Tammy Campbell didn’t have the smoothest beginning to her driving career with Prime. She sought a job there after her husband, Michael, started driving for the company.
After failing her driving test 11 times, she was given one final chance. Tammy was ready for the final try, but came down with the flu and had to reschedule the exam. Two days later, once she was feeling better, Tammy took the test and passed.
Fast forward to this year when Tammy was named Prime’s first Highway Diamond of the Year at the inaugural Highway Diamond Gala, which recognized the company’s female drivers.
“We have so many fabulous, fabulous women, that to be honored like this it really, truly leaves me about as speechless as anybody has ever seen me,” Tammy said. “It really does.”
Tammy has found a home in what she calls the Prime family. She joined the Springfield, Missouri company in 2010. She drives team full time with Michael, but still manages to find time to mentor other drivers who are struggling and pass on what she has learned.
“We had drivers who were failing, getting ready to turn in their keys. They were failing financially,” Tammy said. “They weren’t making any money. They were having issues with trip planning and fuel costs, and because we are where we are, they asked them to call me.”
Her fleet manager John Sample only has praise for Tammy.
“If I have someone that is struggling, and my point of view is not connecting, Tammy always offers to help,” Sample said. “She currently mentors two drivers on my fleet, and at times, more.”
Tammy has had struggles of her own since becoming a truck driver. She fought breast cancer almost two years ago, and was concerned about what would happen to her when her medical leave ran out. She talked to Steve Larson, operations manager at Prime, about what she’d be facing if she lost her insurance. Prime stepped up to help her, she says.
“When I told him I’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, he jumped up from his desk, threw his arms around me and hugged me,” Campbell said. “When I asked him that question, he put my face in his hands and he said to me, ‘That will not happen.’ Prime takes care of our family.”
Tammy encourages other women interested in the trucking industry to be fearless about pursuing opportunities.
“Find a great training company that treats you like an individual and not a number, somebody who knows your first name and not just your truck number and just have courage. Because you can do this. We can all do this,” Tammy said.