Truckload Carriers Association/Overdrive Magazine/ Announce Driver of the Year Contests Grand Prize Winners


2018 Company Driver of the Year: Ester Nemeth of Bison Transport and 2018 Owner Operator of the Year: Danny Jewell of Warren Transport, Inc. win prestigious contests

Las Vegas:

During the Annual Awards Banquet at the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) 81st Annual Convention on Tuesday evening, TCA and its partners, Overdrive Magazine and, announced the winners of the 2018 Driver of the Year Contests.

The 2018 Company Driver of the Year is Ester Nemeth of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who drives for Bison Transport, also of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The 2018 Owner Operator of the Year is Danny Jewell of Nebraska City, Nebraska who is leased to Warren Transport, Inc. of Waterloo, Iowa.

Both drivers received a $25,000 cash prize for their achievements.

The annual contests, sponsored by Love’s Travel Stops of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Cummins Inc. of Columbus, Indiana, recognize the top owner operators and company drivers in the U.S. and Canada who provide reliable and safe truck transportation in moving the nation’s goods. The overall winners are selected from the group of finalists based on safe driving, efforts to enhance the public image of the trucking industry, and positive contributions to the winners’ local communities. For the owner operator candidates, business-owner skills are also judged.

Prior to the announcement, Love’s Travel Stops Vice President of Sales Jon Archard said of the company driver finalists, “Each driver that you’re about to meet holds themselves to exceedingly high standards in their trucks, their families, and within their communities. They are unsung heroes who truly represent the best of the best.”

Nemeth has been a professional truck driver for more than 30 years, and has spent nearly the last 20 years with Bison Transport. In that time, she has logged more than 3.75 million accident-free miles. Bison President and CEO Rob Penner commends Ester for being the first female driver to hit 1 million accident-free miles at the company. Aside from her passion for driving, she participated in TCA’s inaugural Weight Loss Showdown in 2012. “She knew that obesity and wellness were important issues within our industry and felt she needed to participate to encourage other drivers,” said Penner. Ester adds, “It’s important that you are always thinking about how you represent yourself and the industry every day.”

Cummins Inc. Vice President of Sales Amy Boerger said of the owner operator finalists, “These [drivers] are exemplary, yes, but they are also benefactors to their communities, stewards of the environment, and businessmen who have achieved remarkable success in this ever-changing industry.”

Jewell has been behind the wheel of a truck since 1968, which is an impressive feat in itself. But even more impressive is that  all of his years of experience have been with the same company – Warren Transport, Inc. Jewell became an owner operator with the company in 1972 and has racked up more than 6 million accident-free miles over the years. Jewell has spent most of his career hauling machinery, but more recently has transitioned from open deck trailers to vans. He was most recently named the Master Driver of the Year from the Iowa Motor Truck Association.

Each of the runners-up in both categories received checks for $2,500: Company drivers Donald Lewis of Wilson Logistics and David McGowan of WEL Companies, Inc. and owner operators Kevin Kocmich, leased to Diamond Transportation System, Inc., and Robert Roth, leased to Erb International, Inc.

View photos and updates from TCA’s 81st Annual Convention by following the hashtag #2019TCA on social media networks.