Connect With Us! www.tmctrans.com
> feature story
Derek Boykin Named
2015 Wheel Master
February 2016, TMC named Derek Boykin of Buckeye, AZ as the recipient of the highest driver honor given by TMC, the Wheel Master Award for 2015. Boykin has been with the company for nearly two decades and has accumulated over two million safe driving miles. This distinction comes just one year after being named Driver of the First Quarter for 2015, the award that makes a driver eligible to be named as a Wheel Master.
A seasoned industry veteran, Boykin is considered one of the best of the best in the pool of TMC’s talented drivers. He’s worked hard over the years to get here, and is determined to stay at the top. “You have to be dedicated. Take charge and be a leader, not a follower,” he says. “It is important to treat every day like it is your first day. Never act like you know everything because there is always something new to learn.” Boykin was honored at the annual Wheel Master Meeting that took
2 > TMC Newsletter | Spring 2016
Derek (right) accepted his award from his Fleet Manager Chris York (left) and Operations Manager Kyle Miller (center)
place at TMC’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa on March 5. Each spring, former Wheel Masters, some retired, many still active drivers, gather for a luncheon to catch up and induct the newest Wheel Master. “I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Derek for very long, but in the short time I have had the privilege to, it is clear why he is being
awarded as a Wheel Master,” says Chris York, Boykin’s Fleet Manager. Boykin has only been on York’s team for three months, but his reputation has certainly preceded him. “His dedication to doing things right is second to none. His attitude about even the worst situation is great. I am very happy for him being recognized and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”
Best of the Best Gather For TMC’s Annual Wheel Master Meeting ’s annual Wheel Master Meeting took place Saturday, March 5th at TMC’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Wheel Master award was created as a way to recognize TMC’s best drivers. Each year a driver is honored with the Wheel Master distinction based on years of service with the company, safe driving record and overall quality performance. The meeting brought in Wheel Masters both past and present, and also served as a platform to induct the newest Wheel Master into the prestigious order.
Of the Wheel Masters present, which included two drivers that retired in 2015 each after over 20 years of service, there were a combined 388 safe driving years, and an astounding 46,629,596 safe driving miles. 2015 Wheel Master, Derek Boykin, who with 19 years of experience and over two million safe driving miles, humbly accepted the award before a room full of his peers and TMC management. Also in attendance was TMC’s Chairman and CEO, Harrold Annett, as well as Derek’s wife and his brother and sister-in-law, who drove up from Texas to surprise him on his big day.
“This meeting is one that everyone in the company looks forward to. It’s not only a time to get the ‘best of the best’ together in one room to discuss current matters, but it is also a time where the drivers and office personnel can catch up and reminisce. Every time we get together its like a family gathering during the holidays with all the solid relationships that have been built with one another over the years,” says Travis Johnson, Executive Vice President of Operations. “This group of drivers has been the backbone of this company and helped build TMC into what it is today. We could not have accomplished what we have over the years without them.” ‹
Back Row (Left to right): Mike LaVigne, Pat Lucash, Kevin Dinsdale, Danny Cagle, Jeff Wisgerhof, Marvin Hayes, Mark Skeen, Matt Bohl, Louis Steel II, Derek Boykin Front Row (Left to right): Larry Brown, Don Norton, Dick Wyatt, Russ Allen, Harrold Annett, Roger Dannen, Les Bohlken, John Wheeler, Alan Wiegard
Spring 2016 | TMC Newsletter < 3
Destination: Excellence, From Poland to the U.S.
Jรณzef Polanski poses in front of Dominick Krajewski's Peterbilt 379.
January, TMC driver Dominick Krajewski enjoyed a very special ride-along experience with his father-in-law, Józef Polanski. Józef was a truck driver in his native Poland, and drove trucks in Europe for 40 years, mostly hauling throughout Poland but also to Germany, the Czech-Republic, and Slovakia. He is in the process of retiring, and currently drives a taxi in Poland. Józef rode along with Dominick for about two weeks, from January 4th-January 15th, and it was his first time riding in a rig in the United States after so many years behind the wheel in Europe. Józef was able to see much of the United States and even Canada, including Montreal, and the main TMC terminal in Des Moines, before heading to Dominick’s home state of New Jersey.
Józef Polanski rolling tarps.
The experience was an exciting one for Józef, as the trucks in Europe are mostly cabovers that are very different from Dominick Krajewski’s own Peterbilt 379. There are some big differences in our trailers as well compared to Europe. According to Józef, Europe doesn’t have traditional flatbed trailers, they have curtain-side or conestoga trailers, and their trailers also tend to be much shorter than what we have here at TMC. Józef experienced all aspects of flatbedding American-style, even enthusiastically learning how to roll and put away tarps.
Józef Polanski meets TMC Fleet Manager Arnie Mercer (l).
about trucking and TMC. Dominick even showed Józef around the TMC terminal and training yard, and introduced him to his Operations Manager as well as his Fleet Manager, Arnie Mercer. They also had lunch at TMC’s own Chrome Café, and the burger Józef ate there ended up being his favorite food from the trip! Józef was especially amazed at how well organized everything is here in the U.S. and at TMC. He was impressed with the whole process of how efficient the communication is and how quickly drivers get set up with their next load. Now that Polanski is more knowledgeable about what life on the road is like here in the U.S., he is more eager than ever to get back in the truck. He says he will be “back with a vengeance” and better prepared for the next journey. He plans on visiting the Krajewski’s again later on this year and doing another ride-along, and yes, hopefully enjoying another Chrome Café burger. In the meantime, Józef will continue to display TMC stickers with pride on his taxi! ‹
The experience was equally enjoyable for Dominick, who loved having someone in the truck to show around and keep him company. Dominick’s own father was a truck driver, and he has fond memories of riding along with him. It was fun for him to experience the role reversal and get to be the one to show someone else around and teach
Spring 2016 | TMC Newsletter < 5
TMC Driver Connect: Driving Toward the Future of Trucking
n February, we officially announced the release of our brand new driver oriented mobile application, TMC Driver Connect.
The app, available on Google Play and the Apple Store, will allow TMC drivers to access dispatch and trip information, as well as company news, personal statistics, videos, referrals and much more.
safety purposes, the app is equipped with a feature that disables use while the truck is moving. As we move further into the age of technology, applications such as TMC Driver Connect will help streamline the way the trucking industry operates. At TMC, we expect to see this app have a vast improvement in day-to-day interactions between employees and customers.
Drivers will continue to be dispatched primarily through the Omnitracs system in their trucks, but use of the TMC Driver Connect app will enable ease of communication to and from Fleet Managers, the Safety Department and other TMC employees working behind the scenes. Some of the key features include allowing drivers to scan paperwork and send photos all with the touch of a button, eliminating the need for truck stops and other apps to send data. Additionally, for
“The TMC Driver Connect mobile application provides the tools and information necessary for TMC drivers to succeed,” says Steve Linder, TMC’s Vice President of Information Technology. “The application is built on an innovative platform that encourages the feedback and creative ideas of our employees to continually enhance and evolve the product. We are excited about the future of this application and look forward to every new release.” ‹
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kicked of February 21st
ichael Annett did not waste any time preparing for this year’s season, and fans got to see his sharpened skills at the season’s opening race at the Daytona International Speedway. Racing in his No. 46 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet in the Daytona 500, Annett raced as high as first place. He led lap 158, but averaged a 28.8-place running position for the day. He also recorded the fastest lap times on eight separate occasions during the race, the fourth-most among the 40-driv-
er field. Annett ended the race with a 27th place finish. Annett finished 30th at both Atlanta and Las Vegas, where he ran as high as third. He faced a slight setback at Phoenix International Raceway where he was involved in an accident during the first practice session. His Chevrolet locked up entering turn one and slammed the wall hard, resulting in a forced backup. He ended up taking 33rd spot. Race five at the Auto Club Speedway
in Fontana, California wrapped up the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ three race Western states swing. Annett had a great run and finished the twomile track at 29th. Stay Up to Date on Michael Annett... Follow Annett on Twitter and Facebook and get live updates from the track by following @PFJRacing and @TeamHSM46 on Twitter. For a detailed bio and updated in-season statistics, please visit www.michaelannett.com. ‹
Get the latest racing updates on Michael Annett at MichaelAnnett.com, Facebook.com/MichaelAnnettRacing or Twitter.com/MichaelAnnett
6 > TMC Newsletter | Spring 2016
d r ive r An Employee-Owned Company
the F ou
Lorin (right) and Ritchie Thornburg (left), Dedicated Customer Service Representative
n February 2016, Lorin Mendenhall was named Driver of the Fourth Quarter for 2015. Lorin will be celebrating 10 years with the company this summer, and has accumulated over one million safe driving miles. Prior to coming to TMC, Lorin, a California native and Midwest transplant, spent nine years in the Navy, which included two tours overseas. When looking to transition into the trucking industry, TMC immediately stuck out to Lorin because of the top of the line equipment and consistent home time. A decade later, Lorin couldn’t be happier making a living out on the road.
“I love being able to drive and have the flexibility and freedom to make my own decisions,” he says. “My last job in the Military was ‘driving a desk’, and that wasn’t very exciting.” According to Lorin, being successful at TMC is easy as long as you’re willing to work for it. “TMC gives you the tools to do everything, you just have to put them to use,” he explains. “They give you top notch equipment and have great people in the office that have your back. All you have to do is work hard, pay attention and be cautious.” “Lorin is a loyal, ‘get things done’ kind of guy and an excellent driver for TMC,” says Ritchie Thornburg, Lorin’s Fleet
Manager. “I have a deep respect for him. No matter what the situation is, he handles it without a complaint and does the job right.” Lorin currently resides in Reinbeck, Iowa with his wife of 17 years and their two children ages six and three, who’s support he says is essential to his successes as a professional driver at TMC. Criteria for Driver of the Quarter recognition includes years of service with the company, safe driving record, excellent customer service, professionalism and overall quality performance. Once a driver is recognized as a Driver of the Quarter they are eligible to receive the prestigious Wheel Master Award. ‹
Spring 2016 | TMC Newsletter < 7
Curtis Rasnake Jr. Named
2015 Trainer of the Year
or Curtis Rasnake Jr., 2016 will mark 10 years of being a professional driver with TMC. During those 10 years, Curtis has driven nearly 1.5 million safe miles, been named Trainer of the Month twice and was awarded Driver of the Fourth Quarter in 2014. Now he can add Trainer of the Year to his list of accomplishments at TMC! Growing up with modest resources, Curtis was determined to find a career that would allow him to earn enough to provide the best possible life for his family. He found that with TMC. At a typical job, success depends largely on other people. However, with TMC, Curtis has the freedom to be his own boss. This understanding has allowed him to make it in the company’s top ten drivers in terms of revenue for the past two years. Curtis has been sharing his passion for flatbed with new drivers since he became a driver trainer in June of 2007, and has found it to be a very rewarding experience. As a Virginia native, Curtis trains many drivers that reside in the Appalachian Mountain area. “This area is very poor, and there aren’t many career options,” he explains. “I strive to show these guys that you can make good money here, money that will raise them above the poverty lines and allow them to support their families. It’s very rewarding to help make a difference in their lives.”
8 > TMC Newsletter | Spring 2016
When it comes to training new drivers, Curtis insists that empathy is key. “Too many trainers Curtis Rasnake (center) and VP of Driver Training, Jeff Wisgerhof (left) expect perfection in and Training Coordinator Manager, Jeff Geist (right) the first week, but it is important to be patient,” Congratulations to Curtis on this he says. “I like to laugh and joke with wonderful accomplishment! We are them, not bark orders all the time. I’m lucky to have him as a part of the TMC not the boss, I’m here to show you Family. ‹ how to be the best driver you can be, make the most money possible and being safe while doing so.” “Curtis has done an exceptional job training our new drivers to be safe and well prepared for the challenges of the job ahead,” says Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager at TMC. “He has an extraordinary attitude and is an ideal role model for our drivers here at TMC.” According to Curtis, however, when it comes to his training methods, its not all work and no play. He and his wife Audra, or ‘Mama Snake’ as she’s affectionately referred to, have become a second family to many trainees. Curtis knows it isn’t easy to be away from your family for weeks at a time and that for most drivers this is a very new situation for them, so providing hospitality is important. “I have former trainees of mine that still stop by my house for dinner or just to visit,” he says. “Just because they get out of my truck doesn’t mean I’m not there for them anymore.”
Trainer of the Month
Driver trainers are vital to the TMC training department and each month a trainer is chosen who demonstrates the outstanding qualities TMC looks for in a trainer. The Trainer of the Month recipient is chosen based on their safety record and the safety performance of their trainees, the number of drivers trained and the retention percentage of those drivers.
2015 • October: Greg Stehouwer • November: Jonathan Craig • December: Ashton Ryce
2016 • January: Tim Alford • February: Matthew Neal
Continuing Education for
Total Quality Drivers
river Total Quality Management, or TQM for short, is a one-day course that takes our professional drivers and guides them through the utilization of TMC’s performance-based pay system for maximum benefit return. It was begun by Joe Kinsey, TMC’s Quality Advisor, back in the 1990’s, and over the years has reached thousands of drivers. As Joe explains it, TQM is driven by a passion for continuous improvement towards the goal of Destination: Excellence. Because of the significant value of these courses, the TQM program is expanding, allowing former TMC driver and Fleet Manager, Mark Sickmiller to join in the efforts as a Driver Development Manager A driver who has successfully completed TQM not only has the skills to drive, but now has the knowledge to capitalize on our performance-based pay system by taking control through wise decision making. Through presentations, in-class exercises, and team sessions, TQM teaches a driver about the importance of measuring and tracking their performance, setting specific goals toward success, developing strategies to achieve
those goals and receiving the rewards they result in. Further, TQM gives a driver context as to how their profession works, how the economy and manufacturing affects decision making, how the industry has variability, and gives them some behind the scenes information to add to their arsenal of trade tools. Finally, TQM class offers a look at what personal attributes make up a successful driver by focusing on the fundamentals of commitment, self-discipline, self-control, integrity, enthusiasm and the art of proactive thinking. Drivers who take TQM learn to master our Certification Program, which is the heart of our performance-based pay system. They are not only given the fine points, but are given opportunities to interact with the information in order to develop successful choices. Practical time management scenarios are also taught hand-inhand with this training. Because we realize the impact of TQM on the success of our drivers, and the continued demand for classes, we have undertaken a TQM “blitz” in the beginning months of 2016 by
not only teaching it at terminals, but also taking it on the road. In the first half of 2016 we will be reaching drivers in TQM classes in hotel meeting rooms around the country including Waco, TX, Atlanta, GA, Memphis, TN, Knoxville, TN, Harrisburg, PA, Newburgh, NY, and Mebane, NC. As an unexpected additional benefit to these over-the-road TQM’s, several significant others have been able to attend with their drivers, which we all see is a win-win situation for TMC and a driver’s family. Finally, many of our Fleet Managers continue to take Driver TQM because they also understand that a driver’s success is also linked to their relationship and partnership in achieving their professional goals. What does TQM-trained drivers mean to our valued customers? Not only do our drivers have the skills to safely deliver day after day, but through TQM, our drivers take ownership in the importance of on-time delivery, enthusiastic customer service, and an understanding of a customer’s satisfaction is directly connected to their professional success. ‹
Spring 2016 | TMC Newsletter < 9
Million Mile Awards
VP of Safety Todd Bunting (R) presents Larry Brown, a former TMC driver and current Yard Instructor, with his commemorative two million mile award.
VP of Safety Todd Bunting (L) presents Rex Howard with his commemorative two million mile award.
VP of Safety Todd Bunting (L) and Dedicated CSR Ritchie Thornburg (R) congratulate Lorin Mendenhall for accomplishing one million safe driving miles.
VP of Safety Todd Bunting (R) presents Danny Cagle with his commemorative one million mile award.
Safety Manager Josh Perry (R) congratulates Tony Kimmerly for accomplishing one million safe driving miles.
Safety Manager Josh Perry (L) congratulates Ashton Ryce for accomplishing one million safe driving miles.
10 > TMC Newsletter | Spring 2016
AWARDS Congratulations to the following drivers who surpassed safe driving milestones during the months of November 2015-February 2016. Keep up the great work!
10 Years Safe Driving
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Michael K. Anderson John R. Ashby Johnathon D. Bennett Thomas D. Burdette Bryan A. Celestine Paul B. Chandler Bradley Cowgur Andrew T. Dickinson Thomas A. Ford Jr. Gregory M. Hall Richard J. Hampton Jeffrey M. Hart Lee S. James Jr. Shane N. Johnson Frederick D. Jones Jack K. Malone Jon S. McDowell Michael J. Montgomery David M. Perfect John R. Scott William H. Smithers IV Gregory H. Stehouwer Kenneth L. Toms Sr. Marty G. Wickliff Myles T. Womack Scott E. Wyatt Clarence B. Wynn
John D. Baker Clyde W. Bartosh Jesse D. Beasley Terry R. Brown Allen L. Echele Kenneth W. Hubbert Francis A. Isham Francis J. Koerperich Robert David B. Mills Sheldon A. Moss Larry G. Ogburn Megunah Ben Qehath Darrell R. Rogers Ronald Stantz
15 Years Safe Driving • Charles Locklear • Chester L. Randolph • Hans Joachim H. Tiffany
20 Years Safe Driving
Thank you for your dedication to excellence! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
5 Years Safe Driving
Congratulations to the following drivers who recently reached ONE MILLION safe driving miles!
Bradley D. Anderson Carwell Gardner Jr. Charles H. Gayle Commie W. Southers Jr. Dan L. Thomas David K. Grammer David W. Kruse Glen H. Zemke Jerome Williams John T. Wall Jr. Johnny L. Sledge Kinsey R. Richards Mark W. Brunner Matthew J. Wujick Patrick O. Page Tyrone M. Dunn William E. Short
• Paul D. Baumgart • Garth S. Thompson
Spring 2016 | TMC Newsletter < 11
Heard from the Road “On Tuesday we met with…our sales reps for a large part of the Midwest. They noted the number of TMC trucks that were making deliveries and that they received positive customer feedback about timely deliveries, professionalism of the drivers and appearance of TMC equipment. We at National appreciate our partnership with TMC, and the service you provide to help us sell pipe… Again, our thanks to everyone at TMC!” -Don P., National Pipe & Plastics, Inc.
"Safety took a phone call this afternoon from a lady named Kathy who wanted to compliment the driver of truck number 10277, Andrew Theobald. She was traveling from the Cincinnati area to Indianapolis yesterday. I-70 was closed due to a multi-car pileup so she ended up behind our truck while following a detour. Kathy said normally she would be dreading being “stuck” behind a semi, but our driver was being very courteous and driving appropriately for the deteriorating weather conditions. Even after completing the detour, she stayed behind our truck because she felt reassured that he would be safe. As it turns out Andrew is a driver trainer and Andrew’s trainee, Dennis Myles, was driving at this time. Kudos to both of them for showing Kathy how professional drivers operate." -Jannelle Kennedy, TMC Safety Assistant
“I'm sending this e-mail to first, recognize the great customer service your driver Philip Summerville provided this morning with our delivery. I was extremely impressed with his above and beyond performance to secure and protect our customer’s merchandise to ensure they receive good product. I hope you will recognize him on my behalf. Second, I want to thank you (Byron Hewitt, TMC Customer Service Rep) for assisting in this unusual situation. Your partnership has been very valuable to the success of providing great customer service to our customers. I appreciate everything you've done.” -Reba, The Home Depot, St. Cloud, FL
“Good morning! I wanted to pass along an email that I just received from our loading supervisor down in Live Oak. So much of the time we only hear the negative things, but this is a real positive on one of your drivers and I wanted to share it with you. Please let your driver know we appreciate him, and also we appreciate TMC.” -Jan G., Klausner Trading USA, Inc.
“During a customer visit, I was informed how much they appreciate our partnership and what our drivers do, as they can tell TMC drivers are highly trained and by far the most polite and respectful drivers they get.” -Dominique Strode, Regional VP, TMC Business Development
“Thank you to Doyle Stanger in truck #11010. He was early for his appointment and helped me secure and tarp a load in the cold. Going out of your way to help a fellow driver is few and far between nowadays. I appreciate it!” -Marvin Ott, TMC Driver
“Jan, can you please pass on to TMC the great experience we had with a driver Erich Krebs last night. This driver was running a little behind and called us to let us know that he would be here soon. When he arrived he had a trainee with him. As a former State Trooper, it was very pleasing to see the time he took to teach the trainee how to setup everything completely with a focus on Safety. Just wanted to share the great experience.” -Shawn C., Klausner Lumber One, LLC
“Today I was loading at Metal Sales in Sellersburg, IN. I had one of those grocery list loads too. All different items all different lengths, shapes and sizes. I had a total of 15 straps on it already and had been up and down off my truck securing the load and as it was the warmest weather I have been in this year; 85 degrees and I was hot and tired. Anyway, had just gotten my first tarp lifted up and unrolled on the back of the load when a TMC truck pulled up behind me. He got out of his truck and jumped up on the back of my trailer. He helped me unfold that tarp and adjust it plus he helped me get the front tarp on and adjusted. He did all of this before he ever even checked in. Needless to say, after I had all my bungees in place I stuck around to help him tarp his load. I just want to let TMC know that his help was VERY much appreciated. Thanks again TMC!!!” -Robert H., Facebook User
“I just wanted to say thanks for hiring and training some of the best drivers out there. Your drivers are the only ones I really trust driving beside on the interstate and feeling safe next to. Thanks again for your great company and keep on going with destination excellence.” -Cody B., Facebook User
“Our customer called to report that they had a great experience working with Arthur Wells. They said he was polite, professional and represented TMC in an excellent manner.”-Kyle Hay, TMC Fleet Manager
“We received and email from the shipping manager today thanking us for a great job and service we provide. He said, ‘I just wanted to take a moment and thank you and your company for really coming through and helping me today… Your driver (Joseph Kirkland) did an excellent job putting the truck in a tight spot so we can drive on and load, and was prepared with all the chains and straps needed to secure the load. Please pass along my appreciation to everyone that deserves recognition for a job well done.’” -Trey Folmar, Regional VP, TMC Business Development
“After delivering a load the consignee called in to tell us that Joshua Gerke did a great job and that he was very knowledgeable. Thank you Josh for being a great representative of TMC!” -Arnie Mercer, TMC Fleet Manager
TMC Transportation's Quarterly Newsletter, Destination: Excellence.