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The Official Magazine of the Nebraska Trucking Association

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Published by Matthews Publishing Group, 2018-09-28 10:49:34

Nebraska Trucker Issue 4 2018 -- The Geikens, Nebraska Salt & Grain

The Official Magazine of the Nebraska Trucking Association

Keywords: trucking,safety,politics,association,business

Volume 80 Number 4 | 2018

$3.95 Value

The Official Magazine of the Nebraska Trucking Association The Geikens
Nebraska Salt & Grain





Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 1



800-642-1299 800-869-0353 800-550-6225 800-662-7990

2 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018



VOLUME 80, NUMBER 4 • 2018


On the Cover: 14
Nebraska Salt & Grain 13





Larry Gieveshausen, Midwest Motor Express
Hal E. Page, Hunt Transportation





Member Spotlight: 22


When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Trucker!



From the President by Kent Grisham..................................................... 4
Chairman’s Letter: by Scott Romans...................................................... 5
NTA Board Members................................................................................ 5
Along the Route....................................................................................... 25
New NTA Members................................................................................ 26
Calendar of Events.................................................................................. 26
Advertiser Resource Index................................................................... 26

AND SHANE GEIKEN BY THOMAS GRADY. Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 3

PRESIDENT’S Nebraska Trucking Association
PERSPECTIVE Executive Committee 2017-18

Don’t Be on the Sidelines CHAIRMAN
As we publish this edition of Nebraska Trucker, virtu- Romans Motor Freight
ally every Nebraskan is caught up in a season of change.
Our friends in agriculture are preparing for the harvest, VICE CHAIR
which we pray will be bountiful. Our beloved Huskers are CRYSTAL ANDERSON
into their season, which we hope will be wildly successful. Donald D. Anderson, Jr. Trucking
Our children of every age are back in their classrooms. As
the season begins to change, it’s clearly an exciting time of the year in our state. TREASURER
And then, of course, our televisions and radios are filling up with political adver- Greater Omaha Express LLC
tising. It’s election season. I can imagine the groans from many of you as you say,
“Don’t remind us, Kent!” CORPORATE SECRETARY
But reminding you is exactly what I’m doing.
Part of my job is to lead our advocacy efforts throughout state government and Crete Carrier Corporation
even in Washington, DC. That includes keeping a close eye on the political races that
have the potential to change the course of business for every motor carrier in the AT-LARGE DIRECTORS
state. Let me say, most emphatically, that this election matters to your business! TIM MCCORMICK
The next Legislature will be staring down the barrel of a biennial budget that,
on the outset, doesn’t balance. Even with that knowledge, forces in the state will be Fremont Contract Carriers, Inc.
pushing for high-priced initiatives such as expanded Medicaid, property tax relief, TERRY MCMULLEN
changes to education funding, and more. We’ve already heard from many candidates
that they intend to work to eliminate exemptions to the sales tax. Imagine the impact AIT Worldwide Logistics
on your business if you suddenly were paying sales tax on your trucks and trailers, BOB WINTER
or any other business inputs which are currently exempt. Some say the answer to Distribution Inc.
property tax relief is to attack sales tax exemptions. We say that’s just shifting the BOB WYNNE
tax burden in discriminatory and punitive ways, providing no relief to anyone at all.
That’s just one example of the critical issues that should be on everyone’s mind Wynne Transportation Services, Inc.
these days leading up to the election. I urge you to be engaged, asking questions of
candidates when they come knocking on your day asking for your vote and financial STATE VICE PRESIDENT TO ATA
support. ERICH HELGE
Coach Frost has been credited with the words, “have a desire to excel and no fear
of failure.” Good words. We will keep them in mind in the coming challenges. And Seward Motor Freight Inc.
we ask you to be fully engage on the field with us – not on the sidelines.
Kent Grisham
President & CEO Brown Transfer Company LLC
Nebraska Trucking Association
[email protected] PAST CHAIR
4 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018 Flatbed Express


Don Adams Chris Klotz *
Dean Aden * Tom Koenigs
Trevor Aden Jean Kurtenbach *
Steve Aherns Heidi Loop
George Akerson * Mike Maloley
Crystal Anderson Jamie Maus
Tim Aschoff Terry McMullen
Blaine Batten Ron Mencl
Dennis Bauder Lloyd Mettenbrink *
David Billings Trey Mytty
Joanie M. Bogers Scott Olson
Kurt Brown Tonn Ostergard *
Butch Brown * Dave Parker *
Bob Clark * Jack Peetz *
Eldon Dokter * Dick Pierson *
Eric Downing Tom Pirnie *
Dwight Dunsworth * Gene Quandt
Dave Erlandson Dick Reiser *
Brent Falgione Greg Reitmeier *
Ross Faubel Norm Riffel
Corby Flagle Scott Romans
Hugh Fugleberg * Ronald Romans *
Michael Galvin John Sahling
Norman Geiken Roger Schmidt
Rick Gomel Russell Stough
Tom Hastings Danny Tompkins **
Mark Hauptman
Erich Helge Nick Vuko
Mike Herre * Dave Walde
Curt Werner
Albert Hill Jerry Wessel
Phillip Holliday Bob Winter *
Brian Wood
Dan Hurt Bob Wynne
Don Kaiser Rallen R. Zeitner
Larry Kersten
Jerry Kilthau


Nebraska Trucker is owned by Truck Services, Inc., and is CHAIRMAN’S
published bimonthly by Matthews Publishing Group. For LETTER
additional copies, to order reprints of individual articles
or to become a subscriber, contact Sheila O’Connor at Keeping an Eye on Capitol Hill
402.476.8504 ext. 105.
Recently, the Nebraska Trucking Association had its
publisher day in the lights of Capitol Hill. A great team made up of
Jennifer Matthews-Drake Executive Committee members, members at-large, and our
Matthews Published Group, LLC NTA staff took to the hallways of Congress for our “Call
[email protected] on Washington” (COW) event. On behalf of the NTA, I
offer appreciation to all of them, as well as the team from
production editor ATA who helped with the logistics.
Sheila O’Connor The Call on Washington event is an important part of our overall effort to be the
strongest possible advocate for the trucking industry in Nebraska and nationwide.
art director While most of our advocacy efforts focus on state government, we cannot sit on
Douglas J. Benjamin the sidelines when it comes to the federal issues that are decided either through the
[email protected] legislative process in Congress, or the regulatory process through agencies like the
associate art director DOT, FMCSA, FHA and others. Almost every state trucking association has COW
days as well. We work together, state to state, and in concert with other trucking
C. Waynette Traub associations, to be loud, visible, and influential throughout the halls of the federal
[email protected] government.
These issues matter to your business, often in ways you might not realize. Let
photographers me share with you some information that was just published by the American
Kristian Anderson Transportation Research Institute. It released the results of a new analysis on the
potential benefits of allowing our drivers in split-berth arrangements additional
Thomas Grady flexibility when they take required hours-of-service breaks.
Callie Tuck Knapp “ATRI utilized empirical truck GPS data to model the application of split rest
beyond the current 8- and 2-hour increments allowed under the existing HOS rules.
Kaylie Sirek The results revealed drivers could spend less time and money, driving the same
contributing writers distances behind the wheel...
…When replicated across the industry, a conservative estimated savings in
Steve Brawner annual drive time of more than 2.3 million hours could be realized with flexible
Renee Miller HOS options, along with over $150 million in annual operational cost savings.”
Jennifer Barnett Reed This is just one example of the many issues percolating in Washington, DC these
Derek Rayment days. As with any issue, the NTA is not only actively involved, but we also have
John Schultz materials and people standing by to help you to be more involved. From helping
Angela Thomas you with contact information to providing you with support materials, we welcome
Todd Traub your call.
Working together, building our base of members who can raise up a louder and harmonious voice, we can and will ensure that the trucking industry in Nebraska
President gets stronger, safer and more profitable.

Kent Grisham Until next time,
[email protected]
Scott Romans
Vice President Romans Motor Freight
Sheila O’Connor Chairman, Nebraska Trucking Association
[email protected]
Business and Human Resources Manager Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 5

Angela Ryba
[email protected]

Executive Assistant
April Tilden

[email protected]

Nebraska Trucking Association is a statewide trade
association for commercial truck and bus operators and
affiliated businesses. It is a not-for-profit association
governed by a board of directors elected annually.
Nebraska Trucking is an affiliate of the American Trucking
Association (ATA). ATA serves and represents the trucking
industry on a national level, influencing federal and state
government actions, advancing positive trucking industry
image, providing education programs and industry
research, and promoting highway safety and security.

For more information, contact
Nebraska Trucking Association:

1701 K Street
P.O. Box 81010
Lincoln, NE 68501
Phone 402.476.8504 Fax: 402.476.8570

6 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

Taxing Our Nation’s Roads
and Its Impact on Trucking

BY DEREK RAYMENT “Tolling is grossly inefficient in that we bridge. Now, the state allows tolling of
Contributing Writer lose approximately 30 cents on every dol- bridges deemed as interstate overpasses,
lar to overhead versus about one cent for which can be as short as 40 feet Maxwell
Toll roads date back to ancient times fuel taxes,” said Maxwell. “Tolling has its says. Nowadays, there are more than a
when tolls were collected for passage place on turnpikes and thruways that are dozen gantries with close to 30 tolling
in trade routes. Ancient civilizations in solely dependent on toll revenues, but in points. Maxwell also says tolls are being
Asia are found to have collected tolls as the case of Rhode Island, they are double levied only on Class 8 and above trucks
far back as 7th century BC. Through the dipping by tolling the interstate which is and tractor trailers at a cost of $3.25 to
Middle Ages tolls were built at strategic already being funded by a fuel tax. Add the $3.50.
points such as where rivers met, collecting discriminatory nature of truck-only tolls,
tolls from boats. They became widespread and we are vehemently opposed.”   “There is a $40 per-day cap and a $20
in Europe as time went by, with tolls being per-way cap on the interstate running from
collected for England’s most popular roads Maxwell points out that tolls can cause Massachusetts to Connecticut,” Maxwell
during the 14th century. Tolling is still very safety issues on secondary roads, with said. “Rhode Island is 46 miles from bor-
common in the United Kingdom and in the trucks taking another route to avoid a toll. der to border. It’s not a corridor state and
rest of Europe with tolls being collected on These alternate routes not built for heavy can easily be diverted around. By forcing
the continent’s biggest passageways. loads become congested, causing safety diversion, a large part of existing revenue
issues for other drivers. stream from both IFTA and IRP goes away
Toll roads are generally used as a fund- and the state becomes a ‘no fly zone’ for
ing mechanism for roads, tunnels, bridges “The implementation of tolls causes di- freight. In the end, Rhode Island’s busi-
and other infrastructure elements. General version around and off the highways onto nesses will inevitably feel the pain as they
criticisms of tolls are that they increase secondary roads to save money,” explains will incur increased toll amounts when
travel time, restrict freedom of movement, Maxwell. “This is a safety factor in that they cannot be diverted around or off the
and act as a regressive tax, hurting under- trucks elect to use roads in congested areas interstates.”
privileged portions of society. However, that are not built for trucks to save money
when it comes to the trucking industry, it resulting in accidents, congestion and road Regionally, states like Kansas and Colo-
plays a different role and has two sides to degradation. In addition, tolls increase rado have tolls in place. However, the Kan-
the argument. Chris Maxwell, president shipping costs and, where they cannot be sas turnpike has been a toll road longer
and CEO of the Rhode Island Trucking recouped, get passed along. Tolling is tax- than the interstate system. Other states like
Association, believes tolling has its place ing and truck tolls are essentially a veiled Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota have
but can also be discriminatory towards the supply chain tax.”   not turned to highway tolls. Kent Grisham,
trucking and transportation industries.
For a period of time, Rhode Island Continues 
only had tolls on an existing state-owned Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 7

Nebraska Trucking Association president, native to tolling. getting the information out about the
says toll roads are unpopular based on vot- “The Build America Fund proposed by negatives of tolling along with the Build
ing results and lawmaker action in states America Fund.”
outside Nebraska. Despite having the abil- ATA includes a fuel usage fee built into
the price of wholesale fuels, phased in at The faltering infrastructure of the Unit-
ed States is well documented and in the
“Tolls have higher collection costs than public eye. Toll roads are generally used
traditional user fees like fuel taxes and to combat this problem. In January 2018,
registration fees, and are therefore less ATA called on policymakers to endorse
efficient. They also force vehicles onto generally its Build America Fund plan, a solution
less safe, less well built secondary roads.” to fund the modernization of the nation’s
deteriorating network of roads and bridg-
- Darrin Roth, VP of Highway Policy, ATA es. The ATA is opposed to tolling existing
roads as well as weight-distance taxes or
ity to toll interstates for nearly 30 years, a nickel per year over four years. The fee vehicle miles traveled fees. The ATA’s pro-
few states in the country have done so due would be indexed to both inflation and posed solution for highway improvements
to public opposition, Grisham believes. He improvements in fuel efficiency, with a five is through the fuel tax, not tolls.
also advocates for the American Trucking percent annual cap,” Grisham said. “The
Associations’ Build America Fund, an alter- challenge for the trucking industry remains “ATA opposes tolls on existing non-
tolled highways. We don’t necessarily
oppose tolls on new lanes where a good
non-toll option is available,” said Darrin
Roth, vice president of Highway Policy at
ATA. “Tolls have higher collection costs
than traditional user fees like fuel taxes
and registration fees, and are therefore
less efficient. They also force vehicles onto

8 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

generally less safe, less well built secondary tion that was formed to educate the public and opinion editorials, media coverage
roads.” about the negative impact that tolling ex- of our organizational viewpoints, and
isting interstates has on communities and testifying at relevant public hearings,” she
The ATA estimates the fund would businesses. Based in Virginia with members said. “We also try to build our grassroots
generate $340 billion in new revenue over across the U.S., the ATFI exists to provide membership and amplifying our message
the first ten years. Although trucks account detailed information to the media, policy- through social media.”
for 14 percent of vehicle miles on roads, makers wneeds. Organization spokesper-
the industry currently covers approximate- son Stephanie Kane says their goal is to Kane says that a lot of times it is a mat-
ly 45 percent of the Highway Trust Fund form a team to combat tolling. ter of educating the public about why they
through the commercial truck fuel tax and believe tolls are harmful.
other trucking-specific taxes. “Our goal is to develop a growing
alliance of individuals, businesses and “Often times we find that the general
“The trucking industry is putting our organizations that will advocate for solving public, media and policymakers are un-
money where our foot is. Trucking already our growing transportation needs without aware of the many harmful consequences
pays half the nation’s highway funding tab, tolling existing interstates,” Kane stated. of tolling,” she said. “We do an enormous
and we are ready to pay more,” said Chris amount of education across all those
Spear, ATA president and CEO. “Through ATFI is a grassroots organization that groups to get the facts out about why toll-
the Build America Fund, the trucking activates their membership in a myriad of ing is the worst possible funding mecha-
industry would invest upwards of an addi- ways to voice public opposition to tolling nism for our roads.”
tional $112 billion into our nation’s roads with the end goal of shaping transporta-
and bridges over the next decade. Solving a tion policy away from tolling interstates, It is ATFI’s belief that tolls harm
challenge of this size requires big and bold says Kane. She also says that the organiza- businesses and communities that rely on
solutions, and we call on Washington to tion employs an aggressive public relations an unrestricted roads. Kane says that tolls
step up with us.” strategy. cause traffic diversion and increased costs
for businesses, employees and consumers,
Another organization fighting tolling “This takes many shapes, including which disrupts economic landscapes and
on the nation’s roads is the Alliance for petitions and letter writing campaigns to
Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI), an organiza- elected representatives, letters to the editor Continues 


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hurts communities. Beaver State. The Portland Metro Area believes the state should further study
“Shipping and trucking companies will Value Pricing Policy Advisory Committee, how to charge drivers who utilize the
comprised of city, county, organization and busy roads, meaning it is up to the state’s
face higher transportation costs, many of business leaders, was tasked with coming transportation department. In the final
which will be passed down to their custom- up with recommendations for how to toll meeting of six, the committee recom-
ers,” Kane explained. “Tolls translate to an the area’s busiest roads, including interstate mended evaluating options to implement
underhanded tax that leads to disrupted system. It was a piece of Oregon legisla- congestion pricing to reduce traffic along
logistics, lower shipping volume and higher tion that created the committee, the “Keep with consideration for public input. Other
prices for end product consumers.” Oregon Moving” initiative aims to create key takeaways include considering benefits,
good jobs, strong communities and a clean effects and strategies to address potential
Not all organizations are against environment. impacts as well as providing input on
tolling. The Oregon Trucking Associa- congestion pricing. In an article published
tion’s president, Jana Jarvis, was part of a The outcome was that the committee by The Oregonian, Jarvis
committee studying freeway tolling in The backs the approach
of studying
HUB International Transportation future tolls
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10 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

for the metro area’s busy Interstate 5 and a tolling include increasing fuel tax, which is on the horizon for Nebraska.
stretch of I-205. The article also indicates has a less than one percent administrative “So far, we have been assured by state
that Oregon is still a long ways off from fee, ensuring most of the tax money gets
implementing tolling. spent on infrastructure improvements. government leaders in Nebraska that toll-
ing of existing infrastructure is not under
While Oregon considers tolling as a “America’s interstates were built using consideration,” said Grisham. “Through
possible solution to busy roads, ATFI be- tax revenue and fuel taxes have paid to our relationships with the ATA and other
lieves tolls aren’t an answer to traffic. maintain them since,” said Kane. state associations, in order to protect the
interests of our Nebraska interstate carri-
“Tolling leads to traffic diversion While tolling does exist in many places ers, we stand ready to join the fight against
as truckers attempt to avoid these new in the United States, there are still more tolling anywhere.”
toll taxes, increasing the cost of doing than 20 states in the country that does not
business,” said Kane. “The end result is have tolling of any kind. NTA president
congested secondary roads that deteriorate Grisham says that he doesn’t believe tolling
more quickly due to higher-than-expected
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Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 11

BY SHEILA O’CONNOR This event would not be possible with- logistics are two of Nebraska’s economic
NTA Vice President out our volunteers and sponsors. Member development selling points. Showcasing
organizations provided 35 judges, spon- the proficiency of commercial vehicle
Morgan Barnes of Truck Center Com- sors and equipment suppliers to this year’s technicians highlights the field as a career
panies – Norfolk is the 2018 Nebraska event. that’s important to Nebraska’s growth as a
SuperTech Champion. More than 100 North American distribution hub.
competitors registered to take the qualify- Career education and worker compe-
ing online, ASE-style test. The top 16 from tency in transportation, distribution and
the online test advanced to the hands-on
skill stations final round hosted by Central Nebraska SuperTech Competition Winners
Community College in Hastings, NE on
July 19. First time participant Student Champion
Jeremiah Dasovic, Truck Center Jack Compton, Northeast Community
As the Nebraska 2018 SuperTech Companies, Omaha College, Norfolk
winner, Barnes will receive transportation
and lodging to represent Nebraska at the Station Winners • Tires, Jeremiah Dasovic, Truck Center
National SuperTech competition September • HVAC, Michael Volkmann, D and K Companies, Omaha
16 – 20 in Orlando, FL. The competition is
hosted by the American Trucking Associa- Diesel, Lincoln • Precision Measurement, Morgan
tions’ Technology and Maintenance Coun- • Vehicle Inspection, Brian Stevens, McCormick, Truck Center Companies,
cil. The runner-up was Joel Kaup of Truck Lincoln
Center Companies – York and third place Truck Center Companies, Omaha
was Jeremiah Dasovic of Truck Center • Engine Electrical, Joel Kaup, Truck • Engine Mechanical, Morgan Barnes,
Companies - Omaha. Additional winners Truck Center Companies, Norfolk
won cash prizes including station winners. Center Companies, York
• Engine Diagnostics, Joel Kaup, Truck • Drive Train, Ben Schultz, Inland Truck
A student competition is also held with Parts and Service, Lincoln
students from three of Nebraska’s Commu- Center Companies, York
nity Colleges. Jack Compton from North- • Alignment, Tim Zieman, Truck Center
east Community College in Norfolk earned
the top student prize, a $500 voucher for Companies, Lincoln
tuition or books. This was Compton’s sec- • Shop Skills, Jeremiah Dasovic, Truck
ond year as student champion.
Center Companies, Omaha

12 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

2018 SuperTech Competitors Thank you, SuperTech sponsors!


July 2018: Larry Gieveshausen

Midwest Motor Express

Larry has more than 50 years commercial driving and 15 years with Midwest
Motor Express. He has more than 31 million total career miles, as an over the
road driver with no accidents. Nominated by Chris Senty, ‘Larry has spent

almost a lifetime driving and has never had an accident or ticket. Larry is the
example of what fleets want in a driver; he is very professional and has a great
attitude. Larry’s years of experience in the trucking industry brings a wealth of
knowledge to our company and to the new drivers he mentors. After all these
years, Larry still has a smile and kind words to share and has great customer
service, giving trucking the positive image that it deserves.’
Larry has been recognized for safe driving by previous employers and enjoys
hunting, fishing, camping, working on old cars with his sons Brandon and Mark, wood
working and metal detecting.

August 2018 - Hal E. Page Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 13

Hunt Transportation

Juan has 15 years of commercial driving and three years with Grand Island
Express. He has a total of 1.75 million accident free miles and more than one
million with Grand Island Express. Juan is always willing to help in all areas of
the company – dispatch, coworkers and other drivers. He runs great miles and
does it all with a safe and courteous attitude and a lot of passion for the job. Tim
Wilson with Grand Island Express said, ‘Juan is a true professional. He places safety
first and is always encouraging to other drivers.’ Juan enjoys spending time with his
family, loves to BBQ and going to the zoo with his children and grandchildren.


A Family Affair

Contributing Writer


Shane, Todd, Norm, Colleen and Wade Geiken
14 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

Norm Geiken didn’t wait to graduate meaning it’s running about 110 trucks. I guess,” he said.
from high school to start what even- How did it get from one truck to 110? A few years later, the industry was
tually became Nebraska Salt and Grain.
Now the company employs 75 people, in- By growing a little at a time. deregulated, but by then the company’s
cluding himself and eight family members. “I don’t know that we had any major processes were in place. So were its values:
Work hard, do the right thing, remember
Norm was a sophomore when he goals,” Norm said. “I think one of our lo- that the customer comes first, hire good
attended a sale and his neighbor noticed cal bankers at the time that I was affiliated drivers, keep good equipment, and make a
he was staring at some straight trucks. with Gothenburg State Bank mentioned to profit.
The neighbor knew Norm’s situation. me that if you’re going to get in the truck-
His parents, Vernie and Dorothy, had ing business, there’s only one way. You “The biggest thing is find out what
raised him and his brother and sister on either have one truck or a hundred, and they wanted and then serve that purpose,”
a grassland farm in hill country 18 miles anywhere in between sometimes gets to be Norm said. “And that, I think, is probably
outside Gothenburg. The farm had some more of a burden than you want.” the key for any business. When you’re serv-
cattle and a few hogs, but it wasn’t large or ing the public, you take care of the public.
irrigated, so Vernie worked in the hay mills After graduating high school in the Sometimes it’s quite difficult, but most
in the summertime to subsidize the family’s spring of 1965, Norm’s business continued times you bend quite a ways to make that
income. Dorothy worked alongside him. to grow – and so did his family. He mar- happen, and usually those customers will
ried his high school sweetheart, Colleen, remember that, and they’ll be back, take
They lacked income and opportunity, that fall, and the two began growing the care of you in the long run.”
but they had a strong work ethic that they business together. While Colleen worked
passed down to their children. for a bank for a year or two, she also was The company continued to grow. It
actively keeping the books and doing other expanded its for-hire services and add-
“Dad always said, ‘Hey, you can make a work, and before long she left the bank ed products to buy and sell, particularly
living if you know how to work, no matter and concentrated full-time on the family aggregates. A key was reducing deadhead
what it is,’” he said. business. trips by hauling grain on backhauls.

Dovenberger asked Norm if he was “We’ve been step and step all the way,” Along the way, the family was growing.
interested in buying one of those trucks. said Norm, now 71. “She’s very much in- Norm and Colleen had three sons: Wade,
Norm didn’t have any money, so Doven- strumental in our program in what we are, Shane and Todd. The three grew up around
berger told him he would give him a loan and we’re still here and working, not side the business and would take turns during
at very low interest and let him pay it back. by side, but an office apart.” the summers driving with Norm a week or
two at a time. Wade probably was five or
That was the first chapter in Norm’s Soon after starting the company, the six years old when he started riding with
trucking story. Before long, he was using Geikens bought two International cabovers him. He doesn’t remember the first trip,
straight trucks to haul hay bales during and began hauling for hire in surround- but he remembers an early one: They were
the summer months from the fields to the ing states. In the mid-1970s, the industry in a truck together when the news broke
feed lots. During those times, Geiken Hay was still heavily regulated, with trucking over the radio that President Nixon had
and Feed Company had as many as 15-16 companies required to obtain certificates resigned. Meanwhile, the boys did odd jobs
employees. And that was before he had of authority from government agencies in around the company headquarters as they
graduated high school. order to haul freight. There was a market grew older.
for delivering road salt for ice control, and
Today, the Geikin family owns a Norm wanted to haul it, but getting the Wade started working full-time for the
number of sister companies: Nebraska proper permits was getting in the way. So company in 1988 – about a year earlier
Grain and Salt, which primarily buys and instead, he decided to take it a step further. than he intended to. It was the summer be-
sells road salt, aggregate products and The company would buy and sell the fore his senior year of college, and he was
grain; NSG Transport, which hauls those product as Nebraska Salt and Grain, and it majoring in business management at what
products for the company and also hauls would haul it by forming another compa- now is the University of North Texas in
for other shippers on a for-hire basis; and ny, NSG Transport. Denton outside of Dallas. At the time, the
Eagle Hills Ranch, a 2,500-acre operation company had a grain elevator in Gothen-
raising 1,600 head of black Angus cows “We kind of went with the adage that burg, but some vital employees, including
and calves and another 100 bulls, along this is America, we ought to be able to buy the grain operator, resigned shortly before
with corn, beans, popcorn, grass, hay and sell it if we wished to, and if the cus- harvest season. Norm had to act fast.
and alfalfa. The company owns about 47 tomer wants it, but we were told you can’t
tractors and about 75 trailers, and it also do that unless it’s the largest part of your Continues 
has 65 owner-operators or full-time leasers, business, so we kind of defied the moment, Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 15

“I kind of gave Wade an ultimatum at space has grown to 2 million bushels, we kept making it happen.”
that time,” he said. “I said, if you’re ever and it stores all kinds of products, includ- The company has added additional de-
thinking about coming home, right now is ing corn, white corn, organic corn, and
the time because otherwise we’re in trouble soybeans. A big increase occurred when icing products. After starting with Kansas
here and we’re going to have to have some the company began storing popcorn for white salt, the primary product used in ice
help, or I’m going to have to shut it down two companies, Conagra Snack Foods and control, it added a liquid deicer that arrives
in that area of that part of it,” he said. American Pop Corn, or Jolly Time. What via rail from Nevada. Nebraska Salt and
started with a few bins grew to many Grain stores and hauls it but doesn’t pur-
Wade recalls his dad telling him he more. Meanwhile, each time the company chase it because of the chemistry involved.
had two days to decide. At the time, he traded trucks, it tried to add a little to the It also buys and sells a red salt product
was working a summer job at a restaurant size of its fleet. produced in Utah. According to Wade, the
waiting tables and tending bar. He talked company foresaw that the industry was
to the manager and some friends and de- “Every time we’d trade, it’s like we’re moving in that direction and made sure it
cided to come home. The company sent a going to at least add one more,” Wade said. added tools to its toolbox.
convertible trailer to Dallas, and he loaded “You know, if we’ve got 10, we’re going
his Mazda RX-7 and his possessions in it, to 11. If we’ve got 25, we’re going to 26. Wade said the company is becoming
rode home in the cab with the driver, and We never wanted to stand still, so you’re more active in the Nebraska Trucking
started work three days later. Harvest was always trying to get just a little bit big- Association because it’s affected by issues
45-50 days away, so he learned to work ger.” As Norm describes it, “I don’t know such as the lack of truck parking and the
the scale and also learned to buy and sell that that was a goal at that point in time, electronic logging device mandate. The
grain and to contact growers to keep the but I guess Colleen and myself were both company lengthened some of its routes
trucks moving. somewhat progressive to the point of, hey, because its drivers were having their hours
we don’t stand still year to year. We try and of service eaten up while loading and un-
At that point, the company had about add to or take the next step on a yearly loading, which is a time-consuming process
10 trucks and about 12 bins storing about basis, and as long as the workload is there, with its types of hauls.
600,000 bushels. Since then, the storage
“Not everybody runs the exact same

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16 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

lanes or goes warehouse to warehouse, so couple of years later, Todd graduated from the brothers, plus a couple of part-timers.
ELDs and some of these laws that some- Doane University with a degree in biology Shane and Todd say the emphasis is on
times get made, they affect private carriers with plans to be a chiropractor or physi- quality over size. Just as many farmers
and carriers like us or any of these shorter cal therapist but instead decided to return focus on improving genetics in row crops,
haul people that are like us ... differently ...
so we want to have our voice heard, too,” “We never wanted to stand still, so you’re
Wade said. always trying to get just a little bit bigger...
We try and add to or take the next step on a
Meanwhile, the company expanded in yearly basis, and as long as the workload is
another direction – into agriculture. When there, we kept making it happen.”
the sons were growing up, the family had
raised cattle and hay at their home 17 - Norm Geiken
miles outside of Gothenburg. When they
left for college, Norm sold all the cows. home. At first he worked around the grain they do so with cattle. Moreover, they
Shane attended the University of Nebras- elevator and the office, but soon he joined don’t add hormones so the animals can be
ka, where he graduated with a degree in Shane in running the farm. Over the years, sold in Europe and Japan.
business administration and walked on as it has grown to 2,500 acres. The operation
a non-scholarship athlete to the football has seven full-time employees including Continues 
team as a middle linebacker. He was on
the kickoff team during the Cornhuskers’
1991 epic comeback win over Oklaho-
ma and can remember the stadium being
so loud that the field vibrated. After he
graduated, the business purchased 250-
300 head and started Eagle Hills Ranch. A

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Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 17

The Geikens - Lisa M., Shane, Todd, Lisa A., Norm, Colleen, Wade, Tracy, Justin

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18 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

As the company grew, it found it need- what needs getting done at that time.” family, but the Geikens try to discuss other
ed more office space and a place to have Colleen is “the rock of it all,” accord- things when not in the office. A favorite
meetings with drivers. About 10 years ago, family hobby is attending Cornhuskers
it purchased a downtown building that ing to Todd. “She takes care of all of us, games together.
had sat idle for several years, renovated keep us all calm. … She’s the bread and
it, moved some offices there and created a butter of it.” Shane said she keeps a watch- Norm and Colleen always wanted their
community conference room it rents out to ful eye on the finances without microman- sons to be involved in the business, and
local businesses. aging. that’s how it worked out. As parents they
always let their sons find their own way,
At 71, Norm is still actively involved in While Shane, 49, and Todd, 46, stay Shane said. When the sons became adults,
the company’s day-to-day operations, but busy with Eagle Hills Ranch, Wade, 51, they found their way back home.
he and Colleen have been stepping back runs much of the day-to-day operations
somewhat and are traveling a little more on the trucking side. The company is not “We had people when we brought
often. Still, they are far from retirement, big on titles; the closest Wade has is “grain our sons back into the business just said
and they continue to set the tone for the manager.” Meanwhile, the three sons’ it would never work,” Norm said, “and
company’s culture. wives have all taken active roles in the we defied that type of thinking by family
company. Wade’s wife, Tracy, does book- being involved. … Then if there were some
“If your hay is ready to bale and it’s a keeping and administrative work; Shane’s problems … we always worked them out
Sunday morning, that’s when you’ve got to wife, Lisa, does accounting for Eagle Hills diplomatically so to speak because we’re
go to work,” Shane said. “You can’t take Ranch; and Todd’s wife, Lisa, is human all working together for the end result of
those days off. When there’s something resources director. Wade and Tracy’s son, keeping the companies going and making it
needs to be done, you need to get it done. Justin, works on the farming side and helps work.”
So it’s mostly, it’s doing the hard work and with the cattle. He’s the first of Norm and
not putting something off for the weekend Colleen’s nine grandchildren to work for
or don’t put something off because it’s 5 the company. Being together day after day
o’clock. Finish your job, and take care of can make it hard to separate work and




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BY DEREK RAYMENT viewing easy. I was a rookie this year, first place during the Nebraska Inspector
Contributing Writer meaning a first-time attendee and first-time Championships. Hunzeker competed in the
volunteer.” North American Inspector Championships,
More than 400 of the best profession- competed at the North American Inspec-
al drivers America competed in the 2018 Aude, also a rookie volunteer and tor Champions (NAIC) held in conjunc-
American Trucking Associations National attendee, was assigned to the five axle trac- tion with NTDC. Huntzeker is a 14-year
Truck Driving Championships, held Aug. tor-trailer tank truck division. Her job was veteran of the Nebraska State Patrol and is
15-18 at the Columbus Convention Center ensuring the 47 drivers in the division were stationed in Nebraska City while assigned
in Columbus, Ohio. An event held to where they needed to be at any given time to the Carrier Enforcement Division.
promote safe driving while offering a little during the three-day event. Aude recounts
friendly competition, the National Truck her time as a volunteer. On the final day of the truck driving
Driving Championships dates back to event, the more than 400 drivers were
1937 when it was known as the National “Prior to the second day’s skills test narrowed down to a mere 46 vying for the
Truck Rodeo. The national competitors and pre-trip inspection competition, I had title of national champion in their driving
are made up of the winners in eight classes the chance to walk through the course. class as well as the overall 2018 Bendix
of the competition from 50 state trucking Then the competition began. Tension was Grand Champion title, an honor that went
association’s championships, as well as the apparent in the room,” she said, eluding to to Ohio’s Scott Woodrome. The national
winners of the auto transporters class at the friendly competition. event ended with the Parade of Champions
the regional truck driving championships. on Saturday evening, which Aude says was
The truck driving championships, both Eight competitors from Nebraska the most humbling experience of the entire
state and national, are annual competitions made the trip to Columbus, Ohio: Paul trip.
that inspire drivers to drive safely and Badgett, FedEx Freight; Thomas Canning,
avoid accidents on the job. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.; George “Each driver along with their area
Chaney, FedEx Freight; Patrick Crumb, volunteers were announced as they crossed
It was Sheila O’Connor’s first time Fremont Contract Carriers, Inc.; Timothy the stage. What a fantastic experience as
attending the national competition. The Dean, Werner Enterprises, Inc.; Toby Kort, each of the driver’s names and state they
Nebraska Trucking Association vice presi- FedEx Freight; Clinton Rast, ABF Freight were representing were announced,” said
dent says it was amazing to see comradery System, Inc.; and Jeremiah Saffold, FedEx Aude. “Their families and companies were
of everyone involved. Express. Drivers competed in various all cheering them on from the stands.
classes including: straight truck, three-ax- Drivers who had qualified by performing
“Everyone greeted each other with a le, four-axle, five-axle tractor-semitrailer well at the state level were champions for
‘Hi. How are you?’ or a ‘How can I help (tank), five-axle tractor-semitrailer (van), just participating at nationals in my mind.
you?’,” she said. five-axle tractor-semitrailer (flatbed), It made it a real family affair. It was very
five-axle tractor (sleeper cab)-semitrailer humbling when they called my name as a
O’Connor, who was accompanied by (van) and twin trailers. To be eligible, driv- representative of the Nebraska Trucking
NTA’s Barb Aude, signed up to volunteer at ers not only had to have performed well in Association.”
the competition. their state competitions, they had to go a
full year accident-free one year prior to the Congratulations to all Nebraska com-
“I was assigned scoring, arguably the competition. Also representing Nebraska petitors, their companies and their families.
best seats in the house,” joked O’Connor. on the national level was Nebraska State
“Scoring and announcing were directly in Patrol Trooper Kris Hunzeker, who took
between two driving courses, so it made

20 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

National Truck Driving Championships

Elisabeth Barna and 
Chris Spears, ATA with

Sheila O’Connor

 O’Connor’s Volunteer Packet

NTDC Grand Champion Trophy   Aude and O’Connor with a follow volunteer.

NTDC Champions' Picnic

The Nebraska Truck Driving Cham- and are looking for champions prior to
pions' picnic was held Saturday, July 28 2016. Please email April Tilden, [email protected]
at Oak Lake Park in Lincoln. More than or call 402-476-8504
60 attendees enjoyed food, fellowship and ext. 109 with name, category and contact
storytelling! This was a great opportuni- information. Thank you for your assistance
ty for past champions to help this year's on this project!
champions prepare for the National Com-
petition, August 13 - 18 in Columbus, OH.  Terry Durham, Werner Enterprises and Rich
The NTA office is updating our records Boyd, Crete Carrier Corporation, share a story
about competing.

 2018 NTDC logo hat.  George Chaney and guest visit with Kay Wessel  Corby Flagle and Jerry Wessel, NTDC committee members, serve a delicious lunch to attendees.

Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 21


Nebraska Community Colleges

“When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Trucker!”

BY RENEE MILLER the itch to start a trucking career you can Carrier training program. Derek Rayment,
Contributing Writer head right down to your local community Spokesman for Metropolitan Community
college and receive not just a CDL, but an College says “We can open up doors to
PHOTO COURTESY OF METROPOLITAN entire education that will equip you to be a further education in the transportation and
COMMUNITY COLLEGE professional in the transportation industry. logistics industries after students attain
Less expensive than many private train- their CDL license. We also focus heavily on
Who hasn’t been sailing down the ing schools, the colleges have the capacity safety in the number of drive hours as well
highway at 65 miles per hour and come to provide a deeper knowledge-base for as educating students about societal issues
up behind an 18-wheeler with the words their students at the same time that they’re such as human trafficking. Students in our
“We Need Drivers!” printed on the back helping to end the Driver shortage. “If you trucking program will learn about other
of its doors? Many of those trucks also go to a major Carrier and get trained from things other than just driving a truck. They
advertise that they offer training programs them, you may be required to work for will be exposed to diesel technology and
for would-be Drivers. But most of us aren’t them for a period of time or encounter a other trades.” This is an important distinc-
likely to call that number, pack our bags, penalty,” says Mike Kuebler, Program Chair tion because with a broader education, stu-
and head off to be trained as a Professional of Professional Truck Driver Training at dents have more choices, and more freedom
CDL Driver. If we have a young child in the Southeast Community College. Attending a to make those choices.
car, and that trucker toots the horn as we Community College program has no such
pass them, we might hear our young friend limitation and gives students a wider berth But who are the people who actually
say, “I want to be a trucker when I grow of choices for their future. Choosing to en- make up the truck driving student body in
up!” Yet, when that same child is of an age roll in one of Nebraska’s community college these community colleges? While the age
when they are ready to choose a career, programs enables “Students to explore and range is quite wide — roughly 18-70 —
the comment made on the highway those research different avenues while they are in most are not young people just graduating
many years ago may be completely forgot- school,” remarks Ed Lewis, Truck Driver from high school. As Kuebler says, “Mainly
ten. Consequently, we continue to find that Trainer for Northeast Community College. because of insurance companies, there are
the number one challenge in the Trans- Clyde Childers, Truck Driving Supervisor many Carriers and trucking companies
portation industry is the Driver Shortage. of Central Community College reinforces that are prohibited from hiring anyone
Trucking companies are trying very hard to this idea. “Educational institutions have a under a certain age.” Still, even with those
change that and have developed attractive broader focus for providing educational limitations, Rayment says that Metropol-
campaigns to encourage both new recruits experiences compared to a for-profit orga- itan Community College does recruit in
and veterans to drive those incredible ma- nization wherein the primary motive is to area high schools. With a fuller educa-
chines that keep the goods that we need make money.“   tion, students may still be able to work in
moving through the American landscape. the transportation or logistics field even
Sheila O’Connor, Vice-President of the though their age may prevent them from
But, suppose a decision is made to fol- Nebraska Trucking Association points driving. The bulk of students, however,
low through on one of those calls to action out that some of the college programs run are in their second, third, and even fourth
on the back of a truck? Or, suppose that Diesel Tech and CDL together or some- careers. Childers reports that “The common
child who heard the tooting of the truck what closely together. A community college denominator is the earning potential for
horn has passed adolescence and still wants program for either CDL or CDL diesel someone who invests in short term training
to become a trucker? What happens then? mechanic, provides students with opportu- at a relatively inexpensive rate. There is
While it may seem that the only way to nities they might not receive in a training probably no greater return on investment
become a Driver is to go to a private train- program with a large Carrier. For example, than learning to drive a truck.” Interestingly,
ing school or sign on with a major Carrier Metropolitan Community College is clear many students are looking for a more stable
for their training program, those aren’t that they take a different approach than career, a higher standard of living, or desire
the only options. In Nebraska, if you get that of an alternative training school or to escape a current unfulfilling career. And,

22 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

some, says Kuebler , “See the career as an Southeast Community College only
opportunity to see the country and get paid has anecdotal data. Kuebler continues
while doing it!” to maintain a connection with many
of the graduates after they leave the
There is a wide diversity of students in college and from his ongoing rela-
all of the colleges as well, in terms of gender tionships with these students he feels
and ethnicity. And, at Central Community that “The number of students that
College there seems to be no shortage of continue in the industry is relatively
students. Childers reports that “The next high.”
two classes at Central Community College
are already full and we are continuing There is no doubt that the Ne-
to schedule students for future classes.” braska community colleges are offer-
Childers poses an important question that ing an exciting educational opportu-
could use some exploration by industry nity for both young people and those
experts. “DMV statistics indicate that more looking to change careers. Through
than 3,000 people per year in Nebraska their educational programming and
pass their CDL test. It makes one wonder new initiatives they are doing their
why the need for drivers is not being met.” part not only to help end the driver
shortage but to provide students
All of the colleges are using innovative with a well-rounded education in
recruiting methods including social media, the transportation and logistics
local job fairs, and working with communi- industries. It may be that through
ty organizations. Metropolitan Community their efforts, more young people
College even hosts open houses that give who heard the toot of that trucker’s
students and prospective students an oppor- horn as they sped down the high-
tunity to meet with industry professionals. way might actually become the truck
John Timperley, CDL Instructor at Metro- driver they dreamed they would
politan Community College believes “It’s one day be.
important to
to multi-
ple career
paths within
the industry in order to better
fit the individual needs of the stu-

Still, the bottom line is whether or
not students continue on in the ca-
reer for which they’ve been trained.
The data on this is mixed. Metropol-
itan Community College is
currently building a
system for tracking
that data; neither
Central Com-
munity College
nor Northeast
ty College
have any data
available on
this yet; and Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 23

Remember ★ Honor ★ Teach

Our Mission to



ecember 16, 2Jo0in1u7s on

National WrDeeactehmsber 15, 2018
AcrosNsaAtimoneralicWareDatahys Across America Day




24 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

Along the Route

Recent events and news from Nebraska Trucker advertisers

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Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 25


September Allied Oil & Tire..............................................17
American Trucking Associations’
Sept. 13 SMC Lunch and Learn: OSHA, Lincoln Management Conference & Expo.......inside
back cover
Sept. 23 - 25 Fall Management Conference, York, NE Bauer Built Tire...............................................9
Great West Casualty Co.............. Back cover
Oct. 11 October HELP, Inc., Provider of PrePass..................19
SMC Lunch and Learn, Omaha HUB International Insurance......................10
Interstate PowerSystems..............................8
Nov. 8 November J. J. Keller & Associates.............................18
SMC Lunch and Learn, Lincoln Joe Morton & Son Insurance.....................10
Nebraska Trucker.........................................26
Dec. 13 December Nebraska Trucking Association.................24
SMC Lunch and Learn, Omaha Northland Insurance....................................16
RDO Truck Centers............Inside front cover
Jan.14-15 January TA/Petro............................................................6
SMC Safety Summit, Omaha Truck Center Companies..............................11
Feb. 14 February
SMC Lunch and Learn, Lincoln

March 14 March
SMC Lunch and Learn, Omaha


You may view Nebraska Trucker The Official Magazine of the Nebraska Trucking Association This edition of Nebraska Trucker was made
— complete with sound effects — possible with the support of these corporate
online within a week of distribution. A&CllioeSdnOtreil a&vdTeireHPheiilnlisposn advertisers. They support the trucking
Another awesome feature of this industry by enabling Nebraska Trucking
great new technology is that websites GIVE TO LINCOLN DAY Association to provide this publication to
in the digital magazine are “live.” So, DEMAND AN END its members, prospective members, elected
viewers may click on a site featuring DNREIBVRINAGSKCAHTARMUPCIKONSHIPS officials and the business community at
in an ad and be transported directly large. They deserve your consideration and
to an advertiser’s website. This is just patronage when making your corporate
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Issue 3, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 1 NEBRASKA TRUCKER WITH LIVE
26 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

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For more information and to register, visit: Issue 4, 2018 - Nebraska Trucker 27

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28 Nebraska Trucker - Issue 4, 2018

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