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VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3

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VETERANS ARE FINDING NEW CAREERS AND NEW USES FOR THEIR SKILLS AT PRIME


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PRIME WAYS


2740 N. MAYFAIR AVE. SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803 417-866-0001 PRIMEINC.COM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER C l ayton Brown RECRUITING AND MEDIA COORDINATOR A ndrea M uel l er RECRUITING AND ONBOARDING K risti Pinck ney

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

KATIE POLLOCK ESTES Editorial D irector ETTIE BERNEKING Editor PAIJE LUTH C reative D irector JENNA DEJONG M anaging Editor HALEY PHILLIPS Projects Editor JAMIE THOMAS S taff Writer SARAH PATTON A rt D irector BRANDON ALMS S enior Photographer & D esigner DYLAN LYLE Editorial D esigner CONTRIBUTING WRITERS L ucie A mb erg, K aren Bl iss, J ul iana G oodwin , R ob ert Pospisil , L il l ian S tone, S avannah Wasz cz uk

SHOP ONLINE

www.primeincstore.com

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

Use your Prime Reward Points here!

CONTRIBUING PHOTOGRAPHERS S arah F ennel , L inda Huynh, R ob ert Pospisil , Brad Z weerink , C hrista Z ayas LANDRA BUNGE F inance C oordinator BERNADETTE PRY A dministrative A ssistant GARY WHITAKER Pub l isher LOGAN AGUIRRE President/ A ssociate Pub l isher MEGAN JOHNSON V ice President of O perations AMMIE SCOTT V ice President of S trategy and S enior A ccount Ex ecutive JOAN WHITAKER V ice President of F inance

PRIME WAYS

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contents

ON THE COVER

Driver Gerry Scacchi turned his truck into a memorial for service members. See more on p. 14.

Prime Ways 2019 PRIME WAYS| |september MARCH 2017

VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3

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VETERANS ARE FINDING NEW USES FOR THEIR NEW CAREERS AND SKILLS AT PRIME

Pro Maintenance courses teach drivers to make simple repairs.

18 THE CALL OF DUTY Meet four veterans who have found their second careers and a new family at Prime.

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BREWED WITH LOVE

IT’S GOOD FOR YOU

Meet the Prime beer-lover whose home brew is so good it’s award winning.

It’s hard to believe, but this pumpkin pie recipe is actually low-calorie and won’t ruin your diet this holiday season.

10 FINANCIAL FITNESS

24 THE MAN HELPING GROW PRIME’S FLATBED DIV. Prime’s flatbed sales and logistics manager, Brian Brown, is helping grow the flatbed division one relationship at a time.

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PRIME WAYS

Prime’s focus on wellness extends beyond the scale. Learn how Prime is busy helping drivers improve their financial wellness.

32 FIRED UP

14 HOW WE ROLL Gerry Scacchi, a U.S. Marine veteran, has turned his new truck into a rolling memorial that’s hard to miss.

It’s time to get to know this year’s Highway Diamond of the Year. Sherina McConneyhead is leading the charge and encouraging more women to get behind the wheel.

Photo courtesy Brian Brown, by Ettie Berneking, Sarah Fennel, Brad Zweerink

Features


PRIME FAMILY

Chat

In case you didn’t notice, this issue of Prime Ways is dedicated to all of the veterans and active duty military members of the Prime team. There are a lot of ways Prime works to honor and support veterans, including truck and trailer decals. It’s time to learn more!

THE LOW

HOW DO YOU GET THE VETERANS DECAL ON YOUR TRUCK? Any United States Military Veteran in the Prime fleet can pick up a set of complementary decals at any of the Prime Company Store locations (MO, PA, or UT). Be sure to have your military ID on hand because the company store associate will ask for military proof when you stop by to request the decals.

WHAT IS THE MILITARY FAST TRACK? The Military Fast Track is just one way in which we show our appreciation for the service veterans give to our country. The program reduces the contract for the Prime Training Program for those wanting to obtain their Class A CDL. So instead of training taking 12 months, the fast track knocks it down to nine months.

DOES PRIME HAVE VETERAN-THEMED DECALS FOR FLATBED TRAILERS? We have had patriotic refrigerated trailers in our fleet for many years with verbiage that reads “Support Our Troops-We Will Never Forget”. Thanks to the request from the Prime Driver Advisory Board, we have created a new patriotic design for the flatbed division to be displayed on the trailer skirts. We have ordered 10 sets of this version to add to the flatbed trailer pool to test out and review before adding more to the fleet. We have also recently gotten a request to add an option for the tanker division, which we are looking into as well.

Photo courtesy Prime Inc.

CAN ASSOCIATES SEND IN DESIGN IDEAS FOR MORE VETERAN DECALS? We are always looking for new ways to honor the veterans and active military team members on the Prime team. If you have an idea for a truck or trailer decal or know of another way we could honor our veterans, shoot an email to Andrea Mueller at amueller@driveforprime.com.

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rime has al ways tried to create and promote an environment that is b oth fun and productive. With mul tipl e terminal s and thousands of associates across our great country, maintaining the Prime cul ture is no smal l feat. That’s why we work hard to foster camaraderie at Prime. We host company picnics, throw annual C hristmas parties and gather for events incl uding the N ight of the M il l ionaires, our Ten Y ear D inners and the Highway D iamonds G al a. This is al l part of fostering a sense of pride and incl usiveness we think is fundamental for growth at Prime. A nother area of importance that is near and dear to my heart is paying respect to our veterans. Statistics show that military veterans can often find returning to civilian life is a difficult adjustment. Prime can help with that. We’ve found that the independent work ow in our industry and the rigorous schedule of deliveries creates an atmosphere appeal ing to many mil itary veterans. O ver our 4 8 years, Prime has had numerous successful drivers and in- house associates with a former mil itary b ack ground. This edition’s feature, “L ife A fter S ervice,” introduces you to four driving associates who served in four different mil itary b ranches and have recentl y found a home here at Prime. I wish D errick , J ustin, K yl e and M arissa years of success, and I hope al l of our vets enjoy this wel l - deserved feature on p.1 8 . Prime wil l al ways invest in our associates b y providing the b est eq uipment, efficient technology and comfortable terminals available to help aid their success. We are a famil y here at Prime, and enab l ing veterans to b e successful in their second profession is trul y an honor.

R ob ert L ow Prime Inc., CEO & Founder PRIME WAYS

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Connie Rivera has worked in Prime’s housekeeping department at its Springfield terminal for 26 years.

LIFE | SEPTEMBER 2019

spotlight

Home away from home Connie Rivera has been working in housekeeping at Prime for 26 years. Despite seeing hundreds of drivers come and go every day, she’s found a real family in the heart of this national company. BY JAMIE THOMAS

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f you struggl e to k eep up with your housework , imagine b eing part of a team that maintains a huge facil ity that wel comes thousands of peopl e each week and k eeps it cl ean every week day. N ow imagine doing that for 2 6 years without fail . This is what C onnie R ivera does at Prime, Inc. in Springfield, Missouri. R ivera started at Prime after she was tol d ab out a housek eeping position b y her friend L inda Brown at a b ingo game. “S he k ept tel l ing me, ‘ C onnie, get up there, they need housekeepers! o!’ So I finally did. A nd I got it, and now I’m here.” Born and raised in Springfield, ivera spent time in A l b uq uerq ue, N ew M ex ico, b efore returning home to settl e down with her husb and. F amil y is essential for R ivera, who describ es her famil y of sib l ings, nephews, nieces, her two pets— her dog, L uck y, and her cat, Tiger—and her owers with a b eaming, infectious smil e. To b e fair, R ivera is usual l y smil ing. S he’s animated when she speak s, al ways q uick to l augh and humb l e ab out the amount of work she puts in at Prime. The maz el ik e corridors of Prime’s headq uarters in Springfield present a daunting workload


Rose of Sharon is one of Connie Rivera’s favorite flowers.

BUDDING

Rivera works in housekeeping, but she also decorates for Christmas each year and leads Prime’s bingo.

for housek eeping. The b uil ding b ranches F rom her 2 - year- ol d godson Eddie and her out into endl ess hal l ways l ined with doors, nieces and nephews to her sister Beck y who glass partitions in front of busy offices and joins her on shopping trips, ivera finds staircases l eading to even more hal l ways. fulfillment from the people she’s with. This Despite Prime’s size, ivera can easily find fulfillment goes beyond blood relatives. her way around the facil ity and k nows Tal k ing ab out the Prime L earning C enter, where she needs to go even as the facil ity R ivera l ights up as she describ es the way has ex panded over the years. the k ids who see her every day wil l greet R ivera was raised to have a determined her with “I l ove you” and how much it hurts work ethic, so she to see them graduate. doesn’t credit her drive “I k now b etter than to to anyone in particuget cl ose to them,” she l ar— it’s just how she says, “b ut I can’t hel p grew up. G rowing up in it.” It comes natural l y a famil y of six b oys and to R ivera to sl ip k ids six girl s, R ivera and ice- cream money, tak e her sib l ings were given care of b ingo priz es chores in a surprisingl y and mak e sure b reak fair way. “M y momma rooms are stock ed for woul d tak e numb ers drivers. O ne of her and put it in a cup and standout stories is of we had to draw a numtak ing the time to give b er, and whatever that the sparse b reak room numb er is, that’s the at the ol d Prime East room you cl eaned.” R ivera says. l ocation a mak eover. “I changed it,” she Perhaps the b iggest part of what’s k ept says, with a mischievous grin. “I had roostR ivera at Prime for so l ong is the focus on er curtains up, I had rooster cl ock s, I went famil y. “I’m very happy when I’m here,” she and b ought a container for cereal . I made says,“b ecause I get to see al l of the peopl e.” sure they had cereal , they had snack s, I R ivera describ es events at Prime the same b ought them their mil k , I b ought them way someone describ es a gathering with their water, their pop. A nd they didn’t cal l cl ose friends and rel atives, and she tak es it a b reak room any more. They now say, a special joy in organiz ing b ingo games at ‘ That’s our café .’” Prime’s annual company picnic. With a few If you think that’s going ab ove the cal l words she paints a picture of a warm and of duty, you shoul d see R ivera’s stash of wel coming atmosphere where everyone C hristmas decorations. “I’m a C hristmas feel s at home. freak ,” she says, l aughing. “I l ove C hristWith so many sib l ings, famil y is a vital mas.” R ivera’s home is decorated every part of R ivera’s l ife in and outside of Prime. year, inside and out, with ornaments, l ights,

Photos by Brad Zweerink, courtesy Shutterstock

“I’m very happy when I’m here because I get to see all of the people.”

FAVORITES Connie has a green thumb and can brighten any space with a few blooms. Here are her favorite flowers.

HIBISCUS Hibiscus flowers come in tropical and perennial varieties that offer unique colors. Tropical types do better in warmer climates while perennials are more likely to survive the winter.

ROSE OF SHARON Rose of Sharon is a type of hibiscus. Colors include soft, pale pink, blends of blue and purple and a bright, crisp white. They usually bloom in late summer or fall.

PEONIES Peonies are instantly recognizable by their intricate and brilliantly colored flowers. They can live for a long time and are a dazzling addition to an arrangement when they bloom in the spring.

S antas and snowmen. When ask ed ab out whether she b rings her l ove of C hristmas into Prime, the answer is yes. Each year, she puts up a tree she cal l s the D rivers’ Tree. A l though her approach to work didn’t come directl y from her mother, her enthusiasm for C hristmas certainl y did. “I do al most everything my mama did,” she says, “ex cept for a coupl e [t hings]. S he used to put fruit in our stock ings. I don’t do that. I put stock ings up, and I fill them, but not with fruit!” F or R ivera, Prime is a famil y b usiness. The drivers and associates at Prime are al l famil y to her, and part of her job is to mak e sure everyone on the team is tak en care of. F ul l of stories she’s happy to share, R ivera wil l al ways b e b usy hel ping everyone at Prime feel as at- home as she does. PRIME WAYS

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A simple salute When Prime associates Mario Ottey and Timothy Mlack left the service and returned to civilian life, they were able to find a new home at Prime. BY HALEY PHILLIPS

Mario Ottey

“I love being able to talk to these guys about life experiences and sports… [and] learning things about life I never knew.”

Military History: For Mario Ottey, joining the military was more than just a career move, it was a chance for a better life. “We left the streets of Brooklyn to get away from the violence, and yet still it followed us,” Ottey says. In 1986, Ottey and one of his childhood friends signed up for the Marine Corps together, but because of an issue with paperwork, the two friends entered the service two weeks apart. Three years later, while Ottey was serving as a postal clerk, his friend was killed in an offbase shooting while trying to stop an altercation involving another Marine. The accident shaped the remainder of Ottey’s time in the service; “For the most part, it made me more disciplined,” Ottey says about his experience in the Marines. After four years of service, Ottey resigned his position as a lance corporal.

Prime Service: Years later in 2013, Ottey began working in the café at Prime’s terminal in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Ottey describes his job as a cook as more than just meal-prep. It’s a position that allows Ottey to provide comfort for the drivers who stop by each day. “A lot of these guys don’t go home frequently,” Ottey says. “We try to be a familiar and constant part of their experience when they spend time here.” His years of service have benefited those around him, but they’ve also served Ottey, who learned how to strike up conversations with just about anyone while in the service. “I love being able to talk to these guys about life experiences and sports… [and] learning things about life I never knew.”

—Mario Ottey

“There is never a dull moment in this job. I like sharing in my drivers’ success.” —Timothy Mlack

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PRIME WAYS

Military History: When Timothy Mlack decided to join the armed services, he found his way to the U.S. Navy. Mlack ended up serving from 1992 to 1995 while stationed in the Pacific Ocean. After finishing basic training, he completed both submarine and tech school, which meant he could become a thirdclass sonar technician on the USS Charlotte (SSN 766). The position made Mlack responsible for monitoring underwater surveillance. All that additional training took almost a year to complete, but Mlack was then qualified to work on submarines and even earned the SS—Submarine Specialist— warfare pin during the process. For those interested in joining the military, Mlack advises they research different jobs available in each branch of service. “With social media, it shouldn’t be hard to find people that do and have done what you’re interested in,” he says. “Ask them about the training, the commitment, and make sure it’s something you want to do.” For Mlack, the commitment was worth it, and he left with a new set of marketable skills.

Prime Service: Mlack carried over his dedicated work ethic when he joined Prime in 2008 as a Prime Student Driver. He passed his CDL test early and completed his TNT training shortly after. That September he went solo as a refrigerated division driver and stayed on the road until March 2014. During his time as a driver, Mlack earned several company Driver of the Month awards, which led to his Contractor of the Year award in 2013. After six years, Mlack transitioned to an in-house position to complete his dispatch training. Mlack attributes his success at Prime to his time in the Navy. “Military service taught me to prioritize and organize tasks and be prepared to adjust when new tasks come up or priorities shift,” he says. That’s a reality that most drivers are familiar with. The following year, he made the move to Denver in 2015 to work as a mid-shift dispatcher before his promotion to fleet manager. It’s a position he still fulfills today. “There is never a dull moment in this job,” Mlack says. “I like sharing in my drivers’ success.”

Photos courtesy Mario Ottey, Timothy Mlack

Timothy Mlack


words from the field

The discs used at the Prime Disc’n for Cheetahs in Kenya are not typical frisbees.

THE WILD SIDE Prime Inc.’s disc golf course helps save the big cats with Ozarks AAZK. BY CLAIRE PORTER

O

TOYING AROUND Robert Pospisil has only been driving with Prime for two years, but he’s already found a way to personalize his truck and make a statement on the road. BY ROBERT POSPISIL

Photos courtesy Robert Pospisil, by Linda Huynh

Photos courtesy Mario Ottey, Timothy Mlack

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hen I was a kid, I used to watch Toy Story, and that scene when Buzz and Woody were hanging off the semi truck really stuck with me. When I got my own truck, I knew I wanted to recreate that scene. People don’t always think of truck drivers in the best light, and I wanted to show that we’re fun people up here behind the wheel. I decorate for pretty much every holiday, and for Christmas I put the Elf on a Shelf on my CV antenna. When I decided to add a decoration that would be more year-round, I started looking for Buzz and Woody figurines that I could attach to the truck. It was harder than I thought. The original movie came out so long ago that it was hard to find a reasonably priced action figure. But with Toy Story 4 out, Buzz and Woody were around again. I managed to find the figurines online and attached them to the steps of the truck with zip ties. I haven’t lost them yet. I was originally worried about someone stealing them, but it hasn’t happened. It’s great to see people slow down as they drive past me on the road and take photos of Buzz and Woody. And you can see how excited kids get when they look out their car window and see these two guys hanging onto the truck. It’s pretty cool. Then this year for Mother’s Day, I met up with my girlfriend, Brittney, and her two sons, Elijah and Noah, in Florida, and we went to Disney World to meet the real life Buzz and Woody. Seeing their reaction when they saw the life-sized version of Buzz was great. They loved it, and of course we’re going to see Toy Story 4 now.

n A pril 6 , Prime Inc.’s disc gol f course got wil d in support of A ction for C heetahs in K enya, a research program dedicated to cheetah conservation. A s part of the fourth annual D isc’n for C heetahs tournament, Prime’s own C l ayton Brown, J eff Thiel en and N athan Hopk ins teamed up with the O z ark s C hapter of the A merican A ssociation of Z oo K eepers to b ring friendl y competition and a few furry and feathered creatures to campus. M al e and femal e pro, amateur, master and even junior discers competed in the PD G A tier B tournament, which took pl ace on G rub augh Park in O z ark , M issouri, and on Prime’s Springfield terminal disc golf course. The course even had nine temporary additional hol es added for the occasion. F or those who weren’t ab l e to sl ing a F risb ee, the C onservation Education Program at Springfield’s Dickerson Park oo was in attendance and introduced the crowd to animal amb assadors, incl uding a red- tail ed b oa, a b l ue- tongued sk ink , a chinchil l a, a sul fur- crested cock atoo, a gol den eagl e, an A merican k estrel , a turk ey vul ture and a domestic rab b it.

SUPER SAVER Penny pinching is now super-easy on and off the road with the Prime App’s built-in discounts. BY CLAIRE PORTER

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e val ue our phones for the photos they store, the connections they foster and the entertainment they b ring us, b ut did you k now your cel l phone coul d al so save you money? With the mob il e Prime A pp, drivers have access to discounts on hotel s, phones, restaurants, car rental s and more. To unl ock your own savings, navigate to the menu from the home page and sel ect M y Prime Portal . C hoose “M yPrime Home,” and from the menu sel ect “D iscounts.” Each discount l ists information on how to tak e advantage of the deal pl us contact info. These discounts are one of many perk s that Prime Inc. offers to its drivers— and with your phone al ways at hand, saving money coul dn’t b e easier. PRIME WAYS

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week in the life

Laced Up

Orain Jones is a Prime Student Driver Instructor who has a love of sneakers. He can’t fit his whole collection on his truck, but he still usually has about 30 pairs with him at all times.

Orain Jones, a four-time Top 15 Prime Student Driver Instructor, fits his love of shoes in with his life on the road. BY SAVANNAH WASZCZUK

MONDAY Morning: A t 5 : 3 0 a.m., J ones is up and his student is al ready work ing. “We pre- trip the truck and get started,” he says. Mid-day: A fter l ogging 3 0 0 mil es, it’s time for a b reak . This is often a strategic stop. J ones researches where to stop and shop. “A cross the country, there are ab out 8 0 outl ets I can get to with the truck , and ab out 2 5 or 3 0 b outiq ues,” he says. “The student wil l do another pre- check , and I’l l do a q uick shopping trip if I can.” Evening: A fter 2 0 0 more mil es, the pair pul l s off. J ones work s out three times a week , so if possib l e, he pl ans overnight stops near a Pl anet F itness.

TUESDAY Morning: A fter a q uick b reak fast, which is often a b anana, J ones hel ps his student wrap up another pre- trip check l ist b efore hitting the road. Mid-day: Today’s post- l unch mission incl udes researching where to pul l off the road that evening. Besides shoes, J ones is ab l e to indul ge another l ove of his whil e on the road— movies. “I’l l sometimes l ook for a spot b y a theater,” J ones says. “I have al l the movie apps.” He al so has the scoop on which theaters have the b est prices, l ik e A M C , which has $ 5 movies on Tuesdays.

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PRIME WAYS

Evening: J ones changes his cl othes— and his shoes— b efore going to the theater. He k eeps 2 5 to 3 0 pairs of sneak ers on his truck , so he has pl enty of options to choose from.

WEDNESDAY Morning: The day starts off with sol id conversation b etween J ones and his student. “M y N o. 1 priority is b eing there for students,” J ones says. “I’m a mentor to them.” Mid-day: L unch b reak s are usual l y spent on the truck and incl ude a q uick sandwich and a yogurt. Evening: A fter pul l ing off for the day, J ones chats on the phone with his friend— a fel l ow driver and sneak er l over— ab out the outl et where he’l l stop tomorrow. If J ones’ friend is on the hunt for a specific pair of k ick s, J ones wil l tak e note and k eep his eyes peel ed.

THURSDAY Morning: A fter their regul ar morning pretrip check , J ones and his student are b ack on the road and headed home. Mid-day: A fter 2 78 mil es, it’s time for a b reak — this time near another outl et. “I’l l start shopping b y l ook ing for my siz e,” he says. “Then I’l l l ook for my k ids. I l ook for what’s hot or what’s on sal e.” Evening: J ones snaps a q uick photo of his new sneak ers and throws it up on his Instagram account @ orainjones b efore he changes and heads out to dinner. “I’m wel l dressed al l the time when I’m not driving,” he says. “M y shoes match my shirt, or my sock s match my hat.” A nd if a k id passing b y happens to compl iment those shoes, J ones might just mak e their day. “If a k id tel l s me he l ik es my shoes, a l ot of times I’l l give them to him,” he says.

STOP AND SHOP Want your own sneakers? Plan accordingly! Jones shares his five favorite easily accessible sneaker stops across the country.

Barstow, California Nike Factory Store Located at The Outlets at Barstow, 2796 Tanger Way, Suite 218, Barstow, CA, 92311 This factory store is close to multiple truckstops, and Jones has found that its desert location means they have tons of sales. Smithfield, North Carolina Carolina Premium Outlets 1025 Outlet Center Dr., Smithfield, NC, 27577 This town is a popular wait spot due to Smithfield and other big-name loads, which means there’s time to shop. Gulfport, Mississippi Nike Factory Store Gulfport Premium Outlets, 10700 Factory Shop Blvd., Gulfport, MS, 39503 This Nike store is another great spot for scoring deals, and the outlet is accessible by trucks and has casinos nearby. West Palm Beach, Florida Palm Beach Outlets 1751 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL, 33401 The Palm Beach Outlets are close to downtown, easily accessible by truck and have several shoe hotspots including brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Vans. Hillsboro, Texas Outlets at Hillsboro 104 Interstate Hwy. 35 NE, Exit 368, Hillsboro, TX, 76645 Jones suggests parking at Love’s Travel Stop and walking over to these outlets for good deals. Shoe Lovers: You can find an Under Armour store!

Photo by Linda Huynh country.

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f there’s one thing peopl e rememb er ab out Prime S tudent D river Instructor O rain J ones, it’s this: The man real l y l oves sneak ers. “I have al most 1 ,2 0 0 pairs,” J ones says. “I wasn’t al ways ab l e to get the sneak ers I wanted growing up. N ow a l ot of what I b uy are shoes I l ik ed or wanted as a k id.” J ones started his col l ection l ong ago when he work ed at F oot L ock er for eight years b efore coming to Prime. Today, he even pl ans his routes around shoe- shopping pit stops. We spent a week track ing J ones to see where his shoe ob session took him each day.


close to home

Brewing

for Beginners For some, relaxing after a long day of work means cracking open a cold one. But when you brew your own beer, like driver lineup associate, Andrew Littleton, it’s a little more complicated than that. BY HALEY PHILLIPS

Photos by Brad Zweerink

Photo by Linda Huynh country.

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he idea of b rewing at home came ab out in the summer of 2 0 1 6 when A ndrew L ittl eton and his wife, R aq uel , were vacationing in F ort C ol l ins, C ol orado. “We toured N ew Bel gium Brewing C ompany, O del l Brewing C o. and al l the other b reweries, and it k ind of piq ued my interest,” L ittl eton says. A fter returning home to M issouri, L ittl eton decided to stop b y a l ocal b rew- at- home suppl y store and try it out for himsel f. “O ne day, I just went in there and b ought a l ittl e k it that they sel l , so you can mak e a gal l on of b eer at home… F rom there, it just k ind of got out of control .” Ever since then, L ittl eton has b een crafting his own special b l ends right in the comfort of his own home with the support of his wife and even a l ittl e hel p from his 6 - yearol d son, A ndy. “He’s in charge of stirring things,” L ittl eton q uips. “It just k eeps him “We’ve ob viousl y b rewed some real l y b ad occupied and out of other things.” b atches that we’ve had to pour out, b ut L ittl eton’s homegrown operation has for the most part, we’ve b een doing pretty come a l ong way over the past three years. wel l ,” L ittl eton says. L ittl eton has done so When he first began brewing, Littleton set wel l , in fact, that he’s even won awards for up in his garage, b ut his setup eventual l y his b rews. “We won a l ocal competition at a grew so much that it’s now housed in the b rewery here in town, and they’re going to b asement, and he enl isted the hel p of K evin b rew a commercial - siz ed b atch of our b eer,” Parnel l . “I’ve turned it into a b rewery,” L ithe says. The award- winning b eer is an O k tl eton says. “It’s an el ectric system with a tob erfest b l end that has won this b eer conb ig vent hood that goes outside, so you can noisseur a few b est of show awards in other b rew during the winter or summer, and it’s competitions as wel l . “Y ou get some good comfortab l e.” The year- round access gives feedb ack from a professional judge, and L ittl eton pl enty of time to ex periment. S imit real l y hel ps you,” L ittl eton says. “That’s pl e b rews can tak e as l ittl e as two week s to the reason we enter competitions, b ecause finish, while others take up residency in the you want that feedb ack . When friends drink L ittl eton househol d for two to three months. your b eer, it’s hard for them to b e hon-

Prime Inc. associates Andrew Littleton, left, and Kevin Parnell, right, brew beer together under the name Overland Brewing at Littleton’s home in Rogersville, Missouri. Andrew Littleton gets some help in his home brewery from his son Andy. The 6-year-old helps measure out grains and stir.

est.” Honest or not, L ittl eton’s friends and co- work ers have b egun putting in special req uests for new b eer styl es for L ittl eton to try. “If it’s something that interests me, I’l l try it,” he says. “There are some things that I won’t try though, l ik e sour b eers. I just have no interest in it.” N ex t on L ittl eton’s b rewery b uck et l ist: stronger b eers that tak e a year or more to finish like a barley wine or a doppelbock. “It’s just a l ong time to wait if it’s terrib l e, which is al ways a possib il ity,” L ittl eton says. That’s why he says his phil osophy on b rewing is to k eep ex pectations l ow, so he’s not l et down. “S et the b ar l ow and you’re al ways happy,” he says. A nd sometimes, you might win an award for your home b rew. PRIME WAYS

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wellness

THE FAST LANE TO

Financial Success

During more than two decades at Prime, Patricia Brewer has worked the fuel desk and night dispatch and managed her own fleet. Now, she leverages these multi-level experiences to provide training sessions on business and finance. BY LUCIE AMBERG

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rivers often manage many chal l enges at once. Business, safety and l ogistics are just a few, and they have to manage al l of these whil e working to maximize profitability. It can be a lot. Luckily, Prime’s Slingshot business course can hel p. This training session grew out of discussions with Prime Inc.’s Driver Advisory Board. “Prime is al ways l ook ing out for drivers,” says Patricia Brewer, Prime Training Specialist. “We want them to be as healthy as they can, both financially and physically.” Brewer describes the course as a “slingshot into success.” Class attendees complete a profitability work sheet, which provides a cl ear picture of how revenue and expenses interact to in uence a driver’s profit. Slingshot also covers “roadblocks,” or common obstacles. “They’re little things that can impact your success,” Brewer says, “like your availability and fuel costs.” For example, fuel costs are the biggest expense

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PRIME WAYS

Trish Brewer teaches the Slingshot to Success class at Prime Inc. in Springfield, Mo.

a driver can control. With strategy and organization, a driver can reduce this expense by consciously planning driving speeds that max imiz e mil eage. Brewer al so recommends using a cal endar to hel p manage availability. “Put the most important days of your life on that calendar,” she says. “Organize your running, so you can make the best profit possible.” This not only boosts profitability, it also supports work-life balance. S l ingshot is offered from 1 0 a.m. to 1 2 : 3 0 p.m., every Monday through Friday at Prime’s Springfield campus, and pl ans to offer cl asses in Pittston and S al t L ak e C ity are currentl y in the work s. L unch is al so provided, and attendees receive 20 profitability worksheets, which is enough to last five months. For drivers seeking deeper insights into their business, Brewer leads another session called Ace 2. “We encourage this training six to eight week s after drivers have been out on their truck,” she says. During this intensive course, drivers spend a day eval uating their business, and Brewer refreshes the fundamentals of revenue and ex penses. Then, drivers dig deeper into their numbers from the previous four weeks of driving to evaluate their output based on the following set of questions Is my business doing what I want it to do? And if not, what can I change? Participants in Ace 2 receive hotel accommodations for the night before the class and a 100 bonus for their attendance. L unch and dinner are provided. As an added benefit, participants can currently defer one week ’s eq uipment payment. S o, Brewer says, if a driver ex periences unex pected time off for a repair, it might present a good opportunity to visit Springfield, Pittston or Salt Lake City for the Ace 2 course. Ace 2 is offered every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday in Springfield. Classes in Pittston and Salt L ak e C ity are typical l y offered every other week . F l eet managers can provide details to help drivers take advantage of these opportunities. As Brewer says, “Help yourself be as successful as you can by taking opportunities to l earn everything you can.”

Photo by Brad Zweerink

WELLNESS | SEPTEMBER 2019


recipes

This healthful version of the classic pumpkin pie includes gluten-free graham cracker crust.

SKINNY

Pumpkin Pie Ready to enjoy one of fall’s best-loved indulgences without a side of guilt? Yes, please! This season, celebrate with a slimmeddown version of this perennial favorite. BY LUCIE AMBERG

Photo by Sarah Fennel

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hen you picture your holiday dessert table, there’s a good chance the cl assic pumpk in pie pl ays a starring rol e. S adl y, traditional recipes are often l oaded down with fat and sugar, which mak es this pie a chal l enging choice for anyone hoping to maintain a heal thful eating plan. But don’t fear. With a few intentional ingredient switches, pumpkin pie can become a treat that won’t upset your waistline. Johanna Norsic, Prime Inc.’s certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, considers pumpkin an all-star ingredient. One reason is pumpkin boasts high fiber content, which keeps you feeling full, plus it has a low calorie count—just 5 0 cal ories per cup, N orsic says. F or another hint at pumpk in’s hidden heal th potential, consider its vibrant orange color. “The color is a sign of ample beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, an essential nutrient for eye health,” Norsic says. Even better, pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, a powerful immune booster. N orsic’s favorite recipe for pumpk in pie features whol esome ingredients and tones down the sugar to let the depth of pumpkin avor take center stage. She even makes the crust with chocolate, gluten-free graham crackers. “It’s a yummy twist,” she says. Whether you’re tempted by sweets like pumpkin pie or crave more savory treats, N orsic recommends pl anning ahead to avoid hol iday weight gain. Even when you’re feel ing festive and want to indul ge, stick with healthy portion sizes. And, she says, “Drink lots of water, and never go to a party or celebration super-hungry because you will, for sure, overindulge.”

HEALTHY PUMPKIN PIE WITH GLUTEN-FREE CRUST From AmbitiousKitchen.com.

Ingredients 7 gluten-free chocolate graham crackers 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup maple syrup ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground ginger ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they resemble fine crumbs. Add in coconut oil, and process for a minute so the mixture resembles wet sand. Press mixture evenly into pie pan. Bake for seven minutes; remove from oven and set aside to cool. Continue heating the oven. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut sugar and spices. Slowly add in almond milk and mix in until smooth and creamy. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 50–60 minutes. (Check pie after 20 minutes to make sure crust isn’t burning. If it is, cover pie edges with foil.) Allow pie to cool for at least an hour before serving. Serves nine. Store leftover pie in the fridge.

PRIME WAYS

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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 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 www.highwaydiamonds.com to learn more.


TRUCKS & TECH | SEPTEMBER 2019

how we roll

For the Red,

Woof and Blue As a United States veteran, Gerard “Gerry” Scacchi knew he wanted to pay homage to his follow servicemen and servicewomen. When he bought his newest truck, Scacchi added a tribute to 9/11 as a moving message for the masses. BY HALEY PHILLIPS

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or G erry S cacchi, a U .S . M arine veteran and l ease- reefer driver, it was a no- b rainer what his nex t truck design woul d b e. “The main theme was patriotic b ecause I’m tired of peopl e forgetting the things that have made our country the way it is,” S cacchi says. S cacchi freq uentl y participates in parades and started to notice young chil dren’s dwindl ing famil iarity with our nation’s history. “M ost parades you have l ittl e k ids, and they don’t even k now ab out 9 / 1 1 ,” he says. “They weren’t even b orn yet. We’re tal k ing 1 8 years ago al ready, and even the k ids that were young don’t real l y real iz e what happened.” S cacchi decided it was time to see if he coul d change that.

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PRIME WAYS

The truck ’s design is a col l ection of symb ol s that commemorate al l areas where men and women have made sacrifices for our country, including /11. “I put a big Twin Towers on the rear; it’s got the S tatue of L ib erty right there, and on that it says, ‘ We wil l never forget 9 / 1 1 / 2 0 0 1 ,’” ex pl ains S cacchi, as he paints a picture of the truck’s exterior. On one side, the military’s five branches are displayed between two American ags whil e the saying “A l l gave some, some gave al l ” hovers ab ove the PO W M IA image. “I just want peopl e to rememb er,” S cacchi says, and with his truck out on the roads, it’s hard to forget. “It’s turning heads and doing ex actl y what I wanted it to.”


THE PAW-FECT PASSENGER With his four- l egged companion riding shotgun, S cacchi has al l the company he needs on the road. “S he’s my co- pil ot,” S cacchi says of his b order col l ie, M ax ine, who joined him on the road this past A pril . After losing Max, his first border collie and traveling partner, two years ago, S cacchi waited for the right fit before finding Maxine at a shelter in Springfield, M issouri. “It took me a whil e to b uil d up the courage to get a new dog, b ecause it just didn’t feel right, b ut when I saw her, I was l ik e, ‘ Y ea, I think it’s time.’” S ince the inaugural trip, S cacchi has k ept a record of the pl aces they’ve visited so far.

IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL A fter joining Prime in 2 0 0 2 , S cacchi took a l eave of ab sence to serve his country once again and work ed for the government whil e stationed in Iraq . In 2 0 1 4 , he returned to Prime and the open road. “I’m out here to see stuff and just mak e a l ittl e money doing it,” he says. “I’m enjoying it now. When it b ecomes a job , I’m going to retire.” F or S cacchi, that might b e easier said than done, “N ob ody in my famil y think s I’l l b e ab l e to retire,” he says. “But there’s only so much fishing you can do.”

Photos by Linda Huynh

TURNING HEADS A l though his previous truck was al so deck ed out in patriotic pride, S cacchi wanted to do even more with his new truck . “It didn’t have very many detail s on it, so, I went a l ittl e b it ab ove and b eyond on this one.” Whil e designing the detail s with J eff and C armen at S tripes & S tuff, S cacchi focused on paying trib ute to those who have sacrificed, whether it be police officers, firefighters or soldiers. “I do parades and needed something that woul d stand out, and I think this wil l do it,” he says.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN Even when he’s not working, Scacchi still finds himself behind the wheel. “Everybody l aughed at me b ecause when I took my vacation b etween l eases, al l I did was drive around to visit peopl e,” S cacchi jok es. O ver the course of his nearl y two- month b reak , S cacchi l ogged al most 1 0 ,0 0 0 mil es in his rental car as he visited friends and famil y and spent time sightseeing.

PRIME FOR THE PICKING In l ate 2 0 0 1 , the company S cacchi worked for filed for bankruptcy, which l eft him l ook ing for a more stab l e career path. D uring his job search, he stumb l ed upon Prime, which he says was stil l pretty smal l at the time. S cacchi says he’s b een grateful for the opportunity to join the Prime team every day since he got b ehind the wheel . “It was prob ab l y the b est decision I ever made,” he says. “Prime’s b een real l y good to me.” PRIME WAYS

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Left to right: Jarrod Hall, Tim Brown and Tyler Patrick are maintenance advisors and part of the new maintenance class.

maintenance

Pro Tips

Prime’s new Pro Maintenance Class teaches drivers how to make minor repairs on their trucks, so they can cut their wait time and get back on the road.

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rivers can end up spending a l ot of money and time off the job when a truck has to b e repaired. L uck il y Prime is here to hel p. The company’s R oad A ssist D epartment now offers a new Pro M aintenance C l ass that wil l hel p drivers spend l ess time and money on truck maintenance. The cl ass wil l have b oth instructional and hands- on segments to teach drivers how to tak e care of b asic maintenance and repairs on their own truck s. The cl ass, which is currentl y b eing ironed out, will be tentatively offered two days a week in Springfield, Missouri, and wil l proceed in l evel s. O nce a driver has tak en the 1 .0 cl ass, they can move on to a 2 .0 cl ass, to l earn simpl e repairs to more advanced fixes. “Y ou can teach someb ody how to drive a truck and util iz e their eq uipment, b ut what we’ve k ind of missed the b oat on is teaching people how to fix their own equipment and how to proactively maintain it,” says Tyl er Patrick , maintenance advisor in the R oad A ssist D epartment. Patrick says the cl ass wil l provide k nowl edge to hel p drivers save money by not having to stop in repair shops to fix minor issues, which gives them time b ack on the road. “Instead of giving the money to shops, it gives our drivers more opportunity to put that money b ack in their own pock et and more revenue with l ess down time,” he says. “You figure at a mile a minute and 1.50 per mile

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PRIME WAYS

[a verage], think ab out spending two to three hours in a shop and how much revenue you’ve actual l y missed out on. By b eing ab l e to teach our operators how to change a mud ap in 20 minutes versus waiting around for three hours at an outside shop, you real l y start l ook ing at how much revenue this coul d actual l y hel p our drivers save whil e on the road.” The instructional segments of the new cl asses wil l feature PowerPoint presentations that el ab orate on procedures and how much money a driver coul d save b y doing repairs themsel ves, Patrick says. Then, the hands- on part wil l incl ude going into the shop and going through repairs. Patrick says the idea for this cl ass came from suggestions from Prime’s l ong- term drivers and the hel p of A nthony Eck and Emil y Pl ummer, who b oth serve on the Prime D river A dvisory Board (D A B). Before the Pro Maintenance Class officially kicks off, Patrick says a beta class will first be taught to a handful of Prime’s long-term drivers, so the team can review the resul ts and mak e any necessary adjustments. Then al terations can b e made b efore sel ecting a l aunch date when the cl ass wil l b ecome avail ab l e for al l drivers. Patrick says no matter what your k nowl edge l evel is, if a driver has the slightest inclination they might be able to fix something on their truck without a shop, they can contact the R oad A ssist D epartment for hel p.

Photo by Brad Zweerink

BY KAREN BLISS


tech update

The Twegos software helps Prime match student drivers with instructors.

SMART

Training Techniques Prime found a better way to match new drivers to their trainers. BY KAREN BLISS

Photos courtesy Shutterstock, Twegos

Photo by Brad Zweerink

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ne of the most stressful factors on a new job can b e getting al ong with the person training you, especial l y when you’re operating in tight q uarters. To hel p with this, Prime started using the Twegos software to match new drivers with the b est trainer for their personal ities and needs. S teve L arsen, who oversees Prime student driver pl acement, says Twegos came ab out after surveys were conducted b y S tay Metrics, a driver retention program, to find out what the b iggest reasons are for job turnover at Prime. Besides the strain the job can put on famil ies or a b asic l ack of onthe- road amenities l ik e not having showers on truck s, one of the reasons was negative driver and trainer matches. That’s when S tay M etrics introduced Prime to Twegos. L arsen says each driver and trainer tak es a profile test to learn more about what their core val ues are in the work pl ace. The software then matches trainers and drivers together b ased on their individual responses.

“The inside of the truck isn’t very b ig,” L arsen says. “We feel l ik e if we can mak e the b est match, we’ve won hal f of the b attl e.” L arsen says the training process can seem especial l y l ong if a new driver isn’t matched with the right trainer. Training can l ast anywhere from two to four months, so pairing new drivers with a trainer they’l l get al ong with is crucial to mak ing those few months more enjoyab l e and effective. “Y ou try to create the b est environment possib l e,” L arsen says. “Y ou usual l y yiel d a b etter resul t in b ecoming partners, friends and work associates.” Prime first started using the Twegos software in 2 0 1 7, and there have al ready b een great resul ts. “In 2 0 1 6 , our graduation rate for the permit program to getting the C D L was 8 6 percent,” L arsen says. “In 2 0 1 8 , we had more than 9 0 percent.” Twegos matches drivers and trainers on a star rating b asis, so if the program mak es a two and a hal f star match b etween

a driver and a trainer, then that signal s a good match. But as effective as the software is, L arsen says Prime doesn’t l eave al l the work to the computer. There is stil l an individual interview process for the driver and the trainer b efore the two are paired up. “We try to match them individual l y and interview them individual l y,” he says. “We don’t mak e Twegos repl ace the individual interview, b ut it gives us a b etter starting pl ace than we real l y used to have.” Whil e L arsen is ex cited ab out how Twegos can improve driver satisfaction, use of the program is stil l b rand new to the truck ing industry. “It’s pretty wel l k nown that we use this,” L arsen says. “We’re the first trucking company to use it, and we just had another truck ing company that wants to tal k to us ab out S tay M etrics.” A s other companies hop on the Twegos b andwagon, Prime is l eading the way and al ways l ook ing for new opportunities to improve the student driver ex perience. PRIME WAYS

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Service The transition from military to civilian life can be challenging. In fact, a 2011 Pew Research Center Study found 44 percent of veterans surveyed who served in the 10 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, found it difficult to become civilians again. Sometimes finding the right employer or job can help. Prime Inc. is devoted to hiring veterans; in fact, more than 1,100 drivers in its fleet have served in the Armed Forces. Four of those drivers—each from a different branch of the military—share their experience and explain what attracted them to Prime, how skills acquired in the military mirror those needed to do a good job on the road, and how they’ve managed to acclimate to their new profession. BY JULIANA GOODWIN

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PRIME WAYS


Photo by Brandon Alms

Derrick Pena (left) followed his stepdad’s (middle) footsteps and served in the Marines. Derrick’s stepdad even worked at Prime.

PRIME WAYS

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Marissa Haywood PRIME POSITION: LEASE OPERATOR MILITARY BRANCH: NAVY

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hil e growing up in L os A ngel es, M arissa Haywood had a dream of what her l ife woul d b e l ik e. S he pl anned on going to col l ege, getting a job , work ing her way up the corporate l adder and b ecoming the b oss. S he saw the N avy as a vessel to hel p her achieve that dream, especial l y b ecause the N avy woul d al l ow her to attend col l ege on the G .I. Bil l . R eady to travel the worl d and serve her country, Haywood joined the N avy in 2 0 1 3 . “I k new I’d have a good ex perience,” she says. “I’ve b een to Bahrain, Ital y, Thail and, S ingapore, A frica and D ub ai.” A nd that was al l b efore Haywood turned 2 4 . D uring her time in the N avy, Haywood served as a b oatswain mate (B M ) and hel ped drive aircraft carriers. It ended up b eing a rewarding ex perience that l et her travel the worl d, b ut it wasn’t the mil itary that hel ped Haywood discover her path forward. That actual l y happened during a famil y vacation. Haywood’s grandfather, a truck driver who owns a eet of trucks, took the famil y on vacation to D isney Worl d, and as Haywood watched her grandfather, she real iz ed col l ege wasn’t the onl y way she coul d reach her dreams. “I real iz ed I didn’t have to go to col l ege to b e successful ,” she says. “M y grandfather is a truck driver, and I saw how he was ab l e to provide for his famil y. It cl ick ed for me, I was l ik e ‘ When I get out, this is what I am going to do.’” Back in civil ian l ife, Haywood fol l owed in her grandfather’s steps and joined Prime in 2 0 1 8 as an over- the- road driver and l ease- operator. Q uick l y, she was ab l e to provide for her famil y. Her mother, who

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PRIME WAYS

 Military service runs in Marissa’s family. Even her great grandmother served in the Navy. Marissa’s grandfather is a truck driver who took the family on a vacation to Disney World. The trip inspired MarIssa to look into trucking.

has heal th prob l ems that are adversel y affected b y stress, has b een ab l e to q uit her job b ecause Haywood can support her. Pl us, as a l ease operator, Haywood is al ready on the way to compl eting the second part of her dream— owning her own company. Prime caught her attention b ecause the C EO and founder, R ob ert L ow, is a former M arine. “The way he has the company set up, it was an easy transition,” Haywood says. “He was mil itary, and the atmosphere at Prime reminded me of b eing on b ase. The cafeteria is open 2 4 hours, l ik e the chow hal l . It’s a campus, so you have to have an ID to get in and out, l ik e l iving on a b ase. The showers and gyms are open 2 4 hours. That’s l ik e the mil itary, 2 4 / 7/ 3 6 5 . He understands everyone is on a different schedul e and wants to mak e sure we are al l afforded the same opportunities.” Being with Prime, Haywood now gets to see another part of the worl d, the U nited S tates. O n a drop in N ew Y ork , she made time to visit the S tatue of L ib erty. S he says it was an opportunity she woul d not have had without Prime. “F or vets who don’t k now what they want to do, truck driving is an easy transition b ecause we have a l ot

of the same val ues,” Haywood says. “If you have a C D L it’s al most l ik e a degree. There aren’t many job s where you can mak e this amount of money without going to col l ege. Y ou get b ack what you put in.”

DISCIPLINE “When you are up there driving, you are on watch, alert. The Navy is the watch, we are watching the water to make sure no one comes on U.S. soil. We are trained to be able to stay awake long hours, so I am able to stay awake and stay focused.” ATTENTION TO DETAIL “We are trained to pay attention to every detail from directions to instructions like don’t turn here because you can end up without clearance or you’re too heavy for the road or the bridge. A lot of people don’t pay attention to detail, but the military teaches you to do that.”


Justin Zayas PRIME POSITION: COMPANY DRIVER | MILITARY BRANCH: ARMY

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ustin Z ayas grew up in the Bronx and is one of five children. His father, grandfather and great- grandfather were al l in the A rmy, as is one of his b rothers, and another serves in the A ir F orce. Z ayas al ways k new he’d enl ist; he just didn’t k now when. The decision b ecame cl ear on S ept. 1 1 ,2 0 0 1 . His uncle, a fire chief, was a victim of the aftermath of the terrorist attack s.“He survived b ut got a serious form of cancer from al l the chemical s that day and within six months he was gone,” Z ayas says. “C ancer took over his b ody.” It was time to serve, b ut Z ayas had dropped out of high school , so it took him awhil e to earn his G ED . He enl isted in the A rmy in 2 0 0 6 and served two depl oyments to Iraq . D uring his nine- year career, he was a military police officer and wheel vehicle mechanic. Z ayas met his wife C hrista whil e stationed in F ort D rum, and she is stil l active duty A rmy and is b ased in N ewport N ews, V irgina.

When he rejoined civil ian l ife, Z ayas tack l ed various job s b ut wasn’t happy. He considered col l ege b ut wanted to save his G .I. Bil l for one of his three chil dren: K il l ian, M ak enz ie and Hannah. Then three A rmy b uddies that he’d b een depl oyed with b ecame truck drivers. “I started tal k ing to them and saw how much they enjoyed it,” he says. When even more friends b ecame truck drivers, Z ayas b egan l ook ing into the profession for himsel f. A fter narrowing his search down to two companies, he cal l ed the recruiter at one and she was ab rupt and hung up on him twice without answering q uestions. S o, he cal l ed Prime. “J ul ie J ones was my recruiter and she was ab sol utel y amaz ing,” Z ayas says. “A s I was tal k ing to her, she was answering every q uestion I had on my notepad b efore I asked it. I felt like it was fitting perfectly with what I was wanting. Within a week I was done with paperwork .” Z ayas joined Prime J anuary, 7, 2 0 1 9 . The fact that the company paid for his training was a huge

Photos by Christa Zayas, courtesy Marissa Haywood, Justin Zayas

When Zayas returned to civilian life, he found he could use the skills he learned from his nine years in the Army at Prime.

WELCOME NEW OPPORTUNITIES “In the Army, unless there is a medical condition that prohibits a soldier from driving, they learn to drive everything from Humvees to cranes. Getting behind the wheel of a semi was not intimidating but actually exciting and a ‘cake walk’ in comparison to the Army.”

Justin Zayas served in the Army and met his wife, Christa, while stationed in Fort Drum.

perk b ecause he didn’t have to cash in his G .I. Bil l . The shift from mil itary to civil ian l ife is chal l enging, b ut Z ayas says it’s b een easy at Prime b ecause he is using many of the same sk il l s he l earned in the mil itary. A nd as an added b onus, Z ayas says he’s discovered that l ife on the road is actual l y more comfortab l e than he ex pected. “In the mil itary you aren’t given so much l ux ury,” he says. “These truck s are meant for comfort. In the A rmy, the vehicl es are designed to protect you and withstand a b omb . I am not used to a nice b ed and microwave,” he says chuck l ing. Z ayas’ l ong- term goal is to b ecome an instructor for Prime S tudent D rivers. “I spent a l ot of time away from the U .S .,” he says. “M y b iggest thing is b eing ab l e to see so much of the country I have not seen b efore. It hel ps immensel y. When I am on the road that hel ps with stress. F or me b eing with Prime is very mil itary- rel ated. It’s adaptab l e for anyone coming out of the mil itary, and it’s ex tremel y comfortab l e mental l y.” PRIME WAYS

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Kyle Wilson PRIME POSITION: COMPANY DRIVER | MILITARY BRANCH: U.S. AIR FORCE

DISCIPLINE “Discipline goes without saying. You have When he l eft the service in 2 0 1 7, he to be self-disciplined because you can slip work ed on his degree in cyb er security. His up really quickly and oversleep. You are bawife was also trying to finish her master’s sically your own boss, so you have to hold degree. With two chil dren, they struggl ed yourself accountable.” to mak e ends meet. S omething had to give. Wil son decided to mak e some ex tra cash and drove for U b er and L yft. O nce again, he met truck drivers who raved ab out the Whil e drivers have someone to answer to, industry. “I was at Pl anet F itness one day they are essential l y their own b oss, which and saw a truck driver and ask ed him what is one feature Wil son particul arl y enjoys. it was l ik e,” Wil son says. “He previousl y “There is no one standing on top of you tel l work ed at Prime. He tol d me to go and l ook ing you how to do your job ,” he says. “A s at it, and now here I am. It surprises a l ot l ong as you del iver on time and safel y, it’s of peopl e when I tel l them it’s the b est job I you and the truck .” But Wil son says whil e ever had. I l oved the mil itary, and there is he might b e his own b oss whil e in the truck , nothing on earth l ik e serving in the A rmed he knows he didn’t find success alone. F orces, b ut this b eats that.” “I have to give recognition to al l of the ex cel l ent training staff at Prime’s Pittston terminal incl uding R ichard Brock and Kyle Wilson joined the Air R yder,” he says. “A l so thank s to my Force right after high school. eet manager J.P. and his crew who have al ways b een professional and continue to hel p me stay successful out here on the road.” S imil ar to during his time in the mil itary, Wil son is away from home often, b ut he gets to see his famil y far more than he did whil e he was in the A ir F orce. His famil y l ives in the coupl e’s hometown of D ayton, O hio, and Wil son swings through there an average of once a week . “M y wife is used to me b eing gone six to nine months at a time,” he says. “This is a cak ewal k for her b ecause now they see me once a week , so it’s not b ad at al l . Truck driving real l y has stol en my heart.”

Kyle Wilson married his high school sweetheart Chavon before joining the Air Force after high school.

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PRIME WAYS

Photos courtesy Kyle Wilson

W

hen K yl e Wil son was stationed in Bil ox i, M ississippi, he work ed in security forces and inspected vehicl es coming onto K eesl er A ir F orce Base. Tal k ing with semi drivers, he found many were former service memb ers. “They said, ‘ C heck it out, it’s a good job for veterans.’ I had negative ideas ab out what the job was l ik e, b ut it pl anted a seed,” the 2 7- yearol d says. F or Wil son, joining the mil itary wasn’t a hard decision. Every man in his famil y had served, and Wil son wanted to honor that tradition. He joined the A ir F orce right out of high school and served from 2 0 1 0 to 2 0 1 7. Wil son and his wife, C havon, his high school sweetheart, were stationed in b oth A nchorage, A l ask a, and M ississippi. Wil son was eventual l y depl oyed to the U nited A rab Emirates and A fghanistan.

MINDFULNESS “You have to be careful and mindful. I handled weapons in the military. You learn to respect the equipment, learn to be cautious, and the same thing goes when you’re working on a truck.”


Derrick credits a lot of his success at Prime to his trainer Jeff Creasy and fleet manager Bill Thompson.

Derrick Pena PRIME POSITION: LEASE OPERATOR MILITARY BRANCH: MARINE CORPS

Photos by Brandon Alms

D

errick Pena understood mil itary l ife l ong b efore he joined the M arine C orps. His stepfather R ay Pena was a M arine, and the famil y moved from b ase to b ase. “M y stepfather has al ways b een my hero. He taught me everything I k now,” the 3 1 - year- ol d says. Pena enl isted in the M arine C orps from 2 0 0 6 to 2 0 1 4 and was a heavy eq uipment operator. D uring his time in the service, he was depl oyed to Iraq and A fghanistan and even served with his stepfather in Iraq . When he l eft the M arine C orps, Pena earned a Business degree from M issouri S tate U niversity. A fter col l ege, he l anded a job as a manager b ut struggl ed with his new l ife, particul arl y with the empl oyees. “I coul dn’t rel ate,” Pena says. “I was ex pecting them to b e l ik e M arines. I was a S ergeant E- 5 , which is a l eader of a pl atoon. When I said to do something, it woul d get done. Y ou can’t tal k to civil ians l ik e you can tal k to M arines. I coul dn’t transition to that as wel l .” Back in civil ian l ife, Pena fel t l ost and depressed. He cal l ed his stepfather and tol d

Daynah Dishman works at Success him he didn’t k now what to do b ecause he Leasing and helped Derrick find didn’t want to feel l ik e he wasted four years his truck at Prime. of his l ife earning a b achel or’s degree and then not use it. A t this point, he just wanted a different job . That’s when his stepfather “The feel ing I was missing, everything has advised him to b ecome a truck driver. come b ack . I feel motivated again,” he says. “He used to b e a student driver instructor at Prime after he retired,” Pena says. “He “I am ready to b e who I was in the M arine C orps, and that is someone who ex cel l ed at said to go to Prime b ecause they are l ocal everything. There are so many peopl e who b ut are very mil itary friendl y. When he got have hel ped me transition into a successful out of the M arine C orps, he fel t a conneccareer at Prime incl uding my PS D trainer tion with Prime l ik e the M arine C orps. He J eff C reasy, my TN T trainer G reg J efferson, had the camaraderie. That is something my dispatcher Bil l Thompson, and D aynah that ex cited me.” D ishman at S uccess L easing, who wil l do Pena joined Prime F eb ruary 4 , 2 0 1 9 and just ab out anything to hel p drivers.” says he feel s rejuvenated again. Prime has another perk simil ar to the M arine C orps— Pena is ab l e to travel and l oves to ex pl ore the country. Even his degree in b usiness came in handy. When Pena decided to sign up as a l ease operator, his degree hel ped him feel confident managing his own business b ehind the wheel . He’s even found that l ife on the road ATTENTION TO DETAIL can often resemb l e his time in the mil itary. “That is something that was beaten into me in O n one haul , the al ternator went out on the Marine Corps. It is something that helps a lot because they teach you to look far and his truck , and he stopped at Prime’s S al t close, side to side. You have to know what is L ak e C ity terminal . The ex perience echoed happening ahead, behind, left, right. I did that that of the mil itary: The facil ity, l ik e al l of as I was deployed. I use that skill in trucking, Prime’s hub s, was pristine; everyone was and it helps me, especially in city areas bepol ite and hel pful and work ed hard. He cause people are not paying attention. I will slow down before something happens bewent to ask for an ETA on his truck , and cause I anticipate it.” it was al ready done. It made him feel l ik e he was b ack in the mil itary where peopl e TIME MANAGEMENT are taught to do their job , do their b est, and “This is a big one. It helps me a lot. In the milb el ieve they are part of something b igger. itary you can never be late. Never. And here you need to get the product you are hauling Pena says the transition to driving has delivered on time.” b een seaml ess, and he feel s l ik e he b el ongs to a community again.

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Going the 24

PRIME WAYS


Photo by Jennifer McNutt

Extra Mile As Prime’s flatbed sales and logistics manager, Brian Brown spends up to 90 days on the road each year. For Brown, the relationships built on the road make it all worth it. BY LILLIAN STONE

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D

rivers aren’t the onl y Prime associates who l ive their l ives on the road. Y es, drivers spend a l ot of time travel ing and typical l y spend a few week s at a time b etween stops, b ut Prime’s sal es associates al so l og some serious mil es. That’s certainly true for Brian Brown, Prime’s atbed sales and logistics manager, who l ogs up to 8 0 or 9 0 travel days during b usy years. Whil e that much time on the road can b e a chal l enge, Brown has devel oped customer rel ationships that mak e his time away from N ow, more than two decades l ater, Brown work s under D ivision home much more val uab l e. Brown has b een with Prime for more than 2 1 years and started as D irector J im Wil k ins to manage a team of 2 1 associates across an undergraduate work ing night shifts. Brown stil l rememb ers his Prime’s atbed sales and logistics divisions. His job is two-fold. He ex act start date of A pril 1 4 , 1 9 9 8 . A junior in col l ege, Brown initial l y fosters individual growth in his team and promotes company- wide connected with Prime at a job fair. “I was l eaving cl ass at M issouri growth by managing atbed customer relationships across the .S. S tate U niversity one day and needed a ride home, so I hopped in “G oing out and meeting fol k s and trying to get new b usiness and newith one of my b uddies,” Brown says. “He stopped b y a job fair, and gotiating is a b ig part of it,” Brown says. “It’s al l a part of promoting growth. There’s definitely a lot of motivation to succeed because I went with him and ended up tal k ing to someb ody from Prime.” The recruiter contacted Brown eight months l ater and offered him you k now your team is counting on you.” Brown oversees b oth the a job work ing 1 3 - hour overnight shifts. Brown accepted, tack l ing sal es and l ogistics departments under Wil k ins, and he’s committed up to 1 0 0 hours a week at Prime whil e wrapping up his degree to growing the atbed division while ensuring existing contracts at M issouri S tate during the day. Eventual l y, he switched to the are fulfilled awlessly. Prime’s atbed trucking department has certainly seen growth daytime shift and l earned the ropes as a b rok er until he graduated. A t that point, Brown accepted a regional sal es manager position during Brown’s time in management. Today, the company’s atbed where he first managed the southeastern sales division and then department b oasts unrival ed on- time service and a near- l egendary focus on meeting customer needs. The commitment to serving as a b ecame an outside sal esperson. “F rom there, it morphed into managing the sales group and managing the logistics group for atbed,” total atbed solution is met by providing 24-hour customer service and a massive atbed eet with more than 800 trucks. The atbed he says. His secret to success? A k nack for b uil ding rel ationships. department has nowhere to go b ut up, which is good news as an in ux of experienced drivers are being drawn to atbeds. Brown feel s that the draw of new drivers is l argel y due to the department’s exibility and diversity of materials hauled. The open design of atbed trucks allows drivers to haul a wide variety of products incl uding b uil ding construction products, steel , raw manufacturing goods and heavy machinery, just to name a few. Brown points out that Prime atbeds have hauled materials to produce everything from al uminum cans to the F ord F 1 5 0 , as wel l as l arge panes of gl ass that are used to b uil d some of the worl d’s tal l est b uil dings and stadiums. That’s a pride point for a l ot of drivers. While the atbed department offers plenty of new and exciting chal l enges for drivers, it al so req uires a certain amount of stamina. Traditional l y, Prime associates aren’t ex pected to assist with the loading and unloading of freight. But with atbed trucking, drivers are often responsib l e for rigging and unrigging l oads b efore and after their haul s. D rivers might al so b e req uired to adjust secures en route since atbeds aren’t enclosed and loads are exposed to the elements. Despite its challenges, the atbed department presents drivers with the opportunity to join one of the fastest- growing and most exible departments Prime has to offer.

“It’s all part of promoting growth.”

“There’s definitely a

succeed because you

know your team is counting on you.” —Brian Brown

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PRIME WAYS

Photo courtesy James Baker

lot of motivation to


MEMORIES ON THE ROAD With a little more than two decades at Prime under his belt, Brian Brown has plenty of memories. From an auspicious meeting to embarrassing early moments, these five memories stuck out from the rest. A very important date “I met my wife at a Prime event at the Palace Casino in Biloxi. I showed up late for dinner, and the empty seat next to her was the only seat left. Lucky her.” A bold ask “My first time traveling in outside sales, I went to our largest customer and asked for a rate increase. He stared at me from a chair that seemed much taller than mine and told me I could jeopardize our entire business—and then asked me if I was sure I wanted to ask for the increase. I said yes. It turned out to be a great partnership.” Pitching in “I pulled a 29-hour shift once when another associate was sick and we were short handed. I started at 5 p.m. on day one and worked until 10 p.m. the following night. It might be a record… I needed a shower.” A tasty tradition “When I first started at Prime full-time, it was tradition to bring donuts for the whole division on your first Friday. I was a junior in college and so broke I couldn’t afford to buy donuts. I had to borrow the money off of another guy.” Maximizing quality time “Having my kids at the Prime Learning Center was an amazing experience and a huge reason I stayed at Prime. I have some amazing memories here, but being able to eat lunch with them, see them and be there for them is irreplaceable for a working parent.”

Brian Brown is Prime’s flatbed sales and logistics manager and is focused on growing the division within Prime.

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“I really try to maximize my time while I’m out there on the road.”

MATERIALS HAULED Prime’s flatbed division is one of the fastestgrowing facets of the already massive enterprise. Unlike traditional ground transportation, flatbed trucking allows for quick and easy loading of goods and lends itself well to transporting large loads of sturdy materials.

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PRIME WAYS

 Brown started at Prime while in college at Missouri State University. He worked nights and attended school during the day.

“being here for my team at Prime along with my kids can be a balancing act.” —Brian Brown

CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS: Prime hauls a variety of building construction materials, often contributing to highly time-sensitive projects. These materials include plastic or cast iron pipe, steel buildings, structural steel beams, stairs and columns. “[These] deliveries many times involve a crew and cranes that are waiting for the product we deliver,” Brown says. For that reason, flatbed drivers need to commit to reliability and industry expertise—something Brown keeps a close eye on.

HEAVY INDUSTRIAL COMPONENTS: Prime often hauls heavy industrial HVAC units that are sometimes unloaded via helicopter onto the rooftops of buildings. Given the design of a flatbed truck, large loads like these often mean more hands-on loading and unloading on the part of the driver.

Photos courtesy Brian Brown

Of course, with a massive eet and growing customer base to manage, Brown has to do a significant amount of traveling himself. While Brown is based out of Prime’s Springfield terminal, he’s on the road most week s and often work s l ong hours to get the job done. “When you’re out there travel ing, most of your days are 1 8 - hour days,” he says. “Y ou’re up earl y, and you’re at dinners l ate at night with customers. Then you’re b ack at it the nex t day. I real l y try to max imiz e my time whil e I’m out there on the road, so I can shorten the l ength of the time I’m gone.” Like many Prime associates, Brown constantly has to figure out ways to b al ance l ife on the road with l ife at home. “I do enjoy the traveling, but it’s definitely a challenge,” Brown says. With two kids b ack at home, Brown work s hard to b e as active as possib l e in his family’s day-to-day activities. He finds time to serve as a coach for his daughter’s many sports teams and F aceTimes his famil y whil e he’s on the road. “Trying to b al ance travel ing and b eing here for my team at Prime— al ong with famil y l ife and k ids— can b e a b al ancing act,” Brown says, pointing out that it’s important for associates l ik e him—or anyone on the road—to find resources to help make the b al ancing act easier. F ortunatel y, Prime prioritiz es the wel l - b eing of associates’ famil ies. Brown actual l y met his wife at a Prime event. O ver the years, Brown grew to appreciate one of Prime’s major resources, which al l owed him to max imiz e his time at home: the Prime K ids L earning C enter (P K L C ). The L earning C enter is an in- house educational center at the Springfield terminal available to all Prime families with kids ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. The center allows Prime associates to access convenient, high- q ual ity chil dcare whil e connecting with their k ids during the work day. The L earning C enter is eq uipped with stateof- the- art technol ogy and staffed with ex perts who have devel oped the center’s signature C reative C urricul um, which is designed to encourage chil dren to l earn through sel f- directed pl ay ex periences. Whil e the L earning C enter’s goal is to meet the social , emotional ,


physical and intel l ectual needs of Prime k ids, associates l ik e Brown see it as a much- needed connection point with famil y. Brown’s k ids are b oth in middl e school , which means they’ve grown out of L earning C enter care. S til l , PK L C remains an important factor in Brown’s time with Prime.

tions are compl etel y b y- the- b ook , many peopl e end up b ecoming friends. “Y ou’l l devel op rel ationships with peopl e you’ve work ed with for a l ong time,” he says. “It’s al ways good to get out and see customers who are al so your friends.” G iven the l arge amount of time he spends on the road, it’s not surprising that Brown counts several of his cl ients among some of his b est friends. “With one of my customers in particul ar, if you go into his office, you’ll see photos of my kids on his desk,” he says. “He’l l F aceTime with my famil y. Y ou just get to k now each other and stick with each other through good times and b ad. O f course, with approx imatel y three months out of the year spent on the road, some aspects are b ound to get mundane. “There’s the fun side, which is k ind of the one percent,” he says, l aughing. “The other side is the l ong days and the tough negotiations.” Brown recal l s one recent meeting when he was in negotiations with a Prime staff memb er. They sat at a massive conference tab l e with 1 0 peoBrown oversees national atbed sales and logistics efforts, which pl e from a customer company on one side and the Prime team on means he travel s al l over the country and into M ex ico. Whil e l iving the other. “We went into tough negotiations for five hours,” he says. out of a suitcase can b e tax ing, Brown enjoys travel ing— especial l y “It’s b asical l y l ik e a court hearing. Those days are not nearl y as fun.” when it means paying a visit to some of his favorite destinations. Travel ing for work al so means inevitab l e del ays. F or Brown, “I’m partial to the C arol inas,” he says. “The cl imate is great, and I’ve these del ays often req uire creative prob l em sol ving. “Y ou might made a l ot of friends out there.” Brown tak es every opportunity to end up sl eeping in an airport or sl eeping in your rental car,” he ex pl ore the regions to which he’s assigned and enjoy his favorite says. “S ometimes, you’l l eat meal s from a gas station. Y ou never outdoor activities with friends. k now what you’re going to get yoursel f into. Every day is different.” That’s another thing Brown l oves ab out l ife on the road: the D espite the chal l enges, Brown woul dn’t change a thing ab out his friendships. Brown ex pl ains that, whil e some customer interacrol e with Prime. “Prime just has a way of treating everyone l ik e you own your own part of the b usiness, which means you get a l ot of freedom to mak e things happen,” he says. “A t the end of the day, I don’t have to go through a l ot of b ureaucracy or l ayers of peopl e. We’re al l owed to go out there and b e b usinessmen and b usinesswomen and mak e negotiations without al l of that.” U l timatel y, it’s the team environment that mak es it al l worth it. “L ik e any job , there are tough days,” Brown says. “But I think ab out my team at Prime. I think ab out how they’re counting on me to mak e sal es happen, so we can continue to grow this thing.” With persistence and an appreciation for autonomy, Brown has carved out a niche to b e proud of with Prime. His commitment to growing customer rel ationships is a testament to Prime’s guiding pol icy: “D o your b est, do what’s right, and treat others the way you want to b e treated.”

Photos courtesy Brian Brown

“It’s always good to get out and see customers who are also your friends.”

Brown stays a part of his family’s daily life even if he’s on the road including often coaching his daughter’s sports teams.

MACHINERY: The flexible nature of flatbed hauling allows Prime drivers to haul heavy machinery for construction such as bulldozers, backhoes, tractors, skid steers, scissor lifts and front end loaders. Prime flatbed drivers also haul a wide array of agricultural machinery.

STEEL: Prime flatbed drivers haul large quantities of steel products and aluminum coils for various manufacturers. The latter are used to produce everything from aluminum cans to the Ford F150, which makes Prime’s flatbed department a crucial part of countless industries.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS: Other products might include containers from ports, elevators, escalators and large panes of glass that are used to build some of the world’s tallest buildings and stadiums. Many Prime drivers consider this to be a major point of pride.

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TERMINAL TALK | SEPTEMBER 2019

Larry Pierson, Zac Tomoson and Kevin Bergman helped launch the new Quick Lube station at Prime’s campus in Springfield, Missouri, where drivers can get oil changes on site.

Stop, drop and go Springfield terminal’s new Quick Lube station makes a simple oil change less of a hassle.

T

ime is money, and for Prime drivers, every minute counts. That’s why when Prime’s Springfield terminal began renovating its old plaza eight months ago, Director of Fleet Maintenance Kevin Bergman and his team brainstormed ways to optimize the space and turn it into an asset for drivers. Their brilliant idea? A new Quick Lube station, currently only found at the Springfield terminal. The hope is that the new Quick Lube station will be the perfect solution to long wait-times for a simple oil change. Nestled in the first of nine bays within the newly remodeled plaza, the Quick Lube station is a grab-and-go, in-house amenity drivers can take advantage of without even having to unhook their trucks. Bergman describes the station as a drive-through that expedites the process of getting oil change and chassis lube items taken care of quickly.

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PRIME WAYS

Photos by Brad Zweerink

BY JENNA DEJONG


What to expect: OIL CHANGES CHASSIS LUBRICATIONS

 Zac Tomoson is a tractor mechanic for Prime, and he performs oil changes at the new oil lube station.

“Our [tractor] shop generally has a lot of work and we are scheduled many days out, so [the Quick Lube station is] another opportunity to keep business coming into the Prime shops, which is at a cheaper rate, and it’s more Prime friendly,” Bergman says. “[It will] get our trucks back out on the road quicker than if they did it at an outside shop.” The new station is a dream for drivers like David Cloyes, who says the drive-through station makes simple, routine stops less of a hassle, and much less expensive. “As a driver, if I need to go get something simple fixed, I can sit anywhere from two

hours to 12 hours at a truck stop trying to get something serviced,” Cloyes says. “If it’s just a routine maintenance thing, like I’m driving up I-44 and I know it’s time to get some routine maintenance, being able to pull in here and get it handled in an hour or so, instead of waiting at a truck stop and disconnecting the trailer, makes me happy to hear about this.” The short wait time to receive service is perhaps the Quick Lube’s largest appeal. Cloyes says the speed and convenience of the Quick Lube station is a huge improvement compared to the long downtime he’s used to enduring at an outside repair shop.

“With the way it is being a Prime operator, [the truck stop] has to write Prime an estimate, get it approved and then do the work,” Cloyes says. “I usually look at a minimum of two to three hours at a truck stop. If I can pull through here in an hour and not unhook from my trailer and get back on the road, I am a happy guy.” The plaza at the Springfield campus is divided into nine bays, plus an extra space for equipment. The Quick Lube station is located in the first bay and currently staffs two full-time associates. At this time, the station has capacity to service one truck at a time. Eventually, Bergman says, Prime plans to expand Quick Lube’s services and hours, plus hire more associates to operate on the trucks, once hiccups are addressed after the initial debut. When the 1,500-square-foot Quick Lube station opened in July, it offered chassis lubrication and oil changes. Other services drivers need addressed are still offered at the tractor shop within the Springfield hub. No appointments or unhooking is necessary beforehand, and trucks are serviced on a first-come, first-served basis. Drivers should expect to wait about an hour for each maintenance item to be addressed. Hours for the station are set from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. but are subject to change. Bergman says Prime hopes to turn the new station into a 24/7 amenity, especially if the new station proves to be a benefit for drivers who need to hop back on the road.

BY THE NUMBERS 2

1hr.

11

1hr.

Number of associates who will staff the station

Expected service time (depending on the model of the truck)

Number of oil changes the new station expects to handle each day

Average wait time (or less)

75k 450 Average life of an oil change on a semi (miles)

Estimated oil change at an outside shop (dollars)

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Sherina McConneyhead is a Prime CDL trainer and was named this year’s Highway Diamond of the Year.

Family Ties

IT’S TIME TO

WOMAN-UP BY ETTIE BERNEKING

W

hen Sherina McConneyhead Today, McConneyhead is a CDL injoined Prime four years ago, structor and trainer. In the last year alone, there were few women on she’s trained more than 60 drivers—mostthe team, and she was one of ly women. It’s not that she doesn’t enjoy only five women in her course who were working with men, she just knows there are training for their CDL license. Today, she instances when having a woman as your says, she often sees 20 women in a class. trainer is a big bonus. One hurdle she ran And while she might be humble about it, into while training was figuring out who to McConneyhead is a big part of why Prime talk to about life on the road as a woman. is seeing a surge in women drivers. Back “I couldn’t ask my trainer how to deal with when she was wrapping up her training, my monthly while driving,” she says. “And she was paired with a male CDL instructor I couldn’t ask him how to stay safe while and trainer. By the time she was done with at a truck stop when you’re getting pushed training, she realized there were questions on every day. He doesn’t go through those she couldn’t ask her trainer simply be- things, so that’s the difference.” cause he wouldn’t understand the female Even when she’s training new drivers, perspective. McConneyhead decided she McConneyhead sees a difference between would become a trainer herself and help her male and female students. Men tend to women feel comfortable on the road. approach the truck with more confidence, Her first route with her trainer took while the women are as careful as possible. her to Wyoming in the snow. “It was very “Some of the men think they’ve got this and scary,” she says. “But watching my trainer already know what’s up,” she says. “Somedrive where we could barely see made me times I have to break that. If they knew feel like if he could do it, I could do it.” what was up, they wouldn’t need a trainer.”

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PRIME WAYS

Karrisa Wilson is one of Sherina McConneyhead’s student drivers. McConneyhead became a trainer to help women drivers at Prime.

Out on the training pad, McConneyhead is easy to spot with her infectious smile. She often has women come up to her who aren’t even her students. “They tell me I inspire them, and they want to become a trainer,” she says. “Look at us! Women power.” One of the ways McConneyhead stays in touch with these women and previous students she’s worked with is through Prime’s Highway Diamonds. “It’s a sisterhood,” she says. “Every woman at Prime can connect and talk about the issues we might not talk about with anyone else.” For McConneyhead, who was named Highway Diamond of the Year in 2018, Highway Diamonds is an inspiration not just for herself but for other women drivers at Prime. Her words of advice for women who are thinking about joining Prime? “Come with the same mindset I came with,” she says. “Set a goal because you’re going to go through challenges, but stay connected to other women and stay motivated, stay mindful and stay successful.”

Photos by Ettie Berneking

Don’t be fooled. Sherina McConneyhead might look like a lightweight, but she packs one seriously determined punch.


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

Photos courtesy Robert Parham, Josh Burke, Cheri Francis

Photos by Ettie Berneking

 When Cheri Francis decided to add a canine friend to her life on the truck, she found a puppy who was eager to ride shotgun. Sweet Shiloh Anne Francis, was just 15 weeks old when she first hopped in the truck. The little pug has already adjusted to life on the road and is great at keeping Francis entertained.

Driver Robert Parham hits the road with his favorite travel mate—his beloved 2-year-old pup. “Having him on board makes the drive a whole lot easier,” Parham says.  Coco is just 3 months old, but she already loves riding in the truck with driver Josh Burke. Coco even has her own Prime gear that she rocks when she’s on the road. Just don’t ask her to give up her favorite blanket.

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Profile for Prime Ways

Prime Ways | Volume 4 Issue 3  

The Call of Duty. Veterans are finding new careers and new uses for their skills at Prime. Plus, meet the man helping grow Prime's flatbed d...

Prime Ways | Volume 4 Issue 3  

The Call of Duty. Veterans are finding new careers and new uses for their skills at Prime. Plus, meet the man helping grow Prime's flatbed d...

Profile for primeways