Danny Jewell, an owner-operator for Warren Transport, and Ester Nemeth, a company driver for Bison Transport, have been named 2018’s top drivers at the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, earning them $25,000 cash each.
The Company Driver of the Year and Owner-Operator of the Year awards are presented by TCA and CCJ sister publications Truckers News and Overdrive. Both Driver of the Year awards are sponsored by Cummins and Love’s Travel Stops.
The other Owner-Operator of the Year finalists were Robert Roth, of Erb International, Coldwater, Ontario, and Kevin Kochmich, of Diamond Transportation System, Litchfield, Minnesota. The other Company Driver of the Year finalists were Don Lewis of Wilson Logistics, Republic, Missouri, and David McGowan of WEL Companies, Marinette, Wisconsin. Each of the finalists received $2,500.
Jewell, of Nebraska City, Nebraska, has logged more than 6 million accident-free miles and runs a little over 100,000 miles a year. His 50-plus years of driving have all been with Warren Transport, where he got his start in 1968. He’s spent most of his career hauling machinery nationwide, but has more recently moved from open decks to vans, hauling feed nutrients and supplements in the Midwest.
Nemeth, who has driven well over than 2 million miles in her 30 years on the road, grew up in a small gold mining town more than seven hours north of Winnipeg, earning a living as a driver truly has been a dream made real. The early years of her trucking career were spent as a team driver, eight years at her first company and then about her first 10 years at Bison. Today, she trains other women drivers while also driving. They run mostly in the Midwest of the U.S., however, as a trainer, she has to be sure her students learn to drive in many conditions, so she also spends time driving east through Canada and into Ontario.