Big G Express - Q2 2020

Spring 2020


Thank you for all you do to make the Big G family of companies great! That’s usually the last line of my newsletter message, but with all we have going on around us today, it seems more appropriate at the beginning. By nature, what we all do for a living in the trucking industry makes it one of the ultimate “adjust on the fly” businesses. One phone call or one unforeseen event can change the plans of literally a dozen or more of our professional drivers and turn a calm day in the office into chaos. The quality of the job that we do on a daily basis when it is time to “adjust on the fly” is reflected in the high regard our customers have for our companies. However, COVID-19 has brought a whole new level to our definition of adjusting. The landscape of what we do and how we do it changes constantly. The amount of information — and unfortunately, misinformation — bombarding us is staggering. Rules and restrictions change from state to state and even city to city. Sometimes they change more than once a day. Please be assured we are doing all that we possibly can to keep each and every employee-owner as informed as we can with accurate information. As always, the safety and personal health of everyone is paramount in everything we do. We are working every day to provide the safest environment and best equipment and supplies that we can to ensure that safety. I ask that everyone please help us by ensuring you do all you can to personally adhere to available safety precaution guidelines.

It’s easy to say that we will get through this situation. I will also tell you without a doubt that getting through this will not be easy. We may have days when it seems like there are more problems and failures than there are successes, but it will not be from a lack of effort on the part of anyone. We have great people doing great things at every level in this company. In closing, I will just use one of my favorite lines when someone asks me how things are going and I believe this with all my heart: IT’S GOOD TO BE US!

And again, thank you for all you do to make the Big G family of companies great!

–Randy Vernon, CEO



that space and time. Know your surroundings by checking your mirrors often and knowing what is in front of you and what potentially could be happening in front of you. For example: seeing a vehicle traveling down the highway entry ramp in time to make an adjustment so you don’t get there at the same time they are trying to merge into traffic. Make sure you are looking far enough ahead to see the vehicles in front of you slowing or stopping so you have ample time to brake safely without having to “dive” onto the shoulder or median. Expect the unexpected! Folks, this is a tough (but rewarding) profession, and you are having to make numerous decisions every second you are behind the wheel. You have to expect the unexpected. When you see a disabled vehicle on the side of the interstate, expect that someone could step out from that vehicle at any time. When you are coming up on a stale green light, you have to expect that it could turn red at any time. Prepare and make adjustments for these types of things before it is too late.



Hey folks, I hope you and your families are all doing well. First of all, I want to thank each of our professional drivers, mechanics, and in-house employees for answering the call during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been in the trucking industry for 36 years, and I don’t recall when I have seen as many positive comments from people outside of our industry as I have seen during the pandemic. Hats off to you! I want to remind everyone to be alert at all times when working a safety-sensitive position. This includes driving your truck, hooking and unhooking, fueling, and working on a truck, just to name a few job functions. When driving, things are changing around you all the time and at a pace of seconds (even split seconds), so you have to be alert and focused at all times. Did you know that at a speed of 65 mph you are covering 95 feet per second? You are covering nearly the length of a football field in about three seconds! A lot can happen in

Big G and IKE are fortunate to have a great group of both driving and nondriving employees, and we want each and every one of you to be safe and get to your destinations safely. Stay alert, expect the unexpected, and don’t get distracted, and you will find yourself safer and more successful.

Until next time, –Tim Clark

COVID-19 has also taught us how important it is to keep our hands washed and our workspace clean. It is not just this virus but also things like the common cold that are spread by not practicing good hygiene. It turns out that all these years our moms were right when they told us to wash our hands and quit touching our faces. Keeping our workspaces clean not only helps us stay healthier but also helps the ones working on our equipment stay healthy. Please be sure you are doing all you can to keep the interior of your trucks clean and sanitized. I have heard nothing but good comments from drivers about the new engine trims program. We still have approximately 100 trucks to program, so if you have not been through a shop yet to be reprogrammed, then please come see us! I hope everyone has had the opportunity to see Danny Smith’s 25th anniversary truck. It features a blacked-out bumper and skirt look that will become our new look on future truck orders. It will save us all money and time by not having to prep and paint these parts when they get damaged and require replacing. I want to throw out a big “thank-you” to all the maintenance and office staff who have not missed a beat through this trying time. Big G Express is blessed with great people who roll up their sleeves and get after it when the going gets tough. Our success is anchored in people, and we have the best group in trucking! –Tim Tipps



What an incredible time we are living through in this country right now when it seems life has been turned upside down. Many of the services we expect every day have been shut down, and access to simple things like sitting down for a meal in your favorite restaurant has been turned into a choreographed meeting in a parking lot with a meal in a bag.

Danny Smith’s 25th Anniversary Truck

COVID-19 has taught us many lessons and reminded this country how important of a role the transportation industry plays. In my lifetime, I cannot remember a time when truckers played as big of a leading role as you do right now during this country’s time of need. People forget who keeps this country moving, but it is times like this when truckers’ lights shine the brightest and no one can deny the crucial role trucking plays in this economy. Thank you for the service you provide!


1,000,000 Accident-Free Miles Michael Slaven Rickey Oakley James Parker Roy Shane Leffew 500,000 Accident-Free Miles Kenneth Puckett Edward Duncan 250,000 Accident-Free Miles Thomas Sharpe David Spear February/March/April ELITE FLEET FLEET




Jonathan Meador Carl Bissick Carl Davis Charles Holland John Reynolds Jeffrey Baker Antonio McNeil James Legg Gather Evans Kelly Cash Anthony Taylor Benjamin Presley George Zelinski Eric Harrison


Tye Pomerantz Roger Bradley Robert Bulzone

125,000 Accident-Free Miles Lindell Pleasant Frederick Landers

Johnny Jones Edward Blaha John Miller Randell Lewis Gregory Stockton Thomas Long Tommy Borden

A CLEAN CAB CAN MEAN A FREE PASS! Inspectors assume that if the cab and dashboard are clean and well cared for, then most of the time, the rest of the truck will be well cared for too. CLEANLINESS COUNTS.


THANK YOU to every driver who received a PERFECT INSPECTION. THANK YOU to our Elite Fleet drivers — you represent over 10.75 million safe miles. We appreciate your dedication to SAFETY and to protecting our employee-owned company! –Greg Thompson, President –Kristi McFarland, Executive Vice President



“It’s GOOD to be US!” Big G Express Family of Companies – 100% Employee Owned Congrats Everyone! Thank you for your commitment to SAFETY every day! The FMCSA Division Administrator saw Big G Express’ Stephen Richardson at the White House Event on April 16 th saluting all Professional Truck Drivers. She took time to write a note to us! Here’s a snipit of the email… From: Mann, Stephanie (FMCSA) Sent: Friday, May 01, 2020 6:17 PM Subject: Congratulations Stephen Richardson and Big G Express!

“Thank you… for sharing the message of safety…. and for making it known how important it is to have maintenance and operations staff to keep drivers on the road safely and efficiently.”

Stay safe, stay healthy, and safe travels! Stephanie Mann | Division Administrator Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Tennessee Division Nashville, TN 37211

4/16/20 White House Salute to Truckers 4/17/20 “Experience of a lifetime & Thank You Mechanics!”

THANK YOU to Stephen Richardson for representing our employee owned company and our industry at the White House. GREAT JOB! “It is so rewarding to finally have the trucking industry respected and receiving the recognition these fine men and women deserve.” Kristi McFarland, Executive Vice President

# ThankGodForTruckers – Social Media messages… “Thank you Truckers and Families… You keep America Rolling! “Truckers are not only one of the most important parts of our economy but also some of the best, most patriotic Americans!” “Thank you truckers, because we are getting what we need because of you”

THANK YOU Mechanics for keeping the Trucks Rolling safely! All of your fellow employee owners appreciate you!

Reagan Conquest Grandchild of our Terry & Rhonda Conquest Greenbrier High School Ruthie Henry Child of our Travis Henry Motlow State Community College Sean Pardoe Child of our Mike Fife Wallenpaupack High School Taylore Adair Steagall Child of our Ryan Steagall Rockvale High School Tristen Soresen Grandchild of our David Fisher Northeast High School Vanessa Perez Child of our Alvaro Perez

Jonathan Puckett Child of our Kenneth Puckett University of Southern Mississippi Kailee Redfern Child of our Justin Boguskie Sycamore High School Kathryn Martin Child of our Sean Orgeron Oakland High School Landen Voorhees Child of our Stephen Voorhees Child of our Diane Hall Cascade High School Mackenzie Poole Child of our Gibson Poole LaVergne High School Mallory Vincent Grandchild of our Gail Nichols Cascade High School Matthew Pilkington Child of our Casey Pilkington Cascade High School McKenzie Wydock Grandchild of our Gail Nichols Shelbyville Central High School Noah Putman Child of our Bill Putman Pope John Paul II High School Siegel High School Luke Overcast

Aldayshein Guyton Child of our Kentra Guyton Dublin High School Alex Slaven

Child of our Michael Slaven Bledsoe County High School Ashtyn Curtis Child of our Amanda Gonzalez Cornersville High School Dakota Daniels Child of our Rickey Daniels East Hamilton Middle High School Daniel Jimenez Child of our Shannon Poss Moore County High School David C. Green Child of our Miyoshi Allen Englewood High School Diante Stokes Grandchild of our Andrew Tyler Jean Ribault Senior High School Gina Lynn Shoulders Child of our Logan Johnson Watertown High School Jacob Michael Gafa Grandchild of our Michael Cruzen University of Memphis

Deland High School Wesley Davey Child of our Jeffery Davey Oxford High School

Class of 2020 Congratulations on your graduation and best wishes for your next

adventure! Big G Express Family of Companies

Big G Express Big G Logistics

Ike Transportation Big G Warehousing


WILLIAM HICKERSON William joined Big G in September 2002, but he entered the trucking field with Ozburn-Hessey in 1987. They were bought out by Birmingham Nashville Express, which was then purchased by Big G. So basically, he has only filled out one application in 30 years.

been hungry. Big G keeps me moving and has always kept me in a good truck.” His advice for new drivers is, “Just hang in there, and it will get better.” William lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and when he is not in the truck, he likes to hit the road on two wheels to relax and unwind. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, he says, “They do not lie to the drivers, and this is the happiest I’ve been at any company that I’ve driven for.” His advice for new drivers is, “Stick it out and do not leave. Let the company get to know you.” Joel lives in Burnsville, North Carolina, and when he’s out of the truck, he likes to work on Camaros and go to car shows. no problem with anyone wanting to retire here. I really enjoy working with my driver manager and making money.” His advice for new drivers is, “Have patience. This is a key to planning your route and thinking clearly.” Joe lives in Henagar, Alabama. He likes building cabinets and fishing. One day, he plans to out-fish his wife. His advice for new drivers is, “Don’t tailgate and don’t change lanes on bridges. Maintain safe following distance at all times.” James lives in Manchester, Tennessee, and when he is off for a few days, he enjoys yardwork and landscaping. He also enjoys time spent beside the grill.

When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, he says, “I have never missed a paycheck or

JOE HATCHER Joe joined Big G in February 2016, and he started his career in June 2006 with Stevens Transport, pulling a reefer. He worked for three other companies before settling in with Big G. Before he started driving, he was a cabinet maker. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, he says, “The camaraderie of everyone knowing each other and the work environment is top-notch. I see JAMES MADEWELL James Joined the Big G team in November 2019. He started his career in trucking with TMC in 1989. Through the years, he has pulled flatbeds and reefers and even worked as an owner-operator for a while. JOEL GIBBS Joel started with Big G in November 2018, but he started driving commercial motor vehicles in February 1993 with Werner Enterprises. Before that, he was a diesel mechanic and decided to start driving over-the-road because there was a recession in the oil fields and he wanted a new career. CHRIS ADOMYETZ Chris joined Big G in October 2019. His first truck driving job was with Blue Collar Carriers in 1993. Before he started driving, he worked in the construction trade, just doing whatever was needed. He has pulled just about every type of trailer on the road. He wishes he had joined the Big G team years ago. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carries he says, “The quality of the fellow drivers here.” WILLIAM STUFFLE William joined Big G in December 2019. He started his trucking career in 1994 with Ruan. Before he drove over-the-road, he worked on docks, loading and unloading trucks. He also worked at a chemical plant. His over-the- road experience has mostly been with dry vans, but he has pulled a reefer trailer a few times. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, he says, “They ask me for my home-time requests, and they get me there as I want. The people are awesome to deal with.”



His advice for new drivers is, “Make sure you have a Rand McNally road atlas and know how to use it.” He lives in Florence, Alabama, and during time away from the truck, he likes to chill out with the family, take care of honey-do lists, and ride his motorcycle on country roads.

I think the equipment and benefits are top-notch and also really enjoy working with my driver manager.” His advice for new drivers is, “Have some patience with what is going on out there on the road and be willing to take advice from drivers with more experience.” He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee, and when he is not at work, he enjoys hiking and recreational shooting.


When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, he says, “I like the pay and home time.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP) — MetLife All employees can take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program through MetLife.

Life doesn’t always go as planned. While you can’t always avoid the twists and turns, you can get help to keep moving forward. Get expert advice from the program’s experienced counselors who can talk to you about anything going on in your life including:

PhysicianNow Telehealth Solutions If you are enrolled in BCBS, you and your dependents can participate in PhysicianNow. • PhysicianNow lets you consult with a doctor via telephone or secure video on your computer, tablet, or PhysicianNow mobile app without having to visit a doctor’s office. • There is $0 copay. • PhysicianNow doctors are available 24/7 to help you with nonemergency issues. They can even prescribe medication when appropriate. • They have low wait times and fast response times. • If you have not used PhysicianNow, you will need to provide information to activate your account. We encourage you to do that now to save time later. ACTIVATING YOUR ACCOUNT! Visit and complete the following steps:

• • • • • • •




Legal services

Identity theft recovery


Everyday life

It’s convenient and confidential, and you can call and speak to a counselor or schedule an appointment 24/7. The program includes up to five phone or video consultations for you and eligible household members per issue per calendar year. When you call, select “Employee Assistance Program” when prompted. If you are in urgent distress, you will immediately be connected to a counselor. If you want to schedule an appointment, a consultant will schedule you an appointment with a counselor.

1. Select the log in to register to BlueAccess option.

HR BULLETIN BOARD TCA Scholarship Fund The 2020–21 TCA Scholarship Fund application will open May 1, 2020. For details including eligibility, how to apply, and more, please visit REMINDER – Always check your benefit deductions on your paystub. You can easily find your paystub in the Paycom app. Go to Paycom > Payroll > View Paystubs > Click on your Paystub > Check Deductions Healthcheck 360 – schedule your wellness screening Check your email for Healthcheck 360 details.

2. After you have logged in or set up your account, select the “Managing Your Health” tab. 3. Click on PhysicianNow for details on how to register and set up your username and password.

4. Or call 1-888-283-6691.

ESOP HOTLINE ext. 8132

USE THIS LINE TO SHARE IDEAS, CONCERNS, AND QUESTIONS … Your message will be forwarded to the appropriate department.

For Healthcheck 360 support, call 866-511-0360 or email

The wellness screening deadline is July 31, 2020.




190 Hawkins Dr. Shelbyville, TN 37160 931-684-9140


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YEAR-TO-DATE NEWS FROM THE RECRUITING DEPARTMENT FOR 2020 Looks like we are getting the year started off right with our driver referral programs for 2020. Our year-to-date total paid out to Big G Drivers so far is $49,250.

May 1–July 31, 2020 – HealthCheck360 Wellness Screenings May 30, 2020 – Big G Motorcycle Ride for St. Jude Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. at 840 Yard, 193 Aldi Blvd., Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Come out and support the riders for a great cause! July 25, 2020 – Annual Employee Owner ESOP Meeting Jack Daniel’s BBQ Hill August 2020 – Benefits Open Enrollment Sept. 13–19, 2020 – Driver Appreciation Week October 2020 – Employee Ownership Month Oct. 24, 2020 – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk Nissan Stadium Fall 2020 – Family Event We’re celebrating 25 years in business! Watch Paycom and your email for more information on each event as details are finalized. Thanks!

This is awesome, and we thank everyone who is taking advantage of these programs for the extra cash.

For our current program, $2,500 is paid out in the first 180 days your referral is here. We are thankful for each of you and look forward to seeing what everyone does this year in 2020. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the Driver Referral Contest, please do not hesitate to

call me at ext. 3197 or email me at

Many thanks again,

–Big G Recruiting and Driver Services: Terry, Karla, Bill, Rachel, Sheri, Anthony, Lisa, Kim, and Tina


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