a different colored truck. Not too long ago, I was talking to a buddy of mine who’s a truck driver for a different company. He asked me, “Wow, you’ve been there a long time. What makes it so different there?” and I only had one response for him: “It’s the difference in the way they treat you.” Working with Big G has been a great experience. When I first came on, it was a smaller company, and they treated you just like family. Now they’re a lot bigger, but they still do everything they can to treat you like family as much as possible, and it really makes a difference. In the next few months, I’ll be receiving the 2 Million Safe Miles Award from Big G. The best way I can explain how I feel about it is comparing it to my marriage. I came to Big G in January 2001, and in April, only two and a half months later, I married my amazing wife, Angela. Both are two long-lasting relationships, and while we’ve had our ups and downs, it’s been easy because they’re such great relationships. I’ve put on a lot of miles and taken time away from home, and if I had been in a different situation, those 2 million miles would’ve been some of the hardest I faced. Working for a company where you feel accepted and your work is appreciated makes all the difference. It’s worth it to stick with the people you have good relationships with. I don’t tell anyone to jump jobs, but I think it’s important for you and for the company you’re with to be happy. If you’re not happy with where you’re working, you’re wasting time. You gotta find that perfect fit, so when you have to go through the good and bad times, it’s worth staying with it until the end. A lot of the accomplishments I’ve achieved would have been a lot harder if I had been on my own. Big G has been a huge support and encouraged me to grow within the company, but I’ve also had a great deal of support from my family and friends. Having Angela in my life has made a huge difference — with her, everything is easier. She’s been that support and has always been there for me when I just needed to talk, vent, or whatever it may be. I’ve been there for her when I can, but without her, it would have been a lot harder to accomplish the things I have done. –Stephen Richardson
SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE WITHIN BIG G EXPRESS
Big G Express values its drivers and the hard work they put in every single day. Stephen Richardson, a valued team member and dedicated trucker, is fast approaching his 2 Million Safe Miles Award. Throughout his years spent with our company, Richardson has been rewarded with many honors and has grown tremendously within the company. We asked him to share his experience, awards, and knowledge that he has gleaned throughout his many years in the industry.
I’ve been with Big G for about 18 years, and I’ve been able to accomplish so much with them. Big G started awarding Driver of the Month in 2012, and I was the second driver to receive the recognition and the first Driver of the Year in 2013. Big G nominated me for the Tennessee Road Team and Tennessee Driver of the Year, both of which I was awarded in 2014. From there, I was nominated and selected to be an American Road Team captain — I’m finishing up my two-year term. This past spring, I was awarded Truckload Carriers Association Driver of the Year, which came with a $25,000 prize. Things were coming at me kind of fast, and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is pretty big.” It’s been very humbling to receive the awards and honors I have over my career. I’ve been asked before how accomplishing so much impacts me, and all I can think of is that through everything I’ve done, it’s just me doing my job. I’m not thinking about doing this for any other reason than getting the job done right and treating people well. To have Big G recognize and notice how much I put into my work is enough for me — it’s what makes it so easy and engaging to work for them.
When I first started in the trucking industry, I used to comment that it doesn’t matter who you’re driving for — truckin’ is truckin’. You’re just in
Do not try to swerve around an animal! You could lose control of your vehicle and hit a tree or another vehicle — both are potentially much worse than hitting an animal. If you swerve, there’s also a chance that the animal will panic and run into your path. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are an estimated 1.5 million animal-vehicle collisions annually in the United States, causing more than 150 fatalities and $1.1 billion in property damage each year. Certain states experience more collisions with animals than others. According to State Farm’s annual claim statistics, the states with the highest number of accidents involving animals between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, were Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, and South Carolina. Take special care near animal-crossing warning signs. Be aware that animals adapt well to living close to humans and that some populated areas are as likely to have animals around as rural areas. The signs are there for a reason. Use your high-beams whenever possible. They will give you more time to spot and react to animals on the road.
remind everyone that our policy is to use the APU for all parked HVAC needs and any inverter needs. Controlling idle time is so simple. When you set your brakes, turn off the truck engine. The APU should turn on and take care of any needs you have. If the APU does not work, it is the driver’s responsibility to get it to a shop for repair. Help us lower the cost of fuel and keep the main engine turned off when parked. Doing pre-trip inspections is one of the most important steps a driver can take to promote safety. It is also the most frequently bypassed step. When you fail to do pre-trips, you fail to protect the people around you as well as yourself. Please take nothing for granted. Protect yourself and protect the motoring public by doing a good walk- around pre-trip anytime you start to drive. We have 110 new Hyundai trailers being delivered. These trailers are the first we have purchased with disc brakes. They will carry the numbers of 19001–19110, so when you have one, please let us know how you like the brakes. Please remember we are here to help and we will do our best to take care of your trucks and trailers. We are in no way perfect, but we do care, and we will try to get you fixed right the first time. Please let me know if you have any comments, and thanks for what you do! –Tim Tipps If you see one animal, expect that there are others nearby. According to the Animal Protection Institute, 70 percent of animal-car collisions result after the driver slows down for one animal and then accelerates, failing to see another. Know which seasons and times of day are worse than others. Deer are most active in the months of October, November, and December, during the peak breeding season. Late February and early March are also critical months for deer collisions. Be especially watchful for animals in fair-weather periods before storms. Animals are usually seen along the roadside during the early morning hours and in the late evening. Don’t jeopardize vehicle control when avoiding animals. If you do see a deer or other animal on the road, don’t slam on the brakes. Keep your lane position, and sound your horn while braking in a controlled manner. Sudden panic stops are not a good idea, as they could spook the animal and cause it to suddenly dart into the path of another vehicle.
Keep your speed down at night. Most collisions occur on narrow, two- lane rural highways, but they can occur on any type of road.
Hey there, employee owners! What a great time to be at Big G Express. We have so much going on and we are always happy to serve our fellow employee owners. The maintenance department is making changes in the work schedules of our mechanics so we can better serve you. We are rescheduling manpower to put more focus on the time of the day you are most likely going to need help. This puts us in a better position to get you in and out of the shop more quickly. Please keep in mind that there will be times when we have more work than we can do, so please be patient with us. We would also like to make sure everyone knows that our shops in East Tennessee and Deason can take care of your needs. Many times we see drivers travel right by these shops only to go to Mount Juliet and get in line for a repair. These shops in Deason and East Tennessee are well- equipped with great people who can do all repairs — often with no wait time. If you need something fixed, call Travis at Deason or Larry at ETN. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the experience.
We currently spend $2 million a month on fuel. Idle time for Big G Express is at its highest point since we invested in APUs. I would like to
24/7 ACCESS TO BOARD-CERTIFIED PHYSICIANS — NO COPAY
PERFECT INSPECTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
PhysicianNowSM, powered by MDLIVE, lets you speak with a doctor from your home, office, or while traveling for a $0 copay. All you need is a telephone, smartphone, tablet, or computer. As your partner in health, we want to make sure you can get convenient, affordable care. PhysicianNow connects you with doctors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no cost to you. And it’s a benefit you have through your Big G Express BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee health plan.
BRANDON ROGERS BENJAMIN PRESLEY JERRY RILEY CEDRICK SMITH BRIAN SHELTON KIMBERLY PITZER MARK PRUITT
ALICE RICHARDS STEVEN DELOACH SAMMIE ELVIS AMOS DONALD F BURGIN HORACE WAYNE PRUITT MARVIN DUNAVENT MICHAEL FONTENOT TIMOTHY BARNEY ANTONIO PEARCE SR DANIEL DUTKIEWICZ SAMMY DEAN
KYLE CANTOR FELTON COTTON ERIC LAWRENCE HARRISON STEPHEN MCDAVID JACKIE EUGENE GLASER CHARLES HOLLAND RALPH GREGORY NEAL JANELL PHILLIPS JUSTIN WILLIAM ROSS RANDY LAMAR LEWIS
AARON BROOKS RICKEY DANIELS ROBERT YOUNG JOHN BURNETT
• For non-emergency medical issues, like allergies, cold and flu, and sinus infections
• Nights, weekends, and even holidays
• If your primary care doctor or pediatrician is unavailable
CONGRATULATIONS TO TIM CHELETTE AND EDDIE LINDSEY
• When it’s not convenient to leave your home or work
• When you’re traveling and need minor medical care
Tim Chelette is one of 34 finalists for America’s Road Team and will go to D.C. in January for the final round in the selection process.
REGISTER 1 OF 3 WAYS:
Visit bcbst.com/blueaccess, sign in, and select the “Managing Your Health” tab. Click on the PhysicianNow tile.
Eddie Lindsey has been selected as a Tennessee Road Team captain and will be sharing the safety message across the state.
Download the PhysicianNow app on the App Store or Google Play.
DRIVERS MONTH of the SEPTEMBER
need to and have been getting great miles.”
ELITE FLEET September/October 500,000 Accident-Free Miles Paul Nance Steven Cregger David Brown Ronald Scott Beverly James Platt Joseph Shirley 250,000 Accident-Free Miles Chester Vanmeter Hallam Culbreth Richard Ramos
David Brown has been a member of the Big G Express family since August 2014 and a professional driver since 1981. David says, “We have great equipment, and I’m on my second new truck. I also have no problem getting home when I James Schoenfeld joined the Big G family in April 2017 and has been a professional driver for over 34 years. James says, “Big G is a family-oriented company, and I like the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). They are just good people to work with.” JAMES SCHOENFELD
David’s advice for new drivers is “Be patient, and don’t quit before you learn how Big G operates.” David lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and enjoys playing the guitar when he has any free time! His advice for new drivers is “Get out there and run. Make sure you talk to your dispatcher and higher-ups if you have any issues, and don’t just quit before you give them a chance to fix the problem.”
James lives in Ekron, Kentucky, and when he
isn’t out on the road, he enjoys riding his motorcycle and barbecuing.
Casey Patrick Lewis Jenkins Steven Eckert Antonio Pearce
125,000 Accident-Free Miles Christopher Vanover Andrew Tyler
His advice for new drivers is “Stick with it and you will be alright.” Anthony lives in Radcliff, Kentucky, and when he isn’t out on the road, he enjoys watching football and Formula One racing.
Anthony Wiley has been part of the Big G family since 2015 and started his driving career in 1996. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, Anthony says, “They are just wonderful, and there is a family feeling here.”
Leroy Dennison David Chandler Robert Young Kyle Wisner Robert Murphy Reginald Carr Timothy Barney
His advice for new drivers is, “Trust your dispatcher because they usually know what’s going on.” Brian lives in Oxford, Alabama, and when he isn’t out on the road, he enjoys playing with his grandchildren.
Brian Pogue has been a professional driver for over 24 years and part of the Big G family since June 2017. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, Brian says, “The money and the fact that no matter where we go, they bring us right back to middle Tennessee.”
A HISTORIC VETERANS DAY This year, Veterans Day takes on particular historic significance: Nov. 11, 2018, marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Countries around the world will commemorate the signing of this peace agreement with moments of silence, centennial ceremonies, and historical exhibits.
COMMEMORATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WORLD WAR I
THE RESTORATION OF PEACE In 1918, Germany surrendered unconditionally, and the armistice ended the fighting at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, though the war did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles the following July. An estimated 16 million soldiers and civilians died in just four years, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in modern history. VETERANS DAY Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first observed on Nov. 11, 1919, to honor the one- year anniversary of the armistice, and it became a U.S. holiday in 1938. Today, Veterans Day celebrates veterans who served their country honorably. The U.K., France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate their veterans in November. To all our team members who are veterans, thank you for your service!
Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day is a celebration of life. It’s a day to honor the power of peace and the living veterans across the globe who have served their countries. This November, take a moment to remember the war that helped shape the international community’s dedication to peace and thank the individuals who served to defend it. THE GREAT WAR By 1914, a world war had been years in the making, but the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by a Serbian nationalist provided the spark that would eventually burn down much of Europe. A chain reaction of land disputes, pre-emptive attacks, and strategic alliances brought over 30 countries into World War I. The Great War that ravaged Europe resulted in a devastating loss of life, but from those ashes rose a renewed appreciation for the importance of peace and a global effort to ensure its place in the future.
SPICY, CREAMY SWEET POTATOES
Inspired by The New York Times
• 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
• 5 pounds sweet potatoes
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 cup canned coconut milk
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
half the sugar, and half the butter to potatoes. 4. 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 F. Spread potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. 5. Uncover potatoes and dot with remaining butter and sugar. Broil until brown, crusty, and delicious. Serve hot.
1. Heat oven to 375 F. On a large sheet pan, bake potatoes until very soft, approximately 75 minutes. 2. Let potatoes cool until they are safe to handle, then peel and mash. 3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste. Once mixed, add the mixture, salt,
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
190 Hawkins Dr. Shelbyville, TN 37160 (855) 698-7130 www.biggexpress.com
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
A DILIGENT AND COMMITTED DRIVER
ANIMAL STRIKES SHOP TIPPS
A HISTORIC VETERANS DAY SPICY, CREAMY SWEET POTATOES
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
employee owner should want Big G to be looked at in a positive way. When we tell someone we work at Big G, Ike, Warehousing, or Logistics, we should want people to think how fortunate we are and to wish that they could be a part of this great thing we have here. The ultimate compliment to any company or organization is to have people who are NOT members want to be part. Let’s make sure that we are all doing our best to represent our employee- owned company in the best way possible … We are all worth the effort, and I promise it will pay dividends in our future. We appreciate you and your families and wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas! Please let me know if I can help you with anything. –Randy Vernon
As we roll toward the end of 2018 and the upcoming holidays, we all tend to focus a bit more on the good things in our lives. Family and friends are always at the top of my list, but the privilege of being involved with the Big G family of companies ranks right up there. Being in the Big G family, whether at Express, Ike, or in Warehousing or Logistics, is a true blessing. The ESOP is a living, breathing gift from the previous owners of the company to us all. All we have to give is our loyalty to the company and a commitment to being our best, personally and professionally, to represent Big G and our 750 fellow owners. Whether you realize it or not, all of us are representatives of the Big G family. Our most visible representatives are obviously our professional drivers, who are the driving billboards we see up and down the highway, but every
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