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Spring/Summer 2020 Edition








Driver of the Fourth Quarter: Richard Torres


Driver of the Third Quarter: Adam Gordon


Total Quality Management: Excerpt by Mark Sickmiller


Perseverance through Pandemic


Safety Awards


Trainer Awards


Kudos from the Road


TMC Proud

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



Edward (Ed) Dolsen Jr. (#11623)

INTRODUCING: TMC CONNECT We are excited to introduce TMC Connect!

TMC has recently launched TMC Connect as a way to utilize our transportation solutions. Our customers can now conveniently access this feature on our website. Customers can track loads, view documents and load information, as well as pay invoices with ease. Additionally, carriers can easily search for available freight in their area to keep trucks moving.

TMC Connect can be accessed on our website: www.tmctrans.com

TMC takes great pride in our Specialized Division. Drivers in the Specialized Division are top notch and haul a variety of freight. For many drivers, the Specialized division is often a career pinnacle. Ed is one of these drivers. Ed’s “home” division is John Deere Specialized, but he recently began hauling boats as well. How long have you been a part of the Specialized division(s)? “I have been on this account for a little over two years now.” TMC’s Specialized division hauls agricultural equipment, boats, machinery, and other heavy products. Was the Specialized division something you were always interested in? “I started looking for open spots right when I came to the company. It was always a goal of mine.” How is the driving you are doing now different from linehaul? “This account is a little less stressful. Loads are a little more flexible. I like the challenge of hauling bigger stuff.” Is there anything you would like to let other drivers know about it? “Our division has comraderie. We have a will to help out and make sure drivers are ready to go, whether that be job related or not.”

Throughout the past few months, drivers, shop, and office employees have pushed through challenging times and maintained a dedication to excellence. This keeps our business strong. Thank you to everyone going above and beyond - as always.

What’s your favorite thing about driving on the Specialized division? “The pay is good.” We are proud to have Ed on our team!

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence


Mike also celebrated Fifteen Years of Safe Driving at TMC. Mike (r) exhibits his Safety Ring alongside Austin Lamb (l), Safety Manager.

Mike Pennington TMC’S WHEEL MASTER OF 2019


Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence

Mike has been with TMC just over 16 years and has 1.8 million safe driving miles. He was named Driver of the Second Quarter and Trainer of the Year in 2019, along with being a Trainer of the Month in June 2018. There is no doubt that Mike is a TMC Wheel Master, with his exceptional work ethic and safety record. The work environment and the people he gets to work with are just a couple things that keeps Mike at TMC. “I like the independence of the job and the standards that each person is held to,” Mike says. As any seasoned employee at TMC knows, Destination: Excellence is the standard. “Being a successful driver here takes dedication to the job and attention to detail,” Mike continued. “I’ve always put

my best foot forward because anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Before he joined the flatbed industry, Mike held jobs in construction, factory work and even the auto industry. “I actually came here to get out of the spotlight,” Mike recalls. “I never expected all of this to happen.” “Mike does the job day in and day out safely and efficiently, and he works hard to help his trainees do the same,” says Pat Barr, Mike’s fleet manager. “He puts forth his best efforts and is proof that doing so will yield amazing results. Mike is a true TMC ambassador all the way around.” Being named Wheel Master was Mike’s ultimate goal at TMC, and now he can continue his career as one of the best

drivers in the company. “It’s a huge accomplishment and it means a lot. It’s an elite group of drivers so it’s a really good feeling.” Mike will be honored at the annual Wheel Master Meeting that will take place at TMC’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Wheel Masters past and present gather for a luncheon to catch up and induct the newest Wheel Master. At this time, the luncheon is postponed to follow social distancing guidelines.

Once again, congratulations to our deserving recipient, Mike Pennington, for acquiring the most esteemed title awarded at TMC.

Photo taken at the 2019 Wheel Master luncheon. Pictured, beginning with the back row, left to right: Alan Wiegard, Kevin Dinsdale, Brian Eley, Louis Steele II, Matt Bohl, Mark Skeen, Marvin Hayes, Danny Cagle, Derek Boykin, Larry Brown, Mike LaVigne. Front row, left to right: Roger Dannen, Dick Wyatt Jr., John Wheeler, Russ Allen, Harrold Annett, Marty Ott, Herb House, Les Bohlken, George Calore, Jeff Wisgerhof

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



of the Third Quarter At TMC, ‘Driver of the Quarter’ is a distinction reserved for professional drivers that best represent the company’s sentiment, ‘Destination: Excellence’. Richard Torres illustrates this not only with his extensive tenure and safe driving record, but more so with his altruistic attitude and commitment to representing himself and TMC in the highest regard.


Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence

A South Carolina native,

Richard joined the Black and Chrome Family in the summer of 1999. To him, the trucking industry was appealing as a respectable career with great financial potential. After all, Richard’s primary objective was to provide sufficient support for his family to live a comfortable life, which was becoming more and more important as a new father of twins. Not long into his career with TMC, one of his twins, Rachael, suffered a stroke. Rachael had open-heart surgery at only nine days old, which came as a shock to the Torres family. Richard was off the road caring for his daughter for nearly two months. The support the Torres family received from TMC, however, was unprecedented. Through help from the TMC Family Assistance Fund (FAF), a program designed to aid employees in times of hardship, and encouragement from those working behind the scenes, Richard was able to get back behind the wheel with a renewed faith in his choice of career and employer. “I am forever grateful for the support I received from my TMC family,” expresses Richard. “After everything, I knew this is where I needed to stay. It’s not just a job, it’s a home.”

Surround yourself with positivity. Be willing to continue learning. Help other drivers and listen to their stories. Attend as many classes and meetings as you can and apply what you learn. Don’t take anything for granted. THAT is the key to success.

With the wheels turning and a newly acquired title of “Driver Trainer”, Richard was back on the road and offering expertise to fellow drivers. Soon after, he achieved his five-year safe driving award, and clocked in at one million safe miles. When Richard was awarded his ten-year milestone ring, he had put TWO MILLION safe driving miles under his belt. “In my opinion, Rich is a true reflection of who we hope to put in front of our customers,” says Tom Rubbo, Richard’s former dispatcher. “He is an excellent ambassador for existing, new and future drivers.” After 15 years into his driving for TMC, Richard decided to trade in the cab for the classroom. He signed on to manage the new driver orientation program in Columbia, S.C., imparting his knowledge on the faces of TMC’s future drivers. Though Richard enjoyed his time teaching, his heart took

him back on the open road. Richard has been back in the drivers seat for a few years now and has resumed his role as a Driver Trainer. His ultimate goal before retiring is to accomplish four million safe driving miles, and inducted as a “TMC Wheel Master”. “The grass truly is greener at TMC,” says Richard. “Now that we are an employee-owned company, I’m excited for the future. It’s amazing to have a CEO who genuinely cares for his employees, and shows it by giving the company to us. It has made my job that much more enjoyable and the way I do it even more important.” His current Fleet Manager, Sam Bricker, sees that reflected in Richard’s performance and attitude. “Rich has been fantastic to work with. As soon as he came on my board, he was one of the top drivers on my team, and has been

there ever since,” Sam explains. “Rich works very hard and is always giving his best. He is positive, runs hard and will take any load and deliver it safely and on-time. Rich has been with TMC for over 20 years now and I am surprised he has not won Driver of the Quarter already!” Richard resides in Lexington, S.C., and enjoys spending time with his three children. His twins, Richie and Rachael are now 23, and his youngest, Christian, is 18. 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 2020 Destination: Excellence



Congratulations to TMC’s Driver of the 4th Quarter 2019, Adam Gordon! Adam came to TMC nine

years ago after reaching an impasse in his career. He knew it was time to find something new, so he took a leap of faith and enrolled in a CDL program at a local community college. During his time in the program, a TMC recruiter visited his class. Adam realized that TMC was where he wanted to work. Working in the trucking industry isn’t a typical 9 to 5 job, and that is what Adam likes about it. “The variety of work is what I like the best,” he says. “As long as you are steady and don’t get in a hurry, you can have success out here.” While gaining the title ‘Driver of the Quarter’ is a great accomplishment, the Virginia native is on to meeting his next goal, hoping to reach one million miles driven this year! “Without question, Adam is an exceptional representative of the TMC Family,” says his Fleet Manager, Kevin Kamakian. “He is a pleasure to work with, and I can put my full confidence in him to make sure he does the job safely and professionally.” “I’ve always had great relationships with my fleet managers and other team members, so I just hope to finish it all up here and make it to retirement. This is definitely a long-term commitment for me,” Gordon furthers. When Adam isn’t on the road, you can find him spending time with his wife, Jaime, and their five kids: Nate, Marissa, Natalie, Adrian and Charleigh. 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 named as a Driver of the Quarter, they are eligible to receive the prestigious Wheel Master Award.


Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



Driver TQM is a one-

profession and how the economy affects decision making. day course designed to proFinally, TQM identifies personvide our professional drivers al attributes prosperous driva better understanding of ers possess, such as self-disTMC’s performance-based cipline, self-control, integrity, pay system. It was started enthusiasm, and the art of by Joe Kinsey, TMC’s Quality proactive thinking. Advisor, in the 90’s and has TQM examines TMC’s been attended by thousands of drivers. As Joe explains it, Driver Certification Program, TQM is driven by a passion for which is the platform of our performance-based pay procontinuous improvement towards the goal of Destination: gram. In TQM, drivers are shown using actual data, how Excellence. A driver who completes choices on the road produce significant financial gains. TQM gains the knowledge Practical time management to capitalize on our perforscenarios are just one exammance-based pay system by ple. maximizing opportunities. The data proves that Through PowerPoint presentations, in-class exercises, and drivers who take TQM earn significantly more with TMC, team sessions, TQM teaches and are able to maximize drivers the importance of home time. measuring and tracking their Our valued customers performance, setting specific recognize and appreciate TQM goals toward success, develtrained drivers because they oping strategies to achieve those goals, and earning pre- appreciate the importance mium pay for their hard work. of on-time delivery, customer service, and customer satis Further, TQM shows drivers the ‘behind the scenes’ faction. working components of the

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



he past three months have presented our industry with many roadblocks. In order to do our part in flattening the curve of COVID-19, TMC has adopted new procedures to keep the business strong and remain a leader in the transportation industry. As we continue to navigate through the effects of a pandemic, we continue to applaud our Black & Chrome team. We have faced challenges head on and continue to push through in order to maintain our dedication to excellence. Thank you to every member of our team – drivers, shop employees, office workers,

and trainers – for going, as you always do, above and beyond. In March, TMC began switching some workers over to home workstations. The essential duties of many workers in our industry, however, require them to keep working out on the front lines to keep America moving. Our trainers, drivers, office, and shop staff have done a tremendous job working together to create a prosperous and positive work environment, despite the challenges of 2020. Amazingly, TMC continued to expand the Black & Chrome fleet

during this pandemic. Each new driver that receives the keys to their Peterbilt must successfully complete TMC’s state-of-the-art driver training program. Trainers are an essential part of the program, passing on a great deal of knowledge and expertise to new drivers. Due to sharing a small workspace in the cab, TMC took extra steps to ensure trainers and students stayed healthy. The protocols implemented by TMC management were intended to promote proper hygiene and sanitation on the road, minimizing the spread of the virus in all employee segments. For





Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence

the training program, TMC began screening students multiple times during the hiring and training process, taking temperatures at the beginning of each training day, limiting class sizes, and distributing sanitation kits. Employees throughout the company adapted to new policies and procedures as a result of COVID-19. The Recruiting Department, for example, had to adjust to an anxious population of applicants and persevere with new policy changes to protect the health of incoming, as well as existing, employees. Office employees united together to take care of our drivers. As supplies ran low, office staff meticulously assembled care packages and sanitation kits to help drivers practice good hygiene on the road and to provide comfort during uneasy times. Kits included hand sanitizer, gloves, and other items that prevent the spread of the virus. A few employees ventured out to the Pilot in Osceola, IA and the Flying J in Davenport, IA on April 1st to hand out the packages and express their gratitude to drivers in real-time. For drivers who were unable to be at the locations, employees sent out additional packages with trainees as they joined their trainers. Packages were also available for pick-up at terminals. Like many other supplies, face masks became scarce and many drivers were in need. A flood of TMC family and friends volunteered their time to make cloth masks for drivers. Many volunteers spearheaded production on the masks, already having the needed materials on hand. Additionally, TMC provided pre-cut and packaged fabric to volunteers to expand efforts to get masks to drivers. As the masks were received in Des Moines, a group of

employees steamed and packaged them for delivery to drivers. Working together and supporting our network of employees during this pandemic, whether it is packaging supplies or making masks, has created a great sense of connection and community. TMC continues to limit the spread of COVID-19 in various ways throughout the company. For example, the Chrome CafĂŠ dining area will be closed until further notice, offering take-out and encouraging social distancing through guided arrows on the floor. At each location, mandatory temperature checks for employees are enforced at the beginning of each workday. Anyone with a fever will be sent home. Employees are required to stay home if they feel unwell. Deep cleaning and thorough disinfecting of workspaces is being performed throughout the day at each location. These, along with many other practices, has kept employee morale high by showing that TMC truly cares about the health and safety of their employees. Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



FIVE YEARS OF SAFE DRIVING Aaron B. Copenhaver Terrence L. Craddock Darryl Crutchfield Andy R. Dennis Jr. Richard J. Dufrene Reed R. Frodin Joshua A. Gunnin Cody J. Hall Kenneth W. Hargrove Thomas J. Heath Joshua S. Holmes Tony Hrpcha Jr. James E. Jackson Darren G. Johnson Jacob N. Landis James A. Mcintosh Jr Oscar A. Montano Christopher L. Neal Victor E. Neal Brett A. Niebuhr Kihichie W. Pennington Joshua J. Podolec Frank J. Staskiewicz Jr Travis T. Stevens Vernon L. Cross Eric T. Menasian Pierre M. Rice James J. Rodgers Jerry W. Sanders Shawn M. Sinniger Randall L. Stroud Anthony E. Tucker III Nicholas A. Vanderhoof Shane O. Vernon Christopher T. Ware Sergey Zaishnikov



Ruben W. Carter Jr. Michael A. Conboy Leon P. Fritz Jr. John E. Heyn Mark R. Jordan Christopher D. Madle John K. Queen Gregory A. Reeves Michael J. Ryan Dana J. Ryckman Nikolaos G. Sideris Sarah R. Sideris Jeffery S. Tutor Freddie J. Garcia Scott Lafferty-Reside James H. Levan Jason E. Perry Jesse J. Pope John Shotts Sr.


Charles R. Duncan Jr. Charles E. Foor Richard S. Gibbs Russell S. Lida Robert M. Lester

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence

= Pictured

James S. Linville Jr. Glenn E. Siedentop James D. Staggs Robert D. Workman


Bruce A. Casler Rex L. Howard John W. Jones Maurice Q. Townsend Eric M. Varner


Gary W. Finke David C. Lachinet Richard E. Waters Christopher P. Weik


Alan L. Wiegard

ONE MILLION MILES Bart W. Stevenson Bradley S. Wudi

Terrence L. Craddock (r) pictured with Oleg Mervyak, Safety Manager Frank Staskiewicz Jr. (r), with Josh Perry, Safety Manager

Michael Conboy (middle), pictured with Oleg Mervyak, Safety Manager (l) & Mark Jones, Dedicated Fleet Manager (r)

Andy Dennis (r), pictured with John Young, Safety Manager

Pierre Rice (l) pictured with Drew Parker, Safety Manager

John Jones (r), pictured with Todd Bunting, VP Safety

Bart Stevenson (r), with Josh Perry, Safety Manager

Shawn Sinniger (middle), pictured with Jeff Knafla, Dedicated Fleet Manager (l) & Todd Bunting, VP Safety (r)

Kenneth Hargrove celebrates Five Years

Bart Stevenson (r), with Josh Perry, Safety Manager and Ricky Waters (middle) pictured with Oleg Mervya, Safety Manager (l) & Cory Jaeger, Dedicated Fleet Manager (r)

Brett Niebuhr (r), pictured with Oleg Mervyak, Safety Manager

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence


Stephen Brewer (r), pictured with Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager

James Abshire (r), pictured with Jeff Geist Training Coordinator Manager

Robert Specht (r), pictured with Jeff Geist Training Coordinator Manager

Robert Johnson (r), pictured with Jeff Geist Training Coordinator Manager

Charles Duncan (r), with Marty White, Training Coordinator

Michael Myers (r), pictured with Jeff Wisgerhof, VP of Driver Training

SAFETY Awards Kalen Bates (r), pictured with Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager

Scott Jamison (l), pictured with Jeff Geist Training Coordinator Manager

Melvin Gilbert (r), pictured with Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager

John Muirhead (r), pictured with Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager

Donnel Alvey (r), pictured with Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager

Love Porter (r), pictured with Jeff Geist, Training Coordinator Manager


Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



I just wanted to thank you and your very pleasant driver, David Gallardo, #10565, for an excellent job and your prompt service in getting my truck back home. Having the truck home for repairs relieved a major stress factor for me. You can be sure that I will be recommending TMC to anyone that has any questions about getting equipment hauled safely and efficiently.”–Rick Dieckman

I just wanted to let you know that the driver, Jeremy R. Ballard, #10996, is here and is almost done strapping. He is really nice and doing great strapping the load! Best I have ever seen, as he already knew how to cross the straps both front and back. Thank you! -Bobby Collins, HonestAbe Log Homes

One of your drivers came to the aid of a young woman whose vehicle broke down on Friday. This occurred as he was leaving our facility around 5pm 6/5/2020. The road was insanely busy, he checked the fluid levels, and had even provided antifreeze. When it was determined that the mechanical difficulties were too severe he pushed the vehicle to safety. I know I mentioned this before but the road was insanely busy if not for his actions this woman or one of the children with her may have been seriously injured. I thought someone at TMC should know how wonderful this employee is. - Lori Sankowsky, Alexandria Extrusions

Donnie Pete who is the loading supervisor sent a message that they had a great TMC driver come in to load today. He reported that he really enjoyed the professionalism and conversation with truck # 15173. Donnie stated the driver brought them TMC hats and Donnie was very impressed with that. He wanted to pass along how much they enjoyed working with this driver today. Charlene Harris, Sumiden Wire

The Safety Department had a man by the name Robert Ennis call in to compliment Rodney Morton Jr, #12795. Mr. Ennis was following Rodney around the beltway around Washington D.C. and said he had a good following distance, used his turn signal and made very good lane changes on the few that he did. He said he was handling the traffic well and wasn’t driving like most semi-drivers he sees. Kudos to Rodney for being safe! –Josh Perry, Safety Manager

These guys don’t get enough credit for a job well done. Every TMC driver I have met out on the road has clean equipment, are dressed appropriately and have good hygiene. They are known as a mega trucking company and I personally think they do a heck of a job representing our industry. –Tony J., Facebook

On March 4, there was a fatal car versus pedestrian crash that occurred on Washington Street at its intersection with High Street in Middletown, CT. Your driver, Jonathan Crump, was traveling eastbound and witnessed the crash occur in the westbound lane. Mr. Crump immediately stopped and called 911 to report the incident. He also moved his truck and positioned it so that no other traffic could harm the pedestrian. Washington Street is a heavily traveled road and had Mr. Crump not taken this action, I’m certain that more vehicles would have driven through the crash scene. As a police officer, we see too many instances of individuals not wanting to help or get involved. Mr. Crump did the exact opposite, remained on scene and provided a statement of what had transpired. You should be proud of his selfless actions and I hope that you and your administration recognize him for what he did on this day. Please let him know that we certainly appreciated him. - Sergeant Doug Clark Traffic Unit Supervisor Middletown Police Department

Lauren McClung and her husband (fellow driver) called to tell us that they had been on the road driving for nine hours and had many problems with trucks. However, she followed Joe (Teichert, #13145) in his truck for a few hours in TX and she said he was the safest and most courteous driver on the road. She wanted to say thank you and great job! –Allean DuShane, Safety

Matthew L. Oney, #12599, was the first at the scene of an accident on I59 in Fort Payne, AL. He checked on the driver involved in the accident and then called for help. Kudos to your driver! –Melissa B., Facebook

I was driving east on I-20 between Midland and Stanton, TX, when I came up on truck #19117 (Bronson E. Kelley). A SUV jumped in front of me in the left lane from behind the truck and when the SUV passed the truck, they moved right in front of your driver with very little clearance. It could have been a bad accident if your driver didn’t handle it so smoothly. He didn’t slam on his brakes or jump lanes; just eased off like nothing happened. The driver’s truck and trailer were also clean as a whistle. The chrome was shining and just looked really good. –Heather B., Facebook

Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence



TMC Transportation has been named Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year for 2019, making it the sixth consecutive year TMC has received the honorable distinction. TMC’s professional dedicated drivers are truly the ones who have earned this recognition year after year by providing first-class transportation services and support to our customers. TMC’s dedicated drivers are among the best of the best and TMC appreciates the recognition and is a testament to their commitment to excellence. Keep up the good work!


Spring 2020 Destination: Excellence

Profile for TMC Transportation

Destination: Excellence Spring/Summer 2020  

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