HONORING THE FALLEN
BIG G EXPRESS DELIVERS WREATHS TO ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY FOR WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA
Big G Express is proud to be one of approximately 200 trucking companies who volunteered their time and trucks to help deliver around 1.8 million wreaths as part of the 2018 Wreaths Across America (WAA) national event, which honors fallen military members by laying wreaths down on their graves throughout America. On December 15th, National Wreaths Across America Day, wreaths were laid on an estimated 1.8 million soldiers’ graves across the country. Big G Express 2018 Driver of the Year and million-mile safe driver Eddie Lindsey was selected to deliver wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery and participate in the WAA ceremony on December 15th. This was the fifth year Big G has participated in this event—Stephen Richardson (‘14), Danny Smith (‘15), Steve Caudle (‘16), Tim Chelette (‘17). Big G has also delivered loads to middle Tennessee cemeteries the past three years.
“Taking part with this organization was something I had wanted to do for a very long time,” Eddie states. “Participating in Wreaths Across America was an experience I’ll never forget, and something I will support for as long as I can. Being a Navy veteran myself, it meant the world to me.” Eddie picked up the wreaths at the Wreaths Across America headquarters in Columbia Falls, Maine, and made the trip south to Elkton, Maryland, where other drivers participating in the event gathered before they were scheduled to be escorted into Arlington National Cemetery on that Friday. Eddie says, “I met many amazing people along the way. The other drivers who participated were great people from all over, and just as excited as I was to be there.” The trucks were escorted into the cemetery and staged for the event, which would take place on Saturday morning. Drivers were shuttled back to the hotel, and took part in the WAA Banquet that night. “It was a fantastic occasion,” Eddie says. “Active military personnel and veterans were recognized, and each truck driver was called up and presented with a gift from the founders of the organization, Morrill and Karen Worcester, who were the nicest and most humble people. We all enjoyed some entertainment, which included a performance by country music singer Mark Willis. It was a great evening!”
On Saturday morning, the shuttle drove the truck drivers back to the cemetery, where they were met by assigned captains and volunteers
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to unload the truck. Eddie was able to go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to watch the changing of the guard and the laying of the wreaths. He also had the honor of laying a wreath at a soldier’s grave site. “It was absolutely heartwarming to see so many people come to participate in this event,” said Eddie. “There must have been 10,000 people who reached out in order to be a part of the day, including families with kids.”
TOP 5 REASONS TO PARTICIPATE IN HEALTHCHECK 360 (BIOMETRIC SCREENING COMING THIS SPRING) 5. It is FREE for you and your spouse if you are participants in Big G’s health insurance plan. 4. It only takes about 20 minutes to complete the medical exam, and about 10 minutes to complete the health survey. 3. You get a complete health analysis report that also gives you suggestions on how to improve your health. 2. HealthCheck 360 is a preventive wellness plan that can help you identify health risks and take action before they become chronic or catastrophic. 1. You can receive up to $28 single/ $56 with
Eddie was able to share his experience when he got back home to Oliver Springs, Tennessee. A woman from his church lost her son in Iraq on December 27, 2006, and Eddie presented her with a wreath from Columbia Falls during their church service. It was an emotional experience, and as Eddie pulled the wreath from the bag and presented it he got choked up. She said, “You’re going to make me cry.” Eddie replied, “I’m already there.” Eddie is already planning to support Wreaths Across America next year by volunteering at the military cemetery in Knoxville with his wife and granddaughter. He plans to encourage others to sponsor a wreath or volunteer at a local cemetery. Eddie says, “It was a very rewarding experience that I feel everyone should take part in, if you have the opportunity to do so.”
spouse off your weekly insurance premium through credits — up to $2,900 in savings each year.
Hello fellow owners,
It seems the older I get, the faster time slips by — 2018 was a blur, and I am afraid the years will only get faster. This past year has been a challenge in maintenance due to many factors, but we survived and are preparing for another challenging year in 2019. Next year will see a lot of new equipment as we swap out approximately 100 tractors with new units and look at opportunities to upgrade the trailer fleet with additional units. We are also in the process of upgrading facilities in east Tennessee to offer a better driver experience. The additions of another restroom, a new, larger shower, a larger TV viewing area with a patio, and laundry services are in the plans. These will be nice expansions to the facility there and should be completed by late first quarter. I do want to take this opportunity to thank all our driving partners here at Big G Express and IKE that go the extra mile to take care of their equipment. We have so many drivers who do such a good job with pre- trips, getting services done on time, keeping the inside and outside of the trucks clean, and presenting themselves as professionals in front
of our customers. This is the backbone of what makes Big G Express successful and such a great place to be.
Please feel free to reach out to the maintenance department for any needs you may have. We are here to help keep you in well-maintained equipment any way we can. Thank you again for all you do, and let’s make 2019 the best year yet! –Tim Tipps
2018 ON-TIME SERVICE AWARDS
PERFECT INSPECTIONS FOR NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
CLAUDE RICHARDSON STEPHEN RICHARDSON
PHILIP WHITTINGTON BOBBY MALLORY HORACE WAYNE PRUITT
BRIAN CLAY ROBERT YOUNG JAMES L GOAD ROBERT LASTER DENNY BALLINGER RICKY BRABON JIMMY HENSON HAROLD STAFFORD
CHRIS DURHAM MARK KRIEGER JR. HERLISS GALLIMORE RHONDA DUCKETT KAMAAL FORD FREDERICK HILL TIMOTHY WILLIAMS RANDY MOODY CHARLES MIXON
ALICE RICHARDS MARTIN STRATZ MICHAEL VASI ROBERT MCGUIRE MARVIN PHILEMON MARSHALL LEWIS
PHILIPPA ROWE BAILEY
VICTOR BECERRA MUNOZ
MARK RODEN DAVID DEESE CHRISTOPHER VANOVER
EVAN PEAVLEY ROBERT YOUNG
LET’S START THE YEAR OFF RIGHT WITH ANOTHER WAY YOU CAN MAKE SOME EXTRA MONEY!
For every DRIVER you REFER and we HIRE, you will receive the following:
$250 the first week your referral goes out $250 after 30 days of driving for Big G $250 after 60 days of driving for Big G $250 after 90 days of driving for Big G $250 after 120 days of driving for Big G $250 after 150 days of driving for Big G
DRIVERS MONTH of the NOVEMBER
RANDALL HOWARD Randall Howard joined the Big G family in May of 2015 and has been a professional driver for 12 years.
focused and offer good benefits and home time.” Randall especially likes the free retirement he is earning through Employee Ownership. His advice for new drivers is, “Don’t let other drivers push you into bad habits. Drop back and give them the right of way. Then say to yourself, ‘I’m going to live another day.’” Randall lives in Cleveland, Tennessee and enjoys learning to play the guitar, both when he is home and out on the road. our lives are more important than the freight. We also get plenty of miles at Big G.” Richard’s advice for new drivers is, “Keep the door closed and communicate. You can’t keep stopping all the time with your 14-hour clock running — you have to maximize your drive time. Communicate with your driver supervisor — if you know you are going to be early, let them know, so they can try to schedule an earlier delivery time.” Richard lives in Morristown, Tennessee, and when he isn’t out on the road he enjoys cooking, grilling, and trying to relax. His advice for new drivers is, “Sweep out the trailers and make sure you check your tires so the next driver isn’t left in a bind — and plan your route.” Larry lives in Lavalette, West Virginia, and when he isn’t out on the road he has a “honey do” list at home — cutting the grass, tilling the garden, prepping the pool, and more. He enjoys working on these things and doing mechanic work.
ELITE FLEET November/December
When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, Randall says, “They are driver-
RICHARD TUSTIN Richard Tustin has been part of the Big G family since March of 2016 and has been a professional driver for over 11 years.
500,000 Accident-Free Miles Jason Beck Larry Powell
Roger Lunsford Eugene Dinges Edward Gammon
250,000 Accident-Free Miles John Marshall Richard Tustin Jimmy Lesperance Raymond Day 125,000 Accident-Free Miles Michael Seagle James Bellavia Perry Dixon Chris Schumacher Tye Pomerantz
When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, Richard says, “Every company is different, and a lot of companies look at the drivers as just numbers, but at Big G we are more than that. We hear messages about how
LARRY DAVIS Larry Davis has
Ronald Wirth Allen Griffin David Hert Stephen McDavid
been a professional driver since 1981 and part of the Big G family since May of 2014.
When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, Larry says, “All companies are about the same. Everything is good here at Big G, and I make good money.”
STEVE GRIM Steve Grim began his professional driving career in November of 2003 and joined the Big G family in 2015, after 10 years at his previous company. When asked what makes Big G stand out from other carriers, Steve says, “Big G is very driver-friendly. The whole benefits package — especially the retirement and ESOP — is great. I get good miles, and the people and communication are great. Randy Vernon is a great leader, and I feel blessed to have a seat to drive for this company.”
Steve’s advice for new drivers is, “Give it time. Don’t be so quick to change jobs. Big G has a lot to offer with not only the 401(k), but also the ESOP. Look not just at your future but your family’s future as well.” Steve lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and when he isn’t out on the road he enjoys watching the Vols — both football and basketball — riding his Harley, and vacationing in Isle of Palms and Charleston, South Carolina.
TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE DURING WINTERTIME SQUALLS
IT’S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE A WINTER WONDERLAND OUT THERE ...
batteries, jumper cables, abrasive material like sand or kitty litter, a shovel, a snow brush, an ice scraper, flares or warning beacons, extra blankets, a first-aid kit, medicine, and a charged cell phone. If your truck happens to stall out along the way, stay calm. Take a deep breath, keep shining your lights, only run your truck enough to stay warm, and don’t overexert yourself. The most important step to protecting yourself, whether at work or on vacation, is to buckle up. Make buckling your seatbelt a habit, because nothing is more dangerous than being unbuckled when the weather makes the thruways unpredictable. Lastly, it is imperative to prevent accidents before they happen. Slow down, take your time, and increase the distance between your car and other cars. Always stay attentive and keep your eyes open for crossing pedestrians, no matter what time of day. Get plenty of rest before your trip, stop at least every three hours, and stay vigilant out there.
Seasonal changes are just some of the many factors that threaten a driver’s safety, and while some hazards are unavoidable many don’t have to be. Regardless of what corner of the globe you call home, wintertime changes will shake up your daily routes, and your fellow drivers will be feeling the pressure too. Don’t let your own real-life episode of “ Ice Road Truckers” be a horror story. Stay prepared this winter season by implementing these simple strategies for preventing weather-related accidents!
For seasonal safety, there’s no better place to start than with the three P’s of winter driving: Prepare, Protect, and Prevent.
Take the time to prepare for your trip. Plan for any scenario that could put you in a dangerous situation. It’s worth the extra energy to analyze your route ahead of time and set aside extra time in your itinerary to account for any weather-related delays. Make sure your vehicle is in working order before your next trip. It sounds simple, but forgetting could spell disaster on the open road. Check the batteries, tire tread, oil, and windshield wipers, and make sure your windows are clean, your antifreeze is full, and that you have no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir.
Be safe and enjoy the ride!
Most importantly, make sure your truck has the essentials within arm’s reach. These items should include a flashlight,
MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST
• 1 chuck roast, 3–4 pounds • 1 packet ranch dressing mix • 1 packet au jus gravy mix • 1/4 cup butter • 4–5 pepperoncini peppers
1. Place roast in the slow cooker, sprinkling the top with ranch dressing and au jus packets. Place peppers on top of the roast, then the butter. 2. Cook 8 hours over low heat. 3. Serve with noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
New Year Pig Resolution Toast
Freezing January Martin Luther King Jr. Midnight
Aquarius Capricorn Champagne Fireworks
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
190 Hawkins Dr. Shelbyville, TN 37160 855-698-7130 www.biggexpress.com
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
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WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA
WINTER DRIVING TIPS
MISSISSIPPI POT ROAST
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
That being said, I believe 2019 holds the same opportunities — if not more — for profit growth, and therefore the value of our employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). This improvement and growth will require more focus on the details and more pride of ownership. We need that focus and pride from every employee in order for us to be successful in the growth of OUR company. I look forward to working with you through 2019, and I hope to see you soon! Thank you for all the things you do to make the Big G family of companies great! –Randy Vernon
When we head into a new year we also look back, and it’s easy to find a few things we did well. These contributed to our success in 2018, but I’m sure there are areas where we need to improve in order to make 2019 even better. We are beginning the process of finalizing our results from December, then 2018 as a whole. Without question it was a good year, but with improvement in just a few areas, there is no doubt that the year could have been a record-setter. Over the next few weeks, I will be talking in my weekly videos about some of our successes, as well as our opportunities for improvement going forward.
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