Prime Ways | Volume 6 Issue 3

Page 1

VOLUME 6 ISSUE 3

+

SPOT A TRUCK YOU LIKE ON THE ROAD? CHANCES ARE IT WAS DESIGNED BY STRIPES AND STUFF.


Driver Referral Program $100

Earn $100 when referred driver hauls first load.

$500 1/4 cpm $1,000

Earn $500 when referred driver stays 6 months.

Earn ¼ cpm on every mile referred driver runs after 6 months.

Earn $1000 when 3 referred drivers stay 6 months.

Earnings Example: Refer 3 drivers who stay at least 6 months at Prime, and you would earn $2800, not including the additional mileage pay!

Program Rules: The person that is referred must run under Prime’s operating authority (A, B1, B2, C, or D Seats) as a company driver or independent contractor. All active Prime Driver Associates under Prime’s operating authority (A, B1, B2, 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 Jan 25, 2019 until further notice or cancellation. (Prime reserves the right to modify the program at any time.) 2

PRIME WAYS


2740 N. MAYFAIR AVE. SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803 417-866-0001 PRIMEINC.COM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Clayton Brown MEDIA & ONBOARDING MANAGER Andrea Mueller MEDIA & ONBOARDING COORDINATOR Mitchell Coiner

PRIME COMPANY STORE SHOP IN-STORE

KATIE POLLOCK ESTES Editorial Director ETTIE BERNEKING Editor PAIJE LUTH Creative Director MEGAN DOLLAR Engagement Editor JO EVERHART Assistant Editor JAMIE THOMAS Multimedia Editor SARAH PATTON Art Director BRANDON ALMS Senior Photographer & Designer

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Attberry Smith, Sonia Guzman, Jessica Hammer, Rae Swan Snobl,

Springfield, MO Salt Lake City, UT Pittston, PA

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! LOGAN AGUIRRE President/ Publisher MEGAN JOHNSON VP of Custom Publishing AMMIE SCOTT VP of Strategy and Senior Account Executive LANDRA BUNGE Finance Director COLIN DENNISTON Administrative Assistant GARY WHITAKER Founder JOAN WHITAKER Founder

PRIME WAYS

1


contents

ON THE COVER Paige BeVier’s tropical truck gets a lot of love on the road.

Prime Ways 2021 PRIME WAYS| |August MARCH 2017

Brandon Griffin is a mechanic in training at the Springfield terminal’s trailer rebuild department. Turn to p. 8 to learn what a normal week looks like for this growing department.

18 MILLION MILE CLUB Meet three Prime drivers who are proving that safe driving really pays off.

7

11

GIVING BACK

DINNER TIME

Justin Walker’s love of swimming got him to the Utah Special Olympics.

Need a new recipe to try out in the truck? How about air fried chicken?

9

32

ROUND OF APPLAUSE

26 BIG LOOKS When you want to give your truck a new look and a big design, you call the pros at Stripes and Stuff. Meet the team and learn how this crew started off painting trucks by hand.

2

PRIME WAYS

When COVID hit, this team went above and beyond to make sure drivers and associates had everything they needed.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

14 GREEN WITH ENVY When driver Paige BeVier couldn’t put John Deere green on her truck, she came up with a better and more tropical idea.

Emandie Williams knew she’d need help raising her family while she was on the road driving for Prime. Her solution was twofold: a great support network back home and an equally great support network on the road thanks to Highway Diamonds.

Photos by Brandon Alms and courtesy Prime Inc.

Features


PRIME FAMILY

Chat All the numbers, programs and announcements we think deserve a little extra attention in this issue of Prime Ways.

THE LOW

40 POUNDS

Paul Dickson used to have high blood pressure and weighed 40 pounds more than he does now. Then he joined the Prime Driver Health and Fitness Program. Now, the 64-year-old, almost-6-foot-4 company driver boasts a blood pressure reading of 120/62, a weight of 207 and a new enthusiasm for exercise. Turn to p. 10 to learn more about his health journey.

296 PARKING SPOTS

There are going to be 296 parking spots at the new Minooka, Illinois, terminal that Prime is busy building. But that’s just a teaser of all the amenities and features that will go into this new hub. Learn more on p. 30.

1 STICK FIGURE

There is only one stick figure on driver Paige BeVier’s tropical-themed truck, but that stick figure represents her. There are also coconuts and palm trees, which show off BeVier’s love of any sandy getaway. Turn to p. 14 to see this lime green truck in action.

2,000 WATTS

Prime trucks are getting tricked out with new 2,000-watt inverters, which means drivers will be able to run more than one appliance at the same time. Need to charge your computer and switch on that air fryer for dinner? No problem! Turn to p. 17 to see how this new upgrade will improve life on the road.

L

down

ongevity at Prime is fortunately a common theme, and we are blessed to have the best associates in the industry. As we constantly tweak our business model to obtain the optimal efficiency for our associates and company, it goes without saying that longevity at Prime equates to a very productive and efficient individual. Looking back throughout our 50+ years of being in business, there are many fantastic associates who have retired from this trucking company. I am blessed beyond words to know that these folks have spent a good portion of their lives working to make Prime a successful company. Whether it’s driving millions of safe miles or working 20+ years in-house, these hard-working, dedicated people have helped create a culture that past, present and future members of the Prime family can be proud of. In this issue of Prime Ways, you will find a few of those associates. or example, meet Wanda Hedges on p. 4. Or turn to p. 26 to meet three drivers who are in the million mile club. This issue is full of faces who make Prime great. I hope you’ll take some time ipping through this issue to get to know some of them.

Photo courtesy Prime Inc.

4,000,000+ MILES

These three Prime drivers just added another million safe miles to their records. Turn to p. 18 to see how they do it. Learn what they do to stay entertained while on the road and how they’ve seen the industry change.

Robert Low Prime Inc., CEO & Founder

PRIME WAYS

3


LIFE | AUGUST 2021 Wanda Hedges has been with Prime for 30 years. She works the customer service switchboard for the refrigerated division.

spotlight

Meet Prime’s

“Mom” Wanda Hedges has been with Prime for 30 years. So what has she loved most? It might be her nickname. BY RAE SWAN SNOBL

4

PRIME WAYS

I

f a customer has called Prime in the last 30 years, chances are they have talked to Wanda Hedges. Hedges, also known as “Prime Mom” in the refrigerated sales department, has been working the customer service switchboard for more than three decades. The switchboard gets around 500 calls a day, and Hedges is always ready to make customers feel at home. “When a customer calls in for the first time, I am the first impression they get of Prime,” Hedges says. “With every call, I always sound professional with a smile in my voice.” It is this warmth and care that make Hedges so beloved with Prime associates and customers alike. Hedges used to give guitar lessons and did a variety of office jobs before applying to rime years ago. “I was a parts runner for my husband’s truck repair business,” Hedges says. “I stopped at enworth for some parts, and one of the gentlemen behind the counter told me about the switchboard job at rime that he thought I would be really good at.” Not considering


“I work with incredible people. A lot of them started out with me, and I’ve gotten to watch them grow into wonderful people. Some of them started single, got married, had kids, and even a few have grandkids. I am the Prime Mom, so these are my kids and family.”

Photo by Ettie Berneking

—Wanda Hedges

her attire, Hedges went to rime to fill out an application, and Bernie Burrier asked to interview her there on the spot. “Here came Bernie, and there I was in jeans and a t-shirt!” Hedges recalls. “I was sure I would never hear from him, but when I left and continued on my route, the man at my next stop said ‘Somebody named Bernie wants you to come back to rime.’ So off I went to have another interview in jeans and a t-shirt.” Hedges was sure to dress up for the next four interviews after that and landed the job. espite trying a few other jobs with rime, Hedges has always returned to her original role at the switchboard. “Sometimes I can connect calls right over to who they need, but other times, I need to stay with that caller, listening to what they say so I can help get them to the correct associate or give them the correct information,” she says. “I really get to know my customers then.” Many customers know Hedges by name and have developed a rapport with her. “I love my customers,” she says. “I tease Robert Low that they are my customers until I get them to who they need.” One of Hedges’ most treasured memories with Prime is the evening she was asked to attend the Customer Advisory dinner. Prime invites some of its customers for a weekend of brainstorming to help better serve them. Every evening, they get together for dinner and usually have sales or drivers get up and talk about issues they have in the

▲ Robin (right) was a NE Load Coordinator who played a big part in Hedges’ early days at Prime. “He walked around like a rooster and would throw his arms up and swear like a sailor when things went wrong,” Hedges says. “But he had the most gentle personality. To me, he was what my early days were all about. And that helped in forming me into the Prime person I am today.”

industry. Phone operators are typically not had kids, and even a few have grandkids. I invited, but that night, Hedges was called am the Prime Mom, so these are my kids up to the stage. “Steve Wutke got up to talk, and family.” Hedges also has the utmost and I heard him say, ‘Where’s Wanda,’” she respect for her supervisors, especially remembers. Representatives from General Robert Low and Steve Wutke. “I don’t want Mills, Kellogg’s and Kraft were among the to sound phony, but over the years, I have audience members. “Many of them I know come across problems and gone to them, by their voice, but I have never gotten to and they always stop what they are doing meet them in person,” Hedges says. “I can’t and listen,” Hedges says. even express how much that meant to me.” As Hedges looks towards retirement in On the way back to her seat, Hedges was the next few years, she has plans to travel stopped by one customer. “She was telling and spend time with family. “I haven’t seen everyone that I was the best person to help all of the northern United States, so I’d like her when she called and that she wished I to go up to ellowstone, and maybe go fishworked for her,” Hedges says. “That trip ing in Montana and Wyoming,” she says. “I was a very special memory that will forever have family scattered all over so it would be be close to my heart.” nice to be able to go see them.” Even after Besides all of her customers, Hedges is she leaves, Hedges still plans to frequent extremely fond of her co-workers. “I work Prime for regular haircuts and dyes from with incredible people,” she says. “A lot of her hairdresser in the salon. “Hannah will them started out with me, and I’ve gotten be cutting my hair forever and what a good to watch them grow into wonderful people. excuse to come in to see everyone,” she says. Some of them started single, got married, “This has been an incredible ride!” PRIME WAYS

5


A simple salute In each issue of Prime Ways, we take a moment to highlight two veterans who have brought their skills to Prime. This time, we meet Andrew Magnan and Andre Grant. BY JESSICA HAMMER

Andrew Magnan

“My supervisors always allow me to work around my family obligations.” —Andrew Magnan

Military Service Andrew Magnan began his military career in 2006 when he joined the Missouri Army National Guard. His focus was maintaining and repairing electronics, and he later started in computer networking. Magnan says his skills earned him a reputation as “official nerd of my unit.” For the next 13 years, Magnan spent his time supporting Army units at home and abroad. One of Magnan’s favorite military moments happened during a mission in Afghanistan in 2013. With only 24 hours’ notice, he and his team met up with infantry and helped support them for three weeks in the desert. Magnan says the best part of the assignment was contributing to a common goal while watching many military functions come together. When it came time for his enlistment to end, Magnan was looking for his next opportunity. So, when a friend told him about an IT position at Prime, Magnan says he was excited to find something that directly correlated with his experience in the Army.

Prime Service Magnan is now a help desk technician, so he’s the link between programmers and in-house associates and drivers. He helps make sure the Prime mobile app runs smoothly for drivers, and he ensures phones, computers and network connections are in tip-top shape for in-house teams. Magnan hadn’t been with Prime long when COVID-19 arrived, and many associates worked from home. Suddenly, Magnan was helping his co-workers set up at-home workstations. Plus, he got to continue learning, which is something he says is one of his favorite parts about his job. But Magnan says he is grateful for Prime for bigger reasons. “The most important thing to me is and always will be my children. Prime has provided me the opportunity to be involved in their lives every day and react to the challenges of raising children. My supervisors always allow me to work around my family obligations,” Magnan says. “After being gone so much, that’s a huge deal to me. I can’t imagine working anywhere better.”

“It does have its ups and downs, but I really enjoy getting someone through the process.” —Andre Grant

6

PRIME WAYS

Military Service Andre Grant was motivated by one of his cousins to join the U.S. Army, so from 1989 to 1992, he served his country as a communications specialist during the Gulf War. Grant spent much of his enlistment overseas and deployed to a number of locations throughout Germany. Throughout the course of his career, Grant says he was regularly handling classified information, which means he still keeps many of his military highlights under wraps. But there are a lot of memories and lessons learned that he can share. For instance, Grant says that while he developed excellent communication and coordination skills, he also forged some great relationships with his fellow soldiers. Back at home, Grant was inspiring another generation of soldiers— specifically, his three sons. Grant says one followed in his footsteps and joined the Army, while another served in the Navy, and the third became a Marine.

Prime Service After his enlistment ended, Grant was craving something new and different. In 2017, Grant joined Prime as a company driver and later switched gears to become a lease operator. He says his favorite part of the job is how it changes constantly. Grant credits his military service for teaching him how to endure the long periods away from home. Apart from that, Grant says he also relies on the communication and coordination skills he practiced as a soldier to keep the wheels turning down the highway. But when trouble does arise, Grant says he’s been “blessed with quality people” who are more than willing to lend a hand. Nowadays when he’s not behind the wheel, Grant is helping new drivers as an instructor in the Prime Student Driver program. Before this, Grant hadn’t spent much time training others, but he says he enjoys it more than he thought he would. “It does have its ups and downs, but I really enjoy getting someone through the process.”

Photos courtesy Andrew Magnan, Andre Grant

Andre Grant


words from the field

Justin Walker works at Prime’s Salt Lake City Terminal and is a USA Swimming officiant.

Adventures in the kitchen Skylee Szoke joined the crew at the Salt Lake cafe, and now she’s experimenting with new dishes and putting her culinary schooling to good use. BY SKYLEE SZOKE

Photos courtesy Skylee Szoke, by Ettie Berneking

Photos courtesy Andrew Magnan, Andre Grant

I

joined Prime this year around January. I lost my job to COVID, but I’ve also been attending culinary school at Salt Lake Community College. My associate dean at the school heard Prime needed help in the kitchen and they know my manager at Prime. Since I’m about to graduate this year— hopefully—my associate dean suggested I apply for the job. I never planned on working at Prime, but everything I’ve learned at culinary school, I’ve applied at Prime. I really fell in love with the place, and now I’m a night shift lead. That means I’m a manager, and I handle the grill station, registers and any questions my team has. I’ve learned a lot from the kitchens I’ve worked in. Each kitchen shapes how I want my own kitchen to be. The big dream right now is to have my own restaurant on the coast. I’ve worked in Chilis downtown and Red Rock Brewing Company. At both of those, I learned to communicate better, especially when it involves safety. One slip up, and it hurts everyone, not just you. At my first kitchen, I watched how the manager interacted with us and took some of his examples. You could tell there was respect there. At another kitchen, our goal was to do everything as efficiently as possible. At Prime, I’ve been able to put all those lessons to use. Of course, this kitchen has been its own learning curve. As soon as I entered this kitchen, I definitely screwed up a few times, but Brandon Scott, my manager, was really relaxed. I feel like I’ve definitely gotten a lot of customer service experience in this kitchen. I love hearing the stories from the drivers. They love telling stories, and every order is unique to each driver. You learn a little about that person based on what they’ve ordered. I had a guy come in who owned dogs, and he ordered chicken breasts, sausages and 12 strips of bacon for his dogs, and then he’d get a veggie omelette for himself. I loved it. We have our regulars, and we have a lot of good relationships going. Once I got the hang of things, I started testing out recipes. Brandon was able to give us some leeway to create our own dishes for specials, and one of my colleagues is also interested in going to culinary school, so I helped her make etouffee. We shelled shrimp, and boiled the bones and shells to make a shrimp stock overnight. Then that’s added to vegetables. It went surprisingly well. With these truckers, sometimes seafood is a hit and a miss, but it immediately sold out, so it definitely went on the menu. It was a great feeling. Brandon gives us a window to be creative. I feel like I can experiment with the equipment, and I’ve learned quite a bit in the few months I’ve been here. I’m slowly accumulating new recipes I want to try. Definitely some Asian cuisine like ramen. I also want to do a classic chicken alfredo fettuccine and lasagna. With cooking you can put your emotions and feelings in your dish, and that dish collects memories. I also like serving the food and seeing people excited to try it. You can peer over the serving area and see the team take a bite and enjoy it.

THE POWER OF GIVING BACK Justin Walker’s love of swimming and coaching brought him to a new level of competition. BY SONIA GUZMAN

J

ustin Walker, a Fleet Manager for Prime in Salt Lake City, Utah, was a member of his high school swim team, has taught swim lessons and even spent time as a swim team coach. So it was only natural that when the USA Swimming organi ation his son was a part of needed officiants he would volunteer. “I wanted to make sure I was supporting my son’s team, and that they had enough officiants so that every kid had a chance to compete,” Walker explains. Now after spending the past two years as a SA Swimming officiant, alker is answering the call of another worthwhile organization, the Special Olympics. hen a long-time friend and fellow SA Swimming officiant informed him that the Utah Special Olympics would be needing more referees for their regional swimming competition, he was ready to dive in. It was an easy decision for Walker; he had been volunteering in different capacities for the Special Olympics since high school. He enjoys volunteering and appreciates the opportunity to continue being a part of a sport he loves. He says “giving back to the community and helping make sure every kid gets a chance at a fair competition” fuels his desire to volunteer. In his role as officiant alker will help ensure everyone is being judged fairly and completing events as directed. hether it’s a breaststroke, backstroke or a freestyle event, Walker is there to make sure the competitors stay consistent in their style and adhere to rules such as touching the pool wall between each lap. According to Walker, it is important to keep these competitions “fair and equitable” because the Special Olympics hold competitions at regional, state, country and world levels every year. Winning at this regional competition could send athletes to larger state and countrywide events. alker doesn’t have any plans to give up officiating any time soon. He will continue to referee swim meets for the USA Swimming organization for at least the next two years until his son ages out of the program. And as far as the Special Olympics goes, he will be ready and willing should he be needed again in the future. The Utah Special Olympics North/Central/Metro Regional Swim meet was held at Ben Lomond High School Community Swimming Pool in Ogden, Utah, on June 5th, 2021. PRIME WAYS

7


week in the life

Welcome

to Trailer Rebuild At Prime’s Trailer Rebuild department, you never know what could come in the door, and that’s part of the fun. The Trailer Rebuild department at Prime’s Springfield terminal has their work cut out for them. The shop is open 24/7, so drivers never have to worry.

F

or some people, constant challenges and moving targets sound like a nightmare scenario, but for Springfield Trailer “We tear trailers apart and rebuild them, Rebuild Manager Robert Ford, this is what so we can’t spend all day cleaning,” he says. makes his job enjoyable. “On the same note, we still need to be in In Ford’s body shop, his “great crew” OSHA compliance.” of 40 skilled mechanics must be ready to switch gears from putting finishing touches on a edigree trailer for resale to fi ing Wednesdays are “kind of controlled chaos, freight trailers when there’s a eet shortage. but they’re fun and productive days,” Ford That often means that sticking to a rigid says. Since mechanics work either Saturday schedule just isn’t possible when they need through Wednesday or Wednesday through to get the job done, but somehow planning Sunday shifts, their time at the shop overis key to their success. laps, which gives them time to focus as “We are constantly shifting what we need a team. With a lot of “extra bodies,” Ford to do,” says Ford, who began his Prime ca- says, a lot gets accomplished even though reer as a mechanic in 2007. it’s loud and crowded. Often, ord uses office time to coordinate work with local body shops that help repair For Ford and shop supervisors Chris Prime trailers. “We check to make sure all Horstman and Mike Wilson, Monday the comments and the necessary work— means inspecting mechanics’ weekend like the job codes, which is how our guys work, reviewing parts orders and checking get paid—are correct.” lists of damaged trailers. For Ford, it also means “trailer meetings” with other managers to determine what needs to be done Besides his usual tasks, Ford has learned the rest of the week. to e pect the une pected like having to fi “Monday is kind of a catch-up day for a few trailers to help train drivers the next work,” Ford says. It’s also his day to take day. “It’s not hectic,” he says. “It’s just busy.” care of payroll. Working with other departments is a big part of the job, but he says that’s especially true on the next-to-last day of the work As he does every day, Ford checks parts orweek, when everyone is looking forward to ders and receipts. “We want our mechanics riday “They’re trying to get their stuff takto have the right stuff for their jobs,” he says. en care of, and they’re looking ahead.” Adding jobs to the work list and inspecting trailers is also part of his daily routine. So is writing claims estimates and making sure “I don’t want to jin myself, but riday’s a the shop meets Occupational Safety and pretty calm day,” Ford says. Mainly, it’s Health Administration (OSHA) standards. about planning weekend work for me-

WEDNESDAY

MONDAY

THURSDAY

TUESDAY

FRIDAY

8

PRIME WAYS

chanics in a shop open 24/7. “They’re rock stars,” he says of his crew. “They’re paid off production, so the worst thing we can do for those guys is not to have work for them when they need it.”

LOOKING BACK Robert Ford looks back on some of his favorite memories at Prime, and some are a little messy.

Mud Wars Before Prime built the trailer rebuild department’s yard, where out-of-service trailers stay until they’re rebuilt, Ford and the team had to park overflow trucks in a dirt field that now serves as Prime’s disc golf course. “We sometimes used that land as overflow parking,” Ford says. Sometimes, as many as 100 trailers would fill the space, and that was fine until it rained. “Let’s just say there’s some really good dirt out there for corn but not at all good for parking trailers or pulling them out in or after a heavy rain.”

Foam Demand Ford remembers when a shortage of parts suddenly interrupted their work. “We recently sent Nick Lalanda to buy all the foam we could find in the Springfield area,” Ford says. “Our vendors had foam on the way, but there was a chance we’d run out if they didn’t deliver on time.” Shop Production Assistant LaLanda drove more than 100 miles to Rolla, Missouri, “buying as many small contractor-size foam tanks as he could find. We do have a lot of foam now!”

Photos by Brandon Alms

BY SUSAN ATTEBERRY SMITH


Ever since COVID hit, the team at Campus Inn in Springfield, Missouri, went above and beyond to help the drivers and team members who quarantined at the inn.

close to home

Getting the Special Treatment There’s a group of front-line workers who deserve an extra round of applause for everything they did during COVID, and it’s the team at Campus Inn. BY SONIA GUZMAN

Photo by Brandon Alms

Photos by Brandon Alms

A

s the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country last spring causing confusion and uncertainty, General Manager Brenda Lindsey and her team at the Campus Inn in Springfield, Missouri, didn’t have time to worry about the unknown. They were busy preparing for one of the biggest challenges of their careers. Their hotel would house Prime drivers who were away from home and who tested positive for COVID-19 or had to quarantine due to exposure to the virus. “We were a little bit nervous and overwhelmed; we weren’t sure what to expect,” says Andrea Wahl, the front desk manager at Campus Inn. “But we always knew however nervous we were, drivers were more so. We had to take whatever extra steps we could to make sure they were comfortable.” The drivers’ physical and emotional well-being, along with the safety of the hotel staff, became the utmost priority. Shelves were installed outside of patients’ doors where fresh linen, meals and medication could be dropped off. leaning stations were set up around the hotel to give drivers access to any cleaning supplies they might need as well as personal protective equip-

ment. Wahl’s front desk team put together being taken to ensure the comfort and safeinformational packets for the drivers that ty of their family members,” Wahls says. explained the procedures they would be This is why the request for a description using, provided details on meal delivery of a “normal” day at Campus Inn brings and gave them information on accessing chuckles to Lindsey and her crew. “Did you medical and mental health resources. say normal?” indsey jokes between laughs. To say the ampus Inn staff went above Every day brings a new normal to the team and beyond to accommodate the ill drivers at the Campus Inn. Procedures are conwould be an understatement. Head Chef stantly being updated and new challenges ohn Meikel and his hotel cafeteria staff arising, but one thing remains constant: alone chose to completely reorganize their “We are a family,” Wahl says. traditional structure in order to provide The staff reiterated that the real story is the drivers with different menu options how everyone has come together. It didn’t and ensure they had three substantial, matter if someone was housekeeping, healthful meals a day. Additional staff ran cafeteria or front desk staff, they stepped in errands for the drivers such as picking up when and where they were needed. Wahl medication, extra clothing and even special says, “It was amazing how well everyone meal requests. Not only was the Campus came together and got the job done. It Inn staff working diligently to keep drivers didn’t matter what the question or request safe and comfortable, they were also doing was, everyone banded together. We are their best to comfort the families of drivers. going to take care of our people. This has Wahl and the other front desk team mem- really shown what an amazing family we bers were answering phone calls from con- have here.” While the number of patients cerned family. “Families would call to check needing housing are fewer, Wahl and the in. They are hundreds or thousands of rest of the ampus Inn staff are dedicated miles separated from their loved ones, and to continuing to give the best possible care we just wanted to do our best to reassure to their Prime family for as long as their them and let them know that every step was services are needed. PRIME WAYS

9


WELLNESS | AUGUST 2021

wellness

THE BIGGEST

Loser

When driver Paul Dickson joined the Prime Driver Wellness Program, he knew he wanted to lose weight. Now, his new habits have done a whole lot more for him. BY SUSAN ATTEBERRY SMITH

W

hen he started driving for Prime two years ago, Paul Dickson had high blood pressure and weighed 40 pounds more than he does now. He was also “very sedentary,” he says. His lifestyle was just as it had been in his previous career in computer software sales. Now, this 64-year-old, almost-6-foot-4 company driver boasts a blood pressure reading of 120/62, a weight of 207 and a new enthusiasm for exercise, thanks to Prime’s Company Driver Wellness Program. “My doctors are thrilled,” Dickson says. His motivation? The need to stay alert while driving long distances, especially in bad weather and at night. He and co-driver Joel Robertson cover day and night

10

PRIME WAYS

shifts on the road. “I recognized very early on that this is a hard job,” Dickson says. “The driving part is probably the most predictable of it, but it’s the duration and the sleep-shifting. The only way to stay alert was to lose weight and increase my exercise level.” With the help of his Prime wellness coach and easy access to the program information online, Dickson first focused on reducing carbohydrates and finding more healthful snacks after joining the program in May 2019. Instead of those high-carb treats, he began opting for low-sugar oatmeal and travel-friendly little tuna packets. He also discovered Chobani yogurt. “I’ll occasionally get the double cheeseburger and fries, but instead of a candy bar I’ll get chocolate milk—and it tastes like a candy bar,” he says. Next, Dickson turned his attention to daily exercise and started following program videos that focused on stretching and strengthening his hips as well as his neck and thoracic muscles. “The angle of the pelvis can contribute to back injuries,” he says. “If you have a bad posture, you can lend yourself to reinjuring your lower back.” And he should know. Dickson had a back injury several years ago but says, “I have not reinjured my back at all since joining Prime.” Dickson also began to pay closer attention to his mental health, and he started noticing connections between diet and exercise and his overall well-being. Now, for example, he avoids sugar highs that quickly turn to lows. It’s been nice to wear smaller clothes, too, yet Dickson says the stamina he has gained since joining the program has made an even greater difference Driving through snow storms or thunderstorms, for example, isn’t as draining as it used to be. “I don’t feel like I have to take a 2-hour nap,” he says. “I feel like I can recover from a long drive or a challenging activity. Because I feel better, I want to do even better.”

Photo courtesy Paul Dickson

Driver Paul Dickson needed to shed some weight and improve his blood pressure, so he joined Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness program.


recipes

AIR FRYER CHICKEN AND VEGGIES Ingredients 1 pound chicken breast, chopped 1 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen) 1 zucchini, chopped 1 cup bell pepper, chopped 1/2 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or spice blend of choice)

The key to this simple recipe is the filling combination of protein and vegetables.

recipes

(AIR) FRIED TO

Perfection Craving a quick and delicious meal while on the road? You might need to get yourself an Air Fryer.

Photo by Layla Atik at Gimme Delicious

BY SUSAN ATTEBERRY SMITH

A

simple appliance that can cook a meal as tasty as it is healthful might be every tired and hungry driver’s dream, and for a growing number of Prime team members, an air fryer is making this dream come true. Prime Driver Health and Fitness Dietician Sarah Waterman, a registered nutritionist, posted a question on the company’s Facebook page, and drivers shared their tips for cooking fish, meat, vegetables and even biscuits in this trendy appliance. ill its basket with food, and it bakes, fries, reheats and roasts—with minimal oil–as hot air circulates around the cuisine. “I love my air fryer,” writes Michelle Tobin. The Ama on find “works with my 2 inverter with no issues. I cook chicken, steak, burgers, sweet potato fries... The pic below is

Instructions Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Chop the veggies and chicken into small bite-size pieces; transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and seasoning to the bowl and toss to combine. Add the chicken and veggies to the preheated air fryer, and cook for 10 minutes, shaking halfway, or until the chicken and veggies are charred and the chicken is cooked through. If your air fryer is small, you might have to cook them in two to three batches Notes • You can replace the Italian seasoning with your favorite spice blend— taco, Cajun, lemon pepper or any other blend works great too! Just be sure to reduce the salt if the blend already includes salt. • Replace with your favorite quick-cooking veggies. To use potatoes, air-fry them for 10 minutes first.

just a simple thing to do.” Her photo shows chicken wings tossed with olive oil, garlic, pepper, seasoning salt and Cajun seasoning. The cook time for this recipe is just 8 minutes, and it turns out “juicy and avorful,” Tobin says. If you’re considering adding an air fryer to your truck, keep in mind they do have drawbacks—no batter-frying or rice-steaming, and some parts require hand-washing— yet foods do cook up crispy and with fewer calories. This Gimme Delicious (gimmedelicious.com) recipe is healthful, Waterman says, because it combines protein and veggies. It takes 5 minutes to prepare, 15 minutes to air-fry and serves four. PRIME WAYS

11


ai16109927809_primedforlifeprimeways21.pdf 1 1/18/2021 11:59:41 AM

Mental Health

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

­ ­



TRUCKS & TECH | AUGUST 2021

how we roll

Put the Lime in the Coconut When this million mile driver couldn’t put the John Deere logo on her truck, she came up with a better idea. BY RAE SWAN SNOBL

P

aige BeVier’s eye-catching design on her lime- and sunrises and admiring the beauty and being at peace green, 2 reightliner ascadia was not her first with myself,” she says. After BeVier came up with the idea for her “Lime and choice, but now she can’t imagine changing it. “I oconut press,” Stripes and Stuff in Springfield, Misoriginally wanted to have a John Deere themed truck,” BeVier says. “I grew up on a farm and have driven John souri, came up with the final design and did not miss a Deere tractors since I was 5 years old, but I couldn’t get detail. The entire truck is covered in limes, coconut drinks the trademark permission.” After scrapping the tractor and beach scenes complete with hammocks and BeVier’s idea, BeVier started to think about what else goes with name under the driver side window. “Inside the hammock green. “I instantly said lime and coconut and started sing- is a stick figure of me smiling and waving,” Be ier says. ing the 1971 song ‘Coconut’ by Harry Nilsson,” she says. “The outside of my truck is my pride and joy.” Now BeVier, who has been driving with Prime for near“I remember hearing that song throughout my childhood, ly 4 years, calls Springfield home and makes most of her and it always stuck with me.” BeVier wanted a paradise theme because it reminded runs in the Midwest, so she gets to take a bit of the beach her of all the places she has traveled and lived. She grew with her on the road. “No matter where I go, someone is up in Michigan, a short drive from the Great Lakes. “As always giving me a smile or asking to take pictures with a family, we would take trips to the beach and have fun my truck,” she says. And she loves seeing people’s reacswimming, going into lighthouses and watching the big tions to it. “This truck was meant to make people smile iron ore freighter oat by,” she says. After high school, and laugh,” she says. “Nowadays we forget to take a minshe lived on the coast of California and later in the Florida ute to look at all the beautiful things we have around us. If Keys. “I remember watching so many beautiful sunsets I can make one person smile then I’ve done my job.”

14

PRIME WAYS


A FAMILIAR FACE

If Paige BeVier’s truck looks familiar, it might be because it was featured in the opening scene of one of Prime’s safety videos several months ago.

THE LONG HAUL

This December, BeVier will complete 14 years with Prime, and she hopes to achieve her second million safe miles.

Photos by Leah Stiefermann

A LITTLE R&R

That little stick figure lounging in the hammock is actually BeVier. She wanted to make it into the truck’s design somehow, so it seemed fitting that she was the one relaxing on the beach.

TROPICAL VIBES

Each door has the words: “Drink it all up” and both bottom side skirts that cover up the fuel tanks say: “ Lime and Coconut Express”

FRESH SQUEEZED

Both sides of the hood have decals of bunches of limes and split coconuts plus tropical drinks served in a coconut shell with little umbrellas.

PRIME WAYS

15


Next time you stop at one of Prime’s repair bays, say thank you to this hard-working team.

maintenance

Rapid Repair Prime’s mechanic shops are incredibly important, but because trucking isn’t a Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 kind of industry, these services have to be available 24/7 to help drivers when they need it—day or night.

A

s with any vehicle that travels over the road, semi trucks can experience any number of malfunctions as the miles roll by. Manager of Fleet Maintenance Chris Holtmeyer says Prime’s tradition of excellence means the company offers plenty of ways drivers can keep their trucks in good repair. Prime has three types of repair bays—campaign, assessment, and express. A campaign is similar to a recall, Holtmeyer says, where manufacturers are making updates or changes. For Prime’s equipment to continue working as it should, Holtmeyer says the entire eet must have those updates. In 2021, Holtmeyer says AT&T and T-Mobile, the mobile providers that service Omnitracs Qualcomm units, are going to be phasing out their 4G networks. Prime has already been working on the changes for six months as the providers gear up for 5G service. Now, Holtmeyer says the company is on track to have all the tractors and trailers updated before the mobile providers’ respective

16

PRIME WAYS

deadlines. More than 20,000 Omnitracs units must be updated on Prime tractors and trailers to keep business moving forward. Like the rest of Prime’s repair network, Holtmeyer says the campaign bays are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are staffed by highly skilled technicians to get drivers in, their equipment serviced and trucks back out the door quickly. In addition to the campaign bays, assessment bays are designed to help drivers if something is broken, malfunctioning or just in need of repair. Holtmeyer says assessment bays operate on a oneto-one basis, so drivers need to think ahead and make an appointment if they’re thinking of stopping in. Express bays are designed for the quick fi es and general maintenance, such as oil changes. Holtmeyer says no appointment is needed, and drivers can pull up any time to get the help they need. No matter what kind of service your truck needs, the Prime team is there to help.

Photo by Ettie Berneking

BY JESSICA HAMMER


The TPMS system will alert drivers to low tire pressure. The system is now integrated into drivers’ Qualcomms.

tech update

New and Improved Prime works hard to be at the forefront of the trucking industry, and it is hard at work on updates for trucks, trailers and drivers alike. BY JESSICA HAMMER

Photos courtesy Prime Inc., Shutterstock

Photo by Ettie Berneking

M

any upcoming changes are focused on protecting both drivers and equipment, starting with custom-made deer guards. Manager of Fleet Maintenance Chris Holtmeyer says while Prime has had deer guards on its trucks in the past, they started installing a guard specifically engineered for rime trucks in August 2019. Manufactured by ExGuard, a company in Des Moines, Iowa, the updated equipment serves a dual purpose. It keeps drivers safe in the event of a deer strike while also minimizing the amount of damage to the truck. Prior to having deer guards installed, Holtmeyer says repair costs following a front-end collision could average upward of $10,000. The other purpose is to provide this protection in a package that keeps trucks looking sharp and drivers proud of the rigs they pilot across the country. The guards accomplish both goals and then some. The guards don’t block the sensors that help the truck’s collision mitigation system detect a potential hazard, Holtmeyer says. They’re easy to open and look good longer thanks to a special coating designed to prevent corrosion and rust. In addition to protecting equipment, Holtmeyer says Prime is also working to better protect both trucks and drivers

by upgrading the tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) in their trucks. The systems are not new in Prime’s trucks, but the integration into the driver’s Omnitracs Qualcomm is. It links a trailer TPMS to the tractor itself and allows drivers and rime’s back office to receive real-time tire pressure alerts. Holtmeyer says Prime’s tanker division is testing the system and hopes it can help prevent catastrophic issues like tires catching fire due to improper in ation. On a larger scale, Holtmeyer hopes this information can help the industry better understand the impact of environment on tires, which helps Prime better protect its operators’ investments in both tires and fuel. Holtmeyer says Prime is getting ready to start another upgrade that has drivers in mind. Currently, trucks come with a 1,500-watt inverter, which Holtmeyer says can only power a limited number of devices at one time. The current inverters aren’t backward compatible, Holtmeyer says, meaning an entirely new wiring harness is needed to replace the smaller inverter. All new trucks moving forward will have a larger, 2,000-watt inverter. The extra power will give drivers more e ibility to use more than one appliance or device to make their homes away from home more comfortable.

A big

welcome New to Prime? Then be sure to download this new app (once it’s done). You’ll love it!

There’s big news if you’re a new hire at Prime and are going through orientation or upgrading your truck. Prime has been developing a new mobile app just for you. Yes, there’s there Prime Mobile app, but that’s already for established Prime drivers and team members. This new app is just for new hires and upgrades. The goal of this app is to optimize the driver experience from Day 1 at Prime by providing a new tool to guide new hires through each step of joining the Prime team. The idea for this new app came about when Prime realized there was a room to improve the onboarding experience for new drivers and those ready to upgrade into a new truck. “We currently use paper files and wanted to take advantage of new technology to create a better and more engaged option,” says Andrea Mueller, media and onboarding manager at Prime. The new app, which is scheduled to be released in quarter 4 of this year will make onboarding much easier, and will provide all the resources new drivers need at the tip of their fingers. Just log into the app, and you’ll be able to fill out paperwork, read FAQ, take quizzes and so on.

PRIME WAYS

17


18

PRIME WAYS


The Million Mile Club THESE THREE DRIVERS HAVE DRIVEN 4+ MILLION SAFE MILES FOR PRIME. THIS IS WHAT MOTIVATES THEM, WHAT KEEPS THEM SAFE ON THE ROAD AND HOW THEY’VE SEEN THE INDUSTRY CHANGE. BY ETTIE BERNEKING

PRIME WAYS

19


Wayne Dillahunty

4 MILLION SAFE MILES | FLATBED DIVISION WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO PRIME?

The company I was driving for was bought by rime in 2 , but I first started driving a truck in 1985. I was driving for a company in Oklahoma.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO TRUCKING?

I had retired from essna aircraft manufacturing in Wichita, Kansas, in 1984. The economy went down, and I went ahead and retired and moved back to Magnum, Oklahoma, where I was born and raised. At essna, I was an aircraft pre- ight inspector for 20 years. While I was working for Cessna I got my GI bill pilot’s license, and I had my own little two-seater airplane. It was a 1947 Aeronica Champ. When I got back home, I knew I wanted to keep working, and I had known this trucking company all my life. The owner, he had a few trucks, and so I interviewed with him one day and he said, “Yeah, come on. We need drivers.” He put my in a truck, and I didn’t need any schooling or anything. The other drivers there schooled me on the road. I learned by doing and by watching other drivers handle their load or strap their load down. Things were a lot different back then.

HOW ELSE HAVE YOU SEEN THE INDUSTRY CHANGE?

ell, this truck I’m in now is the first automatic I’ve ever driven. It was a little hard to get used to but it’s like driving a car. You only have an accelerator and a brake pedal. I drove a truck one time that had 18 gears. You just have to learn not to get in the wrong gear.

20

PRIME WAYS

HOW DID DRIVING COMPARE TO FLYING?

It was a lot different than being around an aircraft, but I liked it right away. It was exciting to be on the road and traveling. Plus, I would get home every weekend. I had a wife and daughter.

DID YOUR FAMILY EVER JOIN YOU ON THE ROAD?

hen I first started driving in ’ , my wife went on a short trip with me. But it didn’t ride smooth enough for her, so she never got back in the truck. When Prime bought the company I drove for, I was running the Southwest region. It was Te as, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. It was all atbed trucking. ow I’m with American Jipson Drywall Company, and Prime supplies dedicated trucks. All we do is pick up a loaded trailer at the plant and deliver it and then come right back to the plant to pick up another trailer.

DO YOU HAVE PLANS OF RETIRING?

I’m 84, and well, one of these days I’ll retire. I’ve got a -acre farm at home I could spend my time on. I’ve leased it to a friend right now who has cattle on it. It was where I was born and raised. My mom and dad bought that farm in 1941, and it’s where I grew up working for Dad.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE COUNTRY TO DRIVE THROUGH?

Flat country and no snow. That’s what I like. This area of the United States is more

of a at country. In olorado and the mountains, the scenery is good but I don’t enjoy driving down those hills.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW DRIVERS?

Keep your focus on the road ahead of you. Things can change in front of you in a split second. So if you’re looking at the countryside out the window, something bad can happen in front of you and you won’t see it. Keep your mind on your business.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD ANY BAD ACCIDENTS?

I’ve never had any bad accidents. In my 4 years of driving, I’ve never had an accident and no one has ever run into me. But two times, I was parked in a truck stop and had other trucks run into me when they were trying to park but both times they hit my front fender.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO PASS TIME WHILE YOU’RE ON THE ROAD?

Sometimes when I’m in a bigger city like Oklahoma City, I’ll tune into the weather channel. It’s quiet otherwise. I don’t have to have a lot of music like a lot of drivers. It doesn’t take much to entertain me. I actually still have a ip phone. I call it a dumb phone. I don’t have one of those phones that’s smarter than me.

Wayne Dillahunty first started driving a truck in 1985, and he just reached 4 million safe miles with Prime.


PRIME WAYS

21

4,000,00

Photo courtesy Wayne Dillahunty


22

PRIME WAYS

Photo courtesy Prime Inc.

4,000,00


Richard Chubb

4 MILLION SAFE MILES | REFRIGERATED DIVISION

HOW DID YOU END UP DRIVING FOR PRIME?

I joined Prime in September 1990. I saw an advertisement for them and checked them out. I had been driving a few years before that, and I was based out of ennsylvania. I started working in a warehouse loading steel and started moving trucks in to be loaded. I always liked to not be working in an office. I prefer to be more by myself.

DID ANYONE TEACH YOU THE ROPES OF TRUCK DRIVING?

Back in my day, you learned as you went. I learned it on my own. With working in the warehouse, I learned how to back up and all that. The rest of it came fairly easy going down the road.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE REFRIGERATED DIVISION?

I drove for other companies—one was in Pennsylvania and others were cross country. I did drive tanker for six years, but when I came to rime, I joined reefer. I didn’t like the idea of atbed and the securing of loads, and tanker was too much sitting around. Reefer had the right amount of action.

Driver Richard Chubb actually met his wife at Prime. The two ended up driving team together for several years.

DID YOU LIKE DRIVING CROSS COUNTRY?

I prefer running more long distance cross country, but since I’ve been solo, I end up staying more or less in the East and in the middle part of the country.

WHEN DID YOU DRIVE TEAM?

I mostly drove team and have only been solo for two or three years. I started out training people, and then I started driving with my wife. We met at Prime at the terminal at a company party. We became friends and started driving together. It’s better to have a companion.

WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS WORKED FOR YOU THAT’S HELPED YOU REACH 4 MILLION SAFE MILES?

I do things differently than most drivers. I rock and roll and don’t waste time. I want to know what my load is and get it picked up and get to where I’m going as quick as possible. I know a lot of drivers will drag it out more. The key though is being prepared.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY MAJOR ACCIDENTS?

I’ve had major breakdowns over the years, but it’s just routine things that do happen. I don’t know if you’re ever really ready for it, but you always have to be looking for a way out if something happens in front of you. And you don’t drive on ice period. You park it.

“One way I learned was listening to other drivers to see what worked for them and then you can try those out to see what works for you. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing no matter what.” — Richard Chubb HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DRIVING IN SNOW AFTER ALL THESE YEARS?

In snow, you’ve got to be extra careful, and there are things you can’t control. I’ve had cars come up beside me and spin out in front of me. Its about anticipating something happening, but you hope nothing does. Sometimes people overreact or react too fast and get themselves into more trouble than they were originally in.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW DRIVER?

I see a lot of this, and I don’t like it, but people seem to be scared to talk to other people. One way I learned was listening to other drivers to see what worked for them and then you can try those out to see what works for you. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing no matter what.

PRIME WAYS

23


John Valentine

4 MILLION SAFE MILES | FLATBED DIVISION

I’ve driven for Prime for 32 years, and it’s all in atbed. But my dad had been a lifelong truck driver, and he called me up one day and asked if I wanted to drive for rime in atbed. I said no.

I BET HE LOVED THAT. WHAT CHANGED YOUR MIND?

He said it would be a whole different ball game. e drove for months together before he decided he was going to lease one of Prime’s trucks. That’s when I took over a Freightliner and drove that until they talked me into getting my first lease truck.

HAD YOU DRIVEN WITH YOUR DAD BEFORE JOINING PRIME?

I got my driving experience from him. I don’t remember how old I was probably 10 or 12. In the summer I’d go on the road with him, and he’d give me $50 to help handle the freight. I knew back then that I liked this, but I didn’t consider it as something I’d wanted to do. Then I ended up going to the first vocational school in Harrison, Arkansas, to get my license. There were eight of us, and when I graduated from the course, I joined my dad who was pulling a reefer at the time.

I BET YOUR DAD WAS PROUD TO HAVE YOU FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS.

I come from a long line of truck drivers. My mom even drove. She would drive with dad for a few weeks at a time.

HOW LONG DID SHE END UP DRIVING?

She drove... Oh lord, I don’t know how many years. But when Dad passed away,

24

PRIME WAYS

she wasn’t ready to quit trucking so she joined me in the truck. For about three years, my mom and my wife would swap out driving with me.

OH! YOUR WIFE IS ALSO A DRIVER?

Oh yes. My wife drove for Prime for 18 years and has 2.5 million safe miles.

DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET THROUGH PRIME?

ot at rime. e actually met in a truck stop in Indiana on July 13 almost 30 years ago. It was 1991. She was driving for another company, and we didn’t have cell phones back then. We coordinated through dispatchers, so we could stop and talk on payphones. We ran into each other three or four times on the road, and we got married.

WHAT CRAZY LUCK TO MEET EACH OTHER ON THE ROAD. HOW LONG DID YOU END UP DRIVING TOGETHER?

We spent 18 years on the truck together. She retired in 2009. If you don’t get along in the truck, you’re not going to make it.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO DRIVE?

I like Montana best. If we had been younger, we would have homesteaded out there. We love being out in the country. We really like the mountains. We’re not sand people unless you add the ocean.

DO YOU STILL DRIVE CROSS COUNTRY?

We used to go everywhere, but now that my wife retired, I stay closer to the house and run the Midwest region.

I BET THAT MEANS YOU GET HOME MORE OFTEN.

I get home on weekends, and that’s a whole lot better. I tell you what, I’ve paid my dues.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW DRIVERS?

Make sure everything is ready to go before you get behind the wheel. And you have to think about what’s happening around you the whole time. My dad always told me, when you’re driving, always be looking for a way out. It gets crazy in a second.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’VE DONE TO REACH 4 MILLION SAFE MILES?

I think of safety the whole time I’m out there, and that’s my job. At the end of the day, I would be devastated if I hurt someone and I did something stupid to cause it.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN ACCIDENT WHILE DRIVING?

o. I’ve never even given OT a dime of my money or failed inspections. That’s part of the focus on safety again. If you’re safe, you’re probably going to be on time, and you’re taking care of your equipment. Plus, if I have an accident, it costs me money. If I’m late, it costs me money… I don’t want to give anyone my hard earned money.

Driver John Valentine met his wife, who is also a driver, at a truck stop randomly. They stayed in touch and eventually got married and spent 18 years driving team before she retired.

Photo courtesy Prime Inc.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO PRIME?


PRIME WAYS

25

4,000,00

Photo courtesy Prime Inc.


Artistic T

26

PRIME WAYS


Touch A

When a Prime driver wants to add a design to their truck, there’s one team they should turn to—the team at Stripes and Stuff.

s you drive down the road, it’s highly likely that you spot other trucks decorated with unique decals and stickers. These decals on the trucks haven’t always been stickers that can be easily removed when a driver is ready to sell and move onto the next truck. Back in the day, Prime used to have everything hand painted. “On every truck, every USDOT number, all the striping, everything was hand painted,” says isa race, office manager of Stripes and Stuff. hile Stripes and Stuff isn’t the only operation drivers can turn to when they want a design added to their trucks, it’s rime’s first go-to, and back when Stripes and Stuff first opened, the team was painting all designs by hand. “So that’s how much it’s evolved and harles uhr, owner of Stripes of Stuff, had such an art, he was the o. hand painting artist in this town back in the day.” uhr first started hand painting trucks as a hobby in high school. He then went to work for the railroad before getting the opportunity to sell out and start hand painting before eventually getting a call from rime. “I’d get there at about 4:30 in the morning and would actually help the rime guys make the coffee,” he says. “Then I’d be lettering trucks all day long. They’d put new trucks in, and I’d come back in after dinner to lay them out and get ready to start on them the ne t day. It was quite a process, but it was an interesting start.”

BY JO EVERHART

Miami Dolphins

PRIME WAYS

27


A

s Prime began to grow, Fuhr needed more room to work on the trucks inside so they weren’t having to wait for bad weather to pass during the winter months. As a solution, he built Stripes and Stuff’s first building in and added onto his team. He brought his nephew in to help occasionally and hired eff race full time after teaching both of them how to hand paint vehicles. This team was a force to be reckoned with in the industry. They were able to perfect their art so completely that the striping on both sides was perfectly aligned down to the smallest details. “ e set the level of standard because we had the combination of having artists who chose to make it into a professional business,” eff says. hile they made sure their work was always top of the line, the team also added some enjoyment to their long workdays together by often pulling small pranks on each other. “I’d be concentrating and would reach around the edge of the truck and Charles would get up on the other side and paint my nails while I was just trying to work,” eff says. “Then later he’d be like what have you got on your fingernails there?’ It was impressive that he could be that stealthy, but needless to say it hasn’t always been just work, you’ve got to throw in a little fun.” They continued to grow Stripes and Stuff and added more people to the team and eventually added a second building in 4. “It just went like a whirlwind, and we kind of grabbed onto the tail. As rime grew, we grew,” eff says.” rime has such a pulse to

Kraken

the trucking industry in the area, so what they do, a lot of other companies follow.” Although the team started out as just Fuhr hand painting on his own, it has now extended to people. “ e still do a lot with a small crew, but it’s grown a lot,” Lisa says. As Stripes and Stuff has continued to grow, it’s found time to remodel the facility and has updated its design process. ow, as many drivers prefer to be able to remove

Frequently Asked Questions: How many trucks can you complete in a day? Around 15-20 trucks in a day depending on the project level. How long does it typically take? Usually can be done within a couple of hours for the application process, but wraps can take 2-3 days depending on the size of the project. What designs can be done? Each semi truck from Prime has the potential to be decorated any way a driver can dream up. Are there any restrictions on designs? The designs have to be approved by Prime to ensure there isn’t anything offensive on the

28

PRIME WAYS

trucks and there can’t be any copyrighted material on the truck. How does the pricing work? Case by case depending on the materials used and how large the decal is. What sizes of decals do you do? Everything from big wraps to small stickers and licensing. What does the process look like? Prime emails Stripes and Stuff a list of trucks that go directly from the dealership, get the updated VINs and get them ready to go and then deliver it to Prime.

the art, so they can easily sell their rigs, the team at Stripes and Stuff has done away with the days of hand painting designs. The team is also looking ahead to the future because, not shockingly, Fuhr plans to retire one day. Despite all the growth and changes, Stripes and Stuff still does all the design work in house. That includes their favorite part of the process brainstorming. “ e’ve had some exciting times, like when the drivers come in with an idea, and sometimes it is seriously sketched onto a napkin at a truck stop,” eff says. “So we get to watch e citing moments of napkin sketches com-


Fish Under The Sea

ing to life, and we take it from a little drawing and make it into what they want.” Fuhr, isa and eff all understand the importance of the decals to drivers and want to make it as special as possible. “That’s their home away from home,” isa says. “They live in that truck so for them to put their personality on that is really special, and we love to share in that with them.” After getting a feel for what the drivers want on their trucks, the design team then works on bringing those ideas to life. They print and prepare all the decals for each truck months before they are delivered, so once they arrive it is just a matter of putting them onto the trucks and presenting them to the driver. “ e customi e someone’s dream basically,” eff says. “It’s not so much the trucks that I love but getting to see people light up when they see their truck. That’s my favorite part because you know you’ve done right.” A unique aspect of their art is the canvases they put it on. nlike other forms of art that often do little more than hang on a wall, the art that Stripes and Stuff creates Charles Fuhr used to paint trucks by hand.

Second US Flag

US Flag

Top esigns

After years of work, these are the trucks that Stripes and Stuff is proud of most.

goes out all across the country on the side of trucks. “ e’re on the road and can pass our artwork,” eff says. “The kids’ road game driving down the highway was to find what trucks we did. It’s very cool to see something that our team has created and been a part of all over the nation.” Over the years they have not only built a solid relationship with rime, but with all of the drivers they work with as they return to have their new trucks done and get the chance to work with them again. “ e have a passion for what we do,” isa says. “ e love working with whatever vision they might have and love to see them come to life.”

• • • • • • •

Kraken Bob Marley Miami Dolphins US Flag Second US Flag Arrows Fish under the sea

“The Kraken is one that is mentioned a lot because its tentacles wrap all the way around. That one was fun to work on and see it all come together. We’ve done some cool wraps of Veterans dedications that are pretty awesome with eagles and flags; we even did one that looked like the whole flag. We’ve done the Miami Dolphins and the whole team field and it’s similar to the logo. We create the theme they’re after and it’s pretty neat.” —Lisa “Sometimes they have a theme like their children, grandfather, or pets in memory of the things that are special to them and that they can’t take on the road with them.” —Jeff PRIME WAYS

29


TERMINAL TALK | AUGUST 2021

From the Ground Up Prime is getting ready to welcome a brand new terminal to its team, and this one is in Minooka, Illinois. BY SONIA GUZMAN

30

PRIME WAYS

Rendering courtesy Prime

W

e’ve all heard the old adage “Location, location, location!” Well, Prime took it to heart and has found the perfect site for its newest terminal. Prime’s brand new, state-ofthe-art terminal will leave drivers excited to stop. Construction began on the new tank wash terminal in Minooka, Illinois, in January of 2021 and will span more than 24 acres featuring amenities designed to benefit both drivers and customers. According to Mark Piley, the director of facility maintenance, the Minooka location was chosen for the new terminal because “the Prime Tanker division has a large customer base in this area and needed a tank wash facility here in order to better serve our customers.” Not only is there a large customer hub in the area, but with the far-reaching highways that pass through Minooka along with a tractor/ trailer repair shop, and the large parking area that the terminal will feature, it will be the perfect place for drivers to stop and take a break. Once construction is completed in January of 2022, gone will be the days of contracting out tanker and refrigerated wash services. No more waiting in line for tanker and refrigerated washouts because drivers will be able to utilize a whole new selection of bays including two tank washes, one refrigerated washout and one equipment wash bay. While the new terminal won’t include a typical truck wash facility, having access to the tank wash bays and other services will be a valuable resource for all drivers with customers in the area. Saving drivers time and making trip turnovers more efficient by offering washout services that are done in-house and at one central location was at the heart of Prime’s motivations when deciding where to build this new terminal. In addition to the washout bays, the new site will have the convenience of an onsite tractor/ trailer repair shop that includes three tractor/trailer repair shop bays, two trailer rebuild shop


BY THE NUMBERS 296 The number of parking spots at the Minooka terminal. That’s enough parking for drivers, associates and visitors.

24+ Prime is getting a new terminal, and this one is being built in Minooka, Illinois.

Minooka terminal will have “a nice driver’s lounge, driver showers, a driver laundry facility and a large outdoor pavilion on the south end of the terminal.” repair bays and a parts room bay. These important resources will make it easier for drivers to have repairs done on the road, which helps to achieve Prime‘s goal of making sure drivers have access to services that will make their lives easier and ensure a more successful trip. And what better way than to give them access to invaluable repair and wash services at the crossroads of I-80 and I-55, two main cross-country thoroughfares. While trucks are getting cleaned and serviced drivers will be able to enjoy amenities developed specifically for them. It might not be quite as large as the Springfield or Salt Lake City locations, but it still has plenty to help drivers relax while they take a break from the road. Mark Piley explains, the Minooka terminal will have “a nice driv-

er’s lounge, driver showers, a driver laundry facility and a large outdoor pavilion on the south end of the terminal.” The pavilion will include picnic tables and grills, so drivers can have the opportunity to cook the next best thing to a homemade meal. Not in the mood to cook? That’s okay; while this terminal won’t include a cafeteria, it is conveniently located right next to a Pilot truck stop. So food and fuel will be located only a short distance from the terminal. The Minooka location is not only perfect because of its proximity to vendors but because of its nearby access to large Northeastern and Midwest cities that are home to many Prime truck drivers. There’s also extra parking—a lot of extra parking. In fact, the new parking area is designed to be as accommodating to drivers as possible. The parking area will include separated long-term, bobtail, tractor/trailer and personal vehicle parking. That means drivers who live near the location now have a home base and a secure and safe place to park their vehicles, which makes trips home easier and less stressful. Not only does it make it easier to visit family, but it also opens up the possibility of drivers’ family members making short visits or accompany them on a trip. The parking lot will include 118 tractor/trailer spaces, 100 long-term driver

The number of acres the new terminal sits on. That’s enough room for Prime to add plenty of driver and in-house amenities including a driver’s lounge and vending room, showers, laundry room, training room and a separate office for Pedigree.

8 The number of bays at the new terminal. This includes two tank wash bays, one refrigerated wash bay, three tractor/trailer repair bays, two trailer rebuild bays

parking spaces and 42 associate and visitor parking spots. Minooka, Illinois, is sure to quickly become a favorite destination for drivers in all divisions who travel through the I-80, I-55 corridor. How could it not? A brand new terminal in a convenient and advantageous location, in-house wash bays and repair shops, a driver lounge, laundry facilities, showers, vast parking, outdoor pavilion and access to fuel and food only a short distance away: this terminal will be a tool to help drivers become even more successful. So get ready to enjoy the convenience and efficiency that come with the opening of the newest Prime Inc. terminal. PRIME WAYS

31


Family Ties

A DIAMOND

IN THE

Rough OTR driver Emandie Williams is a super mom and champion for women drivers. BY RAE SWAN SNOBL

s a single mom of four kids, Emandie Williams was struggling to make ends meet. She wanted to provide more for her family, so Things are not always smooth, but the know they can do anything they put their she started driving for Prime about three family has found ways to stay close. “I’ve minds to.” The Highway Diamond Faceyears ago. “I have high schoolers who missed out on Christmas when I was sit- book page is a place for drivers to ask queswanted to play sports and do dance and ting in an empty Walmart parking lot and tions, post achievements and milestones cheerleading, and I got tired of my kids have spent New Years and Thanksgiving at and voice concerns. “It’s a great place to having to go without,” she says. Working a truck stop,” Williams says. “It was hard, have a general conversation with a sister for Prime has allowed Williams to give her but we postponed our holidays till I came diamond,” Williams says. “The group gives kids a better life, and she recently bought back home.” She tries to ease the distance us our own independence. Whether you’re a house in Sparta, Missouri. by collecting refrigerator magnets from a single mom, wife or grandparent, it does Williams’s usual route has her out on different states she visits and has daily not matter. A diamond in the rough will althe road for three weeks and back home FaceTime and phone calls and plans fam- ways shine and can’t be broken.” for three days, and her route takes her ily dinners with game nights when she’s Williams carries this supportive energy throughout the Midwest, Texas and some- home. “Christmas consists of delivery box- with her in her training sessions and out times Colorado. She is also a CDL instruc- es and whatever gifts my daughter picks on the road. “I enjoy making a difference tor for Prime’s female drivers. With this up for me from the store,” Williams says. in others’ lives, seeing the different scenbusy schedule, Williams works hard to “Doctors appointments and parent teacher ery and meeting different people,” she says. maintain her family relationships. Her conferences are done via FaceTime.” “But it’s definitely hard leaving my kids and oldest daughter, Cheyenne, is a cashier Williams is also an active member of the family.” Williams put her kids’ names on in the Prime Cafe, and Cheyenne and the Highway Diamonds, where she can easily the side of her truck to take them with her childrens’ godmother help out at home connect with other women who drive for while she drives and always puts her famwhile Williams is away. “Having a good Prime. “The group allows us to make our ily first. “My advice for other OTR drivers support system, balancing work and fam- mark in this male-dominated industry,” is to just remember why you’re doing what ily and maintaining healthy relationships she says. “The goal is to give ladies support you’re doing—to better yourself and your through communication are the keys,” and guidance they might need to be suc- family.” Williams says. cessful, send positive energy and let them

32

PRIME WAYS

Photo courtesy Emandie Williams

A

▲ Driver Emandie Williams (center) and her kids work hard to stay in touch while she’s on the road. She says the key is having a strong support system both at home and on the road. For her, the Highway Diamonds is a big help when she needs a group to rely on while driving..


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 Prime Inc.

▲ Working Out Robert Pospisil and his TNT Trainee were waiting for their trailer to be loaded, so they snuck in a work out session at Planet Fitness. “It’s always nice to get a trainee with similar interest and wants to live the healthy trucker lifestyle,” Pospisil says.

▲ Camping: Sean Mattia Driver Sean Mattia had some down time one night, so he decided to find a campground and enjoy the outdoors. “It might cost a little more, but it’s worth every penny,” he says.

▲ Pose Challenge Driver Jaymes Peralta and his daughter, Mya, competed in a “pose off” challenge. “Everyday Mya sends a pose, and I imitate it then send her a challenge back,” he says. “Here is just a tiny sample of our silliness. This has been a fun way for us to feel connected while I am on the road.”

▲ Niagara Falls: Robert Pospisil When their load was rescheduled. Driver Robert Pospisil and his trainee took an Uber to Niagara Falls for the day.

PRIME WAYS

33


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