Trucking’s Top Rookie

We were incredibly proud of driver Dave Honbarger who was out at The Great American Trucking Show representing Maverick as one of Trucking’s Top Rookie finalists this past weekend in Dallas. Of the 10 finalists, we had our hearts set on Dave, but congrats went to Werner’s Chris Crowell as the Top Rookie.

Below are a few photos from the event. Dave, we are so proud of you and your accomplishments in your short time here at Maverick (eligibility requirements for the program are less than one year). Of all of the criteria that was required for one of the coveted spots, you met each and every one. That is no easy feat!

Your Maverick family is so proud of you, Dave!

For more information on eligibility, requirements and judging criteria for the Trucking’s Top Rookie program, click here.

For a great interview with Dave on making the top ten nominees, click here.


All photos courtesy Vice President of Operations, John Coppens.

Aces and Freights

Aces and Freights Header

August, 2016

Welcome to our latest edition of Aces & Freights – our newsletter, written by Operations Analyst and former driver Ken Moore, regarding the trucking lifestyle.

Questions or comments?  We’d love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to contact Ken at  We hope you enjoy the content and we look forward to your comments, suggestions, and all the stories you may have to share, too!


Healthy Life Edition

This quarter’s articles and app suggestions are all based on healthy options for food and exercise. For the most part, figuring out healthy options and how to exercise on the road are the hardest parts of getting or staying healthy.  It’s a daunting task even for those who aren’t on the road, and I know firsthand that it’s considerably more difficult to figure out when you’re constantly on the move.

When drivers are just starting their careers OTR, they often feel out of their element on the road since it can be an entirely new style of living.  The first thing on their minds usually isn’t eating properly and exercising.  For me, the only thing on my mind when I first started was getting from point A to point B, doing so safely, and how much that affects my paycheck so that my family can eat properly.  Those thoughts occupied all of my thinking capacity and I wasn’t able to really consider anything else, like nutrition and exercise for myself.  If my wife didn’t force me to stop, think about it, and work it out, I honestly don’t know if I would have made it in the industry.

That being said, the goal behind Aces and Freights is, and always has been, driver quality of life.  The long and short of it is that adequate nutrition and exercise affect every aspect of our lives.  Improving our health improves ourselves, while not taking care of yourself can and will seriously hamstring anything you try to do.  Eating well and eating enough help us to think more clearly, which means we drive more safely.  Getting enough exercise gives us more energy throughout our days, which means that we’ll likely live longer, sleep better at night, feel better about ourselves, get sick less often, and make considerably more money over the course of our lifetimes.  Just as importantly, it means we’ll be able to offer our families more of ourselves when we’re home.

Family Pic

Please read through this newsletter and take what you find works for you from it, but please consider adding your stories to Aces and Freights in the future.  One of us isn’t as smart as all of us, and collectively, if we put our knowledge together, we can clear any hurdles that come our way.


Maroon Chef

…Guest Writer Wanda Cadwell

Did you know the average life span for a truck driver is a mere 61 years? Rather short considering the average American lives to 78 years. The most common health risks for a trucker are Sleep deprivation, Obesity, Heart Attack, Stroke and Cancer ( With that knowledge and knowing how important your health is to providing for your family and being around to enjoy the later years let’s see how you can change your eating habits to help you stay healthier than the average and insure you pass that DOT physical.

How many of you go home and after leaving the house are sick to your stomachs?  Do you feel horrible and think you have food poisoning or the flu? This used to happen to my husband frequently. He even thought of not eating home cooked foods. We soon learned the true cause. When he was on the road he frequently ate sandwiches, quick meals from fast food or at truck stop diners. All bland foods with no seasonings to them. When he got home he wanted his favorites, spaghetti, steaks and the like. All of which I would season and spice up. These spices were doing a number on his stomach, which it was not used to the herbs anymore. So we had a choice: eat bland when he was home or change his habits on the road. I started doing research and learned this was a common problem for people who eat out a lot then eat at home where spices and seasonings are used. I also learned how unhealthy the available foods on the road are. So here is what we have done.

  • I put up the leftovers at home into zippy bags and freeze for him to take with him
  • We bought him the items he needed in his truck to cook his own meals
  • We hit up the dollar store for spices for on the truck
  • And I walked him through cooking a wide variety of foods he enjoys so now he knows how to do it.
  • We made his health and our future a priority over convenience. I know there are many questions, eye rolls, and heads shaking at all this. I promise it is not difficult to achieve healthy eating habits in a truck. Maverick provides you with the major item in most of the trucks and that is your fridge. I know the freezer is not that big but it is doable if you are willing to do a 30 minute break at a Walmart and go shopping a day or two a week. Or you save and purchase a small 1.1 cubic upright freezer for under 200.00 for your truck.  Either way you have the ability to keep things cold or frozen that was not there year ago. Most of you already have microwaves, so the next thing is an aroma rice cooker from Walmart or the like for about 20 bucks. This thing comes with a cookbook and does it all from cooking rice to baking a cake. A lunchbox cooker works too. Obviously with the larger freezer you can carry more on your truck at one time but with the small one you can carry a few zippy bags of home cooked meals.

Aroma Rice Cooker

Now you have your rice cooker or lunchbox, what to do?  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Let’s make a stew. First stop at Walmart. Go buy a box of pint zip bags, head over to the meat dept. and get a 1lb pack of stew meat; from the produce get two small to med potato, a snack size pack of celery and carrots; and then go to the aisle with the gravy and find a pack of beef stew seasoning. Over on the spice aisle grab some pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic. Then in the frozen vegetable area grab two bags of quick cook rice or go to the instant mash potatoes and grab two packs there. You now have the fixings for two meals of beef stew over rice or with mashed potatoes. You should have water on your trucks but if you don’t grab some of that too.  Back in your truck you will split the stew beef into two portions.  Take one portion and put in a zip bag and toss in your fridge for another meal, put the other half into your cooker, slice up 1 potato, a couple carrot sticks, 1-2 celery sticks and put in cooker too. Add the seasoning pack with a few shakes of the spices and cover with water. Close the lid and cook. Now if you do your 30 min break at about your 7th hour of driving and set this to cook while you drive it will be done when you park for the night. The nice thing about the rice cooker is once it’s finished cooking it turns itself off and simmers or keeps the item warm until you’re ready to eat.  This total meal will cost you about 12 bucks and you actually get two meals out of it or more depending how much you eat in one sitting.

Another way you can use this cooker is to cook and steam at the same time. Grab a small bag of mixed vegetables (or any you like) toss bout a half a cup of veggies with some rice into the bottom of the cooker and add your water to the appropriate line then put the steamer basket in and toss a piece of fish on it seasoned to taste and let it cook.  The possibilities are endless so there is no excuse and spices are something you can use to change up any meal. Cut up some chicken put it in with the rice and veggies for something similar to a chicken and rice casserole.  Chili is easily done for the winter as well.

SpaghettiSpaghetti?  No problem, when at home make up a batch of your sauce and let it cool. Then put a serving into a zippy bag and freeze.  My batches will make up no less than six bags of sauce. Then grab the pot-sized noodles at the grocery store and you’re ready for the road. Out on the road take your sauce out that morning, set it in a bowl and let it defrost naturally. When you’re ready to eat take a serving of noodles and put in your cooker with a bottle of water. Turn it on and when it gets to where the timer say 5-8 minutes is left you can take them out and strain them.  You can heat your sauce in the microwave.

With another neat little trick you can actually grill on the road!  Get a small portable foldable grill (usually under 20 dollar—I think I got ours at dollar general) and the small bag of charcoal, season up a steak with grill master seasonings and toss a potato in the microwave to bake. Oh yeah, you have a fridge so you can grab a bag of the salad mix and have that in there.

Grill Stainless steel portable

As for snacks, having the fridge lets you can carry yogurts. My husband carries 8-10 of those at a time in his fridge. Fresh fruit and veggies to snack on as well with peanut butter are good and healthy.  Take a walk through the produce department.  Walmart I know has many individual serving size packages of apples, carrots, celery, berries and more. If not then get the smallest package they have and munch away.  You can also get a half gallon of milk for in your fridge door. Use your microwave to heat up instant oatmeal for breakfast and throw some fruit into it or drizzle honey on it.

The biggest thing here is to get you out of your box of “we have to eat on the road” and look at alternatives so that you can be healthier, live longer, and break out of the “average trucker” mold that society says we have to live in, and help yourself keep your cdl by passing the physical with flying colors. What we tend to forget is that foods are meant to fuel our bodies and keep them clean and healthy.  We hurt ourselves eating junk.

Some last thoughts: at Walmart go to the aisle where tinfoil is.  They sell slow cooker sleeves that fit the aroma cooker, no clean up; if you hit up dollar tree you can get knives, strainers, measure cups, bowls cutting boards etc. for little or nothing.  Or hit Walmart in a college town during back to school season as those deals are great!

Your biggest challenge will be remembering time management for this until it becomes natural for you. Take out items to defrost the night before or that morning. On your 30 start cooking the items that will take time like soups and stews so it cooks while you drive. Make a point of shopping on 30 minute breaks or when home for the weekend. For those of you only out one week you can take your wife’s cooking with you and have a meal every day with something lighter for lunch and breakfast. Hope this helps some of you in one way or another and happy healthy eating. Remember we only get one life so live it longer and happier.


Suggested Apps

S HealthS Health – This is Samsung’s health app and it’s the best one I’ve found so far in terms of tracking information and getting a good gauge on where exactly you are health-wise.  S Health will act as a pedometer and record your steps and “active time” so you can see how much you’re physically doing throughout the day as well as over a long period of time.  It also associates and records how many calories you’ve burned from those steps and active times.  Cooler than that, however, is that with this app on Samsung phones you can measure your heart rate, how much oxygen your blood is carrying (SpO2), and how much stress you’re feeling.  Additionally, you can keep track of what you’re eating, calories you’re taking in, how much water you’re drinking, caffeine you’re consuming, your weight, how well you’re sleeping, and you can record your blood glucose levels and more.  The app is due to come out for iPhones sometime this year, though iPhones lack the sensor Samsung phones have to measure heart rate, SpO2, and stress levels.  iOS users would have to get external Samsung gear (like a watch) to measure those things when the app comes out in iTunes.  The app and its functions are free.


Pokemon GoPokémon Go – Hey, no judging now!  I already know for a fact that a good number of you play Candy Crush and I can list names!  At least this game has some merit in improving your health, so before you shame me, listen to my argument.  Since I started walking around collecting Pokémon, my cellphone’s pedometer shows that I’ve averaged about 2,000 more steps per day than the months before I signed up.  Doing the math, that translates to about 42,000-45,000 extra calories burned per year.  This means that I’ll have burned off an extra 12 pounds of fat just by doing something that I use to wind down at the end of the day.  The other great benefit from this game: relating to and having another activity to do with your kids.  If your kids are 35 and younger, they’re playing it because they grew up with Pokémon and because this is the hottest game on the market.  My younger ones are 15 and 17 and we have some quality family time going Poké-hunting together.  The best part is the game is it’s free to sign up for and free to play.


Up Close and Personal with our Trainer of the Quarter David Muggeridge

Congratulations to David Muggeridge for being our third Trainer of the Quarter!  We’ve asked David a series of hard-hitting questions and we’ve got his answers right here.

How long has David been a Driver Trainer?

2 years.

What does he like best about training?

The satisfaction of helping.  It feels good to be shaping the future of new Maverick drivers.  Even if you’re not a trainer, instead of complaining about the new drivers, help them.

How does he approach a student who is struggling with part of the training?

Take a step back, ask a lot of questions to understand how to help the student.  Reevaluate how they are doing and what can help them.

When he first gets to meet his student, how does he get to know the student?

As soon as he gets the phone number, he calls them that night and spends about an hour on the phone getting to know them and asking questions of what they feel their strengths and weaknesses are.

Why does he drive?

David knew he didn’t like office work.  He worked for a life insurance group for four years and didn’t care for it.  So, needing a change, he went into transportation in 1994.

What are his hobbies?

Singing, billiards and painting.  He used to be an Elvis impersonator, but now he likes to sing gospel music more.

Does he do any of his hobbies on the road?

He sings going down the highway…unless he has a student with him.  Some truck stops do have pool tables, so he plays when he can.

Thanks, David!  We appreciate your time and all that you do for your students!


Recommended Sites to Check Out

This is an excellent site for getting yourself on track to either lose weight or keep the weight off.  It’s easy to read and follow and provides good numbers without reading like an excel spreadsheet.

This is an extremely comprehensive site provided by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.  From eating and living healthy to prevention to driver safety and much more, this site provides lots of good info.  It’s a drier read than but is still well done.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Last year we participated in the Best Fleets to Drive For contest.  One of the benefits of this program was that a third party (CarriersEdge) had the chance to survey our fleet and ask them questions that we may not have thought to ask.  One thing we discovered is that one of the main benefits drivers would like to see a company provide is counselling services to help deal with life’s stresses and concerns.  We already do provide these services through our Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, and they are open to you and your household.  They will find a masters level clinician or psychologist for you and you get three free sessions before billing would be directed toward insurance.  Your personal records are not shared with Maverick unless you wish otherwise.  There is a brochure in your MMS folder in your Omnitracs unit and a podcast that goes along with it that can give you an idea about all of the other services our EAP can provide.  A huge part of being healthy is being mentally healthy and we owe it to ourselves to treat this aspect of our lives as importantly as we do any other.  If you have any questions about our EAP you can either call the number on the brochure or contact our Human Resources department.


If you’d like to write an article on how to improve life on the road or have any ideas on apps or websites I can check out to suggest in future editions of Aces and Freights, please email Ken Moore at


Safety Awards 2nd Quarter, 2016

Driver Safe Driving Award
Will Scroggins 5 years
Donald Richards 5 years
Edmond Mansfield 5 years
Delane Williams 5 years
Tim Grant 5 years
Christian Odjewuyi 5 years
Robert Holley 5 years
Brian Wichern 5 years
Charles Baines 5 years
Sonny Purvis 8 years- Million Miles
Don Waldburg 8 years- Million Miles
Justin Melvin 8 years- Million Miles
Kevin Condra 8 years- Million Miles
Patrick Sherman 8 years- Million Miles
Kealen Washington 8 years- Million Miles
Jeff Davis 10 years
Mickey Rice 10 years
Mickey Hutchens 10 years
Tommy Jacobs 10 years
Jamie Simpson 16 years- 2 Million Miles
James Robinson 16 years- 2 Million Miles
George Bates 20 years
Dale Dunn 25 years


Be Prepared to Stop


We have been involved in a documentary with Delaware Park Productions for about a year now. Be Prepared to Stop is about our love of and absolute dependence on the great American highway. We rely on those roads and the countless trucks rolling down them to supply us with just about everything we use every day. But this round-the-clock lifeline has become so entrenched in our daily routines, we don’t even notice it any more. That neglect is reaching a crisis point. Roads and bridges are failing; safety concerns are mounting; skilled drivers are retiring; government is at a standstill. In order to raise awareness about the impact the impending breakdown will have on all our lives, Be Prepared to Stop aims to not only explain the issues but also to energize stakeholders to push for solutions that will improve the current situation and build towards a secure future. 

Obviously this is near and dear to our hearts given what we do, but this is relevant to each and every one of us as citizens of this country.  We had a small private screening last night in Little Rock which kicked off the dissemination of the film.  After these screenings in select cities (Los Angeles, DC, San Jose, etc) the hope is that it will be picked up by CNN, HBO or the Discovery Channel.  Until it is mainstreamed, we want to share the extended trailer with you:

You might recognize someone in it.🙂

We encourage you to spread the word and raise awareness!

Advice for the Rookie Maverick Driver – Pt. II

We’re back at it again, folks! For those of you who missed our previous post, we asked a few of our veteran drivers about some of the things they wish they had known before they went out on the road solo. Our first installment came from former driver, driver trainer and now fleet manager TJ Hargis.

Now it’s time for our second installment – this round of advice from former and current drivers Ken Moore and Tom Hachiya.

Ken Moore

Ken Moore

It’s actually not what a rookie driver does, that’s his/her mistake. It’s what’s not done.  Before we start driving, we’re generally used to three square meals at relatively specific times of the day. This can change in a truck. We might not be able to stop for meals at the times we want to due to traffic, appointment times, etc. Now, in order to be our best, to think most clearly, to be safest, and to make our most rational decisions, we need to eat properly and consistently. I’m not talking just eating healthy. When someone first starts driving, there’s so much on his/her plate that food often doesn’t end up on the plate. I’ve spoken with drivers who’ve only eaten fast food and I’ve spoken with drivers who filled their trucks full with cans of beans. We need to eat a variety of food, snack during the day, and pay attention to getting enough non-fast food calories in our system. If we can do this, we are safer, less likely to be irritated by annoying things we have to deal with, and our families will like us more when we get home.

One of the biggest mistakes a rookie driver makes is not finding a way to wind down at the end of the day. When you first start driving, you have a ton to think about: driving safely, appointment times, eating properly in a strange environment, FMCSA regulations, hours of service, and on and on. It’s all pretty daunting in the beginning, and it’s honestly really stressful. If you play guitar, bring your guitar. If you hike, now you can hike everywhere.  Personally, I like to find and collect fossils while I’m out. Whatever you choose, you need to have something at the end of the day (and sometimes in the middle) that you can do to help release that stress and feel better. Otherwise, the stress builds day after day and your time on the road isn’t what you want it to be.

From Tom Hachiya:

Time management: Consider your options before you head out on the road. Take some time to think about your 8 hour and 10 hour clock before taking off. The same thing pertains to your 30 minute break. Make sure you have a clear plan and direction, but also keep in mind your options and for hiccups that may come up along the way.

Backing: Make sure you do a good job of surveying your surroundings when you come into a customer’s area. Know where your safety threats and obstacles are at all times. Before you start backing, just stop. Look around and take an inventory of all of those things you might run into or that could hit you: a pedestrian walking along, a car that’s driving, a truck starting up. And as you’re backing up, keep track of them.

Rookies often lose track of the front of their truck. When backing, don’t be so focused that you lose track of the front. Every 10 seconds, look around as you’re backing up so you can keep track of all 4 corners of the truck.

Enjoy being a rookie: When you’re new, people expect you to make mistakes. People don’t expect you to be at 125 PFP points (Pay for Performance). Ask the extra questions, take the extra minutes. When it’s your first time at a customer, let them know. Ask them where they want you to check in, where to park. Don’t worry about the fact that you’re brand new. “Hey I’ve never been here before – where do you want me to go?” You’ll keep yourself out of trouble. Most people are happy to help you – they don’t want to see you fail!


Aces and Freights

Maverick AF Header

Welcome to our latest edition of Aces & Freights – our newsletter, written by Operations Analyst and former driver Ken Moore, regarding the trucking lifestyle.

Questions or comments?  We’d love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to contact Ken at  We hope you enjoy the content and we look forward to your comments, suggestions, and all the stories you may have to share, too!


Maroon Chef

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not a huge vegetable guy.  Now, I don’t dislike them (except for brussel sprouts), but I don’t generally go out of my way for them either.  Mostly, I consider greens to be the stuff that food eats.  I did realize when I was on the road, however, that I needed to get some in if I wanted to stay healthy.  They have lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that meats don’t have, and they keep you from eating more calories than you should.  So what I’ll focus on in this quarter’s article is how to get properly green while in the truck.

If you do not have a refrigerator, George Foreman grill, or microwave, the easiest thing to do is order a small salad to go with whatever else you’re eating.  There’s no shame in ordering a salad from a fast food restaurant.  No one will look at you strangely for doing it.  I did it once and it was a nonevent, so go for it.

If you have a refrigerator and no way to cook in your truck, salads and things like carrots and broccoli are good to keep for a little while and are okay to eat raw.  I recommend using an oil and vinegar dressing as the oil is olive oil and is a good fat.  It’s generally much better for you than ranch, but if ranch is your thing, it’s better to get some green in than none so use some ranch.



If you have a way to cook the veg, worlds open up to you.  One of my favorites is grilling asparagus in a strawberry vinaigrette dressing.  Put some tinfoil on your grill, put the asparagus on the tinfoil, put some strawberry vinaigrette on the asparagus, flip when you see them start to brown, then wait a couple minutes and eat.  Maybe turning asparagus into candy is cheating, but I’ll get over it.

With a microwave in your truck, you can get packages of frozen veg that will steam cook right in the bag.  I did these fairly often and they were pretty good.  They weren’t candied asparagus, but they ate.

If you have a way to make a vegetable edible, send it to me, Ken Moore, at  I’m always looking for better (tasting) ways to eat healthier and I know that a lot of other drivers are, too.


Up Close and Personal with our First Trainer of the Quarter, Randall Harmon

Ken:  Hey, Randall.  I’d like to start off by saying Congratulations!  You’re Maverick’s first Trainer of the Quarter!

Randall:  Thank you!

Ken:  So, for this interview, I’m going to start off with some really tough questions, you ready?

Randall:  Go for it.

Ken:  What do you like best about being a trainer?

Randall:  I think the best thing about it is when the person succeeds.  There’s a lot of joy that I get from watching them succeed.

Ken:  How do you approach a student who’s struggling with part of the training?

Randall:  That depends on the student and how they receive information.  You have to learn how to adapt.  As a trainer, I had to school myself on how to disperse information, so I adapt to them.

Ken:  When you first get to meet your student, how do you get to know them?

Randall:  Conversation.  Communication.  Talking.  Them telling me about them, family, history, work history, hobbies.  Just communication all around.  That gives me a key on how they receive information as well.

Ken:  Do you typically stay in touch with your student?

Randall:  A lot of times we stay in touch for several month and then things tend to fall off, then just the 180 days or the anniversary.  Every once in a while I run across them.

Ken:  Why do you drive?

Randall:  I started driving in 1969 for my father and I’ve been doing it ever since.  I love it.  I could have done lots of different things.  I went to electronic school, mechanical school, but just kept coming back to this.  I’ve worked for a lot of different companies.  I have to admit that Maverick is best of the companies I worked for.

Ken:  What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen on the road?

Randall:  I was driving around Washington dc when that great big old space shuttle was flying around on top of the 747.  I was at a location and got to see it.

Ken:  What’s really cool is that I got to see the same thing when I was driving in California!  The Endeavor shuttle being piggy-backed on top of a jet landing at Edwards Air Force base.  I’ve got that ranked as my number one, too.

Ken:  All right, last one.  You got any hobbies?

Randall:  Fishing, carpenter – making furniture, own woodworking shop, fly fishing.

Ken:  Awesome!  Thanks, Randall.  Again, congratulations!

Randall:  All right.  Thank you!


Clean King Pin Lockup: A Quick Tip for Aces & Freights

by Tom Hachiya

Follow Maverick Policy Without the Mess

Personal Conveyance when out on the road is a major convenience and Maverick policy dictates the use an ”Approved” Kingpin Lock when dropping trailers in unsecured areas. (e.g. Truck Stops)  If you want to keep that shiny new kingpin lock clean and grease free, a simple trick is to stuff a Walmart bag through the lock before sliding it onto the kingpin.

Tom Hachiya Tip Pic 1

After taking the lock off, the grease stays with the bag that can be tossed in the trash.  Your kingpin lock stays clean and so does the storage area under the bunk.

Tom Hachiya Tip Pic 2







Be clean and safe.




If you have a tip that will help other drivers deal with some of the everyday hassles we meet on the road, send them to



Suggested Apps

Weather Underground App Pic      I’ve tested a lot of weather apps and this is one of my two favorites, and it is, in my opinion, the best for driving purposes.  It follows your location and it will send you weather alerts for severe weather, giving you a heads up.  It shows major highways on the map and you can move the map to look ahead on your trip.  Also, it has “Layers” to add whatever weather-related details you want to your map, like satellite images, fronts, heat, etc.  It’s also pretty user friendly and easy to experiment with.  And like most weather apps, it’s free.

Camcard App Pic  Camcard is especially great for those drivers just starting off with us.  What this app is made for is keeping track of all the business cards you’re given.  I remember going into my truck with a pile of business cards that were given to me during my time in training.  What’s great about this app is that you take a picture of the card, it translates the words and names on the card into text, and fills out all the contact info for your phone.  So, in other words, all you have to do is take a picture of the person’s card and now that person’s information is in your phone’s contacts.  Easy is good.  There’s both a free (called “CamCard Free”) and paid version of this app and the free version works just fine.


Safety Awards 1st Quarter, 2016

               Driver                  Years Safe Driving     Date Awarded              Milestone Achieved    

Michael Pate

5 1/4/2016  5 Year Safety Award

Harold Pickett

5 1/6/2016  5 Year Safety Award

Marty Long

5 2/1/2016

 5 Year Safety Award

Tom Wise

5 2/2/2016

 5 Year Safety Award

Mike Stegall

5 2/11/2016

 5 Year Safety Award

Kevin Reagle

5 3/15/2016

 5 Year Safety Award

Chris Cooper

8 1/19/2016  1 Million Mile
Earl McLaughlin 8 2/3/2016

 1 Million Mile

Lonnie Bynum

8 2/5/2016  1 Million Mile

John Tripp

8 2/24/2016  1 Million Mile

Hugh Rodriguez

8 3/13/2016  1 Million Mile

John Berg

8 3/20/2016

 1 Million Mile

Anthony Edwards 8 3/21/2016

 1 Million Mile

Scott Flowers 8 3/25/2016

 1 Million Mile

John Adame 8 3/30/2016

 1 Million Mile

Jerry Bass

10 1/30/2016  10 Year Safety Award

Paul Patterson

10 2/28/2016  10 Year Safety Award
Charles Baber 10 3/15/2016

 10 Year Safety Award

Mike Cobin 16 1/5/2016

 2 Million Mile

Vernon Rookstool 16 2/24/2016

 2 Million Mile


If you have an article on how to improve life on the road or have any ideas on apps I can check out to suggest in future editions of Aces and Freights, please email me, Ken Moore, at

Advice for the Rookie Maverick Driver – Pt. I

We spoke with a few of our Maverick drivers (and former drivers) here recently who are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the ins and outs of driving OTR. For those of you just starting out as a Maverick, those first few months out on the road going solo can be pretty intimidating. It’s a huge responsibility to be navigating 80,000 pounds of machinery on the roads, highways, and between traffic.

And so begins our short three-part series on some of the most common rookie mistakes and pieces of advice to make those first few months a little easier.

Our first contribution comes from former driver, driver trainer and external recruiter TJ Hargis. TJ is now a fleet manager  for Maverick and helps new drivers transition out of their trainer truck and into going solo OTR.

Thanks so much for your time, TJ!

Back in TJ's former driver trainer days in 2012

TJ as a driver trainer (2012)

Time management is very important. This covers everything from leaving home too late, just in time to make a delivery, and all the way to taking too long on breaks.

As a new driver, there are many obstacles that we have not seen or experienced, so the best advice that I can give is to plan your day and all your trips with a cushion to allow for road types that you haven’t seen or become comfortable with yet. Then there are other things that might crop up — traffic, time zone differences, even medical issues like when you don’t feel well. These things happen, but if we don’t allow time in our trip planning for them it could result in not loading/unloading for an additional day (which affects our pay check!).

Although it’s tough being away from our families, sometimes it’s actually better to leave a few hours early just to make sure our time is used correctly and we prepare for the obstacles that are in our everyday travels. Make sure to communicate any issues or concerns about your load or even the times and always pay attention to your H.O.S. Call your fleet manager with these questions and ask for their opinion. Remember, we’ve all been in this industry, most of us as drivers, long enough that we can help you find the right plans and path of execution.

Slow down and take your time to ensure that you do your job to the best of your ability and that you do it safely; speed with loading/unloading and trip planning will only get better in time. But find a system that works for you and stick with it. Do everything the same way every time and you create a pattern, a system. Then you can make movements without thinking of them because it becomes second nature. This is when your speed improves. Find a place for all your equipment or instruments that you use on a daily basis and return them to the same place after each use. Being organized is crucial in becoming more efficient.

Don’t ever rely solely on GPS. Always double check your atlas with all routes and restrictions, also use your local directions to get to your shippers and consignees. These are put in by our drivers that have been there before you. You obtain these by sending in Macro 1. Read these directions carefully and write them down. So here is the key to these directions, find out where you will tie in with them because the driver that entered them may have been traveling north (which should be stated) and you may be traveling south, so that means you need to compensate for that. If you have a smart phone, Google Maps works great for seeing your roads on satellite view.

And please, ALWAYS REMEMBER: Communication is the absolute key!