Prime Ways | Volume 4 Issue 2

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2111 S. Eastgate Ave., Springfield, MO 65809 PHONE: 417-883-7417 / FAX: 417-889-7417 417MAG.COM KATIE POLLOCK ESTES Editorial Director ETTIE BERNEKING, HALEY DARNELL Editors LINDA HUYNH

PRIME COMPANY STORE SHOP IN-STORE Springfield, MO Salt Lake City, UT Pittston, PA

Creative Director

CLAIRE PORTER Managing Editor JENNA DEJONG Editorial Assistant EVAN GREENBERG Staff Writer MADISON BRYAN Editorial Intern SARAH PATTON Art Director BRANDON ALMS Senior Photographer & Designer DYLAN LYLE Editorial Designer CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tessa Cooper, Julianna Goodwin, Rebecca Nanako, Lillian Stone CONTRIBUTING ILLUSTRATORS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Linda Huynh, Sheena Strain


GIVE US A CALL 417-521-3814 (MO) 570-602-4793 (PA) 801-977-5903 (UT)

Use your Prime Reward Points here!

LANDRA BUNGE Finance Coordinator BERNADETTE PRY Administrative Assistant GARY WHITAKER Publisher LOGAN AGUIRRE President/Associate Publisher MEGAN JOHNSON Vice President of Operations AMMIE SCOTT Vice President of Strategy and Senior Account Executive JOAN WHITAKER Vice President of Finance




ON THE COVER Prime is making new efforts to limit its global impact. It’s latest strategy— finding new uses for old tires.

Prime Ways 2019 2017 PRIME WAYS| |June MARCH

18 GOING GREEN Don’t just toss those old truck tires. Prime’s two new operations can retread and recycle those worn out wheels.





Clint Williams is a fleet manager by day and a woodworker by night.

Meet Tim. He’s not a driver—he’s not even human—but he’s become one of Prime’s most popular team members.


24 FOR THE LONG HAUL Meet the three Prime drivers who recently hit the 4-million-mile mark. Learn their driving tips for staying accident free and discover which on-theroad moments are still their favorites.



Think you can keep up with the latest morning workout at Prime’s Springfield campus? Check it out and then sign up!


17 DIGITAL UPDATE Prime’s new website is finally here, and there’s tons to check out. New truck specs, photo reels and user-friendly features are waiting for you.

When this Prime dad couldn’t tuck his kids into bed every night, he found a new way to stay in touch with them. Meet the dad who turned his time behind the wheel into a chance to vlog with his family.

Photo by Linda Huynh, courtesy Prime Inc.




Whether you’ve worked for Prime Inc. for decades or months, you probably have questions. Here, Terry Woods, manager of the Detail Shop at Prime’s Springfield location, answers frequently asked questions about the Detail Shop and Wash Bay.

I’M READY TO TURN IN MY TRUCK. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW? Always make an appointment with the detail shop before arriving. All chains should be removed and returned to Outbound. If you are exchanging your current truck for a new one, you will receive the same kind of chains back. We are able to remove all mounted items that were installed as extras. After cleaning out your truck, have the detail shop give you a cleaning estimate to avoid surprises on your bill. Once the truck is turned in, you will not have access anymore.

WHAT DO I DO WITH MY THINGS WHILE BETWEEN TRUCKS? The detail shop has short-term storage available. Cages upstairs at the detail shop are available at no charge for a maximum of 60 days. We are unable to store chains and load locks, so you will need to turn those in to Outbound beforehand.

HOW DO I GET A MATTRESS FOR MY TRUCK BUNK AND WHAT SHEETS SHOULD I PICK UP? Good sleep is a safety issue, so we provide a good mattress for our drivers at no cost. Because Freightliner mattresses are 38-by-80 inches, pick up an extra-long twin sheet set. The best fit for Peterbilts or International is full-size flat sheets for a 42-by-80-inch mattress.

Photo courtesy Prime Inc.

WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE PROVIDED AT THE DETAIL SHOP? We provide the internal and external cleaning of tractors as well as the installation of truck equipment. The wash bays provide a truck-sized drive-through bay for the washing of both tractors and trailers. We can also install just about any accessory Prime sells. Just give the shop a two-day notice. These additional installations are at the cost of the drivers. For Prime’s four-legged team members, the detail shop has a coin-operated dog wash that is available 24 hours a day. For more information, call 417-521-3588.


down A

s of the beginning of the year, Prime Inc. had 787 active drivers who had logged more than 1 million safe miles. If you are trying to calculate how long it would take someone to drive 1 million miles, let me help you… seven years! These aren’t just any miles though. These are accident-free miles. This feat is unimaginable given the amount of traffic and, oftentimes, daunting road situations that this profession lends itself to. This past February, Prime held a recognition event that we call our Millionaire’s Dinner. We were able to honor 263 new drivers who hit that 1-million-safe-miles mark. On top of that, we had a chance to welcome 45 drivers into the 2 million safe miles club. It’s beyond belief, but we even had the privilege of individually honoring seven new drivers who made it into the 3 million-safe-miles club and three drivers who are now in the 4 million-safe-miles club. We never get sick of talking about the importance of safety at Prime. These 787 Prime Driving Associates truly represent that focus. They are the faces of safety within our company. A trucking company cannot be successful without good drivers. Prime’s Millionaires are the best of the best. Prime will always strive to get better, but I’m not sure how you can get any better than these professional men and women. I’m proud to be a part of it and thankful for each and every one of our Driving Associates. Please enjoy the feature on our Prime Millionaires, which starts on p. 24.

Robert Low Prime Inc., CEO & Founder PRIME WAYS


The Brock family took a vacation to Destin, Florida. The family tries to enjoy an adventure almost every weekend.

LIFE | JUNE 2019




Richard and Taylor Brock are part of the Prime Inc. family in more ways than one—they have 14 relatives who work at the Springfield terminal. When the Brocks transferred to Pittston, they learned how to make a home away from home. BY CLAIRE PORTER 4



hen you’re a family with a young child, life is hectic as-is, but when you pick up and move across the country, things can often get even crazier. Richard and Taylor Brock learned this when the couple transferred from Prime’s Springfield campus to the Pittston, Pennsylvania, terminal a little more than a year ago. Of the pair, Richard was the first to get his start with Prime Inc. He joined the company four years ago. After a stint in the military, Richard became a public school teacher and coach before looking for something different. “I felt like I could do more,” he says. Once at Prime, Richard was able to find his perfect fit when he accepted a new role as a Driver Training Supervisor. “All of the traits and characteristics that are in the military— being on time, being very straightforward and having a very set routine but also being flexible—those were things that really helped me out [here],” Richard says. “Being a teacher, obviously being in that, ‘I want to help others’ mindset goes right along with what Prime is, so it was perfect.” Taylor adds that Richard’s background in teaching has also helped him build curriculum for Prime’s driver training program for new Prime student drivers.


THE ROAD As a couple that works together, Richard and Taylor Brock established unofficial rules to help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Photos courtesy Richard and Taylor Brock

Taylor (right) and her sister Hannah and brother in law Chris are just a handful of the family members who work at Prime.

As Richard continued to learn from those around him and found his footing as a driving training supervisor, Taylor was busy finding her own role within Prime. She was a stay-at-home parent after the birth of the couple’s son, Brayker, before she accepted a role in the flatbed department where she answered phones and scheduled appointments. The role’s flexibility and schedule appealed to Taylor as a new parent. Family is important to the Brocks. Not only do Taylor’s own parents have a history with Prime, but together the couple has 14 family members who work with the company. They loved the convenience of having relatives who could check on Brayker at the Springfield terminal’s day care, and they found that the Prime family took to the now 3-year-old, too. “Everybody at Prime already knows him,” Richard says. “He’s like a little mascot.” When Richard was tapped to start the Prime Student Driver program at the Pittston terminal, the Brocks knew that even though they were leaving their actual family behind, their Prime family would be there to lift them up. “It’s definitely apparent that Prime is a family company,” Richard says. “We 100-percent believed that from Day 1, just by the way things have gone, the support.” The transition to Pittston was a big one for the Brocks. “There were definitely challenges along the way, but we leaned on each other,” Richard says. Taylor accepted a job as sales support in the flatbed department, and Richard helped launch the student driver program, which increased traffic for the terminal. “That was kind of a crazy adventure, but we live kind of crazy adventure lives,” Richard says. The Brocks had already enjoyed plenty of

NO WORK TALK AT HOME “When we’re at work, we talk about work; when we’re at home, we try to leave work at work,” Richard says. This strategy allows the Brocks to get some distance from their work after hours.

adventures throughout the West Coast and the Midwest, so they jumped at the chance to now explore the Northeast. “People get so stuck in their routines every day that you don’t do anything new, and that’s kind of where we were at in Missouri,” Richard says. “We weren’t doing anything new.” Which is why the couple made a pact to do something new every weekend, even if it was simply visiting a new park or trying a new restaurant or something big like traveling to a new city for the weekend. “It’s nice to keep ourselves busy by traveling and giving Brayker those experiences and having those experiences ourselves,” Taylor says. “Obviously we miss our family a lot, but [exploring] helps keep us busy and keep our mind off of other things.” And as the Prime Student Driver program takes off and as the Pittston terminal grows, the Brocks are looking forward to the adventures that are in store for them in their new home.

BE A LISTENER, NOT A SOLVER “We don’t offer a whole lot of suggestions to each other because really we’ve discovered that it’s not so much that we want suggestions on what to do, it’s more that we just need someone to talk to, and we don’t have all of our existing support that we used to have [back in Springfield],” Richard says.

DON’T DWELL ON THE PROBLEMS When you do have to talk to your spouse about a problem at work, the Brocks have found it useful to keep it brief. “Get it off your chest, and let’s move on,” Richard says.

KNOW WHEN YOU NEED SPACE AND CONNECTION “Because we do work in different departments, we still get that space away from each other [when we need it],” Taylor says. But both add that having their spouse and best friend in the office is nice for moments of connection during the day.

Richard (left) has been with Prime for four years. His wife, Taylor, joined the company after they had their son, Brayker. A group of the couple’s extended family actually works at Prime including Taylor’s (right) cousin Destiny. They joined a Cystic Fibrosis walk in Springfield in memory of their cousin who died in 2017.



A simple salute Husband and wife Glenn and Vanessa Waters both served in the Marines and now both work at Prime in Pittston, Pennsylvania, where they live with their three children. They share their stories of their time in the service as well as how they found new careers at Prime. BY EVAN GREENBERG

“[Meeting Vanessa] is probably one of my greatest accomplishments in the military.”

Vanessa and Glenn Waters both served in the Marines before they both joined the team at Prime. Vanessa works within the recruiting department, and Glenn works as a fleet manager.



Glenn Waters

Vanessa Waters

Military History: Glenn Waters served in the Marine Corps from 2004 to 2008 and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He traveled to eight countries. Often, this was with Marines from different countries including Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. Waters grew up about an hour from Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina. It was a town where Marines were part of the community’s fabric. As a kid, Waters had seen the soldiers around town and decided to follow in their footsteps. Waters’s time in the Marines was marked by lasting friendships and his service in a leadership role as a corporal. “I learned from people who were higher ranked than me and kind of just took some of the leadership styles from each different individual and put them in my own toolbox,” Waters says.

Military History: Vanessa Waters was working as an assistant manager in a Lids store when a recruiter for the Marine Corps came into the store and suggested she might be a good fit. Waters wasn’t all that interested. A month later, the recruiter came back and asked her just to talk with him. She was off to training a month later. Waters worked as a warehouse clerk, a role that had her shipping items to Afghanistan and Iraq. She served from 2007 to 2015. It was during this time that she met her future husband Glenn Waters. The encounter happened in the middle of what’s called a field day, when the corps does squad bay cleanup. Glenn was in the same company as Vanessa, and the meeting led to a lifelong partnership. “[Meeting Vanessa] is probably one of my greatest accomplishments in the military,” Glenn jokes.

Prime Service: After his time serving in the Marine Corps, Waters was ready to start the transition into a civilian career. Before long, he landed a job driving a truck for Pepsi, but his real interest was in over-the-road driving. When an opening for a position with Prime Inc. became available, Waters was ready to make the switch. So, after two years of driving with Pepsi, he reached out to a connection he had in the Army Reserves, leading him to take the leap of faith and make the transition over to Prime. After three years as a Prime driver, Waters made another big decision to move in-house and become a fleet manager. “Prime’s very veteran-oriented,” Waters says. “There are a lot of veterans who do work here. We kind of group together and discuss all the times and the past. We can always get along with each other and have something relatable.”

Prime Service: When Glenn started driving a truck for Prime in 2013, the Waters family moved to Missouri. They picked up and moved again in 2017 when Glenn was offered a position as a fleet manager at Prime’s Pittston hub. After a month, Vanessa decided working for Prime sounded appealing, too. She applied for an in-house position within the recruiting department in November 2017 and has been there ever since. Vanessa loves her job at Prime and cherishes the opportunity to interact with drivers and the culture within the company. “I enjoy working for Prime because of the family atmosphere,” she says. “There aren’t too many companies that care. Recruiting is a small department, and we are the first person that the driver is going to talk to. Knowing that I am changing someone’s life for the better is exciting.”

Photos courtesy Glenn and Vanessa Waters

—Glenn Waters

Have questions about symptoms but can’t get in to see a physician? Just log into Live Health.

words from the field




At Prime, safety is key. Whether you’re behind the wheel or out on the dock, the first step to staying safe is looking the part. As an OTR Driver, Linda Morris takes her job, and her wardrobe, seriously to ensure safety out on the road. BY LINDA MORRIS AS TOLD TO HALEY DARNELL

Photos courtesy Shutterstock

Photos courtesy Glenn and Vanessa Waters


s drivers, we’re not just out here doing our job, we’re representing every member of Prime Inc. Not only is it respectful to be dressed in the proper attire while out in the field, but it’s safe. We drive heavy equipment, and we’re going to places that have heavy equipment, open grating or even food, and sometimes you have to step in chemicals to sanitize your shoes. We’re constantly getting in and out of trailers or we’re having to yard dog our own trailers at some of these places. There’s just a whole plethora of things that can happen if we’re not cognizant of what’s around us and what we need to do. Our clothes need to be appropriate for the activities we all perform, as well as for weather, such as hi-viz T-shirts or longsleeved shirts. If you’re wearing loose-fitting or ill-fitting clothing, it can quickly become a safety issue. I, personally, wear wind pants that have lining because they wash and wear really well. They dry extremely fast, and they’re long pants, so I can always put something underneath them in cold weather. The truth is, we can do damage to our clothes, but we always have the capability of stepping in our truck and changing them. Footwear suitable for warehouses, trailers and other uneven services is a must. There should never be any sandals or open-toed shoes. There are even a few places that require steel-toed shoes, and if you don’t have them, you can’t go on the dock. Safety is key, but everybody has to work together to keep each other safe. If we’re aware that every person is a functioning part of this piece of machinery, that makes it work well. I feel we should all be aware that we’re not just employees, we’re a part of a team. Whether you’re in the mailroom or on the road, everybody has an integral part. They respect our decisions out here, as we respect their decisions back there, so be professional, be a team player and be safe. We should all work toward the same goal and stand by the phrase “driven by the best.”

With health always being a top priority, Prime Inc. is offering a way to help everyone get state-of-the-art health care when they need it. BY MADISON BRYAN


rime Inc. drivers are always on the go, so it can be hard and expensive to find an urgent care or doctor’s office for something as simple as a cold. That’s why Prime offers Live Health telemedicine, which allows you to talk with a medical professional even when you’re on the go. Driving and non-driving associates with Prime health insurance pay a $20 copay and can get access to telemedicine services anywhere and anytime. The convenience of this app is great for drivers because they don’t have to leave the comfort of their truck to receive medical care. You can get a diagnosis and even a prescription, all through the app. This service is also great for multiple diagnostics including flu, minor rashes, tooth pain, allergies, sore throat and more. Plus, it’s easy to use. Start by downloading the app—Livehealth Online Mobile—put in your information, add your symptoms and talk to a doctor right on your phone. There’s no waiting in line or missing a delivery. It’s health care when you need it.

WALK THE WALK This spring, one Prime fleet manager made every step count with the help of the American Heart Association. BY HALEY DARNELL


or the past five years, Prime Inc. has joined efforts with the Midwest affiliate of the American Heart Association (AHA) by participating in the organization’s Southwest Missouri Heart Walk. The 5K walk helps raise money to save countless lives from heart disease and stroke. At this year’s event, which took place at Hammons Field on April 6, Prime was listed as the top company fundraiser, raising $19,697. The top individual fundraiser was Terri Higdon, fleet manager and one of the 87 members on Team Prime who participated in the walk. “All money raised goes directly back to AHA,” Higdon says. “[The organization] funds cardiovascular medical research, educates consumers on healthy living and fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke.” Prime drivers who were unable to join donated money to the cause by having their fleet managers walk in their place or post virtual walks to AHA’s or Prime’s Facebook pages. If you missed out on the Heart Walk there are still other events that Prime associates can get involved in, such as the Heart Ball in June and the Go Red for Women luncheon in August. To learn more, contact Terri Higdon at PRIME WAYS


Jearl and Lisa White have been driving as a team since 2017.

week in the life


in the work When it comes to driving, personal time isn’t always an option. However, Jearl White and Lisa Lange have found a way to live a life they enjoy while on the open road. BY MADISON BRYAN


TUESDAY White and Lange’s week doesn’t always start on a Monday. It varies based on when they get a dispatch. “I like to guess where our dispatch is going to send us,” White says. “Sometimes I guess it right, and Lange thinks it’s funny I try all the time.” With no set routine, except pre-trip, load-tire walkaround check and end-of-shift inspections, they take things one day at a time.

WEDNESDAY White has a routine for fuel stops and he uses the Prime app to find the cheapest prices. The app tells them how far away they are from an approved fuel station and the pricing at that gas station. If they’re running low on gas, White will stop and get $20 worth of gas in order to make it to the fuel stop with the cheapest gas.

THURSDAY This week a problem arose with the tire chains. When they stopped for service, they found trucks lined up for 5 miles, all waiting to have new chains installed. Turns out the chains on their trailer were too small. They waited 10 hours to get the correct ones.





Because White and Lange’s routes don’t always have them on the highway, they often spot wildlife along the way. One evening, they saw six deer crossing the road in front of them. But what they really love to see are the sunsets and sunrises.

This particular week, White and Lange made a delivery to a high school and gas station being built in Idaho. Navigating the construction site’s limited parking wasn’t the only issue. Because the buildings weren’t on a map yet, getting lost was a constant risk, but White and Lange overcame the struggle and made it to their destination without issue.

SATURDAY Longer deliveries can make it hard to stock up on groceries and do laundry, but White and Lange have a system. They usually stop for meals to avoid messing with dishes and take care of showers and laundry at truck stops. They also use the downtime to play with their long-haired Chihuahua, Oso, who joins them on their drives.

SUNDAY The couple doesn’t head home often, but they like their schedule that way. “We don’t take a lot of home time because we feel at home on the road,” Lange says. To spend some quality time together, they make a point of gathering at mealtime. “We like to eat as many meals together as we can,” Lange says. “This gives us time to talk about the things we’ve seen on our shifts.” Although they normally stop for meals because it eliminates cleanup, this week they made a pot roast and used their portable shower to clean all the dishes afterward.

BEST VIEWS One of the things Lisa and Jearl love most about their weeks on the road is the chance to see the sunsets, but even more than the great views, the couple loves spending the quality time with their dog. The long-haired Chihuahua, Oso, joins the couple as they hit the road and has adapted well to life inside the truck. The four-legged companion is a good partner to have during a long day of driving across the country.

Photos courtesy Jearl White and Lisa Lange

usband and wife Jearl White and Lisa Lange are no strangers to irregular schedules. With a love for the road and the new things they experience along the way, life is good for the two Prime drivers. They started driving as a team June 12, 2017, and have traveled to every state besides Rhode Island, Alaska and Hawaii. The couple drives in the flatbed division. Most weeks they make two- to three-day trips and can make as many as four deliveries in a week.

close to home

Into The

Prime fleet manager Clint Williams began his woodworking hobby as a way to destress after work. He added the lathe, which allows him to shape and detail his wooden creations.

Woods What started off as a way to reduce stress at the end of the workday has turned into a growing side business and creative adventure for self-taught woodworker Clint Williams. BY ETTIE BERNEKING

Photos by Linda Huynh

Photos courtesy Jearl White and Lisa Lange


ut of all the wood native to Missouri, Missouri. Williams and his friend will stalk walnut is Clint Williams’ favorite. The the property and look for the perfect tree. knotted dark burled boards have plen- Once it’s cut and milled, the wood needs to dry. ty of character Williams can bring to life “That’s a pain,” Williams says. Woodworking once the boards have been cut, turned and takes time—a lot of time. “Drying takes a year stained. With a little time, patience and skill, per inch of thickness,” he says. To speed that Williams can mold a scrap of lumber into an process up a bit, Williams shapes the “wet” artistic centerpiece. He’s made bowls, cutting wood on the lathe to get the desired thickness boards, wall shelves, end tables, table legs, he’s looking for whether he’s making a bowl tool handles and more over the two-year pe- or a wooden table leg. Once the wood has riod during which he’s taught himself the art been shaped, Williams lets it dry for about six of woodworking. What started off as a hobby months before he pops it back onto the lathe. has morphed into a growing side hustle. “You want to let it dry until it’s reached about Williams first picked up woodworking as eight percent moisture content,” he explains. a way to destress after work. Williams is a Williams is now selling his creations on fleet manager in Prime’s refrigerated division. Etsy through his account dubbed Barley and He’s based in Springfield, Missouri, and has Burled Shop. Hand-turned bowls ranging about 80 trucks in his fleet. Coming home from cedar and oak to cherry and walnut to his wood shop at the end of the day was a come in a variety of sizes and depths. While cathartic release at first. “Anyone in opera- his bowls and wooden creations have a more tions knows this is a pretty high-stress job,” antique and timeless appearance, his lamps he says. “That’s how this all started.” have what he calls a steampunk aesthetic. Once he mastered the basics, Williams He’s even made a few items for the auction at expanded his repertoire and started adding Prime’s annual Chili Cook-Off in Springfield new tools to his workshop. He eventually including a lamp and a cutting board. His infant son, Bennett, is also benefiting got himself a lathe—a large metal machine that rotates a piece of wood, which allows from his dad’s woodworking hobby. So far, you to shape, sand or cut it based on your Williams has built a cherry slab wall mount specifications. With the addition of the lathe, with Bennett’s name on it plus a walnut side Williams has been able to craft much more table with ash accents. “The wood just kind of intricate wooden designs. He started making took over,” Williams says laughing. Where it bowls, canisters and cups out of different will take him next is anyone’s guess. But for slabs of wood. now, woodworking continues to be a welcome A lot of material Williams sources comes stress reliever and creative outlet for a selffrom a friend’s farm in nearby Buffalo, taught enthusiast.

Williams makes a wide selection of handcarved wooden items including cutting boards, bowls and toothpick holders.

Before Williams really got into woodworking, he started off making steampunk lamps like this one, which is mounted on a wooden cutting that serves as the base of the lamp.



Josh Luttrell helped launch Prime’s new fitness class at the Springfield campus in January. The new class combines cardio and weight training into one heart-pumping workout.


Get Fit

A new fitness class at Prime Inc.’s Springfield hub is helping associates get lean. Here’s how you can get involved. BY JULIANA GOODWIN


rime Inc. drivers have a new option to help them my conditioning,” he says. “I used to struggle with anyget fit: Functional Fitness. Personal trainer Josh thing over 3-mile runs. Now I am cruising through 3 Luttrell launched the class in January and de- miles. It helps with endurance as far as weights.” signed it after CrossFit. The fitness class is held Nessa Riseman joined the class as an extra way to at 6 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the Springfield incorporate more cardio into her workouts. “The great hub and requires advance sign-up. The class incorpo- thing about this class is we have people who are really rates “functional movement, squatting, cardio, endur- fit and others who are not as physically fit,” she says. ance [and] body weight exercises, all in one setting,” “One person just started working out, and the trainer Luttrell says. adjusts to your fitness level.” He advises drivers coming through Springfield to Driver associates are encouraged to utilize gym sign up for it two days in advance, as there can be a equipment and ask the personal trainers—staffed in waiting list. Drivers can sign up by emailing Luttrell at Missouri and Pennsylvania terminals—for help. The If they can’t make it, there’s a gym is usually staffed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Although variety of classes at the Springfield campus, including it can be intimidating, please know walks-ins are enyoga and a fitness bootcamp. Chris Gibson, sales coordi- couraged,” Luttrell says. “Any time someone points a nator and regular Functional Fitness participant, loves finger at us and says, ‘I need help,’ we are going to stop the class and has seen results. “It has definitely helped and help you.”

Warm Up: 1 Mile (men should run it in less than 9 minutes, women in less than 9 minutes and 30 seconds) 25 Hand Release Pushups Sprint 800m 20 Front Squats (95 pounds for men, 65 pounds for women) Sprint 400m 20 Kettlebell Swings (55 pounds for men, 35 pounds for women) Sprint 200m 20 Tire Flips 20 Shoulder Press (95 pounds for men, 65 pounds for women) 25 Hand Release Pushups



Josh Luttrell gives an overview of the class and splits the group into teams. Sean Durbin works on his form while doing kettlebell swings.

Photo by Linda Huynh




Keto Diet One Prime couple has mastered the keto diet. They’re now here to share some of their tips on how to beat cravings and avoid sugars, even when you’re on the road. BY ETTIE BERNEKING

Photos by Sheena Strain


od and Heather Crider are basically pros at living a successful keto lifestyle. They’ve figured out how to meal prep on the road, how to keep snacks on hand to help when cravings hit and how to turn the keto diet into a sustainable lifestyle. The couple drives for Prime’s reefer division, and they started the keto diet in July 2018. For Heather, the move was preventative. Heart disease and diabetes run in her family. Both her father and grandfather died young. “They didn’t manage their health well,” she says. “For me that’s a motivating factor.” Health is also a big factor for Rod, who saw life behind the wheel take a toll on his weight. When the couple started keto, Rod weighed more than 350 pounds and knew it was time for a change. Almost a year later, Rod has lost 75 pounds, and Heather has gone down three to four dress sizes and lost 40 pounds. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, but once they settled on a routine that kept them stocked with snacks and go-to meals, the keto lifestyle wasn’t as difficult as they thought. The hardest part, as Heather says, was giving up “all the yummy stuff we love so much” including the morning cookie she used to enjoy with her cup of coffee. The low-carb diet focuses more on your daily intake of fats and proteins, so the Criders’ new food log includes almost no carbs but plenty of salads, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, snackable vegetables like celery and cheese—one of Rod’s favorites. A year into the keto diet, the Criders have picked up a few tips. They follow the blog and YouTube videos of Dr. Berg—a keto diet star—to get insight into the keto lifestyle. And they keep their truck’s mini-fridge stocked with high-protein foods they can cook in large batches in the instant pot or on the propane grill they keep in the catwalk. Meal prepping is key, according to Heather. She can cook a whole batch of bacon in one sitting and have it ready anytime they get hungry. Hunger is one of the hardest parts of the keto diet in the beginning. Heather and Rod refer to it as a fog or the keto flu. After a week or so, it goes away once your body adjusts to the reduction in processed sugar and carbohydrates. The key to managing that hunger is portion control. “Portion control is hard unless you plan for it,” Heather says. That’s why she and Rod slice cheese and meat ahead of time, so they don’t have to think about appropriate portions when hunger strikes. The couple also recommends using the Carb Manager app. “It’s wonderful,” Heather says. “You can look at your nutrient intake as a pie chart,” and keep track of your protein, fat and carbs every day. The app helps Rod and Heather stay on track and made it easier to understand the nutritional breakdown of what they were eating. The keto diet has definitely been a lifestyle change for the couple, and as much as they miss those carbs, Rod doesn’t look at it as giving them up. “I look at it as cutting way back,” he says. “Instead of carbs and sugar being a mainstay in your diet, they’re a special occasion.”

LOW-CARB KETO BEEF KABOBS Recipe by the blog noshtastic Ingredients: 1½ pounds sirloin steak cut into 1-inch cubes 3 ounces red bell pepper 3 ounces yellow bell pepper 3 ounces green bell pepper 8 ounces mushrooms 4 ounces red onion, cut into one-inch chunks Marinade Ingredients 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon oregano 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon salt Directions: Combine the marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag and add the steak. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Thread the beef and vegetables onto kabob skewers—do not pack them on too tightly. Brush the grill grates with oil. Grill the kabobs, turning occasionally and basting with the remaining marinade for 5 to 10 minutes.



ne thing I’ve heard from people who have tried the keto diet is how hungry they are the first week. I suggest snacking on something with fiber and protein and staying hydrated. —GARY DANIELSON, health and fitness coordinator



PRIME GOOD DAD Anthony Eck Check out his feature on the blog & podcast on! 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.


Visit to sign up and learn more.


Congratulations to the 2019 highway Diamond award recipients! Excellence Award Reba Homan

Emerald Cut Award Angie Sinnes

Highway diamond OF THE YEAR Sherina McConneyhead

Highway Diamonds is a program run by Prime, Inc. that o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 to learn more.


how we roll

Gnome away FROM HOME

Although Bill Douglas has only driven for Prime for three years, he’s already made a name for himself. Along with his travel companion, Tim the gnome, Douglas has documented their journey across the United States since day one. One thing Douglas wants everyone to know? They’re just getting started. BY HALEY DARNELL


etting recognized in public, posing for pictures, living life on the road—it’s all just another day at the office for Bill Douglas. Since beginning his journey driving with Prime, Douglas has documented his travels across the United States on social media with the help of Tim the gnome, a ceramic garden gnome who sports a mischievous grin and who joins Douglas on every trip. The two started traveling together years ago. Almost four years before joining Prime, Douglas began posing Tim in photos around Dallas as a way to



show off his hometown. The Texas native was a third generation locksmith looking for more fulfillment out of his career. Douglas’ wife, Adabelle Rodriguez, who he calls his “other half,” is an advocate for the trucking industry and secretary on the board for She introduced Douglas to trucking friends, one of which is Douglas’ friend and “trucking sister,” Julie Barnett. She persuaded Douglas to join Prime’s fleet of drivers. When Douglas hit the road, Tim came with him. The two have been inseparable ever since.

GNOMECADIA Douglas drives a Freightliner Cascadia, so the truck’s name is a play on that body style. Douglas says the truck’s name created itself. One day he tried out the name Gnomecadia, and it stuck.



What started as an excuse for Douglas to take photos of his hometown has grown in popularity as he continues to snap shots of Tim the gnome around the country. Out on the road, the pair have been recognized by drivers from all over. Even Prime’s own Robert Low has been known to rub the gnome’s hat for luck.

As a Route 66 enthusiast, Douglas wanted to pay tribute to the Mother Road with a little help from his friends at Stripes and Stuff. The custom decal showcases a map of the famous route with Tim the gnome in the foreground.


Photos by Linda Huynh

NOT JUST A DRIVER Rather than just being known as a driver who takes pictures on the road, Douglas likes to think of himself as an entertainer who drives a truck. When Tim can make one person smile, it makes it all worthwhile for Douglas.

Although Douglas had never considered a career in trucking, his grandfather was a truck driver. Only after a nudge from longtime friend and fellow driver, Julie Barnett, whom Douglas calls his “trucking sister,” did Douglas decide to take the leap of faith and hit the road.



Kevin Bergman has worked with Prime for 20 years, and now he’s the new Director of Fleet Maintenance.



Efficiency Prime has a new Director of Fleet Maintenance, and he’s dreaming big. It’s time to meet Kevin Bergman, who has high hopes of increasing productivity and reducing wait times at Prime’s maintenance shop in Springfield. As if that’s not enough, he also hiring more technicians and launching a quick lube service in Bay 1. BY JULIANA GOODWIN


hen Director of Fleet Maintenance Kevin Bergman started with Prime Inc. 20 years ago, he could not have guessed where his career would take him. At the time, Bergman was a college student working as a bellman at a hotel in Springfield, Missouri. He joined Prime in 1999, and when Prime managers learned Bergman was earning a degree in IT, they moved him to the IT department where he stayed for a decade. From there, Bergman spent eight years as Operations Manager of the Prime Floral Department. When he was ready for a new challenge, Bergman set Although Bergman is hard at work increasing the efficiency of his sights on the management side of business. In July 2018, he Springfield’s maintenance shop, it’s still a busy spot on campus, so took over Prime’s maintenance shop at its Springfield hub, and un- he suggests drivers who want to get their truck worked on for preder his leadership, changes are on the horizon. ventative maintenance or repairs still make advance appointments. Nearly 150,000 trucks are serviced at Prime maintenance shops “We highly encourage appointments being made days in advance across the United States, and Springfield is the busiest location in because of the sheer volume,” he says. “We can be a few days out, the company. It handled 77,000 trucks last year alone. During peak but we are making strides to eliminate this issue.” hours, appointments can be backed up two to four days. During Bergman reminds drivers that there are other Prime locations that time, trucks are often out of commission, which isn’t ideal for where they can get their trucks serviced, too. “We are going through drivers or for Prime. To address wait times, Bergman’s goal is to a big hiring phase in Salt Lake City to best utilize our new shop out increase efficiency and productivity by 15 percent. It’s a big goal, there,” he says. “We are driving business that way to utilize our and to do this he’s hiring more technicians. influx of technicians. We also have a Pittston, Pennsylvania, shop Before Bergman arrived, Springfield’s maintenance shop oper- that will be at maximum capacity shortly.” There are other Prime ated with one technician in each service bay. The shop’s four bays terminals that can service trucks and trailers located in Laredo, were tended to by four technicians. To increase speed and quali- Texas; Decatur, Indiana; Salt Lake City; and Pittston, Pennsylvania. ty of service, Bergman plans to add a fifth technician to the team. “That fifth tech will launch quality control and work on trucks to make sure they are the most efficient they can be,” Bergman says. In April, he also plans to launch a new quick lube in Bay 1. The To schedule an appointment at your nearest Prime new space will service trucks that need a quick oil change and chasservice station, just give them a call. sis lube. Bergman even has plans to streamline Prime’s launch of new trucks. The release process used to have trucks go through Springfield, Missouri 417-521-3367 multiple departments before the vehicles were ready to hit the road. Laredo, Texas 956-625-1014 “We are going to start putting all the steps for new trucks in one Decatur, Indiana 260-706-6017 bay,” Bergman says. “We will drop it off in one bay, and when it Salt Lake City, Utah 801-977-5938 leaves that bay hours later it’s done. It used to take days, but now Pittston, Pennsylvania 570-602-4771 it’s one day.”



Photo by Linda Huynh

Get in Touch

tech update

The new Prime website has a ton of new info including truck specs and images for drivers to check out.

Digital Update There’s good news for digital savvy associates. Prime’s website is getting a major overhaul with new user-friendly features. BY ETTIE BERNEKING


Photo courtesy Shutterstock,

hose who have visited Prime’s website know the site could use a face-lift. It gets the job done, but it could use some updating. Luckily, Prime’s digital team is already on the move to make some seriously helpful improvements to the site, including a recent relaunch of To get the inside scoop on what associates can look forward to with the launch of Prime’s updated website, we sat down with Andrea Mueller, Prime’s recruiting and media coordinator in Springfield, Missouri.

Prime Ways: How long has it been since the Prime website was updated? Andrea Mueller: The current website hadn’t been updated since 2013. To give you an idea of how badly we needed an update, we didn’t even have photos of the different styles of trucks. So when drivers were assigned to a truck, they had to Google the make and model to know what it looked like. Now we have shots of each style of truck with pull-outs about the specs so drivers can see which truck they’re being assigned to. P.W.: What about the site excites you the most? A.M.: It’s going to be a more modern and easy-to-navigate site for current and potential Prime driving and non-driving associates as well as their family and our customers. The site will now be much

more helpful and informative, so people can learn more about what we have to offer, what we do and why we are the best in the trucking industry. We are always looking for ways to improve and modernize, so it was time we applied that same approach to the website. The new site is something our team will get a lot of good out of. P.W.: What changes were made to the site? A.M.: We focused on optimizing and condensing content. So what you’ll see on the site now is what we consider the most important need-to-know info. Cutting out the extra stuff helped make the new site mobile-friendly, which was a big deal. The majority of our site’s visitors are viewing it on a smartphone. We needed to make sure drivers could access the site on the go, anytime they needed. P.W.: What kinds of content did you end up considering important enough to leave on the site? A.M.: We focused on making the site more about what we are about here at Prime: Our people. So, you will notice a lot more photos and videos featuring the people of Prime, Inc. We value the hard work and passion of our associates in the office and shop and out on the road. We know they are what drive us to be the best in the business, and we want to show that through the design. PRIME WAYS


You might think the trucking industry is old-school, but think again. Between Prime Inc.’s Ecotire and Ecoshred programs and its myriad other initiatives, Prime is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to environmentally conscious practices. BY EVAN GREENBERG



Photo by Linda Huynh

Brandon Cantrell and Tommy Fuqua work at Prime’s new Ecoshred operation, which retreads truck and trailer tires to help drivers save money and time while on the road.




hether you’re working in the maintenance department, on the road or in the office there’s one absolute about Prime Inc.: You’re going to burn energy. Prime is a trucking company, so burning energy is unavoidable. Trucks need fuel to drive. Machines need energy and electricity to run, and that same electricity is needed to power the lights and computers and anything else Prime associates across the country might need. But that’s also why it’s in Prime’s best interest to do whatever it can to limit the energy it emits and to do as much as possible to be as efficient as possible. “Everything we do is environmentally conscious,” says Sam Messick, fuel manager staff and accountant at Prime. Messick adds that Robert Low has placed environmentally conscious initiatives at the top of Prime’s priorities. The company is always searching and looking for ways to decrease the company’s carbon footprint. “I think he really does a nice job of setting the tone at a high level from an environmental perspective,” Messick says.

Think about the amount of tires that Prime puts out on the road every year. To state the obvious, trucks have more tires than the average vehicle, but those tires also experience more wear and tear considering the miles a typical driver can log. With this wear and tear comes the need to care for these tires, or, in some cases, take them in and repurpose them. The onus for this falls primarily on the driver—if there is an issue with a tire, if it needs to be retreaded, it’s on the operator to notice this and take the necessary steps. That’s where Ecotire comes in. Ecotire is a practice that started in 2014 at Prime East. “[Prime has] our own retread plant, and we retread all of our own trailer tires, which is about 35,000 to 40,000 tires a year that we’re repurposing and putting back into our fleet,” Messick says. “With that, obviously we have a lot of tires we can’t retread. Whenever a tire is used, it has the potential to be severely damaged, or it could be aged out based on its calendar life, that it is no longer viable for us to use. Before Ecotire, we would send a lot of our tires to an outside retreader to get retreaded by another company. Now we can do it all in-house.” If it’s a trailer tire, Prime covers the cost, but if it’s a truck tire, the driver is responsible. Tires need to be retreaded when they are below the Department of Transportation’s specs when it comes to tread depth. Based on the DOT’s regulations, truck tires need to be retreaded when tread depth reaches 2/32-inch, and any steer tires need to be serviced once tread depth hits 4/32-inch. While most retread tires have a lifespan of 100,000 to 120,000 miles, that doesn’t last long in the trucking world. Messick estimates that most trucks drive 120,000 miles each year, and trailers aren’t too far behind at an average of 80,000 miles a year. Add it all up, and Messick says trailer tires get changed about every 12 to 18 months, and tractor tires are changed every 18 to 24 months. If driver’s don’t pay regular attention to the tread depth of their tires, accidents can happen quickly. “Drivers are supposed to inspect tires daily,” Messick says. But that doesn’t always happen. That’s why trucks and trailers are inspected when they pass through Prime’s Springfield campus. If the tread depth looks like it’s close to the end of its life, Messick and his team can change out tires quickly and much more cost effectively than other services out on the



road. Part of what helps keep the cost down is Prime’s Ecotire program where tires are retreaded in house and put back on the road. Retreading refers to the process of getting those tires back to code. These tires are all also wide-based, which increases a truck’s fuel efficiency. “With all the aerodynamic efficiency that we have invested in, with running wide-based tires, with re-treading, recycling, reusing our own tires, those are all things Robert is highly invested in to decrease the overall carbon footprint and environmental impact of Prime,” Messick says. A retreaded tire essentially starts that tire’s life cycle all over again. Prime wanted to take things a step further, though. What about the tires that aren’t usable or able to be retreaded? Messick estimates this number falls at around 20 percent. There are still uses for these tires besides putting them in a waste pile, which is counterintuitive to the values Prime wants to instill and promote. This is where Ecoshred comes in.


The number of tires repurposed and placed back on the road each year by Prime


The number of tires Prime can retread in a day

100,000–120,000 miles The average lifespan of a retread tire

1 Hour

The time it takes to retread a tire

Photo by Linda Huynh

This massive piece of equipment is part of Prime’s new tire shredder. Tires are dropped off at the Ecoshred building before they’re shredded and reused.



The new Ecoshred facility at Prime isn’t just a way for the company to process worn out tires, it’s also a new revenue stream. Tire dealers from across the region can sell their tires to Prime for processing.

4 3


The idea behind Ecoshred is simple: Find alternative uses for the tires that are beyond repair that come through Prime’s warehouses. It’s all about problem-solving, which is at the core of what Prime is about. Prime is all about finding its own solutions and building upon the ideas of others to help drivers and associates as much as possible. Ecoshred certainly falls under this umbrella. “It’s really a completely separate process from retreading,” Messick says. “It’s simply an extenuation of the retreading type philosophy: We’re going to reuse these tires; once the tires aren’t reusable, we’re going to shred them down and turn them into a different rubber product that we can sell or use for different things.” The idea for Ecoshred actually came from Prime associate Mike Jones. “Believe it or not, he works in the accounting department,” Messick says. “He was a small business owner himself, and it was a dream of his to open a tire shredding business.” Jones had the idea, and Prime had the capital, so with Jones assisting in the



brainstorming and planning, Prime is now gearing up to launch Ecoshred by May 31 of this year. Before this process, Prime incurred a $200,000-a-year expense using a third party to dispose of unusable tires. Thanks to Ecoshred, that expense is now eliminated. In fact, Ecoshred has opened a whole new revenue stream for Prime. Now the company can save a bit of cash and make an extra buck at the same time. That’s because Ecoshred isn’t only a way to process unusable tires that come off Prime trucks and trailers, it can also handle tires from dealers across the Midwest. “We can handle scrap needs from across the region,” Messick says. And that, as he explains, “can be a huge revenue maker for Prime.” Ecoshred makes sure no tire goes to waste. Through complex, monstrous equipment, Prime has devised a way to shred tires back down into their raw material components. The idea is to sell these components to reused rubber marketplaces like sporting fields and other places you see rubber pellets. But that’s not the only way Prime is benefiting from old tires. It’s also found a way to use the





Tons of mulch Prime buys each year

Tires equivalent to 1 ton of mulch product

Tons of scrap tires Prime produces yearly

Steps involved in the tire shredding process

1  One of the uses for shredded tires is as pellets. There are numerous other uses for the granular byproduct of shredded tires. It can be used in landscaping mulch to surface material for playgrounds.

 1. Tires are shredded down to a large 4- to 6-inch chunk. 2. Tires and the remaining steel components are broken down to the size of mulch. 3. They are broken down again from there into smaller pieces the size of rubber like you’d see on a football field. 4. They are broken down again into powder.

Photos by Linda Huynh

shredded tires around its own properties. To see evidence of this, just look at the landscaping around the Springfield campus. Breaking down the tires produces a material similar to mulch, and that’s Prime’s plan. “One of the first things that we’re going to do with the rubber that we’re generating is use it to replace the mulch that we’re purchasing,” Messick says. “We will be replacing all of that with our own rubber mulch.” It’s a way for Prime’s handiwork to be front and center and serves as an example of Prime’s desire to not let anything go to waste. It’s also an illustration of how far the trucking industry has come and how new ideas are always being born. Often, Prime is at the forefront of these movements. “The majority of this stuff starts out as an industry concept, and we kind of take it and tweak it and make it our own, or expand upon it,” Messick says. “There are some things that [Prime has] done as pioneers. A lot of this stuff isn’t necessarily cost-efficient or price-efficient, but we believe that it’s an investment long-term in the viability and success of the company by doing things the right way environmentally.”

3 Weeks to fully shred a tire


Tires that can go through the shredding process per hour

Prime is going green in more ways than one. Check out how the company is doing its part to reduce its environmental impact. Reducing Water Usage Prime’s largest use of water happens at its truck and trailer wash, which is why it uses surface water, recycled water and potable water to reduce its water intake.

Waste Reduction To reduce the amount of waste and extend service levels, Prime uses longlife antifreeze, oils and lubricants. It also uses reusable chemical shipment totes that eliminate the need to manufacture and dispose of steel drums.

Using the Power of the Sun To harness the power of the sun, Prime installed 300 solar panels at its Salt Lake City terminal. There are also solar panels on the new Plaza Building at the Springfield campus.

Increasing Fuel Efficiency Outfitting trucks with trailer tails has made trucks more aerodynamic, which means drivers can increase their fuel efficiency. Another big help is the macros system drivers can use while on the road. Just enter your destination, your route and your current fuel levels, and the system will tell you where to stop for gas and how much to fill up in order to save you the most money.



L 24


for the

Long Haul Meet the three drivers making Prime history with 4 million accident-free miles in 2019. BY LILLIAN STONE



Charles Randolph joined Prime in 2002. He recently reached 4 million accident-free miles and has driven through 48 states plus Canada.




o drive 1 million miles, you’d have to drive around the Earth 40 times. Now, quadruple that. This month, Prime Inc. is celebrating three drivers who have hit the 4-million-mile mark during their time with Prime. That’s 4 million miles spent listening to satellite radio, managing tricky weather conditions, prioritizing safety and developing serious driving chops—all without a single accident. It’s quite a feat. It’s also a first for Prime. To help other drivers hit their 4-million-mile mark, Charles Randolph, Leslie Walter and Jeffrey Ayers share their secrets for success on the road. Their tips span everything from self-awareness to regular truck maintenance, but one thing is certain: These drivers are some of Prime’s most dedicated employees.

Charles Randolph

For Charles Randolph, no two days on the road are the same. Randolph drives a rigorous schedule, typically driving for up to six weeks and spending a week or two at home. It’s been his regimen since he started driving for Prime in 2002, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Since 2002, Randolph has driven through all 48 states and into Canada. “You’re certainly always on the go,” he says. “But I enjoy the driving.” Randolph entered the workforce as a factory worker in his late teens. However, he quickly realized that he needed an occupation with a bit more autonomy. He left the factory business to pursue driving, which he hoped would give him the freedom he craved. Randolph explains that, for him, driving is a way to see the country while earning a living in a unique, satisfying way. Now an owner-operator, he’s been at it for decades, working with five different carriers over the course of his career. He explains that, after working with several different companies, Prime stands above the rest. Why? “The people,” Randolph says. “[When I started working with Prime], the people always wanted to help you out. They helped us out with a lot of little problems that we may not have had addressed by other companies.” Those little problems include driver routes, payroll issues and even safety protocol—the latter of which is especially important to Randolph, who prides himself on his vigilance while driving. “You have to always pay attention,” he says. “You do have a lot of close calls here and there. You have to constantly watch yourself and watch other people.” He notes that, while it’s important to stay sharp throughout your career, new drivers should take extra precautions and, perhaps most importantly, be sure to avoid cockiness. “You see a lot of accidents and things that happen,” he says. “You might have a lot of confidence when you start out, but then you see a lot of accidents, and that can take its toll.” Ultimately, Randolph advises new drivers to strike the balance between confidence and caution—that is, finding one’s own pace while staying alert. When Randolph isn’t cruising down the road listening to music, sports or talk shows, he’s driving another set of wheels. Randolph is an active part of a growing drag racing community in Youngstown, Ohio, frequently spending his weekends on the track. Rest assured that he’ll be at the wheel for years to come. “I’ll drive as long as I’m healthy,” Randolph says.

Charles Randolph was one of three Prime drivers recognized for achieving 4 million miles.

DRIVING TIPS FROM CHARLES RANDOLPH 1. Vigilance is key: “Pay attention to what you’re doing. Something can always come up—no matter how long you’ve been driving.”

2. Do what works for you: “You just have to take your time and drive your pace and nobody else’s pace. Some people drive faster, some people drive slower—you just have to drive how you feel comfortable.”

Jeffrey Ayres

Since 1982, Jeffrey Ayres has been synonymous with the trucking business. Ayers got his start driving smaller trucks. He attended truck driving school in 1985 and worked with both National Freight and TRL Trucking Operations. When Prime acquired TRL, Ayres was pleased to find that his miles were honored in his overall tally—a fact that he says contributed to his four-million-mile recognition. It’s one of those milestones that’s hard to beat. “It takes drivers seven years to reach just 1 million miles,” says Connor Bacon, Ayres’ fleet manager. “So that means he’s been driving for 28 years.” Even more impressive—those 4 million miles are accident-free, which is no small feat. “I have about 100 trucks on my fleet,” Bacon says. “I would say I have at least two to three accidents a week.” These aren’t always big accidents. A trainee can back into someone, or a driver might scratch their truck or bump into something, but that counts as an accident. “He hasn’t even done that,” Bacon says. “That really puts it into perspective for you.” Bacon has been Ayres’ fleet manager for the past five years, and he knows how rare it is to have a driver reach 4 million accident-free-miles. To say he’s impressed would be an understatement. It takes years for a driver to hit 1 million miles. As a truck owner and operator, Ayres often runs a similar route from New York to Pennsylvania, which allows him to be home with his family much more frequently than some drivers. But the miles he’s logged mean a lot. They’re his badge of honor in the industry. When asked about his safety secrets, Ayres is old school. He believes in relying on your talents as a driver instead of hoping techPRIME WAYS


nology will assist you on the road. A good example of this is GPS. Ayres doesn’t use GPS. He prefers maps and calls for directions when needed. As a fleet manager, there are a few things Bacon can do to help his drivers add to their mile count, but in the end, he says he can’t take any credit. “The driver has to tell themselves to be the best they can be and pay attention on the road,” he says. Ayres’ appreciation for old-fashioned driving extends to his free time, when he can often be found riding his motorcycle, zipping around on snowmobiles in the winter—he lives on the line between New York and Pennsylvania—or steering his pontoon boat with his wife, Theresa. Even when he’s not behind the wheel for Prime, Ayers finds a way to get back on the road.

DRIVING TIPS FROM CONNOR BACON 1. Exercise common sense: “Expect the worst out of other drivers. The only thing you can control is yourself, so if you’re seeing someone coming up on a light, don’t assume they’re going to stop. You need to prepare yourself. Accidents can happen even when you’re doing everything you can to stay safe.”

2. Slow down: “We have governors on our trucks, so you can only drive 62 miles per hour as a company driver and 65 as a lease operator. That’s just a Prime rule. We feel strongly that as a driver hauling possibly 45,00 pounds behind you, going the speed limit isn’t even the safest all the time. If you’re going that fast down a hill and blow a tire with 40,000 pounds behind you, that’s not going to end well.”

Leslie Walter

When Leslie Walter started driving at age 24, he knew life on the road was for him. “I like my solitude,” he says, laughing. “I’m not one for small talk.” Walter explains that his temperament is one factor in his success as a driver. Walter lives in Auburndale, Florida; however, as a company driver, he spends up to three months on the road at a time, taking time off to reconnect with his longtime girlfriend. It all adds up to a lifestyle that might not be a fit for everyone; however, for Walter, it’s an opportunity to enjoy his cherished quiet moments while experiencing the most beautiful views the American road has to offer. Now, decades after beginning his driving career, Walter is proud to represent Prime, a company with a reputation for keeping drivers’ safety and quality of life in mind. Walter knows that firsthand: He’s been with Prime for more than 30 years, during which he’s witnessed the acquisition of several other trucking companies. According to Walter, driver well-being has remained a priority throughout that time, which is one of the major factors in his decision to stick with the company. “I respect [Prime CEO Robert Low],” Walter says. “He’s engaged with what’s necessary. I’ve worked with other companies and met company leaders, and it really does feel like [Low] has a real rapport with drivers and concern for our well-being.”

3. Consider your fuel efficiency “The biggest reason we control drivers’ speeds is for the fuel efficiency. The slower you drive, the more fuel efficient you are, but we also have computer systems that are generated by macros that can help drivers plan their fuel stops. They enter their information and put in the destination and how much fuel they have in their tank, and it tells them where to get fuel and how much to put in based on the price in that location. The technology we have is just unbelievable for that.”

As part of his recognition for hitting 4 million miles, Walter got a new leather jacket.

4 Million Memories

For our most experienced drivers, four million miles add up to a lifetime of memories. Drivers reflect on memorable moments on the road. Gathering Memories: For Jeffrey Ayres, miles are also memories. In fact, Ayres and his wife, Theresa, spent their honeymoon running a load to California. Ayres also stopped at the Grand Canyon for a few days. It was the first of many adventures for Ayres, including trips to Mount Rushmore, the Pacific Northwest and a trip to see spring come to life in Kentucky while meandering through state parks. Natural Beauty: If life on the road has taught Leslie Walter anything, it’s to savor the little things. “There’s a stretch of Interstate 90 in Idaho,” he says. “That’s my favorite. The natural beauty is breathtaking.” Iced In: Charles Randolph still remembers being stuck outside Spokane, Washington, on Interstate-90. Roads were covered with freezing rain, and Randolph couldn’t move. As he got out to put chains on his tires, he watched a car across the interstate crest the hill sideways. “She’s suddenly on my side of the road,” he says. “She stopped about 4 feet from me. There was nothing else out there except my brand new truck.”



DRIVING TIPS FROM LESLIE WALTER 1. Don’t overdrive: “You have to stay in your comfort zone. Don’t overdrive your conditions. You also have to make sure you’re not being overly apprehensive or nervous, because the repercussions can be severe.”

2. Don’t rely on technology: “Prime does a good job of equipping us with tools—GPS, things like that—to do our jobs well, but at the same time, you shouldn’t need those tools. You can crash in less than two seconds, and being overly reliant on tools can lead to that if you’re not careful.”

3. Know yourself: “Understand yourself and your needs. You’ve got to be able to understand your own strengths and weaknesses to do your job well. Your personality affects that greatly. For example, when I was younger I had to fight my temper. Now, I know that getting angry over things you can’t control is pointless—you have to keep things in perspective.”

Leslie Walter has been with Prime for more than 30 years, but that doesn’t make his 4-million-mile-accident-free achievement any less impressive. Hitting that mark takes expert skills behind the wheel.

More Numbers We’re Proud Of • 318 drivers achieved a milestone in 2018 • 3 drivers achieved 4 million safe miles in 2018 • 7 drivers achieved 3 million safe miles in 2018 • 45 drivers achieved 2 million safe miles in 2018 • 263 drivers achieved 1 million safe miles in 2018 • 787 active drivers with more than 1 million safe miles




Dr. John Abraham of Trinity Healthcare is one of the physicians at the Springfield campus. The expanded office means Abraham and the rest of his team can expand their hours and see more associates.

Healthy Changes In the spirit of convenience and improvement, Prime Inc. is making room for a new sleep study lab and an expanded doctor’s office in the Millennium building of its Springfield, Missouri, terminal. We talk with Dr. John Abraham from Trinity Healthcare and Heather Moenkhoff from Cardinal Sleep to learn more about the changes drivers and associates will soon be able to enjoy. BY TESSA COOPER


or a driver, time is of the essence. Between delivering loads and heading back home to catch up with family, even the slightest inconvenience can disrupt the workflow. So when it’s time to head to the doctor’s office for your regular physical, the last thing you want to do is wait for an exam room to open up. If you then have to wait for a shuttle to take you to the current offsite sleep study lab, your whole day could suddenly be accounted for. That’s exactly why Prime has decided to expand the Trinity Healthcare facility and move the Cardinal Sleep lab to the lower level of the Millennium building located in the heart of Prime’s Springfield hub. Come Summer 2019, Prime drivers will be able to take advantage of



the added convenience of having these two facilities on-site and enjoy the enhanced amenities. “It’s quite the total renovation of the basement,” says Mark Piley, director of facility maintenance at Prime.

TRINITY HEALTHCARE OFFICE EXPANSION Previously, the Trinity Healthcare office only took up 20 percent of the lower level of the Millennium Building. The rest of the space was dedicated to storage and offices. While Trinity Healthcare managed to make do with the small facility, it began to run out of space in the last few years. Now, Prime has dedicated the majority of the lower level for both the sleep lab and the expanded Trinity Healthcare office.

Prime’s basement has been transformed into a new health facility.

 The facility houses Prime’s Cardinal Sleep Lab and a Trinity Healthcare office.  The new medical offices mean drivers will have less wait time.

The new and improved Trinity Healthcare facility measures 3,355 square feet, and rather than the original four exam rooms, the new facility has eight exam rooms. Some of these rooms will serve a dual purpose once the Cardinal Sleep lab makes its move into the building. By night, some of the rooms will be used for sleep studies, and by day, Trinity Healthcare will use them for exam rooms. The increased office footprint, also means Trinity Healthcare now has room for in-house labs and drug testing space. Drivers can wait for their appointment in the comfortable waiting room, which will also serve as Cardinal Sleep’s waiting room. In the past, Trinity Healthcare had limited hours and resources on Mondays and Tuesdays due to the large number of new driver physicals. Going forward, the clinic will be able to provide services Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We look forward to being able to serve more of the associates of Prime throughout the week,” says Dr. John Abraham of Trinity Healthcare. The new Trinity Healthcare changes are part of Phase 1 of Prime’s Millennium Building updates, which opened in mid-March.

receiving services from the sleep lab, Prime drivers will be able to simply walk across the waiting room to finish their treatment at Trinity Healthcare. In addition, drivers can replace equipment like masks and tubing for their sleep machines without even leaving the terminal. With the saved time, drivers can get back on the road or back home much faster. Heather Moenkhoff, manager at Cardinal Sleep, says the new space will be much more efficient than the current office at Campus Inn. “Although the space we currently have is large, it’s not very functional,” Moenkhoff says. “This new space opens up the options for appointment times for the drivers.” She adds the space includes more separate small areas, which she believes is a better use of space. “We’ll be able to assist more associates at one time with their replacement parts or consults and provide them with a compliance report for their physicals,” she says. The sleep lab’s new location will also enhance the communication between Trinity Healthcare and Cardinal Sleep. According to Moenkhoff, the staff at Cardinal Sleep communicate with the doctors and nurses at Trinity Healthcare all day long, and occasionally the phone lines get busy. Because the offices will be in the same location, the teams can communicate more in-person and resolve If you’ve met with a sleep physician at Cardinal Sleep, you know questions faster. the inconvenient drill of catching a shuttle from the terminal to In addition, Moenkhoff says the staff at Cardinal Sleep will be Campus Inn where sleep monitoring services are run out of motel more accessible after the move into the Millennium Building. They rooms. However, all this will change when the new sleep lab opens plan on being available after several Friday morning safety meetin the Millenium Building come late July 2019. ings to answer questions about conditions, including sleep apnea. The expansion should significantly decrease the drivers’ back- “We’re so excited because we know it is going to be so much better and-forth commute to and from sleep labs. This means that after for everyone, the staff and especially the drivers,” Moenkhoff says.

Photos by Linda Huynh




Jacob Casford is a Prime driver and a member of Prime Good Dads. He’s found a unique way to stay in touch with his family while on the road.

Family Ties



How one over-the-road dad and Prime Inc. trainer Jacob Casford is sharing his hard-earned knowledge through the Good Dads Program to help others on their long-haul journey. BY REBECCA NANAKO

While Jacob Casford has found a way to stay connected to his two daughters even while he’s on the road, nothing beats time with his family once he’s home Abby, Niki and Rylee are able to keep up with Casford’s daily life thanks to his video blogging.



Photos by Linda Huynh, courtesy Jacob Casford


or Jacob Casford, Prime Inc. trainer and father of two girls, Abby and Rylee, life on the road has taught him many lessons about how to cultivate strong relationships with his loved ones even when he’s miles away. Since 2014, Casford has trained students how to navigate the roads from within a semitruck but also how to navigate major lifestyle changes that accompany a career as a long-haul driver. For many students going into the program, this is their first time being away from their family. They often worry about the toll it might take on their relationships— It’s a challenge Casford has become all too familiar with throughout his own career. His role as a trainer with the Prime Student Driver (PSD) Program—involving weeks of training and thousands of miles—enables him to share his knowledge about being a good father and an active family member while on the road, which he’s learned are two vital pieces to being fully prepared for long solo trips. “As a trainer, I sometimes have taken on a father figure role with my students to help guide and encourage them,” Casford says. He also adds that a strong support network is an important part of the journey. For him, that support comes from his family and from his involvement with the Prime Good Dads program, which is an online program that helps Prime dads stay connected with their kids while also feeling supported by others who share their long-distance career. “The issues we face out here are so unique that having a program dedicated to our way of life has become essential,” Casford explains. His No. 1 piece of advice to other drivers and families out there is to communicate. Be intentional in making regular calls, utilizing social media or finding creative ways to stay in touch—which for Casford means creating video blogs about his day that his wife and kids can watch back home. He’s an avid listener of the Prime Good Dads Podcast and hopes other drivers can benefit from the support the program provides. Those wishing to become a part of the Good Dads program can sign up on the website at where new podcasts and blog articles are added regularly. You can even catch Casford himself on one of the podcast episodes.

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 Include your name and caption information about where and when the photo was taken.

Photos courtesy William Dedmon, Don and Dorren Cook, Wesley Cartwright

Photos by Linda Huynh, courtesy Jacob Casford

 Prime driver William Dedmon has been with Prime for two years now, and took a minute to snap this photo while on the road. “I looked into a lot of companies when I decided I was ready for a career change,” he says. “It seemed Prime would be a good fit for me and my family. This makes my second year and I love it here and should have done this sooner.”

Don and Dorren Cook stopped their Cookie monster-themed truck along their route through Salt Lake City to snap this photo showing the snowy landscape in the background. Prime driver Wesley Cartwright and his wife Carol added a new member to their team. The couple got a new pup named Winston who has adapted quickly to life on the road. He’s also a fan of his new Prime wardrobe.



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