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News for and about Star Freight drivers. 
May 2016 
Meet our new director of maintenance, get to know our featured driver, learn about our Safe Driver of the Quarter, celebrate our drivers' work anniversaries and read the latest news about our Star Freight business and family.
Notes from Charlie

At Star Freight, we are always looking for advances that will help both our drivers and our business perform our best.

Recently, we installed DriveCams for our Star Freight company drive fleet that is dedicated to hauling for Georgia-Pacific in Denton, Texas.

These are small cameras that sit on the dash of the truck and record what's happening both inside and in front of the truck. The great thing is that if there's a change in G-Force, the DriveCam captures the previous eight seconds and the next eight seconds of that event. Therefore, when an accident occurs, this allows us to provide documentation of exactly what transpired.

Let me share one story of how that has proved helpful already. A few months ago, a cement truck squeezed one of our trucks off the highway in a lane shift due to construction. This action caused $350,000 in damages to our vehicle and the cement truck. Luckily, no one was hurt.

Both our driver and the driver of the cement truck claimed the other was at fault. Because our driver had DriveCam on his truck, we had video that proved our driver was in his lane of travel and the cement truck caused the accident. That put the responsibility for costs on the cement truck driver.

For our owner-operators, this is a tool I would recommend as it protects you and your vehicle. If you are interested in learning more about this device, then please contact the Safety Department at Star Freight.

And, as always, thanks for all you do to make Star Freight a company to be proud of!

Charlie Johnson
Star Freight President

Jason with wife Kristy.
New maintenance director will make drivers' work easier

Jason Wickens joined Star Freight in April as our new director of maintenance. We are so glad to have him! He's going to help us do our job better, and he'll help you, our drivers, as well.

His work analyzing which maintenance problems occur most often will help us target and resolve those issues more efficiently. Having years in the business, he also knows where the top repair shops are across the country, so he can direct you to the best place when you need maintenance on the road.

Just recently, he helped steer a Star Freight owner-operator driver away from a mom-and-pop shop. It wanted to charge her $3,500 and take two days to repair her clutch.

"That's absurd," Jason said. "I know that it takes 12 hours" for that repair. So he pointed the driver to a nationally owned shop that would do the job quicker and at a lower cost.

Jason, a proud family man who lives in Glenn Heights, Tex., near Dallas, is happy to be a member of the Star Freight family. "The folks here are fantastic," he says. "Everyone is a stellar professional."

If you need help with truck maintenance, contact Jason at 407-347-5945 ext 1900, or send him an email at

Safe Driver of the Quarter
Driver Zeb Nelson stays alert

Zeb Nelson says remaining cautious and alert on the road is key to safe driving.
And he adheres to that every time he drives, as he knows safety can literally make a life or death difference. After all, in Zeb's 12 years of driving professionally, he can recall two fatal accidents involving other truck drivers. Both made an impression on him.
"When I was just starting out, I saw two trucks collide in San Antonio. It scared me," he says.
In addition, a good friend of his was involved in a fatal incident involving trucks due to a faulty fifth wheel. Zeb knows that as the truck driver, it is his responsibility to check his truck for issues before driving to ensure everyone's safety -- including his own.
That's not the only precaution he takes. "The rules of the road are important. If it's raining or snowing, slow down!" he says.
Before driving trucks, Zeb worked in the traffic division for the city of San Francisco. He says his good understanding of traffic helps him anticipate what other drivers will do.
That's part of being an alert driver, he says.
"You have to be alert," he adds. "If you're tired, pull over. Fifteen minutes will save your life."
Zeb, who's been with Star Freight for about four years, has driven through 48 states. He proudly adds that he has maintained a safe driving record throughout all his travels.
When he is not in his truck, he enjoys relaxing. However, it's never long before he's back on the road. He likes to travel from his current home in Atlanta to his home state of Louisiana to visit his mother.
Zeb says he maintains his safe driving ethic both on and off the job. For Zeb, it's safe to say, safety always comes first!
See more about safety at Star Freight here.
Safety Matters
Brake Safety Week in September
Here's a heads-up for you: Law enforcement agencies across the country will be conducting brake inspections on large trucks Sept. 11-17.

It's part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week. Inspectors will be looking for out of adjustment brakes as well as brake-system and anti-lock braking system violations.

Of course, your brakes should be in good working order all the time, but this is a good reminder to take that precaution. 
Paul Koebke won't drive past

The biggest trend Paul Koebke's noticed on the road: more people stopped in need of help. And as a man who's spent 23 years as a driver, Paul knows his stuff!

"I try not to walk by people," Paul said. "I've met men and women all over the country," and he tries to do what he can to help.
Just last week in Elizabeth, N.J., Paul noticed a woman and her daughter stalled in the 95-degree heat. Instead of "walking past," Paul listened to her story and gave her what she needed to keep going. "It changes the chances of them getting hurt," he explained.
Paul has been with Star Freight for almost 2 half years. He enjoys the freedom of driving -- namely the opportunity to craft his own schedule. As a veteran in the business, issues like driving at night or altering his biological clock are no longer a problem.
In his off time, Paul finds himself at his home in Greenbay, Wis., where he takes care of his truck and his homestead. Action films (anything with Clint Eastwood and Vin Diesel) are a favorite.
Paul's advice to new drivers? Do your research. Commitments are long-term, and you want to get information about good places to work from drivers themselves.
We're glad Paul chose Star Freight!

Apply here to be a Star Freight driver! 
Welcome to Our Newest Stars

Steven Baugher
Travis Crawford
Ruben Davila
Christopher Hill

Sean Hive
John Lindsey
Armando Madrigal
Marti McClain
Jimmy McDaniels
Patrick McGriff
Mark Meller
Gustavo Olivas
Ronald Pavlakovic
Cody Price
Stephen Shinn
Angelica Trejo
Steven Wills
Kou Yang
Jon Young

The best way for us to find quality drivers is through referrals from our own employees. Thanks to all our drivers who have connected us with news drivers over the past few months:
Marti McClain for referring Marion Tillman and Stephen Shinn
Gene Lloyd for referring Robert Wilson
Steve Wills for referring Angie Trejo and Anthony Davis
Angie Trejo for referring Carlos Elias Lopez
Bobby Ireland for referring John Lindsey
Eddie Wimes for referring Michael Danyus
Randy Miller for referring Jerome Wren
Anthony Manna for referring Lonnie Munds

Remember, if you make a referral, we'll make it pay with a thank you bonus of $1,000!

Star Freight Super Stars
Congratulations to these drivers' milestones!

7 Years: Manuel Mendiaz and Robert Ramirez
6 Years: Patrick Fleming and Leonard Johnson 

5 Years
: Khalid Eddington 
3 Year: Claude Hall and Jeffrey Osteen

2 Years: Chris Harrison and Joe Hill 

1 Year: Patrick Carter, Tran Conley, Joseph Grimes, Ronnie Prator, Alberto Sanvicente and Terence Williams.
Business Matters
by Vice President Dan Sindelar

Star Freight, LLC continues to add business opportunities, and we want to thank our drivers in each division for their continued support and efforts. You are all instrumental in making Star Freight a place that we are all excited to be a part of!
Some of our recent business achievements include:
  • We were once again awarded a "Disney on Ice" tour in our power-only division. We will begin handling that account again later this month.
  • We are once again preparing for the dedicated mail business that we've been a part of with the Pat Salmon and Sons companies for four years.
We have also added some new faces to some of our divisions:
  • In our Valparaiso, Ind., dry/reefer office, Linda Bennett has joined Brendan Smith and Jim Whitaker .
  • In our Perkins, Okla., office, Debi Thomas has come aboard to assist Kim Thompson.
Although freight conditions have been volatile all year, our dispatch staff in each division has worked hard to keep rate levels the same or higher. Even when the future is uncertain, we are committed to giving you the best opportunity to be successful with Star Freight.
Your feedback is always appreciated! Please call me at 219-510-5654 or email me at if you have any sales leads that you think might benefit Star Freight.
Last but definitely not least, I continue to ask that in everything that you do, please do it SAFELY. We're sincere when we say there is nothing more important to Star Freight than our professional fleet of drivers and the motoring public.
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