VOLUME 5 ISSUE 3
MEET THREE PRIME DRIVERS WHO HAVE FOUND A NEW WAY TO CHEER ON THEIR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAMS WHILE ON THE ROAD.
LEARN ABOUT ALL THE WAYS THE PRIME TEAM HAS FOUND SUCCESS DURING COVID-19.
2740 N. MAYFAIR AVE. SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803 417-866-0001 PRIMEINC.COM MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Clayton Brown RECRUITING AND MEDIA COORDINATOR Andrea Mueller RECRUITING AND ONBOARDING K risti Pinckney
PRIME COMPANY STORE SHOP IN-STORE
KATIE POLLOCK ESTES Editorial Director ETTIE BERNEKING Editor PAIJE LUTH Creative Director JENNA DEJONG Assistant Editor JAMIE THOMAS Staff Writer
Springfield, MO Salt Lake City, UT Pittston, PA
SARAH PATTON Art Director BRANDON ALMS Senior Photographer & Designer
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lucia Amberg, K aren Bliss, Tessa Cooper, Juliana Goodwin, Sam Messick, Susan Atteberry Smith, Rae Snobl, Lillian Stone
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeremy Brownheim, Oâ€™Bryan Chesley, Sharon Curtis, K en Jackson, Paije Luth, Andrea Mueller, Gary Ohmart
GIVE US A CALL 417-521-3814 (MO) 570-602-4793 (PA) 801-977-5903 (UT)
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LANDRA BUNGE Finance Director COLIN DENNISTON Administrative Assistant GARY WHITAKER Publisher LOGAN AGUIRRE President/ Associate Publisher MEGAN JOHNSON Vice President of Operations AMMIE SCOTT Vice President of Strategy and Senior Account Executive JOAN WHITAKER Vice President of Finance
ON THE COVER Peter Lyons’ Bruins-themed truck has hauled the team’s equipment. Learn more on p. 26.
Prime Ways 2020 PRIME WAYS| |August MARCH 2017
18 STORIES OF SUCCESS COVID-19 has disrupted lives and industries, but through it all, Prime has found success stories as teams have stepped up.
This Prime driver helped out at the scene of an accident he’ll never forget.
Ditch that bag of chips and learn which quick snacks will keep you full and healthy while on the road.
26 THE SPORTING LIFE Meet three Prime drivers who take their beloved sports teams with them while out on the road.
Learn how the SLC team discovered a creative way to dine out.
16 INSPECTION TIME If you haven’t passed through a Prime inspection bay, it’s about time! These bays can spot trouble before you get on the road and can save you time and money.
This family knew working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions would be chaotic. With four kids to entertain, this couple quickly learned they needed a new schedule to keep the kids and their own workloads under control.
Photos courtesy Peter Lyons (cover), Prime, Shutterstock, Gregory Prunty, Amber Bramel
When COVID-19 arrived on the scene in early March, Prime donated $700,000 to COX Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, to build a COVID-19 ICU.
Chat All the numbers, programs and announcements we think deserve a little extra attention in this quarter’s issue of Prime Ways.
$700,000 That’s how much Robert and Lawana Low donated on behalf of Prime to CoxHealth in Springfield, Missouri, so the hospital could build a 51-bed COVID-19 ICU. The donation covered all construction costs and helped the hospital complete the project In just two weeks. Turn to p. 7 to learn more.
OLNEY, ILLINOIS You’ve probably never heard of Olney, but if you’re driving through the Midwest, you should add it to the map. This is the home of one of Prime’s Olney facility, which shares a location with Wease Equipment, a full-service repair shop with full parts inventory. It also features a drivers’ lounge and secure parking on a 3-acre locked lot with video surveillance. The Olney facility also offers drug screenings, 24/7 emergency roadside repair, prewashed grab and go trailers, an EcoShred tire collection site and truck/trailer recovery. Want to learn more? Turn to p. 8.
ATTENTION INDEPENDENT DRIVERS! To help all of our contracted drivers, Prime has unveiled a new automated Fuel and Route recommendation program! The new program can be accessed through the app and helps independent drivers figure out which routes will give them the best gas prices. Learn more on p. 17.
Photo courtesy Prime Inc.
That’s the number of Prime associates who worked from home when COVID-19 first hit in early March. Before the pandemic, fewer than 10 associates worked remotely. Learn more about how Prime has adapted and succeeded during the COVID-19 pandemic on p. 18.
he challenge that COVID-19 has presented our company, the nation and the world will go down in history as one of the most physically and mentally strenuous times for all humanity. Our No. 1 goal during this pandemic has been to remain successful while keeping our associates and the Prime family safe and healthy. Navigating these unchartered waters hasn’t been easy and has made us pivot from a company culture of face-to-face contact to one of relevant and personal virtual communication. n this edition, you will find several examples of what we’ve done throughout these rough waters to not only eep the ship afloat but to sail through with great success. This success is a testament to the best driving and non-driving associates in the business. Hard work, dedication and a willingness to strive for perfection is what rime exemplifies. These things aren’t easy to do, and we only hire those who can do it. There is no time like now that highlights what our people can do. Nearly 50% of our in-house associates have had to quickly adapt to work from home and have done so in exemplary fashion. Our shop associates have had to get creative to keep our assets on the road and in working condition while dealing with the new challenges at home. Our hotel associates have had to change roles at times and work on sanitizing the hotel and Prime on a 24-hour basis. All of our food and beverage associates have continued to serve Prime and the general public safely. Our driving associates have always sacrificed time away from home, but now they are dealing with their loved ones possibly struggling during these times. s the largest refrigerated, flatbed, tan er, intermodal logistics transportation company in the nation, the industry’s best driving professionals have truly Delivered for America. Y ou are my Prime family, and I can’t thank you enough for the work you’ve done through all of this. We will get through this together. Challenge accepted.
Robert Low Prime Inc., C EO & F ou nd er PRIME WAYS
LIFE | AUGUST 2020
Accidents like this rollover are always a concern for drivers, and Ken Jackson understands the fear. He drove for Prime for many years before moving to an in-house role. Now, on his days off, he helps out at his friend’s tow company and the two assist at accident sites.
he will always
remember When it comes to crazy things happening on the road, Prime Inc. associate Ken Jackson will always remember helping save another driver’s leg. BY KAREN BLISS
en Jackson Sr., a foreman at Prime’s Pittston terminal, has seen a lot of truck accidents in his life, but he will never forget the accident where he helped keep a fellow driver from losing a leg. ac son had ust finished a -hour shift at Prime and was headed to visit a friend who owns a tow truck company. Jackson often works at his friend’s garage on his days off, and on this day his friend happened to be on the way to a truck rollover. That accident didn’t involve a Prime driver, but Jackson still agreed to go along. They were the first tow truc on the scene, Jackson says, and when they arrived, they could hear the driver screaming in pain. “The truck was up against the guardrail,” Jackson says. The driver was trapped in a 2to 3-foot space with his body stuck between the dash and the driver’s seat. The cab was destroyed and his leg was crushed. The fire department on the scene tried to get the driver out from the top of the cab, but they couldn’t safely free the driver.
Jackson gets called out to numerous accident sites, and the work he and his friend did to free one driver from a crash earned him the Courage Under Fire medal from the American Towman Association.
“We asked them to give us time. The fire department had tried to get him out of the top of the truck, but we cut the floor out of the bottom of the truck.”
Photos by Ken Jackson
— Ken Jackson Jackson says there were three trauma doctors on scene, the most he’s ever seen at one site, and he’s been called out to numerous accidents. The doctors said the only way to free the driver was to cut off his leg, but Jackson and his friend didn’t give up hope. “We asked them to give us time,” he says. After watching the attempt to rescue the driver from the top of the truck, Jackson and his friend tried a new solution—they cut the floor out of the bottom of the truc . Six and a half hours later, Jackson and his friend were able to pull the driver out of the truck, and an ambulance drove him to the hospital. “He was in a medically induced coma for two weeks,” Jackson says. “He probably won’t ever drive a truck again, but he’s alive, and he can walk.” Between the rescue and the clean-up, Jackson and his friend were at the scene for 18 and a half hours. For the work Jackson and his friend did,
they received medals from the American Towman Association. The medal is called the Courage Under Fire medal, and they were each presented with the award in December 2019. The award is especially meaningful for Jackson, who logged more than 3 million miles while driving for Prime before mov-
ing to an in-house job. That experience allowed Jackson to understand the driver’s predicament. “My biggest fear was always getting in an accident and being trapped in a truck,” he says. “I thought if I ever got trapped, cutting out the bottom of the cab might be the best way to get free.” Jackson’s move to working in-house happened after his daughter suddenly died in 2012. Right away, he knew he needed to be back home. “I have one child left, and I needed to be home with my son and my wife,” he says. He says he loved driving; he also loves working in-house, but mostly he just really enjoys working for Prime. “Prime is the best company I’ve ever worked for,” he says. “I’d do anything for Prime.” He says in his role now as a foreman, every day is different, and he never gets bored on the job, but whether he was driving a truck or is driving home from his in-house job, the goal is the same. “Y ou’re driving to get home,” he says. “At the end of the day my goal is to get home safely.”
Ken Jackson logged more than 3 million miles driving for Prime. Now, he’s a foreman at Prime’s Pittston terminal.
A simple salute In each issue of Prime Ways, we take a moment to highlight the veterans and service members who work at Prime. This time, we salute Zane Conyers and Wes Dishman. If you know a veteran who deserves some time in the spotlight, email us at AMueller@driveforprime.com. KAREN BLISS
“Every day you’re helping solve problems. Anything can happen that day while you’re working. It’s like a curveball, but not in a bad way, but you don’t end up doing the exact same thing you did yesterday. Each day is different.” —Zane Conyers
Military History: Conyers served his country for 12 years in the Army. In his first deployment in 2006, Conyers served as a truck driver where he did convoy security and protected supply trucks that moved between southern Iraq and northern Iraq. On his second deployment, he was a movement coordinator and helped control convoys coming in and out of his base in northern Iraq. In his final deployment in 2013, Conyers focused on airfield operations and controlled personnel and supplies coming in and out of a base in Afghanistan. Conyers says the military helped him develop a strong work ethic but notes if anyone is considering the service, they should be sure they’re 100% invested. “It can really mold you into a different person and help you understand different aspects of life,” he says. While in the Army, Conyers was promoted to an E5 sergent and received several Army awards and commendations including the Combat Action Badge and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, among others.
Prime Service: At Prime, Conyers started working in the Depart Calls department in 2013. At the time, Conyers was still between his second and third contract with the Army, and Prime allowed him to keep his job during deployment. In 2015, he became a fulltime dispatcher for the company, which is what he still does today. As a dispatcher, Conyers is in constant communication with drivers. Communicating through the Qualcomm, Conyers can assist drivers with delivery issues, pay questions, trip planning or whatever a driver needs. He says he really enjoys the job because it’s not repetitive, and he feels it is important and needed with what his fleet of drivers do every day. “Every day you’re helping solve problems,” Conyers says. “Anything can happen that day while you’re working. It’s like a curveball, but not in a bad way, but you don’t end up doing the exact same thing you did yesterday. Each day is different.”
“Military life is extremely stressful and hard to explain unless you have witnessed it, but the work ethic you obtain is unmeasurable.” —Wes Dishman
Military History: Dishman served in the United States Navy Submarine Force from 2007 to 2017 and was a torpedoman second class. He received five Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals along with two Battle E awards at two different commands. His main job was the safekeeping of the torpedo room, countermeasures, small arms and the anchor. He was the leading petty officer of the division with the job of loading and firing torpedoes if necessary and using countermeasures to deter enemy ships. During this time, he was a small arms marksmanship instructor, quality assurance inspector and drug and alcohol program advisor. “I went in not just to defend the country but also to become a man,” he says. “I was 21 when I enlisted and was in school, not enjoying it and starting to fail out. It was a way to get my life on track. It was definitely a wakeup call within the first 30 seconds of getting off the bus.”
Prime Service: Dishman joined Prime in 2018. When he first started out, he was a night shift intermodal and logistics dispatcher. Today, Dishman works in the mailroom, which he transferred to in 2019. There he helps funnel the packages and mail that come through the terminal while also helping other departments and sends supplies out as needed. He also helps in the driver cell phone program by ordering and activating cell phones drivers order. Like many service men and women who return to civilian life and begin looking for a new career, Dishman says transitioning from the military to civilian life and working at Prime was not always easy, but it taught him a lot. “Military life is extremely stressful and hard to explain unless you have witnessed it,” he says. “But the work ethic you obtain is unmeasurable.” That work ethic Dishman learned while in the service is being put to good use at Prime, where he has a family of other veterans by his side.
Photos courtesy Zane Conyers, Wes Dishman
words from the field
GOOD GRUB With a bit of imagination, one team member in Salt Lake City found a creative way to keep the team there fed while the new terminal was being built. BY JULIANA GOODWIN
BROTHERS BY TRADE W Each issue, we introduce a new guest blogger to talk about life on the road. This issue, Prime driver Jack Darden talks about his best friend and near look-alike, Tommy Pierce, and how the two have convinced their actual blood relatives to join Prime as well. BY JACK DARDEN
Photos courtesy Sharon Curtis, Jack Darden
Photos courtesy Zane Conyers, Wes Dishman
his story begins eight years ago when the paper mill closed in our hometown. That’s what kicked off me and Tommy ending up at Prime, but before we get to that, you need to know a little history. Tommy Pierce and I have known each other for more than 30 years. We met in the volunteer firefighter department, and we look like we could be brothers. In fact, many people think we are brothers. Now back to the paper mill. International Paper is where Tommy worked, so when it closed down, the mill paid for Tommy to go to truck driving school. That’s how he ended up at Prime. As for me, I’ve been a truck driver on and off for 20 years. After hearing Tommy talk about how good it was at Prime, I was finally talked into coming up to Pittston. That was more than three years ago, and I kick myself every day that I took so long to move to Prime. But that’s just the start of it. Both of our brothers also drive for Prime now. That happened over a year ago when my real brother, Jonathan Darden—I call him John Paul—asked me about Prime. Then last year after Tommy lost his mother, his brother Billy Ellis said he needed a change, and now he drives for Prime. Today, we’re all based out of Virginia. One time, I was pulling up to a receiver, and there was my brother John Paul. I still can’t believe he took to trucking. But I suppose it runs in the family. My father was a truck driver for years. He used to drive logging and farming equipment for a repair shop, and I used to ride with him quite a bit. I was the navigator. This just soothes my soul. It’s just me and Dandy—a min pin and Jack Russell mix. He’s my boss. To stay in touch, me, Tommy, John Paul and Billy call each other just about every day. I’ve talked with John Paul almost more since he’s been with Prime. Sometimes we’ll send each other photos from our drives. I love down South, especially Texas and Oklahoma. Billy loves running Northeast. Tommy loves the snow in the Northeast like Maine, and John Paul loves the South, too. I know we’re not all blood relatives, but we’re still family. We like to say we’re making Prime a family company.
hen the cafeteria at the Salt Lake City terminal was under construction, Sharon Curtis got creative. The standard go-tos including Chinese delivery and pizza were getting old, so she found a new solution.“A lot of drivers were getting really bored,” she says. “I thought why not try food trucks.” Curtis, an associate at the company store, scoured Facebook and found nearby food trucks willing to drive over to the Salt a e terminal. The first, a apanese food truc , agreed to come if she would guarantee $ 500 worth of business. If not, she’d have to the pay the difference. Luckily, that was never a problem. The food truck was so popular, other food trucks were soon contacting Curtis to see if they could park at Prime. Y ou name it, they had it: Mexican, Cuban, African, Caribbean, Hawaiian, Japanese, barbecue, sandwiches and more. The trucks served 550 to 700 Prime drivers each week plus another 100 in-house associates. Curtis’s idea was a hit.“The drivers loved it,” she says. “I tried lots of new foods that I had never tried. The African, Cuban and Caribbean is totally different, but the food is fantastic.”
READY TO HELP To help Springfield, Missouri’s, hospital systems prepare for COVID-19, Prime opened its checkbook. BY RAE SNOBL
rime has a long history of giving back to the communities it serves, so when Robert and Lawana Low learned that CoxHealth in pringfield, issouri, was in need of a dedicated unit to care for patients with COVID-19, they stepped up to help. In April, the Lows, on behalf of Prime, Inc., generously donated $ 700,000 toward the creation of a new COVID-19 ICU at Cox South hospital. The donation covered all construction costs associated with the ambitious project. In just two weeks, the unit went from just an idea to reality with a 51-bed, ward-style Intensive Care Ventilator Unit designed to care for a possible surge of COVIDrelated illnesses. “We are in this together,” Robert says. “We will persevere and defeat this virus. We thank our Prime Associates—in-house and drivers—who are certainly doing their part to keep essential goods moving throughout the nation. We also want to thank front-line health care workers and let them know: We support you!” PRIME WAYS
week in the life
Maintenance Manager for Prime Midwest Marty Mitchell knows his terminal in Olney, Illinois, is a useful hub for Prime drivers. Now he’s on a mission to spread the word.
Midwest Chances are, you don’t know much about Olney, Illinois. But if you’re crossing the Midwest for Prime, you should. BY RAE SNOBL
SATURDAY Mitchell assisted a truck and trailer broken down in the road. The driver’s brakes locked up because he hit road debris, which ripped off one of the brake chambers. The police were on site directing traffic down to one lane. Mitchell got the truck rolling again in
one hour from dispatch. “In an emergency situation, we always have an empty trailer that we can borrow a part off of to get a loaded trailer going,” Mitchell says.
MONDAY Mitchell checked on unattended loaded trailers. “Our goal is to provide clean, inspected and repaired trailers with no surprises,” he says. After that, he closed out repair orders in the computer to run payroll and ordered any necessary parts. Then Mitchell headed out to make shuttle runs from the Walmart Distribution Center 3 miles away. “We have a drop trailer agreement there that’s better than most because we remove the empty trailers when they get them unloaded,” Mitchell says.
TUESDAY Mitchell recovered a Pedigree sale trailer and loc ed it down for its final ride to rime’s pringfield terminal and then conducted parts inventory. Once that was complete, Mitchell inspected and repaired any trailers that were out of the ordinary while his associate Eric Stephens worked on the routine repairs.
WEDNESDAY Mitchell ran fuel service for the service truck, shuttle truck and a mobile wash unit. He chec ed and ad usted the fluids in
the equipment. “I feel we are the very best option for road repair at substantial cost savings,” Mitchell says. “Third party road repair can be sketchy, and the cost can be astronomical.” After addressing any inventory needs, he cleaned the drop lot before tag-teaming trailer repairs with Eric.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY Mitchell sent all warranty parts back to pringfield and wor ed to concentrate on trailer repairs. “We try not to have any trailers down,” he says. He puts a green tag in the display module when finished, which also serves as the wash receipt.
When you pick up an empty trailer at the Walmart D.C. in Olney, Illinois, there is a good chance it will need to be washed, inspected and potentially repaired. If you bring that trailer down the road to Prime’s Olney shop, use customer code WEOL, and Mitchell and his team can pick one up for you that is ready to go!
Photo courtesy Marty Mitchell
lney, Illinois, is the home of the white squirrel and boasts a large population of the albino critters, which has attracted national attention. But Marty Mitchell hopes the small town located along Highway 50 between St. Louis and Louisville will also become known to Prime drivers as a full-service hub. As the Maintenance Manager of Prime Midwest in Olney, Mitchell and his eight associates attend to a variety of driver needs. “We’re kind of like a convenient care clinic with ambulance service,” Mitchell says. They partner and share a location with Wease Equipment, a full-service repair shop with full parts inventory, a drivers’ lounge and secure parking on a 3-acre locked lot with video surveillance. Prime Midwest also offers drug screenings, 24/ 7 emergency roadside repair, pre-washed grab and go trailers, an Eco-Shred tire collection site and truck/ trailer recovery. All this keeps Mitchell very busy. Here’s a peek at one of his weeks at Prime Midwest.
close to home
Francisco Garcia Gutierrez came to the United States illegally at 14 years old to help support his family back in Mexico. After getting his green card, he earned his citizenship in 2020.
The Road to
Francisco Garcia Gutierrez came to the United States with only the essentials on his back. Today, he’s building a life he loves as a Prime associate. BY LILLIAN STONE
Photos courtesy Garcia Gutierrez
Photo courtesy Marty Mitchell
It was Gutierrez’s wife, Cristina, who encouraged him to pursue a career as a truck driver. Driving had long been Gutierrez’s dream.
or some Prime associates, the they could sneak across. “I had never done journey to Prime is straightfor- anything like that in my life,” he says. The ward. For others, Prime is a step border crossing was so harrowing that it led in a long, winding road. Francisco him to ma e a difficult decision. “ decided nel on Y ouTube. Fast forward to today: Garcia Gutierrez falls into the latter cate- I wasn’t going to come back to my country Gutierrez is a proud Prime driver and typigory. Gutierrez, who was born in central unless I became a legal United States resi- cally stays on the road for up to two months exico, first crossed the nited tates bor- dent,” he says. “I didn’t want to go through at a time. “I like the traveling,” he says. der in 1983. Now, more than 30 years later, crossing illegally ever again.” “It’s nice to get to know most of the United Gutierrez has since built a life for himself States this way.” utierrez is officially an merican citizen in the United States. He got his green card, as of February 20, 2020. Despite being on the road for up to two “I wasn’t making enough money in my got married and sent money back to his months at a time, Gutierrez was able to country,” he says. “I couldn’t even buy a family in Mexico—all while working toward work toward his citizenship over the course bike, and it was a struggle for my family. It his ultimate goal of citizenship. Of course, of the last year. “My dispatcher helped me was hard for my parents to feed us because he also joined the Prime team, a move he a lot and was very flexible when had apthere were nine of us kids.” That’s why, describes as the result of a lifelong dream. pointments with immigration,” he says. The at the age of 14, Gutierrez set out for the “I had always wanted to drive trucks, but I citizenship process took about six months United States in search of a way to support never had the courage to go for it,” he says. from start to finish, including submitting his family back home. “It was very scary, At the urging of his wife, Cristina, he start- his application and taking the citizenship especially when I was crossing the border,” ed to seriously explore trucking as a career, exam. For people interested in working he says. To cross the border, Gutierrez which is how he found Junior Honduras, a toward citizenship, Gutierrez has a simple and his party had to wait three hours for Prime trainer and vlogger with more than message: “Word hard, be honest and don’t immigration officials to wal away before 70,000 subscribers to his trucking chan- give up.” PRIME WAYS
WELLNESS | AUGUST 2020
Eric Mertens, Marcel Popa and Lottie Doffin stand outside the Happy Spine Chiropractic clinic housed at Prime’s Springfield, Missouri, terminal. Dr. Popa is the clinic’s chiropractor, and Doffin is his receptionist. The clinic has been a hit with drivers.
powerful tool to correct these, which is why Prime now offers a chiropractic program right in its pringfield wellness terminal. Mertens says this program arose organically. The Prime Driver Advisory Board, as well as a group of in-house associates, enthusiastically supported the idea of bringing a chiropractor on site, in part because it helps eliminate barriers to care, particularly for drivers. “For example,” Mertens says, “if a driver has to go anywhere that doesn’t have adequate truck parking, it makes just getting to the appointment so much harder.” When Prime began looking for the right chiropractor to bring on site, Dr. Marcel Popa was an obvious choice. Several drivers and in-house associates were Next time you drive through Springfield, already Popa’s patients. Mertens describes Popa’s apMissouri, stop at Prime’s headquarters for proach as highly patient-centered and efficient. “ f he on-site chiropractic care. can get you fixed up in two appointments, that’s great, Mertens says. BY LUCIE AMBERG The chiropractic program launched in February 2020. Initially, appointments were offered during two half-day periods each week, but the service was so popular, people were getting turned away. As a result, the program expanded to allow for more appointment e all know prolonged sitting contributes to joint and muscle pain. It’s one of the rea- times and even some walk-ins. Popa created a website for the program—chiroatsons institutions including the Mayo Clinic prime.com. There, you can learn more about his and Harvard Medical School recommend background and the services he provides, including incorporating regular movement breaks into your adjustment/ manipulation, electrical muscle stimulaworkday. But for drivers, who spend long hours at tion, flexion distraction, mechanical intersegmental the wheel, following this suggestion gets complicated. traction, kinesio taping and instrument/ impulse ad“Y ou can’t just pull the truck over and take a walk,” says justing. Y ou can even book your appointment right Eric Mertens, who works with Prime’s health and well- there, on the website. ness programs. “It’s not practical when you’re driving The biggest sign of the program’s value is how popular it’s been with drivers and in-house associates alike. a huge truck.” Over time, the physical demands and constraints of “Everybody loves it,” Mertens says. “I’ve been told by several people that after visiting Dr. Popa, they’d nevtruck driving can cause or exacerbate lower back pain er go to a different chiropractor again.” and spinal alignment problems. Chiropractic care is a
Photo by Andrea Mueller
By making large batches of vegetable soup in her Instant Pot, Prime driver Lorrie Knapp is able to eat healthy on the road.
on the Road Focus on whole foods to keep your diet on track. BY LUCIE AMBERG
Photo courtesy Shutterstock
f you ask Sarah Waterman about what foods to avoid while driving, her answer is simple—sort of. “I believe there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, but there are ones we want to focus on,” she says. As a registered dietitian at Prime, Waterman knows this answer might be frustrating for drivers who want clear guidance on how to eat healthfully while on the road. Luckily, truck stops have begun offering more whole foods like the ones Waterman recommends. Y ou might have to search for them and bypass heavily processed “roller foods” such as hot dogs and Tornados, but don’t get too frustrated. Waterman says to stay focused and reach for fruit, carrots and celery, boiled eggs or cheese sticks instead of that bag of chips. Even some packaged foods can be good options. Try looking at the ingredient list. f the list is short and easy to find, there’s a good chance you’ve snagged a healthful choice. “For example,” Waterman says, “Rx Bars list their ingredients on the front of the package. And it’s only a few things: dates, egg whites and almonds. ut if the product’s ingredient list is extensive or difficult to find on the pac aging, this might be a flashing warning sign. Healthy eating has benefits beyond your physical well-being, Waterman says. It supports everything from balanced sleep to stress management. Driver orrie napp nows this firsthand. n , she radically overhauled her diet and saw remarkable results. She now eats a plant-based diet with an emphasis on whole foods. K napp, who suffers from cardiovascular disease, made this change after a series of health challenges left her wondering how long she could continue
LORRIE’S VEGETABLE SOUP Ingredients 2 cups onion, diced 2 cups celery, chopped 2 cups carrots, diced Vegetable bouillon, to taste Water 1 head of cabbage, chopped Pepper, to taste Chopped kale (optional) Chopped spinach (optional) Instructions Lorrie puts all ingredients in her Instant Pot and cooks them on the “soup” setting. She then stores individual portions in her refrigerator. She often preps three times the amounts of veggies shown above; as she eats the soup, she continues adding extra vegetables to keep it full and satisfying.
driving her truck. Her doctor believed her disease had progressed so much that nothing could change it. Not willing to give up, K napp got curious about plant-based eating when she saw a doctor discussing it on The Ellen Show. Inspired, K napp switched her diet. Since making the change, she’s lost more than 50 pounds and significantly reduced her . ost importantly, she says, “Within two weeks of changing my diet, the pain ’d lived with for five years was gone. he now stocks her truck with healthy staples like oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, rice and beans. “It’s the easiest way to eat,” she says, “and the cheapest.” And most rewarding “ ’m years old, she says, “and don’t feel like it at all.” PRIME WAYS
PRIME GOOD DAD Anthony Eck Check out his feature on the blog & podcast on www.primegooddads.com! Many long haul drivers wonder about the impact of their absence on their children. While over-the-road (OTR) dads may not be physically present with their children as much as they would prefer, it doesn’t mean they are absent fathers. It may not be easy to be a good dad while also driving over-the-road, but it is possible. Good Dads provide for their children. Good Dads communicate with their children. Good Dads take an interest in their children’s activities. Good Dads model responsible, respectful behavior in caring for themselves and others. Prime Inc. cares about its drivers and their families. With the launch of Prime Good Dads, Prime is initiating practical, day-to-day strategies and activities to help dads stay connected to their kids, whether or not they’re driving across the country.
CONNECTING DADS AND KIDS FOR THE LONG HAUL
Visit www.primegooddads.com to sign up and learn more.
Congratulations to the 2019 highway Diamond award recipients! Excellence Award Reba HoďŹ€man
Emerald Cut Award Angie Sinnes
Highway diamond OF THE YEAR Sherina McConneyhead
Highway Diamonds is a program run by Prime, Inc. that oďŹ€ers support and recognition to their female drivers. The mission of the Prime Highway Diamonds program is to employ and support female drivers at Prime while recognizing and reducing challenges women may face in the transportation industry.
StRong. driven. women.
Visit www.highwaydiamonds.com to learn more.
TRUCKS & TECH | AUGUST 2020
how we roll
For the Red White and Blue When Glen Horack got his 11th truck, he knew exactly what theme he wanted for it—one that honored United States veterans. BY SUSAN ATTEBERRY SMITH
s Glen and K arla Horack roll down the highway, it’s hard for passersby not to pay attention to the gleaming, flame-red eterbilt big rig they’ve been driving these days. Honks, waves and even salutes from other vehicles greet the husband-and-wife team from Elkland, Missouri, as they cover some , miles a year for rime. ast year, the truc and trailer earned first place and eople’s Choice ward in the ride and olish truc competition. “We get other drivers taking pictures with the truck a lot,” Glen says. Here’s why: If others pass on the driver’s side, they’ll see names of Glen’s family members who have served in the U.S. military. On the passenger side, they’ll see names of service members from K arla’s side of the family. If they follow the Horacks’ truck, they’ll see the arine Corps motto and a classic World War photograph. nd if they face the Horac s on the highway,
they’ll hardly be able to ignore the Marine battle cry— H in all-caps and gold lettering. That battle cry, says Glen, a St. Louis native who served in the Marines from to , is “ ust part of being a arine. Glen designed the graphics, and Stripes & Stuff raphic igns of pringfield, issouri, brought the truc ’s loo to life. This is the th truc len has driven since oining rime years ago, and it came as a surprise to his wife of years, who didn’t expect the new rig to have a military theme. “He even surprised me with the color because I picked out yellow for the last two trucks,” K arla says. Now their new rig is bright red. Names on the rig might honor family members who served, but those aren’t the only names you’ll see on this truc . The couple carry mar ers with them so military veterans they meet in their travels can sign the trailer. “ t one point, there were to signatures, len says.
THE INTERIOR arine Corps d cor continues inside the cab, with red and black seats and the Corps’ insignia at the center of the steering wheel. The Horac s chuc le when asked whether the interior always stays clean. “It gets pretty dirty in the wintertime,” Glen says. “Usually, one of us is sleeping, and the other is driving all the time.”
RALLY CALL The hood of the Horacks’ new rig displays the Marine battle cry, OORAH. Glen says any Marine will recognize the slogan instantly. To give the decal even more of a patriotic sheen, Glen included imagery from the American flag.
FAMILY MEMORIES The driver’s side bears len’s name and the names of five family members all U.S. Marines, including his late father, Joseph Horack, and his uncle Ralph Horac . “That’s the reason went in, because my dad and uncle were in the arines, len says. hotos of len’s family can also be found inside the truc .
Photos courtesy Prime
THE PASSENGER’S SIDE Besides Glen’s brother Mike Horack, a U.S. rmy veteran, arla’s family is named on the passenger’s side. There’s her father, the late aul . Wilson, a World War veteran, and five others all . . avy service members except for arla’s mother. During World War II, Dorothy Wilson was one of the first women to serve in the . . Coast uard, len says.
The urple Heart emblems on the driver’s side and the truck’s Fifth Wheel Cover honor the memory of len’s dad, oseph Horac . “That’s for my dad, because he was wounded in orea, len explains. ast December, he and K arla remembered other veterans by delivering evergreen wreaths to Missouri veterans cemeteries for the national Wreaths cross merica program. PRIME WAYS
The new inspection bays at Prime’s Salt Lake City terminal allow tractor mechanics to spot issues on trucks and trailers before a driver hits the road.
In-bound Inspection Bays Pay off Tractor inspections at in-bound bays are improving safety, efficiency and saving drivers money. BY JULIANA GOODWIN
ody tteberry grew up in pringfield, issouri, and often drove past rime head uarters. His cousin had wor ed for the truc ing giant, and that planted a seed for tteberry. “ t was a mecca, he says. “ t was this big campus. There was a lot of hustle and bustle. t ust loo ed li e the ind of place you wanted to be.” tteberry oined the company in as a tractor mechanic. Today, he manages the rime body shop in alt a e City, tah, which can now tackle tractor inspections at the in-bound bays—a new feature at the terminal. The bays are designed to increase efficiency, save money and time and catch problems before they arise. “We loo for T violations, windshield, body and paint damage and red flags for tire failure or mechanical failure on truc s and trailers, tteberry says. “ f it is a T violation, safety is our primary concern, so we can’t let that roll.”
Other issues that do not pose a safety risk, such as body and paint repairs, can be scheduled right then or at a later date. This allows the truck driver to pick a convenient time and lets mechanics now when to expect a truc . “ t ma es the process more fluid, tteberry says. If a truck breaks down on the side of the road and a third party has to repair it, it’s costly for the driver and ultimately the fleet. This way, tteberry and the other mechanics can tac le problems before they arise and resolve any issues in-house. It saves time and money for drivers, and the extra wor is welcomed by rime technicians who are incentive-based. Even better, the advanced scheduling prevents backlogs within the shops. The first tractor inspection bay was implemented in pringfield, issouri, but the bays are now in use in ittston, ennsylvania, and alt a e City, tah. The results are being monitored in each city, and already, the bays have dramatically increased efficiency. “ t helps out with safety, which is our highest calling, tteberry says. “ t reduces expensive repairs and costly downtime while on the road because we are catching stuff before it fails. The drivers appreciate the heads up when something is going wrong. Our drivers’ primary focus is hauling freight, so by having our skilled technicians alert them of these red flags, it gives them a sense of confidence and safety here at rime. They are able get these items tackled then and there.”
Photos by Paije Luth
Cody Atteberry manages the Prime body shop at the Salt Lake City terminal.
tech update Brad Owens is Prime’s Enterprise Project Engineer II, which means he’s mister fix-it when it comes to any IT problem.
app Update Prime has a new tool for independent drivers to help them save money and time. BY SAM MESSICK
High Tech There’s no such thing as a typical day when you work in IT at Prime, but Brad Owens wouldn’t have it any other way. BY JULIANA GOODWIN
Photo by Gary Ohmart
Photos by Paije Luth
rad Owens chuckles when asked what a typical day on the ob loo s li e. “ orget it. There is no typical day,” he says. “I could ma e a list one day for the next day, and it will be useless when I come in. uipment gets damaged on rooftops, Wi-Fi goes out. I go out to solve the problem. s nterprise ro ect ngineer , Owens runs technology behind the scenes at rime. He’s been with the company for a decade, but often times, people don’t necessarily know what he’s doing or even what some of it means. or example, he runs the ronos Cloc s, a wall-mounted clock that team members use to clock in and out of work. He works on voltage communications, the camera system, access control and door security and builds the networ and T closets. Growing up in Emporia, K ansas, Owens was fascinated by technology. wens got into low voltage T wor bac in K ansas when he worked for a nuclear power plant. When his wife earned her master’s degree and got a ob offer
in pringfield, issouri, they relocated. That was years ago. Owens started as a contractor for rime but was eventually offered a fulltime ob. nitially, that ob split wens’ time between T and maintenance. Over the years, Owens has learned a lot more about the T side. “ too classes. did a lot of fire suppression, paging and music. nd some audio and video, too, he says. “I love learning new things and trying to keep up with industry standards when you work around highly motivated people.” For someone who thrives on change, wens has found his groove at rime. There is never a dull moment. “ rime is great,” Owens says. “Everyone is welcoming and good to one another. That ma es percent of the career. f you li e who you are working with and they treat you fairly, you will stay and en oy doing what you do. We are always upgrading to new e uipment, new cameras, servers, audio, video for meetings and Wi-Fi technology. I stay pretty busy.”
As part of Prime’s ongoing efforts to minimize operating costs for our independent contractors, Prime is excited to announce the automated Fuel and Route recommendation program. Effective as of May 21, 2020, all Prime independent contractors now automatically receive a Fuel and Route recommendation at the time of dispatch. Because independent contractors previously had to manually submit a Macro 27 in order to receive a Fuel and Route recommendation, many operators would forget to submit a Macro 27 until they were nearly out of fuel. Requesting a Fuel and Route recommendation when a unit is low on fuel greatly limits the potential cost savings the optimizer can provide. With the new, automated Fuel and Route program, independent contractors receive a recommendation at the time of dispatch, which allows the optimizer to provide a high-quality recommendation. Fuel and Route recommendations include fuel stops and routing that should be utilized during a dispatch to minimize operating costs. The Fuel and Route optimizer considers more than 100 variables when providing a recommendation for a dispatch. Some of the variables considered when generating a recommendation include: fuel costs, toll costs, out of route costs, state fuel tax costs, asset utilization costs and the value of your time. As you can see, the Fuel and Route optimizer is analyzing many more costs factors than an individual would be capable of analyzing on each dispatch. If followed, the Fuel and Route optimizer can significantly decrease the operating costs for an operator. If you have any questions or feedback about the Fuel and Route optimizer, please contact the fuel desk at 800-641-4068. Your feedback is very valuable to Prime as we continue to try and maximize the value of the optimizer to operators.
COVID SUCCESS S Between stringent screening measures, long hours and heartwarming community partnerships, Prime associates found ways to band together during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. BY LILLIAN STONE
S STORIES T
he nation is still reeling from this year’s 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented health crisis led to hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide, a national economic crisis and a terrifying new normal for countless Americans. But through it all, Prime associates have shown incredible courage and resilience in their efforts to keep the American supply chain moving. At the pandemic’s onset, Prime’s leadership team sprang into action, enacting research-driven company policy to prevent widespread infection. n the road, rime drivers stayed flexible in the face of demanding hours, inconvenient driving conditions and anxiety-induc-
ing infection numbers across the country. While no industry went untouched during the height of the pandemic, Prime associates bravely stayed the course. Now, as the world slowly creeps back to a new normal, Prime is stronger than ever before. Prime remained focused on community engagement by donating money to CoxHealth’s C C in pringfield, issouri, and connecting with organizations like the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, in addition to rapidly employing creative measures to protect associates. The result was an uncanny team-wide unity—and a number of success stories that speak to the power of Prime. These are just a few of those stories.
Emily Smith works at The Oasis in Springfield and helped fill and distribute bottles of hand sanitizer to Prime drivers and associates.
KEEPING DRIVERS SAFE Ben was able to acquire 2,200 empty soda bottles, which rime associates filled with bulk hand sanitizer and left for drivers at a pringfield truc bay. “ ’ve been here for almost 20 years now, and our company is celebrating its 100th year of being family-owned, en says. “Coca-Cola’s contributions to the community really make you feel good—to know you work for a company that really makes an impact. Prime is another company that just goes above and beyond for the community.”
Ozarks Coca-Cola donated the empty bottles for Prime to use. The bottles were filled with hand sanitizer, which drivers and in-house associates could pick up and take with them to stay safe while on the road.
▲ When Prime couldn’t find travel-size bottles of hand sanitizer, the team got creative. Angie Reynolds came up with the idea to fill empty bottles with hand sanitizer, and her husband, Ben, who works at Ozarks Coca-Cola donated the bottles needed. Photos by Andrea Mueller, courtesy Shutterstock
etween mass grocery store runs and online store markups, hand sanitizer became nearly impossible to find during the onset of the pandemic. That left Prime’s leadership team wondering how to protect associates on the road. Fortunately, the team was able to track down large quantities of bulk hand sanitizer—but no travel-sized containers. That’s where Ozarks Coca-Cola came in. To solve the problem, Angie Reynolds, who works in Prime’s payroll department, worked with her husband, Ben Reynolds, a district sales manager at Ozarks Coca-Cola.
irector of Leasing Darrel Hop ins has been with Prime for 25 years, but the COVID-19 pandemic shed light on Prime’s community ties in new ways. “When you have a situation like COVID, where people are presented with emotional, financial and physical challenges, you see the people you work with every day stepping up and doing things to help others, Hop ins says. That was true on and off the road—like when Prime drivers received 50 COVID care packages from residents of the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, a home for abused and neglected boys between the ages of 10 and . “The boys too a tour at rime’s pringfield terminal a while bac , and they were very impressed with our drivers,” Hop ins says. “Then, when they were given the opportunity to give back during COVID, they chose Prime drivers.”
▲ Prime’s Springfield terminal received dozens of care packages for drivers from the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch. The boys chose to give back to Prime drivers after touring the terminal and hoped the care packages would keep drivers safe and encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The packages included toiletries, hand sanitizer and healthful snacks to encourage Prime drivers to keep on trucking during the public health crisis. “The fact that these young men took time to put care packages together for drivers they don’t
even know—it makes you appreciate our connections with the community, Hop ins says. “ t reinforces that made the right decision when I came to work for Prime 25 years ago.”
The New Office As the pandemic reached its peak, hundreds of Prime associates began working from home to slow community transmission. Check out this by-thenumbers look at Prime associates’ shift to working from home.
Prime associates worked from home during the height of the pandemic. Fewer than 10 Prime associates worked from home before the pandemic.
Prime driver Dee Sova is an ambassador for drivers across the country and has often been called on by national media outlets to talk about how COVID-19 impacts drivers.
“Before you even finished your current load, you were already scheduled for the next load. You’d take your 10-hour break and then get up and go on to the next job.”
A VOICE FOR DRIVERS
s a 2019 America’s Road Team Captain, Dee Sova is an ambassador for drivers across the nation. That unique responsibility took on new urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic, when drivers had to juggle demanding hours and public health uncertainty to get the ob done. “ was constantly washing my hands and wiping down the truc every other day, ova says. “ n the beginning it was hard to find mas s, so I was wearing plastic gloves and using a bandanna to cover my face.” According to Sova, drivers had to get creative in a
number of unexpected ways for example, finding par ing spots when rest areas were closed, or accessing food when fast food restaurants wouldn’t allow drivers to walk up to drive-thru windows. “That stress was a lot to bear, ova says. “There was also an increase in loads. efore you even finished your current load, you were already scheduled for the next load. ou’d ta e your hour break and then get up and go on to the next ob. In the end, drivers like Sova leaned into a public service-oriented mission to get the ob done. “ ur goal was to ma e sure our customers were satisfied, ova says.
Answering The Call How the Oasis Hotel sanitation team sprang into action to keep Prime’s Springfield terminal germ-free during the height of the pandemic. Who: Oasis and Prime partnered to form a COVID-19 sanitation task force that included all department heads. When: The team met multiple times per week at the pandemic’s onset and now meets weekly to keep the facility clean during national reopening. Why: The goal is to take Prime’s cleanliness to a new level and eliminate germs on public touch points and selfservice areas.
— Dee Sova
Drivers also relied on Prime for day-by-day communication while on the road. “They ept us informed, ova says. “Whether that was filling us in on the number of associates working from home and how that was going to affect us, or providing us with hand sanitizer and masks and taking our temperatures at all terminals.” espite the unexpected crisis, rime’s associates stood together—and came out even stronger. “ obody was ready for this, ova says. “ ever in my years of driving did I think I’d be driving through something like this. But Prime had our backs the whole time.”
Photos courtesy Dee Sova, Shutterstock
hen the World Health rganization declared C - a global pandemic on arch , health professionals including Dr. John Abraham were forced to reckon with the new normal. braham, a pringfield-based family medicine doctor for rime associates, explains the three steps he too to control the outbrea within rime’s pringfield facility.
STEP ONE: GATHER INFORMATION
STEP TWO: MANAGE THE OUTBREAK
STEP THREE: PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
“When C became a pandemic, spent a lot of time digesting the news and trying to figure out procedures to eep drivers safe,” Abraham says. Ultimately, Abraham worked with Prime leadership on two major priorities: to protect drivers from the virus, and to quarantine symptomatic cases before the drivers spread the virus further. Abraham required every Prime driver to take a temperature test and answer a questionnaire upon entering terminals, while in-house associates began working from home in waves.
Once multiple positive cases were identified, rime leadership had to get creative. Prime set up a quarantine wing at a nearby Campus Inn and required a negative COVID test before drivers were allowed back on the road. While COVID-positive drivers recovered in the quarantine wing, Prime staff provided them with meals and other necessities. With those measures, Prime was able to assist drivers and work to slow the spread of COVID.
“We never thought we’d see a pandemic of this scale, and the world was obviously very ill-e uipped, braham says. “ oving forward, I recommend that organizations like ours have an action plan in place, as well as a wellness champion who can spearhead the process and make sure information is consistent.” Abraham also advises organizations to keep associates informed every step of the way. “With C , we saw uite a bit of contradicting information,” he says. “ t can be hard to sift through if you don’t have the medical background to identify fact from fiction. PRIME WAYS
▲ Prime driver Kevin Marquis tested positive for COVID-19 and spent 28 days quarantined until he tested negative. Once he recovered and went home, his family, including his grandkids, were happy to welcome him back.
hen evin ar uis tested positive for COVID-19, he was understandably nervous. “ was the first driver in pringfield to be diagnosed, and ’m a diabetic, ar uis says. “ o even though my symptoms turned out to be mild, I was a little uneasy.” As the first of positive C cases identified in the pringfield terminal, ar uis headed to the Campus Inn quarantine wing to recover until he tested negative 28 days later. ar uis and his wife, endra, were pleasantly surprised by the level of support he received while in uarantine. “They pro-
vided all of my meals, and Prime Training rogram anager tan aster e even went to Walmart to get me some allergy medicine.” At one point, the wing attendants even pic ed up ar uis’s beverage of choice iet epsi. o, how did ar uis pass the time “ mostly ust watched tons of TV,” he says, laughing. ow fully recovered, ar uis is than ful for Prime’s support, but he hopes his experience will be a lesson to those easing up on preventative measures. “ don’t thin people should relax ust yet, ar uis says. “ bove all, you should wear a mas , as well as keeping your distance from others.”
“I was the first driver in Springfield to be diagnosed, and I’m a diabetic. So even though my symptoms turned out to be mild, I was a little uneasy.” — Kevin Marquis
Photos courtesy Kevin Marquis, Shutterstock
LIFE IN QUARANTINE
ABOVE THE CALL
Photos courtesy Prime, Shutterstock
Photos courtesy Kevin Marquis, Shutterstock
s Prime’s Corporate Director of Security, Bill Boehning is focused on the safety of Prime associates. That’s why, when the COVID pandemic reached pringfield, oehning mobilized his security team to go above the call of duty and rigorously screen Prime associates for COVID symptoms. To be safe, the security team became responsible for taking all associates’ temperatures as they entered both the Prime laza and main entrance those with temperatures of 100.4 or higher were not allowed to enter the property. “ ll security associates are going above and beyond,” Boehning says. He’s especially grateful for their service given his own experience He contracted C in mid- arch and was completely out of commission for days. “ don’t remember a lot other than occasionally getting out of bed, oehning says. “ lost 20 pounds in 14 days. I didn’t have enough energy to walk from my bed to the couch. There were a few days where I wasn’t sure if I would wake up again.”
▲To keep the number of COVID-19 cases limited at its terminals, Prime’s security teams started taking the temperatures of everyone who entered the properties. They weren’t the only ones helping out. Multiple Prime team members outside of security jumped in to take temperatures.
“I don’t remember a lot other than occasionally getting out of bed. I lost 20 pounds in 14 days. I didn’t have enough energy to walk from my bed to the couch. There were a few days where I wasn’t sure if I would wake up again.” — Bill Boehning
As a driver, showing team spirit for your favorite athletic club might look a little different for you when attending home games isn’t often an option. Maybe you show your support by paying a little extra on your data plan, so you can watch the game during your team driver’s shift. Or perhaps you listen on the radio and rely on your favorite sports broadcaster to narrate what you can’t see. Here, we profile three drivers who’ve taken their commitment a step further with their sports-themed trucks. BY TESSA COOPER
Prime driver Peter Lyons is a big Bruins fan, so when he called the team and asked if he could haul any equipment for them, they saw his Bruins-themed truck and said yes!
LEASE OPERATOR Truck Theme: Boston Bruins
Photos courtesy Shutterstock, Peter Lyons
eter Lyons has driven with Prime for 10 years, which means he’s carried countless loads. But there is one type of precious cargo he’ll never forget delivering. n five separate occasions now, he’s gotten to haul equipment for the Boston Bruins. How did this come about? Lyons, who operates a Boston Bruins-themed truck, simply called the team’s phone number listed online and asked if they needed help. t wasn’t his first time connecting with the team, but it was the first time they said yes. “I had been trying to get a hold of the Bruins, and just last year, I had the general manager and his son drive by me in a traffic jam,” he says. “He rolled down his window and yelled, ‘Hey, I love the truck!’ I couldn’t believe it was Don Sweeney.” Riding the high from meeting Sweeney, Lyons decided to get in touch with the Bruins. “Usually, I just get brushed off be-
“IT IS AMAZING THAT WORKING FOR PRIME HAS TURNED INTO THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET CHILDHOOD IDOLS.”
— PETER LYONS
cause they probably have 100,000 fans trying to reach out to them,” he says. “So, I looked them up online and lo and behold, the Boston Bruins have a 1-800 number. I called it, and the girl on the other end of the phone literally answers the phone, ‘Boston Bruins.’ So I told her about my truck and how I wanted to help haul equipment for the playoffs… The rest is history.” Lyons has been operating a Bruinsthemed truck for more than six years, and his current truck marks the third rendition of it. The placement of the Bruins logo on the hood sends a clear message of his fandom to drivers who spot his truck in their rearview mirrors.
Peter Lyons is a huge fan of the Boston Bruins, so naturally he themed his truck after the team.
When he’s away from home but not hauling hockey equipment during a season, he’s either following the game on the radio while driving or watching on his tablet in between shifts. But his favorite way to watch is in-person at the arena. “Usually, I take my daughter,” he says. “It’s turned into a thing. She is 28 now, but every year we go to one game together, just me and her. No mom, no friends, no nothing. Just dad and daughter going to a hockey game.” Growing up just an hour outside of Boston, Lyons has been a Bruins fan for the majority of his life. He remembers watching the Bruins on channel 38 on Saturdays with his dad in the late ’70s, back when it only aired in black and white. “It is amazing that working for Prime has turned into the opportunity to meet childhood idols,” he says. PRIME WAYS
LEASE OPERATOR Truck Theme: Detroit Red Wings
f Jeremy Brownheim ever attends a Detroit Red Wings trivia night, we’d place our bets on him. This Prime driver can name each year the team took home the Stanley Cup, the opposing team and the coach that led the Red Wings to victory. “I’m a die-hard fan,” he admits. “Hockey is really the only sport I follow. When we’re knocked out of the playoffs, I’ll follow to see who wins and, of course, I’m rooting for anybody who’s the underdog.” So when Brownheim saw Prime’s Y ouTube of Peter Lyons and his Boston Bruins-themed truck at Bruins Fest, he knew he wanted to dedicate his truck to the Detroit Red Wings. Now, drivers can spot the team’s mascot, Al the Octopus, on his truck’s hood, along with the team’s logo on both sides of his truck. For Brownheim, personalizing his truck in this way has made his job even more enjoyable. He loves the sense of camaraderie he feels when he meets fellow fans. Although he has only been operating this
“A COMPLETE STRANGER AND HIS KID CAME UP TO ME AND JUST WANTED TO CONGRATULATE ME AND SEE THE TRUCK AND TAKE PICTURES OF IT BECAUSE THEY ARE FANS OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS.” — JEREMY BROWNHEIM truck since January 2020, he already has one memory of driving through a competitor’s territory that will stand out forever. “When I was down in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, waiting on a load, a complete stranger and his kid came up to me and just wanted to congratulate me and see the truck
and take pictures of it because they are fans of the Detroit Red Wings,” he says. “I even got out and had the kid pose with the truck while his dad took a picture of him.” Brownheim also enjoys the playful jabs he gets when he meets an opposing team’s fan. When he is driving through Nashville Predators territory in Tennessee, he sometimes gets friendly offers to help him “tear the sticker off his truck.” Despite a busy delivery schedule, he is able to stay up-to-date when the Red Wings hit the ice. Brownheim purchased a TV Satellite package that records games. Using an external hard drive, he can watch games as soon as he parks the truck for the day. Although Brownheim admits this wasn’t a great year for the Red Wings, he’s excited for the team to rebuild with the help of the new general manager and Vice President Steve Y zerman, who became the team’s youngest captain in 1986 at age 21. “This year was the worst we’ve ever been since I’ve been watching,” he says. “I mean, we only won 17 games before COVID-19 hit. And for 20 years we were on top. Anybody who was into hockey knew who the Red Wings were. We were always in the playoffs. But no matter what, I am still a fan.”
Photos by Jeremy Brownheim
As a huge Red Wings fan, driver Jeremy Brownheim added the team’s mascot, Al the octopus, to the hood of his car and made sure to include more Red Wing decals on his truck.
Yellow might not be the traditional color of the KC Chiefs, but it’s the color driver Gregory Prunty’s kids selected for his Chiefs-themed truck.
LEASE OPERATOR Truck Theme: Kansas City Chiefs
Photos by Gregory Prunty
es, Gregory Prunty drives a K ansas City Chiefs-themed truck, but no, it’s not red and gold. It’s bright yellow with light blue stripes on the side. The Chiefs’ logo decorates the truck’s hood, but instead of the traditional white arrowhead, it’s blue. That’s because designing Prunty’s truck was a family affair. “The truck is kind of dedicated to my kids, too because I let them pick the colors,” he says. “I got to get the logo, but it is not the Chiefs’ colors. I compromised with the kids because I love my children. My daughter picked the stripes and my son picked the colors. I had to work with them.” In light of the Chiefs’ 2020 Super Bowl victory, the present is a great time to be one of the team’s fans. He got to watch the big game at one of Prime’s terminals in Salt Lake City with other drivers, and Buffalo Wild Wings Catered. “We ate pretty good that night,” he says. “I still talk to a few of those guys.” Although Prunty has been rooting for the Chiefs for years, his commitment to the team grew stronger when he started dating his now-wife, who was a big Washington Redskins fan. The two have a friendly rivalry since the Chiefs have won every game against the Redskins since she and Prunty have been together. It’s not just the truck’s exterior paint that reps Prunty’s Chiefs Nation pride. He also displays a flag on the dashboard and one hangs in his sleeper. He even has a Chiefs license plate. “I like adding Chiefs Easter eggs all throughout the truck,” he says.
“I COMPROMISED WITH THE KIDS BECAUSE I LOVE MY CHILDREN. MY DAUGHTER PICKED THE STRIPES AND MY SON PICKED THE COLORS. I HAD TO WORK WITH THEM.”
— GREGORY PRUNTY
Prunty gets a lot of attention on the road. “I’ve been honked at and had other drivers come to talk to me when they see the truck, and they like it, and customers have said they’ve liked the truck,” Prunty says. Then he jokingly adds, “But actually I haven’t been to San Francisco in it yet, so I don’t know about getting told off.”
Prunty began operating his Chiefsthemed truck in early spring, but he’s already gotten to drive it through the team’s home base. “Oh, I get a whole lot of honks going through K ansas City and that area,” he says. “Everybody there likes it. I see people flashing their headlights heading in the opposite direction.” PRIME WAYS
TERMINAL TALK | AUGUST 2020 The new wash bay in Salt Lake City has two wash stations, which means drivers don’t have to wait in line as long to have their rigs cleaned.
Steam Cleaned Salt Lake City’s amenities building is nearly done, but that’s not the only new addition to this growing terminal. A new and bigger wash bay and pet washing station have also arrived.
ince July, drivers en route along U.S. Interstate 80 have had some new perks to look forward to when they stop at Prime’s terminal in Salt Lake City, Utah. Besides routine maintenance, a new and larger wash bay and on-site detailing and installations shop helps drivers back on the road quicker and keeps their trucks in great shape. Construction of the new wash bay began about a year ago as more traffic started flowing through Salt Lake City. And while the terminal originally had a one-bay wash station, Detail Manager O’Bryan Chesley says it lacked the capabilities and size needed. “It was just too small,” Chesley says. “It only had one bay, and there was no room to work on detailing.” That meant Chesley and his team had to detail a truck’s interior and exterior outside in the elements. “Out here in Salt Lake, the winters can be extremely cold,” Chesley says.
Photos by O’Bryan Chesley
BY SUSAN ATTEBERRY SMITH
The crew at the wash bay can also take care of installations, and as traffic at the terminal increases, Prime is hiring team members to work on installations.
The new bay, along with a second wash station, features a detailing shop, which means Chesley can say goodbye to those harsh winter temperatures. It also has a steam bay that can steam underneath the trucks’ engines. “We like the steam underneath the frame to get all the road grime off.” Chesley says. This feature is also a plus for Prime’s Pedigree team in Salt Lake City. “When we are selling a truck, then we have to get them really clean,” Chesley says. “We’ll fix anything that’s damaged including on the inside of a truck.” That’s good news for drivers even if they’re not looking to buy or sell their
drivers won’t find at your average suds and trucks. Chesley and his team can repair just wash—a dog wash station. The dog-washabout anything. Have a rip in a curtain? No ing station, Chesley says, is “nice for drivers problem. Chesley’s team can fix that and because they’ve got their dog in there with make sure drivers can catch some shut eye them, and their dogs can get stinky.” The even in the middle of the day. Seat covers new dog wash station is connected to the and cabinets are also on the list of common wash bay with glass front doors welcoming repairs. Installations are another big draw drivers and their canine co-pilots. At press at the Salt Lake City wash bay. When plans for the new wash bay were being finalized, time, the dog wash station was still under adding the ability to tackle truck installa- construction, but Chesley says the project should be completed by the end of summer. tions was a must. In fact, Prime is hiring Between keeping the exterior and interinew team members to work on installations or of Prime trucks spick and span and now including satellites and headache racks. adding a way for drivers to keep their furry When all is said and done, Chesley says friends looking and smelling good as well, it takes about 20 minutes for a truck to go the new wash bay is expected to be a big hit. through the wash bay, and just like your normal car wash, drivers can take that time “We can get trucks clean and get on their to relax in their cabs. “It’s just like a nor- way,” Chesley says. “It’ll make a big difference and will keep trucks looking great and mal car wash,” Chesley says. “Except this is operating great.” much bigger.” It also has a new feature most
BY THE NUMBERS 22
It takes 22 gallons of water on average to clean a trailer. Prime reuses that water.
It takes 20 minutes to clean the exterior of a truck, not including the steam clean.
A truck wash costs $35, unless the driver hooks to one of the Prime trailers, then it’s $10.
The SLC team cleans around 40 trucks a day and hopes to increase that number.
The new wash bay has two washing stations, which means the wait time is reduced.
The new wash bay includes an attached dog wash station with 1 pet bay. PRIME WAYS
▲ Blake and Amber Bramel both work at Prime, and the couple has four kids. So having to work from home was not the easiest transition.
WAY OF LIFE
a second computer, and set up an office in “Before this, my day started at 4:45 a.m., and it was chaos trying to get all of us ready our bedroom,” Amber recalls. “We also had and out the door to be at school at 6:30 a.m. to go buy a lot more groceries since we’d be when they opened the doors for drop off, eating every meal at home instead of just When COVID-19 suddenly get the younger two dropped off at daycare dinner!” after the commute, and then make it to my Figuring out how to work from home caused schools and offices to desk. I was frazzled every morning before while teaching their young children on close, this family of six had to find my work day even started.” tablets and laptops was a bit of a challenge a new system and a new routine. Without this morning chaos, Amber and at first, but the family finally developed a BY RAE SNOBL Blake were able to be clocked in and workrhythm, and things got easier. “We made ing at 7:00 a.m. every day. They also found a very fluid routine that included free-play that they had a lot more time to spend totime in the mornings after breakfast, school gether as a family. At night, the Bramels work time, crafts, outdoor time (or inside enjoyed a family walk around the neighworkouts for rainy days) and then indepenhen Blake and Amber Bramel borhood or played in the backyard with the dent reading time in the afternoons before first learned they would be kids. They had time to make a fresh dinner dinner for the kiddos,” Amber says. On working from home due to from scratch and relax as a family. some stressful days, the schedule had to the COVID-19 outbreak, they “Going, going, going all the time and be relaxed, but the Bramels found that it weren’t too concerned. The Bramels both being busy isn’t necessarily a good thing,” helped the kids to know what to expect, so work for Prime. Amber is a Sales Assistant Amber says. “Spending quality time with they weren’t constantly trying to keep them in Refrigerated Sales and Blake is a your family doing outdoor activities toentertained. The biggest challenge the Maintenance Advisor in the Road Assist gether and sitting down to a relaxing meal family faced was helping their kids work department. Both could transition to home together is really the most important thing.” through their anxieties and sadness about offices fairly seamlessly. However, things Turns out, the entire family benefited in a not seeing their friends and teachers. changed quickly when the schools anpositive way from the sudden change in Despite the hurdles, the family found a nounced they would be closing after spring life. “Everyone is happier,” Amber says. silver lining from this major life change. break. The couple lives in Ozark, Missouri, “And our mental health has seen a lot of im“We’ve come to realize that ‘normal’ isn’t with their four children: Mia, 4; Beckett, 5; provements!” necessarily the best way,” Amber says. Bentley, 6 and Vincent, 8. “We had to buy
Photos by Paula Fish Photography
View From the road
Photos courtesy Matthew Damm, Shawn Hovenden, Jeff Voight, Jason Wooldridge, by Endless Moments Photography
What awe-inspiring landscapes have you seen from behind the wheel? Submit a highresolution photo (usually 500 KB or higher) of your truck to email@example.com. Include your name and caption information about where and when the photo was taken.
”The inspiration for the theme for our truck is just a general love and appreciation for our country and those who fight and die for our freedom both here and abroad. We wanted something to show our first responders and soldiers that what they do and sacrifice for is appreciated.”—Jason & Kelley Wooldridge
”My son Samuel was flipping through the last issue of Prime Ways, and it was too cute as every blue truck he saw he said ‘Daddy’s truck.’”—Matthew Damm
”I got married on June 20th. My new wife has been riding with me for over 4 years. We just felt having our company Prime truck in our wedding pictures had to happen. Seeing that Prime has been a big part of our lives, we thought we would share the pictures with you guys.”—Shawn and Sharlie Hovenden
”I’ve been working for Prime since December. I love to take pride in my work and my truck! Washing my truck and polishing my rims are one of the ways that I can show that I take pride in it. One of the things I love about driving for Prime is it has allowed me to see parts of the country that I’ve never been to before.”—Jeff Voight
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Team Spirit: Meet three Prime drivers who have found a new way to cheer on their favorite sports teams while on the road.