Prime Ways | Volume 8 | Issue 2

Page 1






coming soon ming on co so

We’re hard at work transforming into the next Oasis where we’ll be looking even more fabulous than before. Here’s what you have to look forward to: SPRINGFIELDOASIS.COM | 417.866.5253 2546 N GLENSTONE AVE. SPRINGFIELD, MO


Clayton Brown


Mitchell Coiner


Jamie Miller

KATIE POLLOCK ESTES Editorial Director



JAMIE THOMAS Multimedia Editor

SARAH PATTON Creative Director

BRANDON ALMS Senior Photographer & Designer

LEAH STIEFERMAN Staff Photographer & Designer


Mary Ellen Chiles, Juliana Goodwin, Sonia Guzman, Peyson Shields

LOGAN AGUIRRE President/Publisher

MEGAN JOHNSON VP of Custom Publishing

AMMIE SCOTT MOTES VP of Strategy and Senior Account Executive

J.J. MASSEY Finance Director



MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 3 SHOP IN-STORE Springfield, MO Salt Lake City, UT Pittston, PA PRIME COMPANY STORE Use your Prime Reward Points here! SHOP ONLINE GIVE US A CALL 417-521-3814 (MO) 570-602-4793 (PA) 801-977-5903 (UT) 2740 N. MAYFAIR AVE. SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803 417-866-0001

Meet the three women who were crowned at this year’s Highway Diamond gala in Springfield, Missouri.

Prime is hiring technicians at all three of its main terminals. Sizing up its in-house shops is just one way Prime has set itself up for success.

When Jesse Hearndon arrived at Prime, he only had $100 in his pocket. Getting behind the wheel changed everything for him.

Prime’s three main terminals all have their own paint shop, which is good news for drivers who need some touchup done quickly and on a budget.

If you’re looking for a quick and healthful breakfast to enjoy on the truck, this breakfast burrito is for you.

Joewey Bell added two personal touches to his truck’s design: a nod to his family’s heritage and big wave to his favorite football team.

Turn to page 33 to see our favorite photo from the collection of images drivers have sent in showing off their adventures across the country.

4 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023 PRIME WAYS CONTENTS 10 09 13 24 FEATURES Highway Diamonds
Prime Shops
Hiring Words From The Field Week In The Life Good Eats How We Roll View From The Road 18 24 09 10 13 15 33
on the cover
Jansen Fisher at the Springfield paint shop was our cover model. Photos courtesy Prime Inc., by Ettie Berneking, Jesse Hearndon


Congrats To All

As I like to say, you don’t have to look too hard to find something to be proud of at Prime.

We have built—and continue to build—industry leading facilities; we pride ourselves on having top of the line equipment; our team is made up of highly qualified and dedicated associates… The list goes on.

For more than 53 years, Prime has been leading the trucking industry in many business-related categories, but perhaps most importantly, Prime continues to lead by example in the treatment of our professional drivers. We’re always looking for ways to gather driver ideas and input; we celebrate successes, provide opportunities for professional growth and make it easy for our drivers to build their own fleet of trucks with support from Prime.

We have always made our drivers a top priority at Prime, and it’s part of why Prime stands out amongst our competitors. In this issue of the Prime Ways Magazine, we cel-

ebrate Gertrude Ezell, Shandricka Riddle and Mavis Bobbitt, our Highway Diamond award winners; Emily Plummer, the Truckload Carriers Association Driver of the Year and LaTravis Wilcox, who served 20-plus years as a Marine and now successfully operates a Prime truck with a mission-oriented mindset.

The pages of this issue are filled with driver success stories, and I hope it inspires you to share your own stories of adventure and success with your fellow team members at Prime.

Follow along with Prime events, driver photos and much more with Prime’s social media.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 5
FOUNDER’S NOTE Photos courtesy Prime Inc.


Emily Plummer won one of trucking’s most prestigious awards, and she almost didn’t apply.

When Emily Plummer took a call from Mitch Coiner, recruitment and marketing manager at Prime, he told her she should apply for the Truckload Carriers Association’s Professional Driver of the Year Award, which comes with a $20,000 prize. At first, she laughed… But then she won.

Even with more than two decades driving for Prime, Emily didn’t think she had enough years behind the wheel to really be a contender. “I asked him why he would waste a nomination,” she says. Each year, hundreds of drivers toss their names into the running. Emily knew Prime had had two other drivers win the award— Glenn Horack and Thomas Miller—but she didn’t think she stood a chance. “I have a lot of friends at Prime who have been up for this award,” she says. “I’m always able to cheer them on, and I watched Glenn and Thomas win, but that’s also why I was thinking there is no way I could win this.”

Emily has been with Prime since she was 21. Her career stretches 24 years and includes a safety record of more than 3.25 million miles. But Emily knows there are drivers with longer careers and more safe miles. But that wasn’t the only reason she doubted her odds.

6 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
“If we want to encourage more women to start driving, we need to change the face of the industry.”

“My other thought was, is the industry ready for women to win these kinds of awards?” It was a serious question. No other solo female driver had won the coveted Driver of the Year award, so Emily knew if her name was called, it would be a first. Nerves aside, Emily listened to Mitch and applied.

Part of her motivation was simply seeing more women join the industry. When Emily started out, the only other women she saw behind the wheel drove team. “There weren’t

other women solo drivers out here or women trainers,” she says. “That’s changing, and if we want to encourage more women to start driving, we need to change the face of the industry.”

Sharing her story and her experience as a driver is a big part of what Emily does these days. She likes to say she has a voice and a story to share, but it wasn’t always that way. For a long time, Emily says she preferred to be in the background. She was intimidated by the spotlight and liked flying under the radar. It wasn’t until she realized that sharing stories like her own could be part of what encourages other women to join the industry that she started sharing her own story more.

So when she was in Florida for the Driver of the Year ceremony, her story suddenly felt a little more important, and the people she wanted to share the experience with most were her Prime family. Her fleet manager actually tricked her just a little bit—and in the best way—on the night of the awards.

Up until the awards ceremony, Emily had been told that her fleet manager and Robert Low and Prime Vice President of Sales Steve Wutke wouldn’t be able to attend the event. She was understanding but really disappointed. “I knew the support I had at Prime, but I was feeling a little down,” she says. “I wanted to share this with them because they’ve all been there cheering me on.” It wasn’t until she was gathered with the other Prime team members at the event that she felt a tap on her shoulder. When she turned around, there stood Robert, Steve and her fleet manager. “I just started crying,” Emily says.

To cap off the night, Emily ended up winning one of the five Professional Driver of the Year awards and stood on stage alongside Rose Rojo from John Christner Trucking. Emily and Rose were the first two women to accept the award as solo drivers.

For Emily, that means showcasing long-running careers of women like herself and seasoned Prime driver Mavis Bobbitt (who you can read all about on p. 20). As Emily sees it, if women see examples of other women who have built successful careers as drivers, they’ll be able to see themselves doing the same thing.

Do your best work every single day. People are watching and paying attention even when you don’t realize it.

Don’t expect to be treated differently as a woman. I get asked this all the time, but Prime has never treated me differently. That’s good. If I mess up, my fleet manager corrects me.

Set goals for yourself. They can be weekly, monthly or yearly. It keeps you going even when things get hard.

Find your mentor or inspiration.

To say the event was a big moment for Emily would be an understatement. It was a career highlight. “I feel like as women we need to do more and we almost have to be perfect,” she says. “And then in moments like this, you realize your work is being watched and people are paying attention. After all these years, our hard work is paying off.” 1 2 3 4 5

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 7
your support network of people who will cheer you on and encourage you to work harder. This is not easy work, but it’s a great career.
Photo courtesy Prime


Latravis Wilcox drives for Prime’s refrigerated division, but his first career was in the Marine Corps.

Why did you decide to enlist?

I was being rebellious, and everyone told me not to join the Marines, but I wanted to join and serve my country. Serving my country was very important to me and doing it as a Marine made it that much more special.

What was your first deployment?

I went to Korea and was there for eight months. That was my first time ever leaving the United States. It was a sight to see. Additionally, I’ve participated in many deployments and have served in several combat tours including Iraqi Freedom and operation Enduring Freedom. Freedom isn’t free but it’s worth fighting for.

What were the skills you learned while enlisted?

I learned to be honored to be a part of something bigger than yourself. I also learned time management and the importance of accomplishing a mission. If you get assigned a task or a mission, you find a way to make it happen, and you fill in the gaps along the way. We are trained to be successful and settle for nothing less.

Why did you decide to retire?

I think this goes for anyone who is about to retire… The first time I said I was going to retire, I didn’t. But in the end, I wanted to spend more time with my children before they become adults. I’ve done all these great things in the Marines, but I wanted to move on to the next chapter of my life.

What are you most proud of from your time in the Marines?

I was in the Marines for 23 years. And honestly, training new Marines is what I’m proudest of. There are so many people who I’ve had person-

al interactions with, and I’ve helped them reach their goals of becoming a Marine or a sailor. It was an honor to be a part of the initial transformation of a civilian to a marine.

Did you have a plan for when you returned to civilian life?

When I enlisted in the Marines, I enlisted in transportation. Anything that had wheels on it, I drove it. I did that for five years, but I would always joke that I didn’t want to be a truck driver. I eventually changed focus to avionics. Then when I finally retired, I planned on going into the trucking industry. It was just a matter of when, but I didn’t do anything for about a year and a half when I first retired. My cousin and I got some land in South Georgia and tried farming before he and I got our CDLs. He went to Prime, but I returned to farming for a bit. I would help people cut grass; I built sheds… I did a little of everything. I was basically a handyman. I liked

the change in tempo and I liked being outdoors. I suddenly had time to do the things I really enjoyed doing like visiting friends and family. Eventually, I was online and put in an application at a trucking company. I got a call back and figured it was time to go back to work. I eventually followed my cousin to Prime.

What is it about trucking that makes it a good fit for you?

In the military they tell you you’re going to see the world, and when I got back into trucking as a civilian I realized there was so much more of the United States that I hadn’t seen. I get to see it now that I drive a truck. I always thought I had been across the country, but I’m seeing so much more now. I am honored being a veteran, who transition into the trucking industry. This is just like the military—it allows me to keep serving my country by providing an essential service. “The mission continues.”

8 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
“I always thought I had been across the country, but I’m seeing so much more now.”
Photo courtesy Latravis Wilcox


Prime’s new Director of Safety, Dennis Davis, is on the board of Good Dads, a nonprofit that Prime partners with.


Jesse Hearndon didn’t have much when he came to Prime, but he did have dedication and a dream. Seven years later, he has joined Prime’s Million Mile Club, and he’s on his way to his next million safe miles.



Istarted with Prime a little over seven years ago. I took a bus from Florida to Springfield, Missouri, with $100 in my pocket that I had borrowed from my parents. The bus I was on malfunctioned, so we didn’t get to Missouri until 2 a.m., and I had to be at training at 6 a.m.. It was a rough start, but I earned my CDL, and eventually, I completed training. I’m now an owner/operator and recently became a million-mile driver.

It’s exciting to hit this milestone because I’ve worked really hard to get where I’m at today, and truck driving isn’t always an easy career. I credit much of my success to the fantastic trainers I had at Prime. I can stay accident-free because I stick to the rules they have taught me. I always check my mirrors, and I take things slow. There are so many things that can go wrong when you are rushing around, and I tell anyone who asks that there is no load worth risking

your record or your life over. Safety should always come first, and that lines up with Prime’s mission. The easiest way to stay safe is to slow down.

I also wouldn’t have made it to this point without the support of my family, girlfriend and fleet manager Mark Odle. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who have your back. Trucking can get lonely and frustrating, so if you don’t have someone in your corner cheering you on, it can be hard to keep going. But I’m lucky to have that support, and I’m grateful to work for a company I know I can rely on when I need them.

It’s a combination of all those things that make me grateful for my time with Prime. It’s my family, the attention I pay when following safety protocol and taking my time, and the support of Prime that got me to the million-mile mark. Now I’m looking forward to making it to two million miles.

Dennis Davis has big shoes to fill. Now that Steve Fields has retired as Director of Safety, Dennis is taking over the role.

“My predecessor embodied the culture of safety at Prime,” Dennis says. “I want to build on that legacy and make sure safety is always our first goal.”

That’s not all Dennis is working on. He’s also on the board of Prime Good Dads. The program provides dayto-day strategies and activities that help truck-driving dads stay connected to their kids even when they’re on the road and away from home.

Membership in the program is available to Prime drivers for free. As a dad himself and a previous dispatcher at Prime, Dennis knows it’s hard to stay in touch with family.

“He might not be able to put his kids to bed, but Good Dads can help provide resources, and coaching on how to be present even at a distance,” Dennis says, and being part of that effort feels good.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 9
Photos by Jesse Hearndon, Ettie Berneking


Jerry Claxton has worked at Prime for nearly 22 years, but the last five years have been in a new role for him. As Prime has grown, so has demand for inhouse paint touchups and repairs. When Prime expanded its in-house paint shop, Jerry was tapped to become the manager. Now, he and his team also handle body work, and this spring has been one of the busiest they’ve ever had.

“We have so many sale trucks, end-of-lease trucks and just open trucks in general that it’s super busy,” Jerry says. “We’re using body shops from St. Louis to Kansas City and Springfield— we’ve got them all full.”

Like many companies, Prime dealt with supply chain issues during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company is still catching up. Typically, Prime removed 700 to 800 trucks from its fleet each year once they’ve hit a certain amount of miles. Those trucks head to one of Prime’s paint shops to be touched up, and then they’re sold through Pedigree. But during COVID, Prime couldn’t get its hands on new trucks, so those trucks that normally rotated off the fleet, stuck around for a bit longer.

Now that new trucks are hitting the market once again, Prime’s in-house paint shops are busier than ever. Prime has in-house paint shops that handle bodywork and paint at each of its three main terminals, which help keep repair costs down for drivers while also making it easier for them to schedule appointments.

No matter what a truck comes into the shop for, Jerry’s goal is to return the vehicle back to factory condition. “It’s replacing fenders, side panels, back panels, just like you would on your car,” he says. “And anything that you replace, you end up repainting it. But every job is different:

you can have a 96-hour truck that’s 45–50 hours in the body and 45 paint, and some jobs that take 2 to 3 hours.”

All Prime trucks have a code that indicates the exact specifications for the paint it needs. That comes in handy when replacing parts. “We have a mixing kitchen where you can mix any color in the rainbow as long as you have the exact paint code,” Jerry says. “The code will tell you how many ounces of color to put in.”

To get a better idea of how much Prime’s paint shop has grown, just look at the numbers. Five years ago, Jerry’s team had three people. Now they have eight in the shop and three in the office. Jerry is glad for his growing team during these busy times. “I’m proud of all of them,” he says. “They bring a lot of skill and talent to what we do here.'

10 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
▲ Jansen Fisher works at the Prime paint shop in Springfield, Missouri. Jerry Claxton manages the paint and body shop team at the Springfield terminal, and so far this year is shaping up to be their busiest year yet.
Photos by Ettie Berneking


When Shawn Stacye hits the gym, his focus is on winning his next big match—in jiu-jitsu.

Shawn Stacye has worked for Prime for eight years, and the last seven of those years were as a fleet manager. Working at Prime is a family affair for Shawn: his aunt, sister, cousin, wife, mom and sister-in-law have all worked for Prime. But when he’s not working, you can find him winning medals in jiu-jitsu.

Shawn just started learning jiu-jitsu, a form of martial arts, in February 2021. He compares it to wrestling, with no striking or hitting. The goal is to get the opponent to submit or to win by points, which you earn with different moves. Matches last just six minutes.

“One of our other fleet managers kept bugging me to come up to a gym that was right down the road from my house in Republic, Missouri,” Shawn says. “I came in there, and it just kind of made me feel at home.”

Shawn had done a form of martial arts while serving in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2016, but before that, he says he wasn’t that athletic.

That all changed while he was in the service, and now his kids are turning into athletes as well. “My daughter is 4 and she competes, and my son, who’s 10, does as well,” he says.

Shawn enjoys the challenge of the sport and describes it like a puzzle. Certain hand movements require corresponding leg movements, and he likes that he has to focus. “Halfway through the match, I could look up and be like, ‘Okay, I might be up by two points, or I might be down by five, but I have to think of what I need to do to score that next point,’” he says.

Shawn likes to travel to competitions as a ring coordinator, meaning he scores matches and competes. Athletes are separated by weight and belt class. Currently a white belt, he competes in the heavyweight class at 205 pounds, though sometimes competitors outweigh him— one opponent weighed 420 pounds.

Shawn competes in both open tournaments and bigger events, like the Pan American Championship and Worlds. He trains 10 to 13

hours each week and has competed in 19 tournaments. He tries to compete in various divisions so he can challenge himself, and so far, he’s only had one match where he hasn’t finished in the top three.

He loves the challenge and freedom of the sport. “It’s like being back in high school with sports and getting to do it with your friends,” he says. “You’re proving yourself that what you’ve worked on is better than what others have worked on.” That drive to win keeps him focused even when he doesn’t feel like hitting the gym. He might be new to the sport, but he’s throwing himself into it fully.

“There are days where I don’t want to go to the gym, but I know I need to, so I’ll get up and go and enjoy it,” he says. Shawn hopes to earn a black belt, but that’s not the goal. “I’d love to make the black belts, but if you focus on it you miss the whole point of what you’re doing this for. I just want to enjoy the sport and just keep learning,” he says.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 11 Photos
courtesy Shawn Stacye
“You’re proving yourself that what you’ve worked on is better than what others have worked on.”


If you’re ready to improve your health, here’s how to get the most out of the Prime Driver Health and Fitness team.

Getting well can look different for everyone depending on your specific goals and health needs. The same goes for fitness, which is an important but sometimes intimidating part of anyone’s wellness journey.

Knowing where to begin can be overwhelming, but the Prime Driver Health and Fitness (DHF) team is here to make fitness accessible and customizable. Whether you are looking for a routine you can do in your truck during the cold winter months, or a plan that helps you soak in some Vitamin D, the DHF team is here to offer support.

We talked to Matt Judy, the Salt Lake City Driver Health and Fitness Liaison and Personal Trainer, to break down the steps for how you can leverage this service and transform your exercise routine.

Step 1: Consult with a Driver Health and Fitness Personal Trainer

Book a personal training consultation at through the Personal Training tab found on the dropdown menu. From there, drivers will talk with either Matt or Maria Godfrey out of the Pittston Terminal. “At the beginning of the call, we will take some administrative data like your height, weight, age, etc.,” Matt says. “Then we will go into what the driver’s goals are. As coaches, we help guide them to more specific and attainable goals.”

Step 2: Build a workout routine

After learning more about the driver, from level of current activity to injuries and mobility to available exercise equipment, Matt gets to work customizing routines. “The building blocks of a lot of fitness plans are

 The Prime Health and Fitness team can assist drivers remotely or schedule in-person sessions at any of the three main terminals.

body weight movements like squats, pushups and situps,” he says. “I tend to have drivers do two movements back to back with no rest in between; this is known as a super set or compound set. Then they’ll rest for an amount of time.”

Step 3: Use the DHF team as accountability partners

Matt and the DHF team are available to help provide accountability as much as possible, but they still encourage drivers to find an internal reason to stay healthy and keep themselves accountable. “Even your best athletes are only motivated maybe a quarter of the time,” Matt says. “What you need is dedication. Be dedicated to the process and yourself. I have personally met several drivers who make exercise a priority in their lives.” Even a simple workout can make a difference, and Matt encourages all drivers to start simple. That might mean a 10-minute walk each day to build back up the stamina to exercise. “As it becomes more of a habit you can start to increase the volume of your workouts,” Matt says.

Step 4: Measure success

“Achieving success should be constant,” Matt says. “Goals should be forever changing and adapting as you meet them or struggle with them. Start with small attainable goals that can be easily tracked and achieved.” Matt mentions that transitions can go from working out three times a week to five, which can lead into bigger goals like weight loss. He encourages drivers not to get discouraged if their specific goal isn’t met and to reflect on the overall wellness benefits that have resulted from improved habits.

Photos courtesy Prime Inc.



Andrew Davis hit 405 pounds and realized he better change while he had the chance.

He is 6 feet tall and weighed 290 pounds when he started at Prime. “I was like, ‘I don’t have time to take care of myself and cook a meal,’” he says. Back then, Davis was busy chasing

down his first million miles. Cooking a healthful meal seemed like it would take too much time. Eventually, poor eating habits caught up to him, and Andrew weighed in at more than 400 pounds.

“I was 405 pounds, wearing a 5X shirt and size 46 jeans,” he says. “I was big, and I was afraid that if I didn’t do something then I was going to be that guy that dies alone in his truck.” To make an immediate impact, Andrew got bariatric surgery in February 2022. He has since lost 180 pounds. He learned how to eat healthfully and now works out at Planet Fitness at least three times a week. He also keeps dumbbells and a bench in his truck.

“I will work out even if it’s 20 degrees,” he says. Davis and his training student keep each other accountable and meal prep. Davis finds recipes on TikTok, and Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness nutritionist Rachel Dreher also helped him meal plan. He focuses on real food and nutritional supplements. He calls it “life-changing” for his whole family. “My kids see me and now we’re running around,” Andrew says. “My energy levels are through the roof.” And that’s good news because it means Andrew can enjoy many more miles on the road.


2 pounds lean beef

12 eggs

2 packages taco seasoning

4 ounces green chiles (and/ or jalapenos, green onions or cilantro)

32 ounces fat-free refried beans

8 low-carb tortillas

4 cups baby spinach (or use other veggies like tomatoes or chopped peppers)

1. Cook beef in a pan for 10 minutes, and add one of the seasoning packets. Remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Scramble eggs and add to pan.

3. Add beef, the second seasoning packet and chiles and stir until firm.

4. Heat up refried beans. Add beans to tortilla, then ½ cup of beef/egg mix, and top with greens or veggies.

driver Andrew Davis realized he needed to improve his health, he made some quick but lasting changes.
Photos courtesy Prime Inc.


The sun is inspired by the Filipino flag, where Joewey and his family are from. Every truck Joewey has driven at Prime has had the Filipino flag as a decal.


Joewey gets comments on the road from Chiefs fans and those who are either from the Philippines or have a family member from there.


This Prime driver decided to blend his two loves when designing his truck.

When it came time to design his truck, Reefer Division lease operator Joewey Bell chose two of his favorite things: football and culture.

With two Super Bowl wins in the past three years—one in 2020 and the most recent in 2023—the Kansas City Chiefs have skyrocketed in popularity among Midwestern fans including Joewey and his wife, who have been dedicated fans since 2017.

“When we moved to Springfield, we had to choose between the Rams and the Chiefs,” Joewey says. “We chose the Chiefs.” With their team picked out, the Bells have made the trek to Kansas City once a year to attend a game, so when it came time for Joewey to work with Stripes and Stuff on his newly leased truck, he was excited to include his favorite team.

His truck design dons colors of the familiar Chiefs Kingdom, as well as something a little closer to home for Joewey. On each side of the truck, you’ll find a sun graphic inspired by the Filipino flag. That small design element has family roots for Joewey. He and his family are from the Philippines, so he wanted to include a nod to his family’s history and culture in his truck’s design.

“Even though I live in the United States, I don’t forget where I’m from,” Joewey says. “Every truck I have had has had the Filipino flag.”

Whether he is hearing “Go Chiefs!” while driving down the highway, or meeting receivers while delivering loads who are either from the Philippines or have family from there, both design features foster connections across the country.

Photos by Ettie Berneking
MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 15
Joewey and his wife have been Kansas City Chiefs fans since 2017. They go to at least one home game per year.


While each of Prime’s main terminals has its own body shop, in this issue, we are focusing on the talented team at the Pittston, Pennsylvania, terminal. The Pittston crew handles all types of repairs and paint jobs and continues to grow and improve. From minor door dings to rebuilding entire trucks, this team has got you covered.

The shop recently added two new team members who are currently training to begin running a night shift four days a week and speed up turnaround time for drivers. With seven total team members, including a manager, they

always stay busy, working on 20 to 25 trucks a week. With a talented team on board, the repairs are usually quick. The real wait is on parts, according to Jason Barry, who oversees Pittston & Laredo Maintenance.

If you need to have your truck repaired at the Pittston terminal, you can call ahead and ask to speak with shop manager Mike Evans, or “you’re always welcome to walk in and ask for an estimate,” explains Jason. Estimates can typically be done within a couple of hours. Depending on the severity, most repairs can be done within one to three days. “If the truck

is drivable, we usually recommend taking it back out while we source parts,” Jason says. “Once we have the parts in, we will reach out to schedule the repair. But the turnaround is pretty quick once the truck is in the shop.”

Drivers are also involved in each step of the repair. They’re part of the estimate; they help with taking photos and they get called on to make repair decisions. There are no surprises at the Prime shop. If a truck needs to be repaired, you can be assured that the professionals at the Pittston terminal will have you back on the road in no time.

If you’re on the East Coast and your truck needs some TLC, stop in at the Pittston terminal.
“You’re always welcome to walk in and ask for an estimate.”
16 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
Photos courtesy Prime Inc,


Prime recently added a new feature to the Prime Ways app thanks to driver requests.


Heads up, drivers. You’re about to get new alerts when you’re on the road. The good news is that these alerts should help make life a little easier.

For years, Prime has used a Prepass system that gave drivers a green light when they could skip typically required stops at weigh stations. If they needed to stop, the alert showed a red light. The alert was simple, but that was part of the problem. If drivers weren’t paying close attention, they could miss the scale. Or they could see the scale but be too close to safely pull over.

Either way, Prime knew it needed to find a new system that gave drivers alerts sooner. The new system does just that. Now, drivers receive alerts when they’re 2 miles away from a weigh station, 1 mile away and are then given a command to either bypass or pull in to the scale.

The new system also sends drivers additional alerts for upcoming low bridges, real-time traffic congestion, rollover warnings and steep declines. Each alert aims to help drivers stay safe on the road.

The alerts will show up through each truck’s Omnitracks device and will stay up for 10 seconds so drivers have time to see the alert. Prime rolled out the new alert system in February after spending four months testing it out on a group of fleet drivers.

Like anything new, it took some time for drivers to adjust to the new alerts. “The first thing everyone thinks is will the sound alerts and messages be distracting,” says Shaun Ryker, Director of Driver Payroll at Prime. “But once they tried it, they changed their minds. And at the root of it, safety is our highest calling, and this helps alert drivers to what they are about to drive up on.”

The new feature is a View Documents button that you can find on each load in your list. This allows you to view documents that have been entered for that trip— meaning teams, trainers, instructors and students can view documents tied to a trip.

The trick is to scan documents under the correct trip numbers. We are seeing more and more documents coming in under incorrect trips, which causes delays in getting drivers paid.

The easiest way to verify you are scanning under the correct load number is to scan directly from the load using the blue “Trip Documents” button. Each load in your load list allows you to see the customer information and load details to ensure you are on the right trip.

You can also use View Trip Docs to verify electronic lumpers, view document from split trips and verify the quality of scans you have submitted.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 17
Prime is rolling out a new alert system that alerts drivers sooner about approaching weigh stations.
Photos courtesy Prime Inc.
18 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023

highway diamonds

Each year, Prime honors three women who deserve some time in the spotlight. It’s part of Prime’s Highway Diamond program, which aims to create a community of women drivers who can support each other, cheer each other on and learn from one another. This year’s winners exemplify determination, leadership and courage.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 19

The event

Prime hosted the annual Highway Diamonds gala in Springfield, Missouri this Spring. The event celebrates women drivers at Prime, and it’s a chance to gather together and celebrate the community that Prime continues to build. Each year, Prime uses the gala to award three women who exemplify leadership, hard work and determination.

20 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023

Mavis Bobbitt

Years With Prime: 30

How did you get started driving?

My uncle had his own company. One day, I asked him to teach me, but he told me women don’t drive. I told him I’ll show him one day, and when I did, he was so proud of me.

What was it like being one of the few women drivers back then?

Well, there were three of us women learning to drive when I went to school in California. So I learned from guys and women, and it was okay when I was in school. It got harder when I got my CDL because I was the only woman solo on the road, and the guys really put me down. I finally told them to shut up and leave me alone.

What made you stick with driving when you faced so many hurdles?

It was what I wanted to do, and I figured in time, they’d come around and accept me. It took a long time but they did.

Do you think things have improved for women in this industry?

It has. Women are not treated the way I was treated when I came out. The men used to say it’s a man’s job, but I would say no it’s not. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I weigh 100 pounds, and I get it done. I’ve had several women thank me for opening the door for them. That makes me proud.

How did you get connected with Prime?

No one would hire me since I was a woman. I went looking everywhere, and I ended up at Swift and CR England. At CR England, there was a guy who suggested we team up and go to Prime. We made a good team, and when he said he was bringing me with him, Prime said, “Bring her on.”

Did you notice a difference in how you were treated once you were at Prime?

It didn’t matter to Prime if it was a woman or a guy driving the truck. And Robert’s mother always called me daughter. She just really loved all the drivers. She called all of us her kids. Even the other drivers and dispatchers were welcoming.

You didn’t know you’d won the 2023 Highway Diamond award until the moment your name was called at the gala, so what did that feel like?

This was the first time I’ve actually been to the Highway Diamond dinner. I usually stay out and run, but Steven Wray, my dispatcher, told me he wanted me in Springfield. I was the last one they called up on stage, and they started reading about the Highway Diamond winner and I thought it sounded familiar. I said, “What! She’s talking about me!” Steven just started laughing. They pulled one over on me for sure.

Photos courtesy Prime Inc.
MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 21
“I told him I’ll show him one day that I could drive.'

Shandricka Riddle

Years With Prime: 1

What inspired you to become a driver?

Getting my CDL has always been on my list. My dad is a trucker and my grandpa was a trucker. And before this, I was a single mom and I wasn’t making the money I wanted to give my kids a better life. I thought there has to be more out there. I want to do more. I don’t want to be the typical struggling single mom. So I got my sister on board and I told her I needed her support watching my kids while I

drove. Honestly, I was scared because I didn’t know what would happen next.

It had to be hard leaving your kids for several weeks.

My kids are 7 and 9, and I’m on the road three to four weeks at a time. I have my days when I miss them a lot, and I cry, but I’m doing something for all of us. I’m creating a brighter future for all of us.

You’re almost done with your first year at Prime, so how has it gone so far?

It’s been great. My kids were excited about it, and they were even on the truck for a while. Now I drive team with my husband—we met through a TikTok live. This man is heaven-sent.

Yeah, your social media presence has been huge! How did you begin making content centered around your life in the truck?

Before I went to trucking school, I’d watch all these videos of women drivers on TikTok, and it was really motivating. I knew I was good at making content, so I figured why not make my own content about life as a driver. One of my first ones was when I was in TNT. I talked about my first truck stop shower. It was an immediate hit. My shower routine video got 480,000 views, and it took off from there.

What kind of feedback do you get from your followers?

My audience is mostly women who want to get into the industry. I hear from them all the time about how I’m inspiring them to get out there and try this. They’re part of my journey and get to watch me as I grow.

What advice would you share with others who might be considering trying driving? Change doesn’t happen overnight. You have to work for what you want, and if you really want something, tune out the ones who don’t believe in you and go after it. Otherwise you’re going to spend your whole life wishing and dreaming. Take the risk. In the end, it’s always worth it.

You haven’t even been on the road for a full year yet, and you’ve already been part of the Highway Diamonds gala. What was that like?

I felt loved and celebrated. I was in a room full of people who were cheering me on and supporting me. It was beautiful. One goal of mine is to be a motivational speaker, and me being able to sit in front of all those people and speak on stage was a first for me and it felt good. It gave me a glimpse into my future.

It seems like you always have a plan in mind, so what’s in store for you when you look to the future?

I tell a lot of drivers, especially women, if you come out here, have a plan. I didn’t plan to come out here and still be in a truck in seven years. I came out here to start my career and to get to know the industry. I have big plans, and I want to run my own trucking business one day.

22 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023

Gertrude Ezell

Years With Prime: 2

What inspired you to make a career switch and become a driver?

I was working retail, and it took a pretty bad toll on my health. I was looking for another job and started doing some research about trucking. That’s when I came across Prime, and it made it to the top of my list because of its safety record and new equipment. At the end of the day, I saw driving as a way to make good money for my family, and it was something different.

What did it feel like to pass your CDL test?

Passing my test and receiving my CDL was quite an accomplishment. I was thrilled. I couldn’t sleep that night; I was too excited.

What has been your favorite part about driving so far?

Even though I’m away from my kids, they’re taken care of. There’s money for everything they need and want. I can get them experiences now. We took a week-long vacation in Myrtle Beach, and we did fun stuff the whole time. There was no stress about not having enough money to do things. It’s about being able to provide a life for my family. We’re working toward buying a home, and life is not a struggle anymore.

How is life on the road for you?

I drive team with my boyfriend. We actually met in Pittston. He’s a lease operator who came back to the industry after being retired for awhile, but he had almost 30 years experience. We try to keep moving since we drive team, so that usually means we’ll be on the road for two months at a time before we head home. I actually prefer to drive nights, so I like to listen to audiobooks and the news. I like

murder mysteries and science fiction where you have werewolves.

What do you do during your downtime when you’re on the road?

When we do stop, we love to go find great restaurants to go to. Last Friday, we were in California and went to Flemings Steakhouse. And then a few days later we were in Boise, Idaho, and found a sushi spot.

How has Highway Diamonds helped you plug into a community of drivers?

I get a lot from the Highway Diamond Facebook page. People share their success stories and their favorite places to stop. They’ll share experiences in this life and share which truck stops are terrible or fantastic. They share things that are relevant in our lives right now that other people wouldn’t understand.

What was it like to attend the annual Highway Diamonds Gala for the first time?

I didn’t know what to expect, but my boyfriend already knew what was going on, so he encouraged me to get my hair and nails done. I had no clue what was happening, and I’m a very shy person. I like to sit back and observe everything. But a couple days before the event, I had met Long Haul Gypsy. We went to breakfast at the Big Biscuit and she introduced me to a lot of the women drivers at Prime. It was eye opening—not just the award but meeting so many people that day.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 23


24 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
Photo courtesy Shutterstock


Throughout its history, Prime has never stopped looking for ways to improve. This year is no different. Prime has targeted its sights on beefing up its team of in-house truck and trailer technicians and bringing on new technologies to increase efficiency and improve the driver experience at Prime.

Let’s be honest. There are times when it would be nice to have a crystal ball. You might find it especially helpful if you had one on hand at your high school graduation, at your wedding, at that championship game you’ve been practicing for and at the start every new year—just think of all the new year’s resolutions you could skip if you could see the future. But in the trucking industry, you don’t necessarily need a crystal ball to forecast what’s coming up in the next few months. The numbers tell you everything you need to know.

“We have a whole team of people who keep an eye on the economy and work to predict what our numbers will look like each eek, each month, each quarter and each year,” says Clayton Brown, marketing communications manager. “In this industry, the margins are small, so you have to find efficiencies. You have to be able to pivot quickly, and you have to be competitive.”

That fighting spirit is what Clayton says separates Prime from a lot of other trucking companies. “Robert has a competitive spirit, and he’s always said Prime will be the best the industry,” Clayton says. That means Prime is constantly looking at its performance and comparing it to last year’s numbers. And last year was a big one for Prime.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 25
1 2 3 4 5 26 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
Photo courtesy Prime Inc.

A Record Year

In 2022, Prime saw 12% growth, but that growth is not the norm. “We typically see 2 to 3% growth each year,” Clayton says. “Last year was truly a record year for us. It was the biggest year for growth that we’ve ever had.” So why the sudden spike? Clayton says a lot of it has to do with COVID concerns dying down. As people returned to work, to restaurants and to socializing, there was an abundance of products to sell, and that meant trucking companies had a lot of work on their hands.

That sudden swing in the market is nothing new in the trucking industry. To succeed in this business, companies have to be able to pivot quickly. It’s a big reason why Prime is always looking to improve what it does. Over the years, it has cut its energy bills by recycling water at the wash bays and adding solar panels to terminals. It even created a new revenue stream by taking used truck tires and turning them into mulch that can be used in landscaping.

Even Prime’s commitment to its refrigerated unit is an example of how the company is hedging its bets. Back when Robert Low started Prime, he realized there weren’t many trucking companies that were investing in refrigerated units. They’re costlier to run and harder to do well, but Robert saw that as an opportunity to stand out from the competition. It was also a way to ensure that Prime would always have loads to deliver. “We’ve always said that no matter how bad the economy gets, everybody has to eat,” Clayton says. “That was a strategic move on Robert’s part, and it’s why we started hauling food.”

Now, food shippers are one of Prime’s largest customer base. But this is just a glimpse at how Prime has set itself up for success whether the economy is booming or tightening. To learn more about how Prime is adapting to uncertain markets and changes in the industry, keep reading. There’s a lot to learn.

Growth at the Shop

Prime’s shops is one of the first places where you can see how the company has grown and adapted over the years.

Each year, it seems that Prime continues to expand its in-house shops at its three main terminals in Springfield, Missouri, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Pittston, Pennsylvania. Part of that expansion is thanks to Prime’s commitment to keeping new trucks on its fleet. As Prime adds more trucks, that means there are more turnins, maintenance appointments and repairs that have to be made to older trucks. And why pay someone else to do that work when you can hire talented mechanics to do the work on site?

Setting up the in-house shops not only saves drivers money, it allows them to have a home base to rest, do laundry, walk their pets, knock out errands, see a doctor, get a haircut... You name it, while they wait for their trucks to get worked on.

“It is a system that benefits everyone. Prime is continually hiring technicians to meet the high demand of its fleet. “We always seem to need more truck and trailer technicians and mechanics,” Clayton says. “Our team is the best in the business, but the demand is still significant.”

A good example of this is the Pittston terminal. Pittston opened its doors, it had 29 technicians working at the shop early on. Today, there are more than 120 people on the team, and there’s still room to add technicians.

That is a good problem to have. It means Prime’s shops are working well, the work is reliable and drivers keep coming back when they need a tuneup for a good price.

To celebrate all of the talented team members who keep the shops running, Prime hosts an annual event at each of the three main terminals. It’s called Top of the Shop, and it’s a time to celebrate everyone’s hard work and all the successes of the year.

1. The Salt Lake City shop team celebrating 4. One of two solar fields in Salt Lake City 2. Top of the Shop fun in Springfield 5. Prime’s Ecotire saves drivers money and time 3. Even kids get to enjoy Top of the Shop
MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 27
28 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023
Photo by Ettie Berneking

Going Green

You might not think of trucking as a place where green practices are top of mind, but Prime has long been on a mission to reduce the impact it makes on our planet.

For instance, it recycles the water used at its on-site wash bays, and that’s a whole lot of water. On average, it takes 100 gallons of water to wash a single truck, so in places where water is becoming harder to find like Salt Lake City, every gallon saved and recycled makes a difference.

Another way Prime is cutting its energy consumption is by installing solar panels. At the Salt Lake terminal, Prime built two onsite solar fields that house hundreds of solar panels. The project started in 2017 when Prime installed 296 panels. It added even more solar panels in 2020 after it saw how much energy was being produced.

Speaking of solar panels, Prime is currently testing out adding solar panels to its refrigerated units. The idea is to use the

solar panels to keep the truck’s batteries charged. The panels can’t produce enough energy to run the reefer units, but they do create enough energy to slowly charge the truck’s battery. That’s good news considering a truck’s battery can accidentally run dry if a driver keeps the battery running all night. So far, Prime has outfitted 150 trucks with the solar panels and is keeping an eye on how the test program performs.

One green program that doesn’t need any more testing is Prime’s Ecotire, which got its start in 2014. After Robert put environmentally conscious initiatives at the top of Prime’s priorities, the team came up with the idea for Ecotire. Basically, when a truck’s tires get worn down, instead of being tossed in the dump, they can now be retreaded in house and put back on the road.

Prime estimates that 35,000—40,000 tires are repurposed and placed back on the road each year thanks to Ecotire. Amazingly, it only takes 1 hour to retread a tire.



Prime is hiring around 20 people to work at its Salt Lake City shop. That includes truck and trailer technicians, mechanics and paint technicians.


That’s how many tractors come through the Pittston terminal each week for maintenance.


Some 750 technicians work at Prime as of May 2023, and Prime added 179 new technicians to the team since January 2022.

28% Prime’s Springfield shops have seen a 28% spike in the number of trucks that come through each week from 2022 to 2023.


That’s how many new associates Prime added to its shops in Salt Lake City within the last year.

MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 29 Photo courtesy Prime Inc.


For years, Prime has recruited students from Missouri State University and the relationship between the two continues to strengthen.

There are so many non-driving career opportunities at Prime, and that’s the message Jaime Ely wants to convey to students at Missouri State University. It takes a variety of skills to keep Prime operating at the top of the industry, which means there are all kinds of jobs available to soon-to-graduate students..

For more than a decade, Prime has recruited at Missouri State University’s College of Business, and Prime is now stepping up those efforts. Jaime Ely, Operations Manager in the refrigerated division, has been with the company for 25 years. “As Operations Manager in the refrigerated division, I’m responsible for onboarding all new associates in our division. I review resumes, interview applicants, hire those candidates and help

develop and onboard them as new Prime associates,” Jaime says.

Jaime is a graduate of Missouri State University himself and recruits at two career fairs on the Bears’ campus, one in the fall and one in the spring. In March, Ely teamed up with the Dean of the College of Business, David Meinert, to coordinate a visit to Prime with professors and department heads. While touring Prime, they learned about the wide variety of career opportunities available to students, which will help keep Prime at the top of mind as students seek future career opportunities.

“Part of what we are trying to do is create an ongoing relationship with professors and department heads, so they have a better understanding of what type of student we need and what careers we have to offer,” Jaime says.

There are many majors that are a natural fit at Prime, including majors that focus on supply chain and logistics. “We have hired students with backgrounds in management, marketing, sales, finance and general business, accounting, and a few IT folks,” Jaime says. To get the attention of more students, Prime paid to be Employer of the Day in April, which is when a company sets up in Glass Hall, where the College of Business is housed. For one day, Prime had Glass Hall to itself, which gave Jaime a chance to interact with and recruit students, and build brand awareness.

Jaime says as Prime looks to ramp up recruiting efforts on campus, it also plans to get more involved in some of the student organizations and business fraternities on campus.

30 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023


Internships are a big way Prime recruits new graduates. Jaime says he has five interns in his department and a few others on the sales side of the room. Most interns work 20 to 30 hours a week, which includes a 12hour shift on the weekend. This enables students to get a lot of hours in, and then they can make up the rest of the hours with a few evening shifts.

Internships are paid and are generally offered to juniors or seniors. Interns can shadow associates in different departments to see if there is a career opportunity that might appeal to them. “Our goal is once we hire an intern and develop a relationship with them, we offer them a fulltime position and extend that into a long-term relationship,” Jaime says.

“We have invested time and energy into that intern, and we keep track of graduation dates. It is our goal to have an offer in their hands prior to graduation so they know they have a full time offer they can rely on.”


One big reason why Prime is focused on increasing recruitment efforts on college campuses like Missouri State is that the company is enjoying continued growth. Last year, the company grew 12% and is poised to grow another 6% this year. That type of growth is attractive to students.

They also enjoy the amenities on site including a gymnasium, weight room, cafeteria, in-house spa, child care, a sleep lab, hair salon and much more. “The thing we sell students on is the compensation package as a whole and how that compares to other job opportunities in the area,” Jaime says. “We feel like we are highly competitive with the career opportunities we have here. Since the onset of COVID, we find more and more associates value the remote opportunities we have as well. Once someone is trained, we allow an on-site and off-site work schedule. That is a big attraction.”

There’s also an effort to recruit at the University of Arkansas, and Jaime looks forward to seeing that relationship plus the one with MSU grow. “We have had an ongoing relationship with MSU that has been very beneficial,” Jaime says. “I have seen a great value in this relationship.”

All three of these MSU students started off as interns at Prime. Now, they’re official full-time team members.


Prime recruits at MSU at least 2 TIMES a year. The company is interested in increasing its engagement with students by becoming active in student organizations.

There are currently 10 interns from MSU at Prime

2/3 of fleet managers are MSU graduates

Interns work 20-30 hours per week.

“... We allow an on-site and off-site work schedule.”
Photo courtesy Prime
MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 31


Thomas Miller might not be from Springfield, Missouri, but his truck design is all about The Missouri State Bears

Thomas Miller has been driving for more than 30 years, and this isn’t the first time he has chosen and designed a theme for his truck. This time, however; the theme is especially close to his heart. While Thomas might not hail from the Show Me state, the inspiration behind his Missouri State University truck design has made Missouri seem like home.

Thomas’ daughter Kenzi is a senior at MSU, and she is the inspiration behind the truck’s design. Kenzi knew immediately after a campus visit during her senior year of high school that she wanted to be a Missouri State Bear. Thomas couldn’t have been more thrilled with her decision, as his driving route and involvement with Prime’s Driver Advisory Board brings him to Springfield often.

Kenzi was followed by her best friend, Alexis, and then Alexis’ cousins, Grace and Abby, and Kenzi’s boyfriend, Blake. “I consider all of those kids to be a part of my family,” says Thomas, which is why their names are part of the truck’s design.

“One of the most fun parts of the design was surprising the kids with it,” Thomas says. On one of his regular stops through Springfield, he invited the group to breakfast and surprised them with the new design. Of course they loved it. “It was freezing that morning, but everybody braved the weather so we could get a bunch of pictures,” Thomas says.

Their hometown and Thomas’ truck design aren’t the only things the kids have in common. Kenzi and Alexis founded the Sam Biggs Memorial Bike Show & Poker Run to benefit the Sam Biggs Memorial Foundation when they were 12 years old. Founded initially to raise money for the Biggs family, whose son was diagnosed with cancer, they have now raised almost

$100,000 to help fight childhood cancer. Grace, Abby, and Blake have volunteered with the organization.

When he talks about the kids, Thomas gets overwhelmed with pride, and he says he couldn’t think of a better way to recognize them than to dedicate his truck design to them. “I wanted to pay tribute to them and let them know I’m always thinking about them,” he says.

Not only is the truck design a tribute to Thomas’ daughter, but it also helps him stay close to her. “I get lots of positive reactions on the road,” he says. “Each time I receive a positive comment, it gives me a reason to call Kenzi and tell her all about it.” That’s just another reason to keep the new design around for a while.

Thomas Miller included the names of his daughter and her friends on his truck as a way to let the group know he’s always thinking of them. Thomas Miller isn’t a Missouri State Graduate, but his truck’s design is a nod to the MSU Bears. Photos courtesy Thomas Miller
32 | PRIME WAYS | MAY 2023


Driver John Armstrong snapped this photo while driving through the Monarch Pass in Colorado. “Sometimes the highway less traveled on is the most scenic,” he says.
MAY 2023 | PRIME WAYS | 33
Photo by John Armstrong

Driver Referral Program

Earnings Example:

Refer 3 drivers who stay at least 6 months at Prime, and you would earn $4300, not including the additional mileage pay!

Program Rules:

The person that is referred must run under Prime’s operating authority (A, B, C, or D Seats) as a company driver or independent contractor.

All active Prime Driver Associates under Prime’s operating authority (A, B, and C Seats) are eligible to receive Prime Inc Driver Referral Program pay.

To earn bonus at 6 months longevity pay and mileage pay, referred driver must be an A Seat.

No driver referral bonus will be earned for referring a rehire (previous Prime Driver).

To earn referral, referred driver must list Prime Driver’s name or driver code on online application or be provided to Recruiter prior to processing application for approval.

For more information, contact Prime’s Recruiting Department at 888-664-4473.

Program is effective as of Nov. 19, 2021, until further notice or cancellation. (Prime reserves the right to modify the program at any time.)

$100 Earn $100 when referred driver hauls first load. $500 Earn $500 when referred driver stays 30 days. $1,000 Earn $1000 when 3 referred drivers stay 6 months. 1/4cpm Earn ¼ cpm on every mile referred driver runs after 6 months. $500 Earn $500 when referred driver stays 6 months.
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.