Prime News

  • Accident Prevention Program

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, is "taking charge" of safety by utilizing a proven accident prevention program known as the Smith System®. "We're taking charge in the industry," says Ken Beagley, Smith System® Instructor. "We're making every attempt to improve our drivers' road awareness and make Prime a safer, better company."

    Prime offers the Smith System®, a driver-training program introduced by Harold L. Smith in 1948 to teach drivers eye-mind coordination, as a one-day course to drivers of trucks leased through Prime. The program teaches five keys to space cushion driving, all aimed at keeping drivers from being involved in an accident.

    The course combines classroom and on-the-road training and focuses on all aspects of driving, including backing and parking. Smith System&ref; certified trainers instruct students on how to look ahead, maintain appropriate following distances, keep their eyes moving, look for ways out of bad situations, and make sure other drivers see them.

    "The benefits of this program are not only avoiding accidents and understanding other drivers," says Beagley. "The program also helps professional drivers reduce fuel costs by 10 to 15 percent and maintenance costs by as much as 33 percent."

    Classroom training, open to non-driving Prime Associates as well as driving Associates, is conducted at the Bass Country Inn in Springfield, Tuesday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Associates who qualify are rewarded $100 for completing the course.

  • Update to OOIDA Lawsuit

    In an important recent development, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri denied OOIDA's motion for Class Certification in the pending action against Prime. OOIDA, a non-profit trade organization, had originally filed the complaint against the company in 1997 alleging federal leasing violations.

    According to Steve Crawford, Prime's General Counsel, "Basically when the Court denied the class certification, it eliminated absent owner operators for the case. This is exactly the ruling we had anticipated in connection with this matter. Although we expect OOIDA to petition for appeal, we have a great deal of confidence in the Court's ruling and basis upon which it was made." Crawford continued, "While this decision could end this protracted litigation, it has not given us the opportunity to address the underlying allegations, which we maintain are without merit."

    Crawford stressed that attorney's for Prime have done "an excellent job representing the interests of our company." Prime is represented by Jim Sullivan of Shugart, Thompson & Kilroy, Kansas City, Missouri as well as Arthur Curtis of Greene and Curtis, Springfield, Missouri.

  • Installation of VORAD System in Fleet

    According to Robert Low, president of Prime Inc., "It remains our first priority to continually seek and implement systems which enhance safety for our drivers and for the driving public with whom our operators share America's roads. That is why we are installing Vorad systems on every new truck we add to our fleet." Prime Inc. is a leading international truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri with refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk divisions servicing an expansive customer base throughout North America.

    The Eaton VORAD EVT-300 Collision Warning System is considered the most advanced, most sophisticated, most effective accident avoidance system ever developed. This high frequency radar system transmits radar signals from the front and sides of the truck alerting drivers to take evasive action in order to avoid impending accidents. The system features highly advanced technology that tracks up to 20 vehicles at a time and provides drivers with fast, precise warnings. "Our intention is quite obvious," Low continues, "and that is to avoid accidents, injuries and cargo claims. This technology features proven potential for protecting drivers and that's exciting to me."

    The "SmartCruise" option on the VORAD system enhances driver convenience and safety by maintaining driver pre-set speed and following intervals while cruise control is engaged. In addition, "SmartCruise" functions around curves and in adverse weather conditions while also monitoring traffic on the other side of upcoming hills.

    Low concludes, "Though this an expensive undertaking, we anticipate a measurable reduction in accidents and cargo claims and consider any investment which makes the roads safer for all, to be an essential investment."

  • Associates benefit from Education Assistance Program

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, is pleased to acknowledge several company associates that are currently participating in the company's Education Assistance Program.

    The program is designed to assist Prime associates in seeking further educational opportunities that directly improve specific skills and duties relative to their position at Prime. After six-months of employment, associates can become eligible for tuition reimbursement. Prime's remuneration schedule pays 100% for A's, 90% for B's, and 80% for C's to qualifying students upon the presentation of grade sheets and proof of payment.

    Individuals currently enrolled in the program are Jason Allen, Trailer Maintenance; Kristina Atkeson, Accounting; Jeff Chism, Claims; Nick Forte, Wash Bay; Mary Gannaway, Management Information Systems (MIS); Tom Iacavoni, Flatbed Sales; Kelly Johns, Road Assist; Jason Kristek, Detail Shop; Jason Leeper, Trailer Maintenance; Bobbie Shelton, Shop; Juita Suria, Accounting; and Jeremy Thrasher, Trailer Maintenance.

    Current Prime associates Chad Clay, Tanker Dispatch, and Amy Compton, Logistics-Brokerage, recently completed their MBA's while enrolled in the program.

  • Safety Identification Program To Protect Children

    August has been designated as Child Protection Month by the Prime Kids Learning Center, which is located inside Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.

    The company's Security Department will be providing fingerprinting and taking DNA samples of associates' children. Parents will receive a kit, which can be updated annually or as necessary, containing their child's fingerprints. The packet will also feature a slot for a current photo of their child, as well as a place to record the child's height, weight and any identifiable markings or unique physical traits.

    Instructors at the Prime Kids Learning Center will be discussing basic but vital safety issues with each class on an age appropriate level. A few of the topics include teaching children to know their parents names as well as phone numbers and addresses, when and how to dial 911, dealing with strangers and stranger anxiety. "You can never be too careful," says Kristal Glenn, Director of the Learning Center. "This program is intended to help parents protect their children by having important information readily available in case of an emergency."

  • Prime Ranked Top Refrigerated Carrier In The United States

    In a recently released report, Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, was recognized as the number one refrigerated carrier in the United States.

    The Top 100 Carriers report, compiled and issued annually by Transport Topics, also ranked Prime third in the nation for the Best Net Profit Margin category; seventh for Best Operating Ratio; and thirty-fourth for Gross Revenue. Of all North American carriers, Prime ranked ninth for Best Revenue Growth.

    Transport Topics has been publishing its annual rankings of the 100 largest trucking companies since 1989 with the goal of accurately documenting the size and scope of the most dominant carriers and providing analysis of the trends that shape the industry.

  • Proofs of Delivery Available on Prime's Website

    You can now quickly and conveniently get copies of original Bills of Lading right from Prime's web site, if you are already set up for Load Tracing. Bills of Lading can be viewed and printed right from your PC.

    • No more phone tag to request a copy of the proof of delivery.
    • No more waiting for it to be faxed from Prime.
    • No more calling Prime to get the name of the person who signed the Bill of Lading.
    Just click on the "Proof of Delivery" option at the bottom of the Load Tracing screen at www.primeinc.com. Then click on the load that a Bill of Lading is needed for, and an image of the BOL will be display.

    Using viewing software you will be able to display, rotate, print and even zoom in on any portion of the document, such as the signature.

    For two years, customers have had the convenience of tracing their loads in real time on Prime's web site. They no longer need to call Prime to find the information they need. They can choose to see data on:

    • Loads by origin or date
    • Current orders
    • Delivered orders
    • Individual orders by Prime's or the customer's reference number
    For each load, customers can see:
    • Current position
    • Track movement of load
    • Stopoff information
    • Next via point and its distance from the truck
    • Estimated time of arrival
    • Temperature settings
    Special colors and reverse images enable customers to quickly identify:
    • Orders with a scheduled delivery today
    • Loads driven by teams
    • Potential late loads
    Customers can easily send messages directly to their Prime sales coordinators, who are notified immediately when they have a message, so they can respond quickly to questions, requests or changes to a load.

    If you would like to trace your loads on Prime's web site, please contact your sales coordinator or telemarketer.

  • Accounting Services Offered at Prime's Terminal

    Hours

    • 8 to 5 Monday through Friday, and by appointment
    • During tax season, January 1 to April 15: 7:00am to 7:00pm-Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday

    Service

    • Bookkeeping for owner operators.
    • Business consulting: Helping drivers understand their business so they can become more profitable.
    • Federal and state tax preparation, including estimated taxes and returns for prior years.
    • IRS problem resolution support, contacting the IRS on the client's behalf, and assisting in negotiations.

    Fees

    • Very reasonable fee schedule.
    • For fee schedule, please contact Perryman & Associates.

    For an appointment, call Perryman & Associates at 888-395-2614, 417-521-3923, or in-house extension 3923. You can also visit their website.

  • Prime Refrigerated Bears Precious Cargo

    At Prime, all cargo is precious. But on November 17, 2000, the cargo was not only precious; it was extraordinary. Refrigerated's David Jewell, truck #88408, was dispatched to the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, where a 600-pound polar bear was loaded into his truck for transport to Los Angeles, California.

    Kanook, a 16-year-old female polar bear who has been a resident of the Reid Park Zoo for the last four years, was acquired by Sea World Australia, south of Brisbane. Sea World contracted Hellman Worldwide in Australia to handle the logistics for Kanook's transport to her new home "down under." Hellman's Florida office, Hellman Perishable Logistics, chose Prime, the company's preferred carrier, to transport the polar bear from the zoo to Los Angeles, where she would board a Qantas Airways chartered flight to Australia.

    A zoo supervisor shot the polar bear in the right front shoulder with a tranquilizer dart before loading her into the truck. After her traveling crate was secured, a veterinarian injected her with Naltrexone, which reversed the effects of the tranquilizer. Zookeepers traveled with the polar bear to Los Angeles. The group arrived safely at the Qantas Airways freight facility the following day, November 18.

    Kanook will be paired with Ping Ping, a two-year-old male on his way to Sea World from the Beijing Zoo. They will be Australia's first resident polar bears. Their new home, a six-million-dollar enclosed exhibit, was scheduled to open to the public on December 26.

  • Prime Teams with Great Dane in Paying Tribute to Racing Legend Dale Earnhardt

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently teamed with Great Dane Trailers, of Savannah, Georgia, in the transport of a trailer dedicated to the memory of the late Dale Earnhardt, legendary NASCAR driver.

    Earnhardt died on the track of the Daytona 500, on February 18 of this year, when his car slammed headfirst into a concrete retaining wall a few hundred yards from the finish line. His friends at Great Dane later decided to honor him with a photo collage on one of their trailers. Earnhardt worked as a mechanic at the company's Charlotte, North Carolina, branch in 1975. "We wanted to pay tribute to a former employee and great race car driver," says Rob Fortney, director of National Accounts at Great Dane.

    Transport Graphics, of Springfield, Missouri, designed the trailer graphics, Gregory, Inc., of Buhler, Kansas, printed the design on 3M Scotch print, and Transport Graphics installed it on the trailer. Great Dane then asked Prime to transport the trailer to Louisville, Kentucky, where it was part of Great Dane's exhibit for the Mid America Trucking Show. The show, held March 22-24, is the largest truck expo in North America.

    Prime readily accepted Great Dane's offer to haul the trailer. "We have a great relationship with Transport Graphics and Great Dane," says Don Lacy, director of safety and recruiting at Prime. "Great Dane is our primary trailer supplier." Steve and Becky McComb, owner-operators with Prime for a number of years, hauled the trailer. "It was an honor," they say. According to Fortney, the couple "handled the trailer with a lot of TLC."

    The McComb's, who reside in Oregon, are heavily involved in the trucking industry. They volunteer for a number of recruiting activities, such as truck shows, and are members of the national "Trucker Buddy" program. Becky has written articles for "Women in Trucking" magazine, including one on home schooling. They hauled the trailer to Louisville, back to Springfield, then on to Savannah, where Great Dane is storing it. The company hopes to donate it to Dale Earnhardt, Inc., pending approval by the corporation and Earnhardt's wife Teresa.

  • Prime Expands Website Capabilities

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently expanded its website capabilities to include a new on-line customer service: Proof of Delivery.

    Customers already set up for Load Tracing can now quickly and conveniently retrieve copies of original Bills of Lading from Prime's website. By choosing the load for which a Bill of Lading is needed and clicking on the Proof of Delivery option at the top of Prime's Load Tracing screen, customers can view, rotate and print the document as well as zoom in on any portion of it, including the signature.

    Also under Load Tracing, Prime offers the ability to graphically give the temperatures of a trailer from the time it is loaded until it is delivered, making it possible to view the temperatures of the load during transit.

    Prime's website also includes another convenient customer service: Load Tendering. With this feature, customers can enter load information and send it to Prime electronically, notifying Sales Coordinators of a load being offered. Upon receipt of notification, the Sales Coordinator for that area determines whether Prime can handle the load and either accepts or declines the load.

    In addition to customer services, PrimeInc.com features driver services, including Viewing Settlements. The website also allows users to send a Message to a Truck, and gives Fuel Prices to driver associates.

    Other features include on-line applications for Driving Opportunities in Prime's Refrigerated, Flatbed and Liquid Bulk Divisions and for Non-Driving Opportunities throughout the company.

    Visitors to www.primeinc.com can also contact Prime Management and Customer Service Representatives via e-mail by clicking on their photographs under Key Personnel and Sales Territories. In addition, they can request Rate Quotations from Prime Sales staff.

    On Prime's homepage, users of www.primeinc.com can perform a Screensaver Download, choosing from 12 scenic photographs featuring Prime trucks.

  • Prime Partners with Springfield Public Schools

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, has partnered with the Springfield R-12 School System in providing community-based instruction to high school, special education students. "We are excited about our partnership with the Springfield Public School System in participating in the BASE project," says Steve Crawford, General Counsel, Prime Inc. "We are optimistic that the project will be rewarding for everyone involved."

    The Business Associated Student Education (BASE) project is designed for high school students 16 and older with an identified disability who have demonstrated a need or desire for vocational training outside the classroom. The project's mission is to develop and expand students' vocational competencies and work-related skills before they leave high school in order to ensure that they will be more capable when entering the labor market.

    "At Prime Inc., we have a very talented family of associates who are eager to share their time and resources with the students of the BASE program," says Crawford. Prime employs approximately 550 non-driving associates in Springfield and has worked with BASE project staff to help place students in areas in which they show interest and promise. The students will "job shadow" a diverse group of Prime employees in an effort to develop career awareness, learn and practice specific job tasks, and model positive social skills.

  • Prime Hosts Meeting with Missouri Highway Patrol/State Legislators

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently hosted a breakfast meeting with members of the Missouri Highway Patrol and Missouri State Legislators.

    "It was an opportunity for us to get to know one another and to work together to combat the problems we're facing since September 11," says Randy Price, directing manager, corporate security, Prime Inc. Price, Prime President Robert Low, and Director of ACE training programs John Hancock opened the meeting with a discussion on the effects of the national crisis on loads and transit.

    They then turned the meeting over to members of the Missouri Highway Patrol, including Colonel Roger Stottlemyre, Superintendent, and his executive command staff, along with state troopers from Missouri Highway Patrol Troop D, headquartered in Springfield.

    "This is a cooperative effort between Prime, the Highway Patrol and state lawmakers," says Price. "In trucking, we'll see a lot of measures that will change the face of the industry." Nearly 15 Missouri State Legislators attended the meeting, including Speaker of the House Jim Kreider and Senator Roseann Bentley.

    Long before September 11, Prime had taken a proactive approach to security, assisting law enforcement agencies nationwide; however, Price says the crisis has "opened our eyes on what we have to deal with." "It has thrown a wrench in our whole operation," he says. "A drop-and-hook that used to take 15 minutes has turned into a several-hour endeavor."

  • Prime Raises Nearly $33,000 for United Way

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently raised nearly $33,000 for United Way of the Ozarks.

    "We are proud of our continued partnership with United Way," says Steve Crawford, General Counsel, Prime Inc. "The organization is a true model and community leader." "Each year, United Way's achievements and accomplishments exceed our expectations," he says. "It is a pleasure to work with such a charitable and generous organization."

    Prime kicked off its annual United Way fundraiser with a dress-down day. Associates who chose to pledge $2 each to United Way for the opportunity to dress casual for a day raised a total of nearly $350. In addition, the company raised more than $27,350 in associate pledges and more than $5,100 in corporate pledges.

    The United Way of the Ozarks provides funding to 28 local human service agencies focusing on direct services and problem prevention programs. The local chapter of United Way also responds to problems including homelessness, drug abuse and illiteracy.

    Prime wrapped up its two-week fundraising campaign with meetings and guest speakers from three of the agencies United Way of the Ozarks supports: The American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America and Boys & Girls Town of Missouri.

  • Prime's Jeff and Jean Bender Earn Keys to New Truck


    Jeff and Jean Bender, contractors for Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, have earned the keys to a new truck through the company's recruiting program.

    According to the program, anyone who recruits 20 or more drivers for Prime within a year qualifies for the use of a new truck for a year. The Bender's, of Inverness, Florida, have recruited 30 drivers to date and expect to reach 40 by the end of December. Any recruits over 20 apply toward next year's contest.

    They were presented the keys to a 2002 Freightliner at Prime's annual holiday party on November 23. Jeff Bender, retired Air Force, helped design the graphics for the truck, which include an Americana theme featuring eagles and American flags, the Air Force motto "Aim High," and the couple's names on the doors.

    According to Don Lacy, Prime's Director of Safety and Recruiting, the Bender's success in recruiting is due partly to prior business experience. "Jeff doesn't oversell the program," says Lacy. "He uses a mentoring technique and advises the people he refers to call him if they need help."

    Thus far, the Bender's main focus has been on recruiting experienced team drivers. They use their own records to authenticate Prime's program and the potential for success. Between the free use of a truck for a year, valued at $35,000, and recruiting bonuses totaling more than $20,000, the two have earned in excess of $55,000 for their recruiting efforts.

  • Prime Recognizes Contractor Jeffery Bender for his Recruiting Efforts

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, has recognized Jeffery Bender, of Inverness, Florida, as a top recruiter for the company.

    Bender, a professional driver for more than 20 years, joined Prime in May 2000 as an independent contractor. He has recruited 10 drivers for the company since the first of the year and has thus far earned $19,000 for his efforts. Bender received $1,000 for each recruit, for a total of $10,000, and now qualifies for 13 weeks of free truck payments, valued at $9,000.

    As a top recruiter, Bender has brought a number of experienced teams to Prime. "He presents a good image," says Don Lacy, Director of Safety and Recruiting. "He's doing well, so he can sell that to other people." Ninety percent of Prime's applicants are through referrals.

    Bender is expected to recruit another 10 drivers by the end of the year and will then receive a special bonus. Lacy says, "He is well on his way to qualifying for the use of a truck for one year."

  • Prime Salutes America/Drivers at Annual Holiday Party

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently saluted America, her best drivers, and Prime Associates at its annual holiday party held November 23 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Springfield.

    More than 1,400 driving and non-driving associates attended the event held in their honor. Festivities included a reception, motivational speeches, dinner, live entertainment by the Domino Kings and Memphis All-Stars, dancing, and karaoke. An inspirational video entitled "America's In Her Prime" was the highlight of the evening. Footage included the September 11 tragedy and Prime drivers across the nation.

    Prime also honored members of its Millionaire program for having achieved in excess of one million miles with the company and introduced the winners of its 2001 Recruiting Contest. Jeff and Jean Bender, of Inverness, Florida, were presented the keys to a 2002 Freightliner show truck to use for one year for having recruited 30 Prime drivers.

    Prime's annual holiday party is one of many ways the company honors its associates for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

  • Prime Presented Carrier Of The Year Award

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, has been selected by Owens Corning/Cultured Stone as its Carrier of the Year.

    Presented to Prime on March 20, the Logistics System Excellence Award North America 2001 was inscribed, "In recognition of the outstanding efforts of your operations and driver communities to provide our customers with superior service and on-time performance." According to Jim Wilkins, Director of Prime's Flatbed Division, "The distinctive carrier service award is presented annually by Owens Corning/Cultured Stone to pay tribute to a supplier for the performance by the entire organization for providing them with exceptional customer service. This honor belongs to every Prime associate, those in operations, the support staff and especially our driver associates who are out there on the front lines every day making it happen."

  • 2001 Annual Holiday Party

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently saluted America and her best drivers, Prime Associates, at its annual holiday party held November 23 at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center in Springfield.

    More than 1,400 driving and non-driving associates attended the event held in their honor. Festivities included a reception, motivational speeches, dinner, live entertainment by the Domino Kings and Memphis All-Stars, dancing, and karaoke. An inspirational video entitled "America's In Her Prime" was the highlight of the evening. Footage included the September 11 tragedy and Prime drivers across the nation.

    Prime also honored members of its Millionaire program for having achieved in excess of one million miles with the company and introduced the winners of its 2001 Recruiting Contest. Jeff and Jean Bender, of Inverness, Florida, were presented the keys to a 2002 Freightliner show truck to use for one year for having recruited 30 Prime drivers.

    Prime's annual holiday party is one of many ways the company honors its associates for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

  • Prime Honors Associates At Annual Party

    Prime Inc., a leading international refrigerated, flatbed and liquid bulk truckload carrier headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, recently hosted its annual holiday party. More than 1,450 driving and non-driving associates attended the event held in their honor.

    Festivities included a reception, inspirational speeches, dinner, live entertainment, dancing, and karaoke. A video entitled "The Power of One," focusing on the importance of each individual at Prime, was the highlight of the evening.

    A special tribute was given to drivers who are members of Prime's Millionaire program, having achieved in excess of one million accident-free miles. Also honored were winners of the Prime 2000 Recruiting Contest. Twenty-four drivers shared more than $100,000 in cash rewards for recruiting other associates to Prime.

    The annual holiday party is one of many ways Prime honors its associates for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

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