Prime Inc. has a new fleet captain.
The national trucking company earlier this year named Kevin Bergman as its director of fleet maintenance for all terminal locations in the United States.
“I wanted to make a change and get more on the business side,” he said.
Bergman previously worked in the information technology department. Now, he oversees Prime’s fleet of 6,500 trucks and 11,000 trailers that operate nationwide. He’s been in the role on an interim basis since July 2018, following 10 years as operations and IT development officer.
“For a company like Prime, it’s a pretty big job,” said Tom Crawford, president and CEO of the Missouri Trucking Association.
Typical fleet manager responsibilities, Crawford said, are handling the specifications of new vehicles, staffing the maintenance department, training technicians and ensuring equipment is safe on the road.
“Industrywide, just the staffing is one of the big challenges,” Crawford added. “Everyone hears about the need for drivers. The same type of push is out there for techs and skilled workers that are turning wrenches and checking computer screens.”
According to past Springfield Business Journal reporting, the over-the-road driver shortage is in the ballpark of 60,000 nationwide and could reach 175,000, if current national economic growth continues.
As fleet maintenance director, Bergman oversees roughly 600 associates in 11 areas: tractor, trailer, trailer rebuild, windshield, alignment, tires, auxiliary power, parts, road assist, washing and detailing.
As the national fleet maintenance director, he works with terminals in Pittston, Pennsylvania, and Salt Lake City, along with satellite terminals in Laredo, Texas; Shelbyville, Tennessee; Olney, Illinois; and Decatur, Indiana.
Bergman said he handles “pretty much anything that has wheels on it and some things that don’t have wheels.”
Bergman is spearheading new initiatives involving tire shredding and retreading, as well as an expansion of Prime’s container business.
“We are starting next month, hopefully in mid-April, a tire shredding company,” he said.
Prime plans to team up with industry firms Transport America Inc. and Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, along with local tire vendors like Ozarko Tire Centers Inc., to collect tires and bring them to its Springfield facility for shredding into rubber mulch, dust and other uses.
“They’re very happy and can’t wait to move forward with it,” Bergman said of officials at Ozarko Tire Centers.
Bergman said Prime plans to sell the shredded rubber in the wholesale market. The mulch also would be used around the Prime campus.
“We’ll be producing millions and millions of pounds of shredded rubber,” he said. “We’re recycling green as much as possible.”
Bergman said Prime also is currently researching doubling its capacity for its intermodal rail shipping containers.
“It’s early in the conversation,” he said, noting no timeframe has been established.
In addition, Bergman said Prime officials are exploring selling retreaded tires in the wholesale market while still satisfying Prime internal tire needs. And Prime is starting up a quick-lube oil changing bay, Bergman said, to make it easier on the drivers and cut down on maintenance time.
Bergman began working overnights in Prime’s computer room in 2000 before becoming a systems administrator a few years later, a position he held for seven years before taking his new role.
He succeeds Paul Higgins as director of fleet maintenance, who is now the director of procurement. Bergman said Higgins is in charge of buying trucks, trailer deals and other equipment.
“Kevin’s natural ability to identify opportunity, address challenges and create solutions made him a solid choice for this key position,” said Robert Low, founder and CEO of Prime, in a news release. “He’s been a passionate and motivated Prime Inc. associate for over 20 years, and I am excited for what he’s already done and what’s he about to do at Prime Inc.”
First entering the Springfield market 15 years ago, Kum & Go LC’s local construction activity is hard to miss these days.
Learn how customer surveys and the Amazon business model inspired Curtis Millsap to find technology to give his customers a better Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program experience at Millsap Farms. His intention was to create a better product for his customers, but discovered it also opened up new markets for the small family-owned agribusiness.
Michael Doss of Emerson Park didn't want to take away from the company's candle sales, while developing a grooming line. So he and his wife are working to build a new brand Wilder & Co. They started building the new brand on social media first with the entire product line eventually moving under the new brand.
Jumping in to lead a team that is already in place can be a challenge in sports and in business. Dana Ford, Head Men's Basketball Coach at Missouri State University says it's important to keep all …
What's the future of marketing research? Deborah Kassarjian of DK Insights says a lot of current marketing innovations are overpromising and underdelivering. Make sure you trust the data source that …
Why would an employee ever turn down a $200 a month raise? Jody Dow with The Springfield Dream Center explains the “Cliff Effect” that exists in the state of Missouri for people who are employed and on state or federal assistance. “You may be getting $500 in food stamps, and your raise is only increasing your pay that month by $200. Well, that’s a $300 discrepancy.” In the state of Missouri, assistance is all or nothing. The Dream Center helps workers in this situation learn how to prepare for in advance for a pay increase that results in a gap in monthly income.
Jason Gage, City Manager for the City of Springfield, says he wants coworkers to enjoy their job, take ownership, as well as understand and fulfill the mission. Gage says the problem in trying to …
“I’ve had a lot of employees that have given their two weeks notice and it was over things that I didn’t even know about, ” says Lauren Brown, Co-owner of Neighbor’s …
Rob Keck, Director of Conservation at Bass Pro Shops, says whether it’s a child negotiating with their parents for an allowance or partnering with some one to meet a goal, we all make deals. Keck …
Mark Walker, a local CEO and a member of the Drury University Board of Trustees, says employers are increasingly seeking college graduates who have some kind of meaningful real-world, hands-on …
“When I started this, I realized, number one, I have to have grit. I have to be able to know it’s a tough road,” says Julie Higgins, CEO of I Pour Life. Higgins says you shouldn’t focus on …