Prime News

  • Listen in on our August 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in iTunes
    Prime FeedBurner Safety Podcast
    Prime BuzzSprout Safety Podcast

    In this release: Stake Holders Information, Safe Winter Driving, Tires and Fires, Big Do's and a Couple of Dont's, Andrea, Get Medical Card on File, Hazmat and Canada, Live Loaded Calls, Navigation and Prime Mobile App, Your Services Means Sales, Robert Low, Prime Picnic Contest and Results.


  • Prime Hosts First Ever Fittest of the Fleet Competition

    For the first time ever, eleven professional truck drivers competed for the title “Fittest of the Fleet” during Prime Inc.’s annual company picnic on August 31, 2013. The competition was created by Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness Director Siphiwe Baleka to further transform the commercial truck driving industry by creating a culture of fitness within it. Each driver competed in three timed events testing their strength speed, endurance, agility and athleticism. Rodney McCloud took the Men’s title while Aimee James took the Women’s title.

    Event number one consisted of two rounds of ten dumbbell squat thrusters, twenty kettle bell swings, thirty push-ups and sixty jump ropes. The men used two 20 lb. dumbbells and a 20 lb. Kettlebell. Ms. James, the only female competitor, used 10 lb. dumbbells and a 10 lb. Kettlebell. “It looks easy on paper,” said Baleka, “but it is absolutely grueling. Drivers really struggle to get through that second round.” Rodney McCloud won the first event in a time of 4 minutes and 50 seconds, beating second place finisher George Robertson who finished with a time of 5 minutes and 31 seconds. Proving that she is every bit of a competitor as the men, Aimee James finished with the second fastest overall time of 4 minutes and 55 seconds.

    The second event featured a single round of 20 burpees, a twenty yard sprint, 20 more burpees, another sprint, and 20 more burpees to finish the round. According to Baleka, “Event two started at noon. It was well over ninety degrees, and the competitors only had an hour rest after the first event. I kept telling them that whoever was going to win had to earn it.” For the second time, Rodney McCloud edged out George Robertson, finishing in 3 minutes and six seconds. Mr. Robertson finished in 4 minutes exactly. Aimee James finished in 5 minutes and 9 seconds (the fifth fastest time overall).

    In the third and final event, the drivers had to exit the truck, quickly dolly down the landing gear, carry an 80 lb. sandbag to the rear of the trailer, complete 20 knee-to-chest sit ups, open the trailer door and run to the back wall, run back and exit the trailer, close the trailer doors, carry the sandbag again around to the passenger side, drop the sandbag and duck under the trailer to the opposite side, dolly up the landing gear, duck back under the trailer, pick up the sandbag and carry it around the front of the tractor back to the driver’s door, do five front squats with the sandbag, enter the truck, and close the door. “In all three events, drivers started and finished in the driver’s seat. We wanted to utilize the truck and some of what truck drivers do every day,” said Baleka. Justin Boschee finished event three with the fastest time of 2 minutes and 29 seconds. Rodney McCloud finished just six seconds behind, while David Nelson was another three seconds behind in a very close and exciting race. Aimee James finished in 3 minutes and 51 seconds.

    At the end of the day, Rodney McCloud scored 145 points to win the Men’s Division. Justin Boschee took second place with 130 points, and George Robertson took third place with 121 points.

    The Top Five Overall were Rodney McCloud with 145 points, followed by Justin Boschee with 125 points, George Robertson with 116 points, Aimee James with 107 points, and David Nelson with 98 points.

    The Fittest of the Fleet competition started at Prime and is now challenging other carriers to host their own event using the same format in order to bring together the champions of each fleet into a national competition. To qualify for the National Fittest of the Fleet competition, drivers must win their carrier’s title. For more information on how to get your carrier involved, contact Siphiwe Baleka at Prime, Inc by emailing


  • Prime Inc. Announces Pay Increase For OTR Company Drivers

    Stronger fiscal performance this past year for Prime Inc. has resulted in increased revenue for its OTR Company Drivers, Independent Contractors, and Associates. Over-the-road Company Drivers (paid on the OTR per mile basis) started receiving a one cent per mile increase for any loads dispatched after August 3, 2013. In addition, line haul revenue for Independent Contractors increased four cents per mile during the last year.

    "That success also meant raises for in-house associates," John Hancock, Prime Inc. Director of Recruitment and Driver Training, said. "Performance from everyone throughout the Prime family has resulted not only in increased revenue but in improved services across the board. The little things have made a big difference."

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 793,470 truck drivers employed at the end of 2012. Median pay for these drivers is reported at $37,770 per year or $18.16 per hour.

    "Our drivers continually make above industry standards. That is important to us," Hancock said.

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (July 2013)

    July 2013 Awardees Include:

    Dillip Ramnanan

    Refrigerated Division

    Curtis Lee Gibbs 

    Flatbed Division

    Glenn E. Ford

    Tanker Division

    Nicholas Q. Kenney

    Company Tanker Division

    Sergei Kondratjuk & Val Petrov 

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Jason Patterson

    Company Flatbed Division

    Jere Nichols & Bo C. Bryan 

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Need a New Job? | Tips to Get Ahead in Your Career

    Are you stuck in a dead-end career and feel as though you need a new job, but you’re too afraid to quit because of the poor economy? Perhaps you’ve been laid off or you haven’t been able to find a job since graduating from college. Whatever your situation, you need a new job that pays well and fits your lifestyle, a job that can take you places in your career.

    Have you considered a career in truck driving? Prime, Inc. is the ideal carrier to join if you want to get your career rolling down the right track once again. There are many reasons why starting your trucking career with Prime could be a perfect fit for you.

    Job Availability

    According to CNN, there are approximately 200,000 trucking opportunities available, many from Prime. Joan McKinsey, a recruiter from Prime Inc., explains that people from all walks of life have found jobs with Prime, from ex-lawyers to ex-teachers.

    Apprenticeship Training

    While many trucking carriers require their drivers to have one or more years of truck driving experience, Prime gives you the opportunity for on-the-job training with absolutely no prior trucking experience.

    At Prime, you can start training before you obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) through the Prime Student Driver (PSD) program. Prime’s PSD program begins by you obtaining a CDL permit. Then, you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for over 75 hours of one-on-one training. And this training won’t consist of you simply driving circles in a parking lot or solely spending time a classroom; you’ll experience real-world, behind-the-wheel training from an experienced driver who knows what it takes to be successful as a truck driver. After 75 hours of training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, MO, for final CDL testing and obtain your Class A CDL. Then, you can enter our program with guaranteed pay of $600 per week (provided you are available for work) while you finish the last step of training which consists of 30,000 miles in a Prime truck out on the road.

    Income Potential

    Prime offers every new driver a competitive base pay. As you prove your ability to drive exceptionally, you will be rewarded with higher pay according to the company’s pay for performance model. Depending on the number of miles you drive as well as the truck model, you can expect to earn $750 to $1000 as a new driver at Prime. The earning potential is even higher for independent contractors who operate and care for their own trucks.


    You can expect great benefits from the moment you sign on with Prime. These include driver amenities at Prime’s headquarters and other Prime terminals across the country. At Prime’s headquarters in Springfield, MO, as well as at our second largest terminal in Pittston, PA, you can take advantage of amenities including a fitness facility, laundry facilities, free showers, full-service café, company store, salon & spa, and more. For company drivers, you can enjoy paid vacation, late-model trucks, award and recognition programs, a 401(k) retirement plan, and more. For independent contractors, you can look forward to access to Success Leasing to get yourself into your own truck with no money down, a Retention & Rewards program (to give you long-term benefits similar to those in a retirement plan), award and recognition programs, and more. Both independent contractors and company drivers have access to incentive pay for recruiting new drivers as well as for becoming a professional Driver Trainer and training new drivers in the Prime Student Driver program. Anyone who needs a new job can experience all of these benefits and more when they start a new career with Prime.

    Don’t wait a moment longer if you need a new job. Visit the Prime Inc. website and connect with us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook to jump-start your new career today.

  • Jobs After the Military | What You Can Do With Your MOS

    If you were recently discharged from active duty and wondering what you can do with your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), it’s time to start looking for jobs after the military. Even if you have yet to say good-bye to military life, you can plan ahead by pinpointing the industry you wish to join when the time comes.

    Some of the best jobs after the military are truck-driving opportunities. Many of the skills that helped you succeed in the military can help you transition to a career in the transportation industry. Here’s a look at three skills that translate seamlessly into trucking jobs after the military.

    • Good work ethic: Military personnel are used to running on a tight schedule which translates well to the trucking industry where being on time is very important. At Prime, we value on-time service through our Prime Time Certified program (PTC). The PTC award program recognizes driver associates who achieve continuous outstanding on-time performance throughout the year (quarterly, semi-annually, and annually). Awards include patches, belt buckles, shirts and sweaters. At the two-year level, associates receive a gold ring with one diamond. With every additional year of continuous on-time service, a diamond is added to the ring.
    • Discipline: In an industry where a carrier’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores are based on driver safety, it’s imperative for companies to hire disciplined drivers that take their job seriously. There’s no better way to prove how regimented you are than having an honorable discharge from military service on your résumé. Prime considers safety to be our highest calling. We rely on our drivers to keep themselves, their freight and equipment, and the motoring public safe as they transport loads across the country.
    • Driving experience: Were you a Motor Transport Operator in the military? If so, Prime accepts DA Form 348, and all you will need to do is obtain your Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).You’ll be ahead of other new drivers because of your hands-on experience driving large vehicles. Prime also welcomes military veterans with no prior driving experience to join the Prime Student Driving program to help them get their CDL.

    Thanks to the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012, you can obtain your CDL while still on active duty even if you’re stationed somewhere other than your home state. By getting ahead of the game, you’ll be that much closer to landing one of the various truck driving jobs after the military. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) points out that 43 states offer a military skills test waiver if you can show documentation of at least two years of driving experience while in the armed forces.

    Prime is the perfect place to use your skills you have obtained in the military and transform them into a successful and rewarding career. Here at Prime, Veterans are an important piece to the puzzle. We have programs to help you earn a college degree while you are on the road through our Prime Success Scholars program in partnership with Bethel University.We honor our Veterans by annually participating in the Wreaths Across America program, recognizing our Veterans at our weekly Friday Morning Meetings at our Missouri and Pennsylvania terminals, and partnering with our local VFW chapter for our onsite Veterans Day service at our headquarters in Missouri. We appreciate and value the sacrifice of the men and women who have served this great country.

    Getting started with jobs after the military doesn’t need to be a challenge. You simply need to plan ahead and know where to look.

  • Fitness Friday with Siphiwe Baleka: DHF Class 12 Update

    Trucking Jobs1 Fitness Friday with Siphiwe Baleka: DHF Class 12 UpdateTwenty-five drivers started Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness (DHF) Basic 13 Week Program and just completed their first week of logging their nutrition and exercising for 15 minutes each day. This is the largest DHF class ever at Prime. That is reflected in the fact that their collective weekly review took up 31 pages! That’s a new record.

    Here’s how the class compared to the first 4 DHF classes for week #1: 

    Group Numbers Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 12
    Total calories burned: 28,804 17,343 29,667 77,632
    Average calories burned: 3,601 3,469 3,708 3,375
    Total calories consumed: 18,428 8,154 13,577 43,234
    Average calories consumed: 1,418 1,631 1,697 1,879
    Total calorie deficit: 17,717 9,189 16,090 34,398
    Average Calorie Deficit: 2,214 1,839 2,011 1,496
    Average meals logged: 3.9 3.9 4.25 4.6
    Total Average activity: 766 min 397 min 1,027 min 1,726 min
    Average activity: 96 min 79 min 128 min 75 min
    Total vigorous activity: 51 min 4 min 47 min 75 min
    Average vigorous activity 6.4 min 0.8 min 5.9 min 3.3 min

    Overall, the class is off to a very good start. 23 out of 25 drivers in this class had enough data to review in the first week. That’s really good.

    So, as a group, the DHF Class 12 is averaging 3,375 calories burned per person per day. Interestingly, that’s lower than any of the first 4 classes. They are also consuming an average of 1,879 calories per person per day which is higher than any of the first four classes. The good news is that there is lots of room for improvement.  Class 12’s average meal frequency is 4.6 meals per day – higher than any of the first four classes which is good. Their average physical activity was 75 minutes which was lower than any of the first four classes, while their average vigorous activity was 3.3 minutes which ranks third out of five classes. So, DHF Class 12 is consuming more calories and eating more frequently while burning less calories and getting less physical activity compared to the first 4 classes.

    Congratulations to Dustin Davidson and Jerry Byrd, both of whom logged a perfect 6.0 meals a day for Week #1!  Congratulations to Dustin as well, who averaged 13 minutes of vigorous activity, followed by Clifford Wilkinson (12 minutes), Johnny Jackson (10 minutes) and Nancy Perkins (8 minutes). Finally, the highest average carbs was 378g per day while the lowest was 102g per day. Ironically, both of these drivers are in the same truck! LOL!

    Twelve drivers logged workouts on the Skimble Workout Trainer app. This is a new app that we are testing for the first time and we plan to make it and a new DHF program available to all drivers in the fleet very soon. DHF Class 12 just finished the DHF Week #1 Challenge using that phone app that actually walks you through each workout and then “tracks” it. Robert Jorgenson was the Challenge winner completing 63% of the challenge, followed by Harold Proctor and Frank Lester, both with 54%. Drivers earn points for each workout they complete based on length of the workout and intensity of the workout. The current Skimble points leader as of 12:45 pm on Wednesday, July 24th is Dustin Davidson with 135 pts., followed by Harold Proctor with 106 points and Frank Lester with 101 pts. Great work team. There are thousands of different workouts for drivers to choose and drivers can create their own workouts, too.  Everyone has been given specific goals to work in order to improve in week #2.

    Want to learn more? Get the DHF DVD in through the Prime company store. For only $14.95, you get two discs full of information and exercises that you can do right from your truck! Give the company store a call to order the DVD at (417)521-3814.

    Want help? Enroll in the DHF 13 Week Program. Go to and click “Get Started”.

  • Why Prime Inc. is a Good Fit

    There are many reasons why someone chooses to enter a career in the trucking industry. For those who drive for Prime Inc., some of the main reasons why they chose to come to drive for this company are the endless support they receive from in-house associates as well as fellow driver associates, the best equipment available, and the extensive freight network. For three drivers, Prime provided not only a job but the support they needed to grow, succeed, and achieve dreams some of them had since they were children.

    Richard Robinson: Traveler

    Richard Robinson overcame what seemed to be insurmountable odds to achieve his dream of becoming a professional driver. When he was 9 months old, both of his legs were amputated below the knee due to a birth defect requiring him to use prosthetics. Because of his disability, Robinson was denied CDL licensing, a requirement to drive large trucks. While working in law enforcement at a prison, Robinson read an online article about Prime Inc. and how they had built a reputation for standing up for associates. He decided to put that to the test.

    “Prime welcomed me with open arms,” Robinson said. “Prime did in a few short weeks what it took me five years to try do to do, putting me through training and standing their ground to get me tested for my CDL. I don’t know how they did it, but they did, and I am so grateful.” With a son leaving for college, Robinson says his position with Prime allows him to travel for weeks at a time “getting paid to be a tourist” and says he cannot imagine doing anything else.

    Shawn Johnson: Soldier, Driver, Athlete

    Shawn Johnson, a driver with Prime Inc. for several years, credits Prime with helping him achieve two dreams he has had since childhood—truck driving and owning his own business. In addition to his duties as a driver with Prime, Johnson is also a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, and is working toward earning his stripes as a sergeant first class while continuing to drive for Prime.

    “Prime is extremely supportive of my military service,” Johnson said. “In fact, much of the equipment I drive in the Army is similar to those we drive for Prime. The only difference is the paint job and weaponry.” Johnson recently joined Prime’s Athletic Division, a health and fitness group comprised of many members of the Prime family.

    “We run marathons and triathlons all around the country,” Johnson explained. “This is an excellent example of how supportive Prime is, as they recognize my need to stay physically fit for my military duties. Not only that, the Athletic Division includes people who simply want to live healthier lives by losing weight and becoming more fit. Prime Inc.’s dedication to keeping their people healthy is just another example of how much they care.”

    Paul Hess: Trainer

    New drivers learn the ropes from trainers, like Paul Hess, who has been with Prime Inc. since 1999. Hess takes drivers with a CDL permit and over a month-long period prepares them (one on one) to test for their CDL license through the Prime Student Driver Program. He credits Prime with giving him everything he needs to make new drivers road-ready.

    “The training program includes CDL training, and I like the way the program is set up,” Hess explained. “Prime offers all the training a new driver needs to get started with the business. That says a lot about how much Prime cares, not only about new associates, but also about others that share the road with these big trucks. Safety is extremely important to Prime, and their training program makes that clear.”

    Hess says that the most important traits a driver needs are a good attitude and a willingness to learn. Hess jokingly says that he cannot remember life before becoming a Prime Inc. driver.

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (June 2013)

    June 2013 Awardees include:

    Clifton D. Humphrey

    Refrigerated Division

    Bill H. Whoberry

    Flatbed Division

    Bradford Brydie

    Tanker Division

    Fredrick Billings

    Company Tanker Division

    Benjamin R. Beasley

    Company Refrigerated

    Elisha W. Tucker

    Company Flatbed Division

    Jeffrey A. Wilson & Gwendolyn N. Dison

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members (July 2013)

    Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members (July 2013)

    Gold Millionaires

    Two Million Milers

    • Denise Allen
    • Robert Conger
    • Curtis A. Fiedler
    • Jo Ann Totsch
    • Thomas H. Withers

    Click here to read more about Prime's Driver Awards.

  • Listen in on our July 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in iTunes
    Prime FeedBurner Safety Podcast
    Prime BuzzSprout Safety Podcast


    In this release: CSA Scores, Winter Driving, HoS Questions, Respect Customers, Routing Change, Get-Over Law, Tanker Endorsement, Tires, Pickup Reports, Convey for Special Olympics, Maintain Your Lane, Road Assist Improvements, Prime's Fittest Driver, Navigation and Mobile App, Respect.


  • Prime Inc. Driver Thomas Miller Appointed Captain for America’s Road Team

    Thomas Miller, an independent contractor who drives for Prime Inc., recently became a captain for America’s Road Team, the first person with Prime to receive this honor. America’s Road Team is a nationwide public outreach program, led by an elite group of professional truck drivers, to promote safety.

    Thomas is a professional truck driver with 17 years of experience (including 14 with Prime Inc.) and has accumulated over 2.5 million accident free miles. The Missouri Trucking Association also named him Driver of the Month in August 2011 and again in September 2012. Those are just a few of the safe driving awards bestowed on Thomas, a clear indication why he is a perfect captain for America’s Road Team.

    The America’s Road Team motto is “Safety is Our Driving Concern.” Thomas Miller says, “Our main focus is talking to trucking companies, trucking organizations, state legislators and anyone else who will listen to our information about trucking safety.” Thomas credits Prime Inc. for having a strong focus on safety and continuous training which helped him achieve this prestigious honor.

    The American Trucking Association created America’s Road Team in 1986. Every two years, the organization chooses drivers they consider to be exceptional to serve as Road Team Captains. Each month captains spend a few days meeting with the public, news media, transportation officials, and legislators to discuss trucking safety. Thousands of drivers apply to the ATA for the position each year, which requires submission of a video, a letter, a list of accomplishments and certifications. Thomas was one of 18 drivers chosen out of 2,400 applicants to represent America’s Road Team.

    “I am the first driver Prime has nominated,” Thomas said. “Steve Fields came to my safety supervisor, David White, and said, ‘Hey, you really need to nominate Thomas for this road team,’ and with the support of John Hancock and Jennifer Pierson—who was a godsend in the entire process—I was successful in being appointed to this prestigious team.” Thomas says he has presented information for America’s Road Team at the Mid-America Truck Show and plans to head to Minnesota to speak at their state capitol, then to Maine for more presentations on trucking safety.

    “We are proud to call Thomas a Prime associate and congratulate him on this prestigious honor,” said John Hancock, Director of Training and Driver Recruitment at Prime Inc. “Thomas exemplifies the hard work, dedication, and commitment to safety our company strives to meet every day.”

    Thomas has also competed at the Missouri State Truck Driving Championship where he placed first in the tank class in 2006 and in 2012 and went on to compete at the National Truck Driving Championships those years. He placed second in 2002 and placed third in his division in 2007, 2011, and 2013.

  • Prime Inc | What Makes Our Training Different From Other Programs?

    If you want to start your truck driving career with an industry-leading carrier, look no further than Prime Inc.  We have grown and expanded tremendously since our inception in 1970. Drivers with Prime Inc are some of the most qualified and highest-earning truck drivers on the road, and it all begins with our exceptional training program lead by top instructors. With outstanding incentives during and after training, there’s no reason to look anywhere else.

    Prime Inc. Training

    What makes our training program so different from other carriers? Consider the process of our Prime Student Driver Program:

    • Obtain your CDL permit: Study for the test and obtain a CDL permit in your state.
    • Train on-site: Your training begins at Prime Inc’s Training Center in Springfield, Mo. Here, you experience hands-on simulator training as you work toward a minimum of 40,000 training dispatched miles.
    • Train on-the-road: Drive for three to four weeks in almost-new equipment with a CDL instructor at your side. Real-world experience driving is the way to earn 75 hours of time behind the wheel. In addition, this is how you earn the first 10,000 miles of the 40,000 miles you need to graduate the program.
    • Train one-on-one: Whether you’re in a driving simulation or getting experience behind the wheel, you can expect one-on-one training with the best instructors the industry has to offer.
    • Pass the final skills test: Back in Springfield, you must pass the final CDL exam, obtain a Hazmat endorsement (if you wish), and receive certification as a B2 company driver trainee.
    • Earn a guaranteed income (provided you are able to work): After you have acquired your CDL and are hired, you earn 12 cents per mile or $600 weekly guaranteed. This is your income as you finish off the final 30,000 miles you need to complete the program.
    • Take ACE Orientation at the Prime Inc Training Center: With all 40,000 miles complete, you must pass the upgrade skills test to boost your income to 34 cents per mile. This earns you $650 to $750 per week.

    Trainer, John Callahan, whose teaching and driving records are impeccable, has only praise for his company. “I started out as a regular driver, gained experience on the road, went through the necessary courses, and ended up Prime Inc. Instructor of the Year three years later,” said John. “That’s probably one of the best things you could say about a training program.”

    In 2012, instructors worked to help over 1,000 students earn their CDL license through the Prime training program. Callahan, who said he was a casualty of the economy, joined Prime for the income. After signing, he realized the organization was great from top to bottom. Callahan’s first trainer, Danny Gibbons, remains his greatest inspiration. The best thing about being an instructor, the newly honored Callahan says, is that you get to see the country and you get to help students with their careers.

    He describes his training experiences with new drivers out on the road as fun and readily admits to being stuck in a sticky situation once or twice along the way.  Overall, he says, “I pretty much think the more boring, the better, especially when it comes to driving.”

    Like John Callahan, having completed this comprehensive training program, you can then say, “I’m Prime!” To learn more about the training you can receive from Prime Inc, be sure to visit our website. Then, connect with us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Fitness Friday with Siphiwe Baleka (7/19/2013)

    Trucking Jobs1 Fitness Friday with Siphiwe Baleka

    During the Friday morning Safety Meeting at Prime on July 5th, there was a very good discussion about the various issues Prime instructors and trainers are facing. After that meeting, I received the following email from Terrence McLaurin, an example of one of the outstanding drivers we have here at Prime. Below, Terrence discusses how he works with his students on driver health and wellness.


    From: Terrence McLaurin

    Sent: Monday, July 08, 2013 3:39 PM

    To: Siphiwe Baleka

    Subject: Hygiene & Fitness


    Hello Siphiwe,

    First, it is my opinion that it is a trainer’s responsibility to provide a safe and clean work/sleep environment.

    I talk with potential co drivers concerning their goals during their driving career as well as their personal goals before accepting the obligation of mentoring them.

    A major part of this conversion includes their expectations of me and mine of them. Ground rules from hygiene, work ethics, diet and fitness are also discussed at this time.

    When a potential co driver and I agree on the ground rules and expectations of one another; then, he or she is allowed access to my truck.

    Secondly, I never arrive to meet a potential driver while under a load. My co driver and I need time to bond, put personal items away, shop for supplies and acclimate them to the truck. This process takes a minimum of 24 hours.

    Please note I use the term co driver, not trainee or student. I view mentoring as a team effort. Both parties contributing equally.


    Hygiene & Safety:

    Co driver given at least 30 minutes to prepare for shift.

    No loose items overhead & on dash board.

    Dash board including gauges/controls & Qualcomm wiped with anti-bacterial wipes before swift change.

    Sleep gear switch. Fold and store your gear & prepare co drivers sleep gear.

    Floor swept and air blown every 24 hours/mopped during every live load or unload.

    Cross over talk concerning weather, route, fuel & pick up or delivery times.

    Diet & Fitness:

    Supplies and food are agreed & purchased for 7 day supply.

    Cooking responsibilities are divided by ability & allotted time.

    Exercise done before showers. (every other day)

    Details of diet and exercise:

    My co driver and I agree on a diet before leaving terminal. The first week I cover all costs and prepare food.

    Typical diet includes turkey bacon, eggs, fresh fruit, skinless chicken, pork chops, fresh veggies, instant stuffing, scallop potatoes and popcorn.

    Each driver can have any snack items and drink they choose. I like potato skin chips, popcorn and cookies with V8 Fusion.



    2-4 pieces of turkey bacon

    2-3 eggs with choice of carrots/broccoli/onions

    2 pieces of fresh fruit

    1 bowl of cereal (driver choice)



    1-2 pieces of skinless chicken or pork chop

    1 serving of stuffing or scallop potatoes choice of veggie (broccoli/carrots/asparagus)

    2 pieces of fresh fruit

    The truck has a 20″ griddle, 2 tier steamer and microwave. I don’t use disposable plates or cutlery. Glass plates and bowls are used for eating. Plastic bowls are used for storing food. Silverware includes knives, forks and spoons. Plastic serving spoons and tongs are provided.

    Drivers alternate washing dishes with each shift change. Supplies provided.

    Exercise is for 15 minutes every other day using a MMA workout band and jump rope. I wear a 20lb weight vest and 5lb ankle weights while exercising. The video from the MMA band and Prime are provided. Exercise and showering are NOT optional.

  • Where Can a Career with Prime Inc. Take You?

    See what Mike Crawford, one of Prime’s success stories, has to say!

    Mike Crawford began driving for Prime Inc. as a company driver in 1994 just to see if “things worked out.”  Today, Mike has accumulated more than three million accident-free miles in the same truck he leased just weeks after he joined the company.

    “I have an application in to the Guinness Book of World Records because we cannot find any evidence of another driver in one truck who has gone three million miles without an accident,” Mike said.  He reached the three million mile mark on his odometer on December 21, 2012, at 10:35 p.m. at mile marker 110.5 on eastbound Interstate 10 near Buckeye, Arizona.

    Mike says he will forever be grateful to Prime Inc. for the opportunity he says provided a good life for his wife of 49 years, his eight children, 25 grandchildren and “6.2 great-grandchildren.  I say 0.2 because we have two more on the way.”

    “When I started the truck driving job with Prime Inc. as a company driver, my credit rating was terrible,” Mike said.  “After being with the company a few weeks, Prime Inc. allowed me to lease the truck I am driving today, and then, four years later, I exercised the option to buy that same truck and continue to use it as an independent contractor.”

    In 2010, Mike began to operate under his own authority and now runs his own trucking company while continuing to partner with Prime.  He credits the carrier with giving him the support he needed over the years to reach his professional goals.

    Prime Inc. gives you the opportunity to start out with nothing and grow to an  independent contractor with your own authority.  The door was always open if there is something I needed to discuss with anyone in management, including the owner, Robert Low,” Mike said.

    “We are extremely proud to have been a part of Mike’s success over the years,” said John Hancock, Director of Training and Driver Recruiting.  “Mike was always a hard-working, loyal, and dependable operator who took pride in providing the best in customer service.  Mike always put the customer first which has always been the key focus of Prime.”

    Mike was named 2010 Trucker of the Year by Overdrive magazine and credits Prime Inc. for helping him get the award. He also received a recommendation for the award from a competitor trucking company which illustrates just how widely respected Mike is throughout the trucking industry.  Mike has won several awards from the Missouri Trucking Association and Prime Inc.

    When reflecting on his years with Prime, Mike has high praise for Robert Low. “I feel that Robert Low sometimes cares more for his operators than for himself,” Mike said.  “I cannot say enough good about the man and his company.  He not only believes that his professional drivers are his most valuable asset but shows it in the way he treats them.  For years, he made it fun for me to come to work and encouraged me to eventually start my own company.”

  • Truck Leasing a Hedge against Uncertain Economic Times

    The recent recession left its mark on many industries in the U.S., and America’s truck fleets and companies didn’t escape the pressure. Yet the trucks kept rolling down America’s highways during those lean years.


    Darrel Hopkins, director of the Success Leasing program, credits the entrepreneurial spirit of the industry’s independent contractors.  “We’ve gone through a fairly tight period of time as far as our economy is concerned,” Hopkins said, “and not once during that period of time do I know of the trucking industry having too many drivers or too many independent contractors. It’s a tough profession, everybody knows that, but it’s one that offers great opportunity.”

    You should never sugar-coat the risks involved in trucking: the time and miles away from home, the nasty weather, the deadlines, the price of fuel. However, there are few businesses that can reward hard work and individual initiative faster than trucking.

    “The true entrepreneurial spirit has to come out and override the ‘I’m just in it for the job’ approach. It requires someone who wants to take ownership of their business, their fuel, their time, and their responsibilities. This is a chance. What other business, will let you walk into it with no money down and step into a $140,000 piece of equipment so you can start your own business?”

    That’s the kind of beginning Success enables. Like those contractors who have used the opportunity to jump-start their economic lives, Success Leasing has also come a long way since its launch in 1985. It started with offering one truck and one type of leasing arrangement; now contractors can choose from four different brands of trucks—with more than one make/model under each brand—and three different types of leases, all with purchase options.

    Those trucks, by the way, aren’t scaled-down, thinned-out versions. “We spec our trucks to true owner-operator specifications,” Hopkins said. “If you walked into a dealership interested in buying a truck, these are the kinds of truck you would look at to buy.”

    Industry-leading warranties, opportunities to customize trucks, and a chance to run freight for anyone—including Prime—are also part of the Success Leasing story.

    In 2012, 828 drivers were paid out with the Success Lease Completion Incentives, totaling a whopping $6,729,022.84. This is an average of $8,126.84 per driver.

    Then, there are the drivers who earn incentives to complete the full term of their lease; they’re the ones honored during Friday driver’s breakfast meetings, holding $25,000 checks and grinning with anticipation of buying a house, a motorcycle, a trip with the wife to Cancun.

    Of the 5000+ trucks running with Prime on the highways, more than 3,000 are independent contractors taking advantage of the Success Leasing program. Many of those could end up like the drivers Hopkins talks to every once in a while—the ones who started leasing a few trucks and eventually built up their own fleets or bought trucks through the Success program and then run them for Prime or other companies.

    “They’re building their small fleets and now they are truly trucking company owners,” Hopkins said. “They’re not just being independent contractors. They’re hiring employees and drivers and managing their own businesses.”

    You don’t get much more entrepreneurial than that.

  • Resetting Your Metabolism

    Trucking Jobs1 Resetting Your Metabolism

    The reason why most diets fail is because they attempt to get you to change your diet and reduce your calories. This will result in some weight loss. However, weight loss has as much or more to do with other factors including hormones, stress, and especially your metabolic set point. If you change the way you eat by eating less, for example, your metabolic set point will, over time, prompt you to put the weight back on. That’s because your body is programmed to maintain your body weight over time. If your body is used to weighing 280 lbs., and you lose 30 lbs. your body will try to get back to 280 lbs. through biochemical and hormonal responses. So to lose weight, and keep the weight off, you have to change the programming. That means resetting your metabolism. It’s relatively easy to reset your metabolism. All you have to do is “spike” it or raise it well above its normal level for four minutes every day. Let’s look at an example.

    Joe Driver is a full time independent contractor who is 5’10” and weighs 250 lbs. That gives him a BMI of 36 and classifies him as “obese” (which is now a disease according to the American Medical Association). An average day for Joe is as follows: wake up and walk into the truck stop to use the bathroom, get a little breakfast, and then walk back to the truck. Joe starts driving for a few hours then decides to fuel. He stops at another truck stop, fuels, walks in to the truck stop to get receipt, gets some fast food, then walks back to the truck and starts driving. A few hours later, Joe arrives at the receiver. He parks the truck, checks in with security,  drives to the dock, opens the trailer doors, backs in to the dock, dollies down the landing gear then sits in his truck while getting unloaded.  Once unloaded, Joe walks in to the shipper, gets bills, walks back to the truck, puts the landing gear up, pulls out of the dock, closes the trailer door, then drives to the nearest truck stop, and parks the truck. At some point, Joe will get out of the truck and walk into the truck stop to get dinner, and then return to the truck and eventually go to sleep. Joe does not get out of the truck to exercise. Does this sound like you?

    After monitoring the metabolism of one hundred and fifty drivers, I have learned that the average driver, who follows a similar routine as described above and does not exercise, will have a metabolism that fluctuates between 1 and 4 METS. METS is a unit of measurement used to quantify how hard your metabolism is working. 0 to 3 METS is light activity, 3 to 6 METS is moderate activity, and anything over 6 METS is vigorous activity. That means that the average driver who does not exercise only spikes his or her metabolism to about 4 METS which is “moderate” activity. Most of the time the average driver is in the “light activity”, and that’s where the metabolism sets itself. Every day, every week, every month, every year that Joe Driver drives, his metabolism goes from 1 (sleeping/ driving)  to 4 (walking, working the landing gear, opening/closing trailer doors)  back to 1 back to 4 and back to 1 and so on. To reset his metabolism, Joe Driver will need to spike his metabolism above 4. How can he do that? EXERCISE!

    If Joe were to exercise for 15 minutes and exercise to the point of breathing really hard for four minutes, Joe would spike his metabolism above 6 METS which is vigorous activity. The true benefit of exercise is not just the extra calories burned but raising your METS. By exercising every day, Joe “trains” his metabolism to go from 1 MET to 6 METs every day. In that way, Joe increased his metabolic set point. The higher metabolism burns more calories (and fat) every day. This is how you lose weight and keep it off!

    The problem with diets is that they don’t target your METS. Changing what you eat doesn’t affect your METS that much.  So if you want to lose weight and keep it off, spike your metabolism by exercising for 15 minutes every day and make sure that at least four minutes is vigorous!

    Want to learn more? Get the DHF DVD in through the Prime company store. For only $14.95, you get two discs full of information and exercises that you can do right from your truck! Give the company store a call to order the DVD at (417)521-3814.

    Want help? Enroll in the DHF 13 Week Program. Go to and click “Get Started”.

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (May 2013)

    May 2013 Awardees include:

    Calvin Holmes

    Refrigerated Division

    Robert F. Saling

    Flatbed Division

    Howard E. Triplett

    Tanker Division

    Jeffrey Lee Fisher

    Company Tanker Division

    Luther Smith

    Company Refrigerated

    Ronald C. Miller

    Company Flatbed Division

    William T. Wells & Clarence Schumaker

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members (June 2013)

    Gold Millionaires

    Three Million Miler

    • Vincent Kirk Allen

    Two Million Milers

    • James L. Conover
    • Thomas E. Miller

    One Million Miler

    • Ted D. Auten

    Click here to read more about Prime's Driver Awards.

  • Fitness Friday | Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness (DHF) Program

    July, 2013 marks the one year anniversary of Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness (DHF) Program. Normally, you will hear me talk about the successes and benefits of the DHF Program (see links below). However, I want to talk about the “failure” of the DHF program. In spite of the phenomenal results of the first eight classes in which the average weight loss was 19.3 lbs. in just 13 weeks, the number of applications for the program in the first year (through June 2013) was just 203 out of 6,151 drivers in the entire Prime fleet. That’s just 3.3% of the fleet. In the first eight classes, 109 drivers actually enrolled in the program and 54 drivers successfully completed the program. That’s just 0.8% of the fleet. This is the failure of the DHF program. The question is: why are so few drivers taking advantage of the DHF program? Do the drivers still not know about it or know enough about it? Is it too expensive?  Is the perception of the program that it is too hard? Do drivers just not care? Quite honestly, I am perplexed.

    No one wants to be obese. The American Medical Association voted on Tuesday of this past week to declare obesity a disease, a move that effectively defines 78 million American adults and 12 million children as having a medical condition requiring treatment. National statistics state that 57% of America’s truck drivers are obese, and I don’t think Prime is any different. So that means 57% of the Prime fleet is suffering from a disease, and the cause of that disease is called Metabolic Syndrome. According to the Center For Disease Control Obesity Cost Calculator which estimates that 38% of Prime’s fleet has a BMI greater than 30 ( a very low estimate in my opinion), the total medical and work loss costs attributable to High BMI is $2,923,000. That’s 83% of the total estimated medical and work loss costs for all drivers. And since the majority of Prime’s fleet are lease operators responsible for paying their own health care insurance, a large percentage of those costs are passed directly to the drivers. So why would anyone want to be diseased and lose money?

    So Prime decided to do something about this. First, it hired me, one of its own PSD- trained and successful independent contractor with a sports fitness background and a state-of-the-art metabolic-boosting fitness program designed specifically for long haul truck drivers. And then Prime set it up so that completing Prime’s DHF Basic 13 Week Program costs drivers $0/day. It’s a free benefit offered exclusively at Prime! You put skin in the game to signal Prime that you are serious, and then Prime pays you back for successfully completing the program. So, basically, IT’S FREE! And, you get to keep the equipment!

    Now imagine you were diagnosed with another disease – let’s say “cancer” or “diabetes”. Now imagine Prime offered an expensive program with proven results that could significantly help cure you of the disease at no cost to you. . . . A program that could potentially save your life . . . . So why haven’t you enrolled in the DHF program?

    So I welcome all serious comments from drivers to help me figure out how to increase participation in the DHF program. Let’s get past the idea that “drivers are too lazy” and “it’s too hard” – neither of which is true. Let’s have a real dialogue about what it will take to get every driver at Prime to enroll in the DHF program whether they are obese or not. If living longer, reducing your risk for 60 medical disorders and 12 cancers, getting off medication, saving money, sleeping better, getting the best equipment and coaching available to drivers for free, and setting the example of healthy living for your family isn’t enough to motivate YOU, what will?

    Benefits of the DHF Program:

    DHF Top Fifteen Performers:

    DHF 13 Week Program Requirements:

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