At Prime Inc.’s company picnic Aug. 31 in the city of its headquarters, Springfield, Mo., 11 professional truck drivers competed for the “Fittest of the Fleet” title, one the carrier hopes catches on in other businesses and inspires health and fitness competitions around the nation.
Prime’s event, created by company Driver Health and Fitness Director Siphiwe Baleka (a former Prime-leased owner-operator), saw drivers competing in three timed events testing their strength speed, endurance, agility and athleticism. Rodney McCloud (pictured, third from left) took the Men’s title while Aimee James (right) took the Women’s title.
1) Two rounds of 10 dumbbell squat thrusts, 20 kettlebell swings, 30 push-ups and 60 jump ropes. The men used two 20-lb. dumbbells and a 20-lb. kettlebell. Ms. James, the only female competitor, used 10-lb. dumbbells and a 10-lb. kettlebell. “It looks easy on paper,” says Baleka, “but it is absolutely grueling. Drivers really struggle to get through that second round.” Rodney McCloud won the first event with a time of 4 minutes and 50 seconds, beating second place finisher George Robertson, who finished with a time of 5 minutes and 31 seconds.
Aimee James finished with the second fastest overall time of 4 minutes and 55 seconds.
2) A single round of 20 burpees, a 20-yard sprint, 20 more burpees, another sprint, and 20 more burpees to finish the round. This second event “started at noon…. It was well over 90 degrees, and the competitors only had an hour rest after the first event. I kept telling them that whoever was going to win had to earn it.”
For the second time, Rodney McCloud edged out George Robertson, finishing in 3 minutes and 6 seconds. Robertson finished in 4 minutes exactly. Aimee James finished in 5 minutes and 9 seconds (the fifth fastest time overall).
3) “Load/unload” finale. Drivers had to exit the truck, quickly dolly down the landing gear, carry an 80-lb. sandbag to the rear of the trailer, complete 20 knee-to-chest sit-ups, open the trailer door and run to the back wall, run back and exit the trailer, close the trailer doors, carry the sandbag again around to the passenger side, drop the sandbag and duck under the trailer to the opposite side, dolly up the landing gear, duck back under the trailer, pick up the sandbag and carry it around the front of the tractor back to the driver’s door, do five front squats with the sandbag, enter the truck, and close the door.
Justin Boschee finished event three with the fastest time of 2 minutes and 29 seconds. Rodney McCloud finished just six seconds behind, while David Nelson (pictured, right) was another three seconds behind in a very close and exciting race. Aimee James finished in 3 minutes and 51 seconds.
The top five overall winners were Rodney McCloud (145 points), Justin Boschee (125 points), George Robertson (116 points), Aimee James (107 points), and David Nelson (98 points).
Prime is now challenging other carriers to host their own Fittest events using the same format in order to bring together the champions of each fleet into a national competition. To qualify for the National Fittest of the Fleet competition, drivers must win their carrier’s title. For more information on how to get your carrier involved, contact Siphiwe Baleka at Prime, Inc by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.