s no secret drivers put their trucks through a lot. With steep mountains, heavy winds and loads approaching 80,000 pounds, drivers depend on their trucks to successfully complete challenging deliveries. But every truck eventually needs to retire, and every truck has its limitations. When the time comes to make a switch or an upgrade, it’s important to consider all the options, and that’s where Prime has stepped up to make drivers’ decision-making process a little easier. Prime’s new website outlines all three of its truck models and runs through the different specs for each truck. But if you don’t have time to head online, just keep reading to get the scoop. BY TESSA COOPER
The International A
s a long- haul driv er, days and week s on the road can feel endless at times. B ut the right truck can k eep you from feeling too homesick . F or many driv ers, the International L T is j ust the truck for the j ob. E v er since 1 9 0 2 , International truck s hav e been hauling goods across A merica. T he fact that the business has been in operation for more than a century is a big testament to its q uality. A t Prime, there are approx imately 5 5 8 driv ers who proudly use an International L T . R obert Parham is one of these driv ers. R obert Parham has been driv ing for Prime since 2 0 1 8 , and he operates a 2 0 1 9 International. B ut before this truck , he drov e a F reightliner. “ I don’t think there is anything that I actually dislik e about my International, ” he says. “ F rom the truck ’s ex terior to the interior, to the bedding to the storage, I lov e it.” Parham particularly lik es the user- friendly cruise control feature for going down large hills. “ O n a downgrade, you don’t really need to press the brak es, ” he says. “It usually handles it ﬁne on its
HIDDEN BENEFITS: THE INTERNATIONAL LT MAXIMIZES FUEL EFFICIENCY BY UP TO 9 PERCENT AND FEATURES FOOLPROOF CRUISE CONTROL AND TWO OVERSIZED BEDS, WHICH MAKES IT THE IDEAL TRUCK FOR LONG-HAUL TEAM DRIVING.
own.” Parham adds it also mak es smooth turns. H e is currently training a student, and he loves how they can both ﬁt comfortably in the roomy cab. In fact, both the top and the bottom bunk s are ov er- siz ed. “ It’s v ery roomy… I j ust lov e ev erything about this truck , ” he says. Parham’s appreciation for his new truck should come as no surprise. “ T his is the most driv er- centric truck on the road today,” says Jana yers, ﬂeet support coordinator at S ummit T ruck G roup. “ It was designed by driv ers and built for driv ers.” Part of why driv ers lov e the International the truck ’s comfortable sleeper. L ong- haul driv ers rest soundly in this truck on a 7 3inch sleeper. T hat’s more than 6 feet of wiggle room. T he International L T ’s roomy cab and ex ceptional H V A C system back up M yer’s argument that this truck was designed for driv er comfort, but there’s more than j ust that to lov e about the truck . O n the newer models, improv ed aerodynamics lead the industry in fuel economy, which means driv -
ers mak e fewer stops for gas. A ccording to M yers, the International L T ’s ride JAN optimiz ed suspenA MYERS sion giv es the most comfortable ride in the industry and best turning radius in class, which are two bold, yet ev idence- back ed claims that hav e caught driv ers’ attention. International T ruck s also designed this truck with driv er safety in mind. Its onepiece wrap- around windshield and single pedestal mirrors allow a commanding v iew of the road in order to lower the risk for pesk y blind spots. T he driv er’s seat feels anything but cramped, with plenty of elbow, hip and leg room. B ut to top it all off, this truck has one of the lowest ownership costs, mak ing it the perfect truck to buy if you hav e goals of becoming an owner- operator. S o go ahead and dream about that ex tra- long sleeper and roomy storage space and start sav ing up.
Photos courtesy Prime
NUMBER OF TRUCKS ON PRIME’S FLEET: 558
Peterbilt 579 NUMBER OF TRUCKS ON PRIME’S FLEET: APPROXIMATELY 1,200
HIDDEN BENEFITS: ITS EXCELLENT FUEL EFFICIENCY, SAFETY FEATURES AND COMFORTABLE CAB MAKE FOR PLEASANT DAYS AND NIGHTS ON THE ROAD.
ith a two percent improv ement in T hank s to the truck ’s built- in storage, the aerodynamics ov er the prev ious U ltra L oft spans 7 0 cubic feet. G et ready to models, the new Peterbilt 5 7 9 pack s k iss piled up clothing goodbye. T he truck a punch. F ront disc brak es are standard opincludes 4 2 - inch tall hanging cabinets that tions on the 5 7 9 Peterbilt U ltra L oft, and can ﬁt 2 L shirts without dragging along the engine and after- treatment adv ancethe bottom of the cabinet. ments produce better fuel efﬁciency and W ith all the ex tra room, the 5 7 9 Peterbilt less downtime. U ltra L oft is the ideal truck for team driv ers. “ If you’re look ing for a truck that rides T he sleeper is spacious and functional for great and pulls hard, then this is the truck both driv er and co- driv er, set up with perto driv e, ” says V an G ertner, S trategic A csonal storage, work space and controls for count M anager at T he L arson G roup. the upper bunk as well as the person on the T he truck ’s engine and transmission lower bunk . “ It is an amaz ing setup for line contribute to its reliability and smooth haul and long haul truck ing, ” G ertner says. ride. Peterbilt eq uipped this truck with “ If you are a team and need the room or a the Paccar M X 1 3 4 5 5 hp engine and the solo driv er who lik es all the ex tra storage new Paccar 1 2 speed. It can deliv er 1 , 6 5 0 capacity, then the U ltra L oft is your truck . ft. lbs. of torq ue at low rev olutions per T his truck ’s smooth ride and automated minute ( R PM ). In other words, it can pull transmission will leav e you less stressed ex tremely large loads with a small amount and less worn out at the end of your shift.” of fuel. “ T he aerodynamic improv ements of this model hav e helped produce some of the best fuel efﬁciency in the industry,” G ertner says. T o top it off, Prime eq uips these models with B endix W ingman adv anced collision mitigation, all- wheel anti- lock break s and roll stability systems. T hese features signiﬁcantly enhance the truck’s safety for both the operator and other driv ers on the road. U sability aside, the 5 7 9 U ltra Loft is more than just efﬁcient It’s ex tra- spacious and comfortable. Peterbilt designed the cab and sleeper with comfort and usability in mind. Drivers beneﬁt from the largest- in- class upper and lower bunk s. T hose trav eling solo can fold up the upper bunk for ex tra storage and breathing room, but when you look at the footprint of this cab, you might not need the ex tra space.
N GER R TNE
“ Peterbilt is a more comfortable truck , ” says M av is B obbitt, who has been driv ing for Prime since 1 9 9 4 and who switched to a Peterbilt after driv ing a F reightliner. “ I think it’s because of the handling of it as you are steering and going down the road.” B obbitt noticed the turning radius isn’t q uite as adv anced as the F reightliner’s, but she says it is easy to adj ust to. H owev er, she does mention that switching from a manual to a new automatic truck does tak e some adj usting. G oing down hills, she has to fully trust the truck to control the speed, where as with a manual, she felt fully in control. O v erall, B obbitt lov es getting to driv e the Peterbilt. “ T he whole truck is uniq ue, ” she says. “ I don’t k now if it’s the styling of it, but it j ust seems that way to me.”
The Freightliner S
ince 1 9 9 3, Prime has been purchasing F reightliners, and for good reason. W ith each new model, F reightliner continues to impress. F reightliner’s new Cascadia model that joined the Prime ﬂeet in O ctober 2 0 1 7 is Prime’s only truck with a 1 5 - liter engine. W ith an adv anced automated transmission and a direct gear ratio, the truck marries driv eability with high torq ue and ex ceptional fuel mileage. A ccording to B rad S turges, ex ecutiv e vice president of Springﬁeld Freightliner, F reightliner is the only original eq uipment manufacturer to offer a proprietary C ol-
HIDDEN BENEFITS: THE FREIGHTLINER IS THE ONLY TRUCK ON PRIME’S FLEET WITH A 15 LITER ENGINE. IN ADDITION, FREIGHTLINER PROVIDES A NETWORK OF REPAIR PROVIDERS THAT CAN CONVENIENTLY HANDLE ALL REPAIR ISSUES IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG ON THE ROAD.
lision A v oidance S ystem (C A S ). T he C A S work s seamlessly with the truck ’s D D - 1 5 engine and D T - 1 2 T ransmission, which prov ides a smooth driv ing ex perience. C liff H umphrey driv es a C ascadia F reightliner for Prime. “ I’v e been doing this for 4 5 years, and I’v e been with Prime since 1 9 9 0 , ” he says. “ I’v e always been partial to F reightliners. W hat’s always drawn me to them is that they’re the most ergonomic.” H e says the easy- to- access gauge placement and wrap- around dashboard mak e the F reightliner a v ery comfortable truck to driv e.
H umphrey says BR switching from the AD prev ious generation of STURGES the C ascadia to the latest model presented a learning curve at ﬁrst. “ It took some getting used to, but it is still v ery well thought out as far as the instrumentation, controls and all the things you need to access from the driv er’s seat.” H e adds that he doesn’t hav e to lean forward to use any important component while on the road. Freightliner also offers a conﬁguration of the C ascadia that can satisfy both teams
Photos courtesy Prime, Brad Sturges
NUMBER OF TRUCKS ON PRIME’S FLEET: APPROXIMATELY 5,000
and single operations for lease or company driv ers. F or ex ample, F reightliner can customiz e the standard model, which is a 72-inch raised roof sleeper, to ﬁt both team and solo operators. O ptions included bunk beds, a single lower bunk or a M urphy bed. T he M urphy bed option mak es room for more work space in the sleeper with table and bench seating. T his S eptember, F reightliner began mak ing sev eral standard improv ements to the new C ascadia to further improv e fuel mileage and the D etroit A ssurance 5 .0 system. A mong the switches are new aero
improv ements. O ne change is a redesign to the A - pillars on the cab, which will now use airﬂow to move water and dirt off the face of the cab mirrors. In addition, F reightliner sealed the seam between the sleeper and the side extenders to decrease airﬂow through this area and improv e fuel mileage. T he newest C ascadia truck s will also come with ev en more safety improv ements. O ne ex ample of these improv ements is the new A daptiv e C ruise C ontrol system, which will go all the way down to z ero. T his feature will allow its operator to resume road speed seamlessly.
Perhaps best of all, the radar will now detect pedestrians in potential blind spots, alert the driv er, and brak e the truck . L ast but not least, the dash will display the legal speed limit by reading road signs, the headlights will dim from high beam to low beam when it detects oncoming trafﬁc and the windshield wipers will automatically sweep to clean the windshield when they sense moisture. A t the end of the day, the new C ascadia giv es you all the q ualities you could want in a truck an impressive engine, comfort, safety and fuel efﬁciency. PRIME WAYS
Adventures on the
Sea For Prime’s many associates, travel is just a way of life. When it comes to taking a vacation, you’d think they’d prefer to stay in one place, right? You’d be wrong. BY JAMIE THOMAS
If you’ve ever taken a long road trip anywhere, you know how exhausting it can be.
Photos courtesy Shutterstock
It doesn’t matter if you’re driv ing a car, truck , S U V or W innebago, or whether you’re alone or hav e your whole family in tow. A fter a few hours on the road, you’re ready for a break . B ut what about those folk s who driv e for a liv ing? F or driv ers in the Prime family, those long stretches on the road are j ust a way of life. S o, when it comes to tak ing a v acation, you’d think trav eling would be out of the q uestion. S urely someone who spends all their time on the road would rather stay in one place for some R - and- R , right? N ope. W hen it comes to popular v acation activ ities for Prime associates, cruises rank at the top of the list. S ome of these cruises are short while some of them are much longer. S ome inv olv e a fully pack ed itinerary, while others are more about lounging on the deck . W hen you consider j ust how much time Prime associates spend on the road, a taste of a life at sea starts to mak e sense. H av ing the open ocean stretched out before you rather than a long narrow freeway sounds pretty good. A dd in the bold blue sk y abov e instead of the roof of your truck ’s cab, and a cruise sounds downright idyllic. T o get a better understanding of what life on a cruise is really lik e, we spok e to driv ers A lan G odfrey, H arold B uz ick and C had W alworth, along with Prime R ecruiter N ik k i Y ost.
Anne and Alan Godfrey visited Ireland on one of their many cruises. That trip still ranks as one of their favorite destinations.
lan G odfrey of D allas, T ex as, has been driv ing truck s for 1 2 years, and he’s been driv ing with Prime for more than six of them. H e’s also been going on cruises since 2 0 0 3. In that time, G odfrey has rack ed up an ex tensiv e list of locales that he’s v isited. T hree years ago, G odfrey and his wife, A nne, trav eled to Ireland, and they’v e embark ed on a transatlantic cruise from B arcelona to N ew Y ork . T hey’v e tak en cruises to G rand T urk Island, the Panama C anal, C osta R ica, C olombia, A ruba, J amaica and many, many other destinations. T his year alone, G odfrey is preparing for trips to G reenland, the U K , B arcelona and N orway. W hen ask ed if he had a favorite spot, Godfrey picked Ireland, but it deﬁnitely seemed like a struggle to single one place. H e hopes to cruise out to A ustralia and N ew Z ealand in the future. “ W e lik e the ability to tak e off whenev er we want for as long as we want, ” he says. “ C ruising allows us to explore other parts of the world on a ﬂoating resort. We ﬁnd a lot of fun cruising with fellow truck ers and introducing them to the world of cruising and trav el.” In fact, G odfrey has recently become a trav el agent himself as a way to share his lov e of cruises and earn some ex tra retirement income for himself and A nne. A ccording to G odfrey, A nne has also tak en to cruises lik e a duck to water, especially since she began driv ing with him. Not only is Godfrey a seasoned cruise-goer, he’s also a certiﬁed scuba diver. Godfrey actually completed his scuba diving training in Prime’s hometown of Springﬁeld, issouri, and earned his certiﬁcation at Table Rock Lake in nearby Branson. Since then, he’s been scuba diving in the beautiful clear waters of H awaii and B eliz e multiple times with a scuba buddy and fellow driv er. H e’s ev en gone on night- div es. A s it turns out, scuba div ing seems to be popular pastime of Prime associates who tak e off on regular cruises. H arold B uz ick is another scuba div ing fanatic who also has a lov e of cruises. J ust turn to the nex t page to learn what it is about cruises and div ing that has captured his heart.
Scuba Training and Certification Scuba certifications are open to anyone, and there are a lot of options out there for anyone who wants to get started. Discover Scuba, run by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), is an international organization that offers professional-led dives for novices, along with lessons and certifications. Learn more about what they offer at padi.com. You can also look closer to home by searching for local instructors, like DiVentures in Springfield, Missouri. Just make sure to check their accreditation before you book. If you’re less enthusiastic about taking a deep dive, snorkeling is also a great way to experience the clear waters of various cruise destinations. Of course, sitting back on the deck of the cruise ship is perfectly fine, too.
Harold Buzick found his love of scuba diving after watching Jacques Cousteau as a youngster.
Photos courtesy Shutterstock, Alan Godfrey, Harold Buzick
arold B uz ick is more than happy to recommend both cruises and scuba div ing to anyone and everyone. Buzick has been driving for Prime for ﬁve years, and he can list off countless trips he’s been on and the many different destinations he’s seen. B uz ick started going on cruises four years ago and has already been on ﬁve trips. uch like Godfrey, the appeal of a cruise for B uz ick is the time away from ev erything. It’s about being totally cut off from any cares or concerns he might hav e on land. A nd when it comes to life on the boat, B uz ick says it’s worth spending a little ex tra to get a balcony room to really mak e the most of the incredible blue v istas. “ Y ou can lay on that deck and j ust absorb life, ” he says. B uz ick credits his lov e of scuba div ing to watching J acq ues C ousteau as a child. “ F rom the day I was a little child watching J acq ues C ousteau, I fell in lov e with it, ” he says. “ I wanted to be lik e him.” The way Buzick describes the undersea wildlife that he’s encountered sea turtles, lionﬁsh and moray eels— it’s easy to see the appeal... ev en when he mentions shark s. Y es, B uz ick has swum with sharks. “I didn’t do it intentionally,” he says. “But we were ﬂoating by doing what you call a ‘ drift div e’ where you j ust hang in the water and the current carries you. W e were heading to the boat because it’s the end of our drift, and my guide comes up and taps me on the shoulder. H e’s got this smile. Y ou can see the smile in his eyes. H e points down and there’s j ust two shark s laying down on the bottom there, 1 5 feet from us. It’s beautiful. It’s ex citing.” A s for a fav orite spot, B uz ick says B onaire in particular is a fav orite. T he unspoiled coral reefs are worth a v isit, plus it is home to more than 1 5 0 different div e spots— many with div es as low as 1 30 feet— and, in this case, no shark s.
Scuba diving is one of Harold Buzick's favorite pastimes while on a cruise. Many cruises lead guided scuba dives.
Josh Burke and Chad Walworth use cruises as a chance to see the world together. The trips offer Chad a chance to travel without being behind the wheel.
Chad Walworth and Josh Burke love cruises so much, they've already planned the next few years of cruise trips.
Harold’s Scuba Advice 1 With courses, classes and professionally led dives, scuba diving is suitable for all ability levels. “Even if you’re not a swimmer, it is totally safe,” Harold Buzick says. What should someone new to scuba diving remember before they jump into the water? Here are his key tips. 28
Sign up for a discover scuba session,
When you’re in the water, be aware
either at a scuba shop or at one of
of your surroundings. Keep your eyes
the ports on a cruise. These dives are
open partly for safety and partly for
typically groups of four to five people
the incredible sights you won’t want to
and are specifically designed to cater
to divers of all ability levels. Certified instructors are equipped with the right knowledge, and diver safety is their priority.
Photos courtesy Shutterstock, Chad Walworth, Nikki Yost
had W alworth has been driv ing truck s for 2 2 years and tak ing cruises since he was very young. Walworth lives in Springﬁeld, issouri, and drives almost exclusively at night, so cruises offer a completely different world when v acation time comes. O ne of his fav orite cruises was a trip to G ranada, where a snork eling ex cursion gav e both C had and his partner, J oshua B urk e, the chance to swim through an underwater sculpture garden. “ W e lik e to cruise ov er the holidays, ” W alworth says. “ It’s such a great time to get away. F or freight there’s really not much going on.” W alworth agrees that cruises are a great way to separate yourself from the stress and commitments of work . “ E v erything that you need is tak en care of, so you don’t have to worry about anything for that time.” Last year’s cruise with Walworth was Burke’s ﬁrst and, as Walworth himself puts it, “he was hooked.” They already hav e the nex t few years’ of cruises planned out with trips to Italy, A ustralia, A sia and the G alapagos Islands scheduled. Walworth and Burke both plan on getting their PADI certiﬁcations for scuba div ing soon, so they can tak e the nex t step up from snork eling. W alworth also plans to get his motorcycle license to add an ex tra dimension to their trips, particularly to H awaii and the C aribbean.
Nikki Yost and her husband have hauled the whole family on cruises. She says it's a nice way to take a family trip with much less stress.
ikki Yost is a recruiter at Prime’s Springﬁeld terminal, and she’s been working for the company for ﬁve years. In that time, she’s already been on ﬁve cruises, and her sixth trip is coming up in D ecember 2 0 1 9 . “ I started a week after a cruise, ” she says. “ T hat k ind of was a conv ersation starter.” Y ost trav els on these cruises with her family, which includes her k ids aged 1 0 , 1 2 and 1 5 . “ W e get to introduce our k ids to different countries and their lifestyles, and that’s k ind of a learning ex perience for them, too.” Y ost says one of the maj or appeals of a cruise holiday for her family is how open the options are. W hether you tak e part in ex cursions or lounge in a deck chair or on the beach is entirely up to you. Y ost and her family hav e done a little of both and hav e tak en adv antage of opportunities lik e a catamaran trip in H onduras and snork eling among coral. T he best part is enj oying hav ing no responsibilities. “ A s a mom, not hav ing to plan activ ities or meals. T hat’s a selling point for me, ” Y ost says. S o far, Y ost and her family hav e trav eled to B eliz e, the B ahamas, C oz umel and H onduras, all places she says she would hav e nev er been were it not for the cruises. T his D ecember, they’ll be v isiting G rand C ayman and J amaica. B y the sound of it, there’ll be plenty more cruises for Y ost and her family in the future.
The Yost family vaca on a cruise was a big success. It went so well, they're planning another cruise this winter.
If you’re diving anywhere with coral,
Be respectful of wildlife. Don’t
Last but not least: Do it! Buzick stresses
make sure you stay clear. Coral is
approach underwater animals. Let them
that if you go down once, you’ll be
beautiful to look at, but certain types
interact with you at their own pace.
can sting and cut your skin if touched. Not only that, but touching coral can do tremendous damage to it.
One of the new features of the Student Driver training facility is the break room. The new space gives associates a place to rest, eat and chat.
TERMINAL TALK | DECEMBER 2019
Upgrades in Pittston After more than a year of operating the Prime Student Driver program in parking lots and wherever a trailer could fit, the Pittston, Pennsylvania, terminal finally has a home for the PSD program, and its benefits ripple throughout the company. BY CLAIRE PORTER
big part of Prime Inc.’s reputation as a leading company for transporting goods nationwide comes down to the company’s ﬂeet of skilled drivers, many of whom are considered the best in the business. But to become the best, you ﬁrst have to be trained, and thanks to a brand-new Prime Student Driver training facility at the Pittston, Pennsylvania, terminal, the company is gearing up to bring record numbers of new drivers into the Prime family and set them up for a long and successful career on the road.
Just down the street from the Pittston terminal is the new Prime Student Driver (PSD) training facility, which opened in October of this year. Prime purchased the 12-acre facility with the intention of bringing its PSD program to Pittston, and Richard Brock relocated from Springﬁeld to get it all started in June of 2018. “We started bringing in about four prospective drivers each week, and now the program has been steady at about 10 to 12 students per week,” Brock says. “This week we actually brought in 25 drivers. We’ve had really good success with the program.” When the program got started in Pittston, it was operating out of the main terminal, which already experiences a shortage of parking and space. Student drivers were practicing between trailer rows, which required a
Photos by Richard Brock
Prime has a fleet of driving instructors at the Pittston hub, and thanks to the training facility, the team expects 30 new potential drivers to visit the hub each week.
lot of patience, skill and coordination from multiple departments. On top of that, this system limited the number of students who could train at one time. The new facility eliminates that problem with six new dedicated training pads, which can also be used for overﬂow trailer parking. “It’s going to mean so much to so many different departments because trying to navigate parking up here is so difﬁcult, especially at night or on holiday weekends,” Brock says. “This additional trailer parking is going to be big for many departments.” The new facilities have everything student drivers need to be set up for success, including ofﬁces for staff, a conference room, a break-out room, restrooms and a training room that doubles as a lounge with a microwave plus coffee and tea for breaks. Outside, the property includes a walking path around the outside of the training pad, plus seating and 24/7 lighting for aroundthe-clock training.
The Pittston new facility boasts plenty of features to make training easier for student drivers, the biggest of which is the six new training pads. “I keep telling these guys, ‘If you’re successful doing this with just one training pad, just wait until we have six of them,’” says Richard Brock, who works with the Prime Student Driver program at the Pittston terminal. “‘Your success is only going to go up from here.’” As a bonus, the new training pad provides more driveable landscape and more parking! “Every time I do a Facebook Live video, there’s someone asking me, ‘Is there going to be more parking?’” Brock says. “Almost as much as they’re excited about the training, they’re excited about the parking.”
Pennsylvania all the way to Springﬁeld for The new facilities aren’t just a boon for the orientation. students-in-training. Brock is already seeing the ripple effect of the increased focus on the PSD program. For example, staff “It’s a life-changing opportunity to be able and drivers at the Pittston hub had long to come work for Prime,” Brock says, and wanted extended hours for the cafeteria, extending that opportunity to more drivand because of the added growth from new ers requires a welcoming environment and drivers, the cafeteria now has more staff a successful student driving program that and is open longer. is supported by everyone. “We try to tell With trainers coming in and out of everybody they have a huge role, not just the terminal more frequently, the shops in the growth of the company but also the are also seeing more trafﬁc, and drivers culture of the company as well,” he says, are getting their trucks serviced more and he notes that the support for the PSD often. Plus, more trailers coming in means program from all departments has been inthe trailer rebuild shop is also seeing addi- credible. “To see everybody pitch in and be tional trafﬁc. “For everybody it’s a big win,” willing to make changes and support that Brock says. growth has been absolutely phenomenal,” Additionally, the creation of a dedicated Brock says. “I really can’t put it into words training program and facility in the North- because every single department has had east region will attract even more potential to make adjustments, so that willingness to drivers because they won’t have to take pitch in and act here in Pennsylvania has a Greyhound bus trip from New York or been amazing.”
BY THE NUMBERS 6
New training pads
Training thanks to new lighting day and night
Acres for the whole training center, nine of which are dedicated to the training pad
Examiners dedicated to the Pittston training facility, Blake Meredith and Ryder FloodManso
Potential drivers expected to enter the program in Pittston each week
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The Keen family spent 10 years planning their epic road trip. It took a lot of coordination, but they pulled it off.
THE KEEN EPIC
FAMILY ROAD TRIP A third-generation driver, Matt Keen knows a thing or two about how to live life on the road. That’s why he brought his family along for the ride.
“I love being on the road with him, seeing it through his eyes,” Keen says. “That’s why I always knew I wanted to bring my family out here on a trip.” By the time Keen hauled his family out of Georgia this summer, the road trip had been 10 years in the making. For nearly two months, Keen took his whole family out on the road with him.
TAKE YOUR FAMILY
STARGAZING One of the highlights of the Keen family road trip was stargazing in Utah. On U.S. 6, a cut-through off of I-70, there’s a patch of gravel where trucks can pull off and park. There are no towns for hundreds of miles, which means there’s no light pollution and crystal clear night skies. “The kids couldn’t believe the stars,” Keen says. “And my wife had an app to point out the constellations. It was incredible.”
Together, they drove 7,500 miles in his 2017 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. The Keens saw a cattle drive in Fort Worth, Texas. They explored a meteor crater outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. His kids saw their ﬁrst drive-in movie outside of Salt Lake City and their ﬁrst buffalo in Yellowstone National Park. They toured Niagara Falls and visited the Grand Canyon. Even more exciting, for the ﬁrst time ever, Keen spent Father’s Day with his family out on the road. He was even able to complete a few hauls during his trip, so the 6-week trip was of minimal cost to his bottom line. But it’s the memories and time with his family that he values the most. Those moments together are priceless, he says. “When the opportunity arises, seize it,” Keen says. “Bring your family out on the road even if it’s just for a week. Show them some of the country. We take it for granted after a while. It all kind of runs together. It takes having a family member out on the road to rekindle that beauty, to see it again.”
Photos courtesy Keen family
They hit up tons of national parks and even spent Father’s Day together—a first for this young family.
BY REN BISHOP
att Keen has been driving since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, he says. His grandfather and father both drove rigs, so when he started rolling for Prime in 2009, he knew what he was in for. There was just one hiccup: He struggled leaving his family at home in Winder, Georgia. “It’s hard being away from my daughter, my son, and my wife, Stephanie,” Keen says. “But there are several ways we stay connected. Years ago, I got tired of not talking to my kids every day. So every day, no matter what’s going on, at 9 o’clock east coast time, I’m on the phone with my wife and kids. Together, we say prayers.” That daily 9 o’clock prayer keeps Keen connected to his 15-year-old daughter, Kaylin, and his 10-year-old son, Dalton. Another way he’s able to connect with Dalton is by playing PlayStation 4 video games together online. He’s also brought Dalton out on the road with him each summer since he was 3.
The Keen family spent nearly two months on the road traveling across the U.S.
View From the road What awe-inspiring landscapes have you seen from behind the wheel? Submit a highresolution photo (usually 500 KB or higher) of your truck to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name and caption information about where and when the photo was taken.
Photos courtesy Wesley Cartwright, Ngozi Okonmah, Kerri Urivez
Photos courtesy Keen family
Are there any cuter wrinkles out there than these? Charlie the friendly pooch was out on the road with his owner and Prime driver, Ngozi Okonmah. “This photo was taken while I was in Illinois,” Okonmah says. “My buddy Charlie was rolling with me keeping me company.”
Meet Ti, the lovable pup who will take any chance he can to stop and enjoy the scenery with his favorite stuffed frog. His mom and Prime driver Kerri Urivez says, “He loves being in the truck,” but he’s also happy to hop out and explore the area.
Driver Wesley Cartwright has a small but spunky co-pilot with him on the road. His friendly pup joins him in the truck and keeps Cartwright company. “It’s really great to have a job working for Prime where you can take your dog companion with you,” Cartwright says. “It makes being on the road a lot easier.”
New and Improved: Peek inside the newest truck models in Prime's fleet and learn how these new and improve cabs are designed to make life on...
Published on Nov 11, 2019
New and Improved: Peek inside the newest truck models in Prime's fleet and learn how these new and improve cabs are designed to make life on...