151: NAIT: Supporting America’s Independent Truckers

This week on the Oakley Podcast, host Jeremy Kellett sits down with Mona Brimeyer of the National Association of Independent Truckers (NAIT) during the Mid-America Truck Show. During this conversation, Jeremy and Mona discuss how NAIT supports drivers including healthcare services and plans, discounts and perks for drivers with NAIT, how to join NAIT, supporting Wreaths Across America, and more.

Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Mona’s background and interests (1:43)
  • How Mona got interested in the trucking industry (4:59)
  • Services NAIT provides to support drivers (7:46)
  • Healthcare services and other perks with NAIT (10:59)
  • Joining NAIT (19:12)
  • Wreaths Across America (21:05)
  • How NAIT is different (24:52)
  • The future at NAIT (27:14)

Oakley Trucking is a family-owned and operated trucking company headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information, check out our show website: podcast.bruceoakley.com


Mona Brimeyer  00:12

Not everybody could drive trucks and the traffic and the bad weather and those people that cut them off and they’re all in the 45,000 pounds of weight and, you know, it’s just, we could go on and on about. They are in danger a lot so we appreciate them and want to help them.

Jeremy Kellett  00:31

Welcome to the Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. This show is brought to you by Oakley trucking headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The purpose of this podcast is to communicate with Oakley owner operators and their families by giving them up to date information concerning Oakley trucking and the trucking industry. From business advice to safety updates to success stories. Also to give an insight to outside truck drivers that might be interested in joining the Oakley family. We’re here at the Mid America truck show Louisville, Kentucky 2023. And as always, you know, we always find some good guests at this show to promote their product or services. And always like to do that because as you guys know, and I probably you know, you get tired of hearing this but always try to find information that’s beneficial to Oakley owner operators so you can be successful. There’s so many things out there that can help you be successful. That, you know, we just like to do our best to find those products or services for you. So today I found the National Association of Independent Truckers group and found Miss Mona Remar to sit down with me. How are you doing?

Mona Brimeyer  01:43

Doing real good. And I sure appreciate the invite love being here and in

Jeremy Kellett  01:47

This great environment really is love and I just love it too. He does. Yes, he does get excited when you see all these people in it coming by. And of course, you’re recording this thing right out here in the middle of the middle of the show floor.

Mona Brimeyer  02:01

Right. And that’s exactly where we need to be. And it’s fun to be able to watch all these drivers. And it’s like a kid in a candy store. I mean, it’s like, Oh, hey, I need this for my truck. I need that for my truck.

Jeremy Kellett  02:15

And then I bring out their families. I mean, this is like a family. Wow. Isn’t

Mona Brimeyer  02:19

what they gotta get their goodies and

Jeremy Kellett  02:23

everything. Oh, we’re all about a lot of people. duties here.

Mona Brimeyer  02:27

Yeah, all the logo stuff.

Jeremy Kellett  02:29

Y’all have a booth here?

Mona Brimeyer  02:30

We usually do. This is the first year that we haven’t exhibited, but usually we always exhibit Yeah,

Jeremy Kellett  02:36

so y’all come every year though we do. Yep.

Mona Brimeyer  02:39

We come every year. Yeah, always here. So,

Jeremy Kellett  02:42

You know, always add our listeners to tell a little bit about themselves just so you know how you can associate with Hey, she’s a real person. She lives like we do. I understand a little bit about Mona.

Mona Brimeyer  02:54

Well, actually, I am a person that never meets a stranger. I like to visit with people, especially our drivers. I’m just very passionate about life and enjoy everybody’s journey, what they do and that kind of thing. Where are you from? I’m from Platte City, Missouri, which is right. It’s in Kansas City and the Okay, up north right by the airport and we just got a brand new airport that was built and it is beautiful. That’s me. Yeah. So kind of out in the country. north part of Kansas City family. Yep. I have a husband and we have been married 37 years last month. Wow. Yeah. And

Jeremy Kellett  03:48

We first got married when you were like, I was 20.

Mona Brimeyer  03:52

I was young. Yeah. And we have three children, two boys and a girl. And our youngest is Scott. And then Keith is our oldest son and then Ashley and Keith and Ashley are twins. Oh, congratulations. Yep. They were born on Valentine’s Day. 32 years ago. Oh, wow. So I have a wonderful son in law that’s married and divorced Ashley and two beautiful granddaughters. Clara is six and Kinley is three.

Jeremy Kellett  04:25

Oh, that’s what they all live around you there? Yeah,

Mona Brimeyer  04:29

they do. Yeah. Matter of fact, we’re only maybe four blocks from our granddaughters Ashley and Mark and it’s just, you know, they come to Mimi and Papa’s house and it’s cookies and little muffins and whatever they want.

Jeremy Kellett  04:45

All the time. I used to go to my grandma’s house and it was a cabinet full of little Debbie’s and that’s potato chips. I grew up with data chips and little Debbie’s right. No

Mona Brimeyer  04:54

I doubt I need to Yep. And you always knew where to go. Yeah, what about

Jeremy Kellett  04:59

you do in your spare time, you and your husband have interesting hobbies.

Mona Brimeyer  05:04

Yes, my husband loves to work out in the yard. He likes to plan garden landscaping. I enjoy planting flowers and big outdoor pops and love doing flowers and gardening. But I’ll tell you one of my biggest passions is I enjoy baking. And I have done several events for our office in Kansas City. I make different cakes, you know, homemade things. And then jar desserts. So that’s my biggest passion for Yeah, so I’ll get in the kitchen and a stress relief for me is to bake some good stuff. Turn on some soft music, light a candle, have some wine and go for

Jeremy Kellett  05:50

it. Oh, that sounds great. That’s good. You enjoy that. Arrow Truck Sales has been in business for over 60 years and a longtime partner of Oakley trucking and the Oakley podcast. Dre visor and Keith Wilson do a great job at putting you in the right truck to fit your needs and our needs here at Oakley. They carry all makes and models to choose from with on site financing through transport funding. So whether you’re a seasoned owner operator or a first time buyer, be sure to contact Keith Wilson at Arrow Truck Sales at 573-216-6047. And tell him you heard it on the Oakley podcast. Well, that, you know, I know you also have a passion about taking care of truck drivers. Yes, I

Mona Brimeyer  06:41

sure do.

Jeremy Kellett  06:42

How did that come about? I mean, you know, is it at a young age? Is it something you’ve worked into? How did you come about wanting to provide stuff? And we’ll get into what actually sure in a T does but for owner operators. But how did that even come about Mona?

Mona Brimeyer  06:57

Well, I’ll tell you, even at a very young age, I come from a family of truck drivers. My brother is a retired owner operator. He hauled for Schneider. And then my grandfather, he drove for associated groceries there in Kansas City. I had three uncles that were truck drivers. I have two nephews that are currently truck drivers. Yeah. I’ve always said yes. And I’ve learned a lot about, you know, an 18 Wheeler and shifting and brakes and heard a lot of good stories.

Jeremy Kellett  07:39

There’s a lot of that lingo going on at Thanksgiving.

Mona Brimeyer  07:41

Yes. Oh, yeah. Oh, my goodness, we’ll have some laughs like you wouldn’t believe.

Jeremy Kellett  07:48

Imagine all them getting together for Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, that’s good. Yeah. So you grown up in it,

Mona Brimeyer  07:54

I’ve grown up in it. And I’ve just, I just have enjoyed, you know, any aspect of a driver because I know that it’s not an easy job. And, you know, I know that firsthand from my own family, but yet, they love it. And it’s their passion and they wouldn’t do anything different. And I started with Nai T, and actually April 1 of 2000. So as of tomorrow, I’ll be there. 23 Yes, congratulations. And I started in the insurance part of nai t. And then I just moved up and now I’m running the associations. Oh, that’s great.

Jeremy Kellett  08:43

This NIST National Association of truckers, is it? I mean, it seems like there’s a need for that because independent truckers are truck drivers out there which is what we have. Oakley we have independent contractors that’s all we have. But there’s a lot of other guys out there that have their own business you know their own authority and they need a lot of services yes that I’m assuming NAR T provides what? What kind of services do they need to provide the independent truck trucker

Mona Brimeyer  09:19

well as nai t we have also partnered with trans guard general agency and they provide the trucking insurance and we provide the benefits for the drivers so nai T and trans guard, we go hand in hand and trans guard is the occupational accident coverage, non trucking liability physical damage for the owner operator accident, you know, for the truck and himself. And then with NIT and being a member. You get access to lots of discounts for roadside masters, we have just partnered with them, our members get $100 off a year for the roadside assistance emergency breakdown service roadmap, they do. And then, you know, if they’ve lost a tire and they need a battery, or they need a tow, all they have to do is just call them and they get discounts for all of that. And we just partnered with them. And so that’s what I’m really trying to tell our members about. Make sure they know that they have that benefit.

Jeremy Kellett  10:38

Definitely. I mean, members do have we have

Mona Brimeyer  10:40

almost 15,000 About 14, nine. Wow. Something like that. Yeah. steadily growing steadily growing. Yeah, that’s great. And a lot of them come to us through our motor carrier accounts. Yeah, we have

Jeremy Kellett  10:56

We partner with the right motor carriers. And yeah, so your services to the MIS? Yes, yeah. Okay, I get you

Mona Brimeyer  11:03

exactly. Yep, they are motor carriers and are our customers. And then we take care of the owner operators with benefits and insurance. And then we also have the side where some of these owner operators, they just pay us directly. It’s not through a motor carrier customer, you know, or they just may want to be a member. Pay $11. Do some math just to get the benefits. Sure. You don’t have to have insurance. Just that’s just pay the $11 a month for the monthly

Jeremy Kellett  11:35

benefits of all the discounts. Just $11 a month.

Mona Brimeyer  11:38

Absolutely. Oh, yeah. Worth it. Oh, yeah. Well, I feel it is because we we get very

Jeremy Kellett  11:44

do this. Yeah, I don’t mean to be proposing you go up, but I don’t Don’t everybody listed. But I mean to me, you know, that’s it for a good service? For sure.

Mona Brimeyer  11:57

Yeah. We just try to keep it as low as we can. You know, we know the drivers have a lot of other expenses. So

Jeremy Kellett  12:04

What’s probably your most popular service that the truckers go with?

Mona Brimeyer  12:09

It’s health care. Oh, really, health and wellness is what they really are looking for us. We do have fuel discount cards through RTS carriers. And we offer you know, discounts for that and hotel, but the main thing that they’re looking for is to be able to get help when they’re out on the road. And they’re sick, and you know, or their family. And so healthcare is the biggest thing right now that a lot of our drivers are so

Jeremy Kellett  12:47

Can you give a little bit more detail on that. So because that’s a huge gap, you know, when it becomes an independent contractor, that’s a huge gap that a lot of people don’t have the right to need and I mean, it’s something we run into Oakley because we don’t offer health insurance. I mean, they’re all independent, sir contractors. So it is something that weighs on them heavily. When they go from being a company driver, and they think about it well, I want to become an owner operator. Well, here’s my checklist. Well, I gave up on health insurance. How do I get it now that I’m independent? Exactly. And that is bad . It’s a day that weighs big, you know, when and whether I’m gonna become an owner operator or not. So you offer something

Mona Brimeyer  13:31

we do. We have partnered with longtime partners over 15 years with truckers health care. And Mark Ballard is our broker agent. And he is very knowledgeable about the ACA plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, all states whatever the driver needs their financial situation. He will give them individualized personal quotes on what they need according to their finances, their family, whatever they’re looking for. And they so it’s not a cut

Jeremy Kellett  14:12

and a dried deal. No. II find different things. Yeah, they want I

Mona Brimeyer  14:18

will search the marketplace for them. And there’s actually been a couple of drivers that because of their situation, maybe their financial need. They don’t have to pay any premium for health insurance. Mark was able to search the marketplace. So we have that portion and also through all states, we offer a guaranteed issue life insurance policy for 1000 $100,000. So a driver doesn’t have to go through the medical screening, the health screening like a lot of your life insurance policies require it’s a guaranteed issue. due for $100,000. And then there is the

Jeremy Kellett  15:03

issue that just for being a member, yeah, from the anomeric.

Mona Brimeyer  15:07

Yet members, and it’s through all states, and I’ll stay, have the policy, then we also have short term disability through truckers health care, all state, and they get up to $3,000 a man for and off the job. This accident,

Jeremy Kellett  15:30

this is something they need to pay attention to Yes,

Mona Brimeyer  15:32

This is our big thing, because I and I are trying very hard to get the word out to our members and to any of the public out here that we offer this. And then we have on the other side not just health insurance, but access to the new Teladoc telemedicine. So you know, when the drivers are on the road, and let’s say he’s got a sinus infection, or he’s got an infection in his eye or a cough, all he has to do is, you know, he can get on his laptop or his phone. And you can call a doctor and look at the doctor face to face, you know, and he will see, you know, kind of what’s going on. And let’s say the drivers, you know, maybe 1500 miles away from home, the doctor will say, Hey, I think you’ve got a sinus infection. Maybe I can call you in a Z Pak or Yeah, and he’ll say, Where’s the nearest? You know, where are you located and the driver and you say, Hey, I’m on 71 or whatever. And he’ll say, I’m going to call you with a prescription, maybe at CVS or Walmart. And it’ll be there waiting for you. And that is such a big help. And it’s $10 a month for that. And then there’s also you can add to that by we also offer 24/7 counseling and some mental health, for those that just need to talk maybe out on the road or by yourself.

Jeremy Kellett  17:14

And you know, that’s really come to light in the last few years. Wasn’t it nice to be able to, for people to be able to talk to somebody because that’s a big deal. Mental health has been brought to the forefront here lately. It seems like and yeah, you know, because of bad situations, mostly to offer that service of being able to talk to somebody. Yes, I bet. Is that something that’s 24 hour or is that

Mona Brimeyer  17:42

Yes, we have through the TelaDoc the telemedicine program. We offer 24/7 counseling, and that day or night 24/7 every day of the year. Wow. Anytime if we have a driver, maybe even their family member that is going through a very hard time need somebody to talk to he’s out there driving at night and just feeling like you know lost kinkle

Jeremy Kellett  18:14

they will and that’s a great service to add because we all have those sweet times and issues and problems. Don’t ever think you’re one out there that you’re the only one that has these kind of problems because we all have at some point or another and going through Yeah, so it’s always good to talk to yes it is Lisa with Oakley trucking America’s drop off call our owner operators are the top paid in the country and we will prove it to you. We offer steady year round freight as well as a yearly annual bonus and increase each year your lease to us. Oakley has multiple divisions in dumps, Hopper bottoms, and pneumatic so we are sure to have something that works for your schedule and hometown. Check us out on YouTube as well as our weekly podcast or give us a call today and see why Oakley trucking was everything you had been looking for. It is something I hadn’t heard much about. I’ve heard a little bit about it. Right off and on, but haven’t heard a whole lot about it. But it seems like you’re gaining popularity and are working to get yourself out there a little more. How are you trying to do that?

Mona Brimeyer  19:19

Yes, we’re trying to brand awareness. And that’s been our biggest hurdle is, you know, some will say, Well, I’ve heard of you. But you know, not like oh, Ida you know? Yeah. So right now I am doing a lot of social media, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, a little bit of TikTok videos, and then we also send a lot of things in the mail to our drivers because a lot of drivers still enjoy just holding that pamphlet flier information. And then a lot of things go out to their email. Yeah. I do an email blast out to 13,000 drivers. Hey, did you know we’ve got this new benefit? You know, call me and I’ll tell you all about it or you can access it here on this link or Oh, that’s

Jeremy Kellett  20:13

good. So, and you come on Oakley podcast that helps get the word out. And I sure appreciate it. Get the word out. But social media is where it’s at. I mean, getting it out to these drivers spend a lot of time on social media. We have seen that grow with our company in this podcast, especially on YouTube, and even Tik Tok. Yeah, good or not?

Mona Brimeyer  20:37

Right? I was kind of hesitant about that. And you know, and I’m like, we’ll do a little better. Yeah, but it’s, it’s growing. Yeah.

Jeremy Kellett  20:46

So how do they get in touch with you Mona out of somebody, if they’re interested in learning more about it or want to join? What’s The sure way to do that,

Mona Brimeyer  20:55

They can visit our website. And that’s, of course, www.na I, t usa.com. And there, they can look at our website and see a lot of our benefits. And then at the very top of the page is a bright orange button and it says Join Now, they click on that and give us you know their name and address and they can pay the $11 dues. And then once they join an email comes to them with their member number, my information, my email, phone number and everything they need. And then I will also mail out either that day or the following day, they’ll get a new member packet.

Jeremy Kellett  21:39

Now, stupid question here. Is this only for independent contractors or just for company drivers? Do you have services for that too?

Mona Brimeyer  21:46

Yes, anybody as far as net benefits, anybody can join. They can be a company driver, they can be independent, they can be a nurse, a doctor, any, you know, any anybody. Now, of course, with insurance, it’s for owner operators that you know, own and operate their own truck. But the benefits are that anyone can be a member.

Jeremy Kellett  22:10

Before I let you go, I want to talk a little bit about something I’ll do every year that is well known. And I think maybe a lot of people don’t know that you are responsible for a lot of that. And that’s the race across America. You tell me about that.

Mona Brimeyer  22:24

We sponsor every year we sponsor Wreaths Across America. And we have for the last six years. And our company ay ay T and trans guard, they donate $50,000 a year to Wreaths Across America, America for the cause. We actually have some of our household goods owner operators, Paul Arpan, and other household goods, they take a week off, and they have demand. And they get those arrays. And that’s what our $50,000 helps for is these drivers and their fuel cost.

Jeremy Kellett  23:08

Oh, we want to tell them what race across America? Yes,

Mona Brimeyer  23:11

Yes, they should be up? No. Yes, Race Across America is like Arlington every year when they deliver the Reese to the veterans that have passed away through war. And so it is all your veterans that we remember, they remember and the rays are made. And in Maine, and then they’re hauled to a lot of cemeteries, even now they’re going across the seas to wow, yes, they’ve even expanded and they involve even the kids we they like to teach their kids that the what our veterans have done the freedom that we have, because of those that died for us. And so laying of the Reese is just the acknowledgement and the thank you for those that have given their lives. For us. That’s America. So

Jeremy Kellett  24:14

Can y’all Yeah, you sponsor that we do pay the drivers fuel costs, yes.

Mona Brimeyer  24:19

Or whatever they

Jeremy Kellett  24:21

use or whatever they are really into. That’s exactly

Mona Brimeyer  24:23

right. And there may be a driver that isn’t with us, you know, doesn’t have our insurance or membership. And he needs fuel but he wants to haul Wreaths Across America. Don queeny, he is our contact. He knows who these drivers are and they help them so they can. They can help this customer.

Jeremy Kellett  24:48

Great, great story that you do and that’s done every year.

Mona Brimeyer  24:52

It happens every year. Yep in December, and our office, our Kansas City office. A lot of Thus we gather at Terrace Park Funeral Home cemetery on December 8 T. And there is a ceremony that’s done by the veterans. And then we take our family and kids. And we all take some reason we lay it on graves that we know our veterans, and it’s a big

Jeremy Kellett  25:28

thing we yeah, we bet that hits home.

Mona Brimeyer  25:31

Oh, it does. It sure does. My dad was actually in World War Two. And he was in the Battle of the Bullets under General Patton.

Jeremy Kellett  25:42

No kidding. Yes.

Mona Brimeyer  25:43

And, you know, he has had a lot of stories about that lot of trauma, you know, just with your veterans. So it’s a good cause?

Jeremy Kellett  25:53

That sounds great. Also, Sure. We cover all your notes.

Mona Brimeyer  25:58

I think we did.

Jeremy Kellett  26:01

You didn’t even NATO?

Mona Brimeyer  26:02

No, I I’m just letting it roll off. And I thought I would meet them. I think the one thing that if I could leave anything about nai T ‘s, we are different. I have several drivers that come up to our booth. And they’ll always say, Well, how are you? How is it different from another Association? And I said, Well, the one thing that is special about us is we work very hard to find benefits for our members, that the drivers would not be able to get that type of that kind of a discount out on their own, that they can get a much better discount, and they get into individualized service, whether it’s from truckers health care, what you know, from Mark, whether it’s from me, it’s just one person that they speak with, it’s not a call center. Yeah. And we just, we care, we care about the drivers, and we know, you know, a lot of their experiences. So that’s what I like to, to leave our listeners is that’s what’s special about Nate.

Jeremy Kellett  27:16

Well, I can tell just by visiting with you for a little while that you know, you grew up in the trucking business, or you’ve got the heart of a teacher and I want to help people, and I mean, it just oozes out of your mouth.

Mona Brimeyer  27:30

Well, I like to talk and I probably have talked your ear off.

Jeremy Kellett  27:35

Right. But ya know, you’re great. I can tell you’re passionate about your company. Yes, and about what you’re trying to do to help truck drivers. And I sure appreciate it. That’s what I do to get the way I live is appreciating truck drivers and trying to figure out how to help them. And, you know, maybe they do so much for us that I do.

Mona Brimeyer  27:55

Right? Exactly. And because not everybody, you know, not everybody could drive trucks let’s and the traffic and the bad weather. And those people that cut them off and their haul and 45,000 pounds of weight. And, you know, it’s just, we could go on and on about, you know, they are in danger a lot. So we appreciate them and want to help them. Last question.

Jeremy Kellett  28:19

What’s the future looking like for nit growth?

Mona Brimeyer  28:23

That’s Yes, growth, brand awareness, and getting the drivers benefits. Matter of fact, there’s one thing I wanted to mention. I’m glad you asked me that if I have been tasked by my boss to put together an advisory group of owner operators that have been an owner operator for a while they know the business. And so I’m looking for four to five drivers, owner operators, that can be on an advisory group. Because I don’t always, you know, what I think would be a good benefit and what I’m coming across, maybe that’s not truly what they’re looking for and what they need. So this group can help me. They can keep me apprised of what’s going on in the trucking world. We know that parking is a big thing. And so we’re working on that trying to help, you know, partner with somebody who can help parking.

Jeremy Kellett  29:23

That’s great. I can assure you, I’ve got four or five perfectly. I can help you and keep you updated on what’s going on in the trucking world. They’re wonderful. Yeah, they’ll probably after they hear this, they’ll probably reach out to me and say, Hey, I’d like to be on that. So okay, we’ll try to get the word out too.

Mona Brimeyer  29:40

I would love it. And I’m gonna leave you with some information that you can pass on and I’ll send you an email with, you know, digital brochures and things that anybody would love to have. Call me and talk to me. Okay.

Jeremy Kellett  29:51

Sure. appreciate you spending time with us here at the Opie podcast. Thank you. As always, I appreciate you guys listening to the Oakley podcast every week. Coming up with some good stuff here, Max. Man, I made a lot of stuff here. We’ll talk to you again soon. We appreciate it. Thanks. Thank you. Thanks for listening to this episode with Oakley podcast, trucking, business and family. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate or review the show in the podcast platform of your choice and share it with a friend. We love hearing from our audience. So if you’ve got a question, comment or just want to say hello, head over to our website, the Oakley podcast.com and click the leave a comment button. We’ll get you a response soon and may even share some of the best ones here on the show. We’ll be back with a fresh episode very soon. Thanks for listening.