Announcing NTTC's 2023-2024 Professional Driver of the Year Champion Finalists

The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) proudly announces the distinguished finalists for the 2023-2024 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion. These exceptional individuals represent the pinnacle of dedication, safety, and professionalism within the tank trucking industry. Their unwavering commitment to safety, extensive experience, and profound influence on their peers make them exemplary candidates for the prestigious William A. Usher, Sr. Trophy. Each finalist's journey, marked by stellar safety records, mentorship, community engagement, and dedication to excellence, stands as a testament to the caliber of professionalism and integrity that defines the tank trucking community.

John Contreras, Cox Petroleum Transport
John Contreras stands as an embodiment of dedication and safety within the tank-truck industry, exemplifying a profound commitment to excellence during his 16-year tenure at Cox Petroleum. With an illustrious career spanning over two decades as a commercial and tanker driver, Contreras recognizes the pivotal role of tank trucking in upholding the economy, ensuring essential supplies reach communities to keep them running seamlessly. His unwavering dedication to safety serves as the cornerstone of his ethos, striving not only to safeguard his journey home but also ensuring the safety of all fellow travelers on the road.

Safety isn't just a professional mandate for Contreras; it's a guiding principle that resonates throughout his approach to the industry. Advocating for a meticulous attention to detail, he fosters a culture of diligence, caution, and respect among trainees and colleagues alike. His professionalism and courteous demeanor while engaging with customers and coworkers not only reflect his commitment to the job but also serve as a guiding example for the industry at large. Contreras's depth of knowledge regarding safe product handling and his unwavering reliability in on-time deliveries underscore his integral role in Cox Petroleum's success. Beyond his professional commitments, Contreras's dedication extends to community outreach and volunteer work, showcasing his deep-rooted care for both his job and the broader tank trucking community. His leadership, professionalism, and unwavering commitment render him a standout candidate for the prestigious William A. Usher, Sr. Trophy, representing not only Cox Petroleum but also the very essence of safety, professionalism, and dedication within the tank trucking industry.

Edward Heard Jr, Highway Transport
Edward B Heard Jr emerges as an exceptional figure within the tank trucking industry, seamlessly blending a rich tapestry of experiences to craft a legacy of safety, professionalism, and dedication. With 12 years in the professional driving realm, nearly a decade of which has been with Highway Transport, Heard has cultivated an illustrious career spanning dedication to on-time deliveries, safety protocols, and mentorship. His unwavering commitment to safe and timely deliveries reflects his meticulous approach and devotion to upholding the industry's highest standards.

A driving force behind Heard's success lies in his multifaceted background, encompassing 27 years in law enforcement and an academic foundation in criminal justice. His holistic understanding of effective communication and dedication to teaching mental health classes exemplify his ability to relay crucial messages with clarity and empathy. As one of Highway Transport's esteemed driver trainers for the last 7 years, he has imparted his wealth of experience, knowledge, and leadership skills to approximately 100 trainees, shaping the next generation of tank truck drivers with a resolute commitment to excellence.

Heard's journey embodies integrity, work ethic, and an unyielding moral compass, traits that seamlessly translate into his role as a professional driver. His nomination for the NTTC William A. Usher, Sr. Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Award is a testament to his unwavering dedication, and it's evident that he embodies the core values of safety, reliability, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, positioning him as an exemplary ambassador for Highway Transport and the entire tank trucking industry.

Brian Jennings, Grammer Logistics
Brian “Butch” Jennings, a seasoned veteran in the tank trucking industry, stands as a beacon of unwavering commitment to safety and professionalism. For 44 years, 23 of which have been with Grammer Logistics Inc, Jennings has exemplified an unparalleled dedication to safeguarding lives and the environment. With an astounding 4.3 million accident-free miles under his belt, including 2.5 million miles specifically with Grammer Logistics, his track record is nothing short of exemplary.
At the core of Jennings' ethos lies an unyielding prioritization of safety. This isn't merely a professional stance but a personal code he lives by day in and day out. His steadfast belief in setting an example for others and upholding the industry's image with professionalism has earned him accolades such as the Grammer Logistics Driver of the Year and recognition as an NTTC Driver of the Year finalist in 2017. As a driver trainer and influential member of the lead driver council, he channels his passion into mentoring the next generation of drivers, instilling in them not just the how but the why of safety protocols.

Jennings' impact transcends his exceptional safety record. He embodies leadership and mentorship, fostering a culture of responsibility and excellence within the tank trucking community. His nomination for the William A. Usher, Sr. Trophy is a testament to his outstanding contributions, and he stands poised to represent NTTC and the entire industry with integrity, honor, and a deep-rooted commitment to professionalism.

Bill McNamee, Kenan Advantage Group
William "Bill" McNamee emerges as a stalwart figure in the tank truck industry, with a career spanning over three decades marked by an unwavering commitment to safety, professionalism, and industry advocacy. His deep-rooted passion for the industry and dedication to embodying the legacy of William A. Usher Sr. resonates profoundly through his career endeavors. McNamee's ethos centers on fostering a safer, more reputable image for professional tank truck drivers, tirelessly emphasizing the importance of safety protocols, integrity, and accountability.

McNamee's expertise spans beyond miles driven, extending into a fervent advocacy for safety and environmental consciousness within the industry. His dedication to adhering to safety procedures serves as a guiding principle, safeguarding not only himself but also the communities and environment his journeys traverse. A true ambassador for the tank truck industry, McNamee champions the significance of tank trucks in sustaining everyday life, highlighting their pivotal role in transporting vital components essential to our daily routines. His leadership extends beyond the road, as he actively mentors, shares knowledge, and fosters a culture of safety and professionalism among his peers. With a remarkable career enriched by accolades, community engagement, and a continuous commitment to improvement, McNamee stands as a shining example of a dedicated, safety-driven professional in the tank trucking community. His nomination for the 2023 Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year embodies not just his individual achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to representing Kenan Advantage Group and the industry at large with honor, humility, and unwavering professionalism.

Wayne Moody, Eagle Transport
Hal "Wayne" Moody Jr. epitomizes a tireless advocate for safety and excellence within the tank truck industry, boasting a remarkable career spanning over two decades with Eagle Transport. His unwavering commitment to safety isn't just a protocol but a passion deeply embedded in his journey. Wayne's fervent belief in the importance of safety echoes through his daily actions, not only safeguarding his own journey but also fostering a culture of safety and guidance among fellow drivers. With over 2 million accident-free miles under his belt, Wayne's dedication extends beyond mere numbers, reflecting a steadfast commitment to protect himself, the environment, and those sharing the road.

Wayne's influence extends far beyond safe driving practices; he is a mentor, a trainer, and a beacon of inspiration for future drivers in the tank truck industry. His approach isn't just about imparting knowledge but instilling a deep-rooted understanding of responsibility, safety, and professionalism. His prior training in the medical field has proven invaluable, allowing him to extend aid in numerous emergencies during his tenure as a professional driver. This unique skill set has enabled him to not only ensure the safety of his fellow drivers but also extend life-saving assistance in critical situations. Beyond the road, Wayne's commitment to community service shines brightly, engaging in fundraising events to support families in need due to medical hardships. His passion for assisting others, coupled with his unwavering commitment to safety and mentorship, make him an exemplary candidate for the 2023-2024 William A. Usher, Sr. Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year, exemplifying the very essence of excellence, compassion, and dedication within the industry.

Robert (Newt) Newsome, Cox Petroleum Transport
Robert Newsome, known as 'Newt' among friends and co-workers, is a highly experienced professional driver hailing from Bakersfield, CA. With a career spanning over 26 years, he has traveled extensively across the continental U.S., delivering gasoline and diesel for Cox Petroleum. Originally from Los Angeles, Robert has a diverse background in commercial trucking, including stake bed, flatbed, refrigerated, doubles, truck trailer combo, and tank vehicles. Safety, exceptional customer service, and educating future drivers are his top priorities.

Recognized as a driving force in the industry, Robert's contributions have been instrumental to the success of his peers. With over 2.5 million accident-free miles and a remarkable track record, he has earned accolades such as the 2012 JB Hunt Western Region Driver of the Year and multiple Cox Petroleum Driver of the Quarter titles. Highly regarded by his colleagues, Cox Petroleum Vice President of Safety, Tom Davis, praises Robert's outstanding skills and unwavering commitment to helping others succeed.

Beyond his career, Robert enjoys a fulfilling personal life with his wife, Sabrina. He finds joy in activities like swimming, barbecuing, and restoring classic cars. Additionally, he actively participates in a local boy's ministry group, embodying his passion for making a positive impact beyond the road.

Dave Powell, Usher Transport
David Powell, a proud native of Pendleton, IN, has spent over two decades as a petroleum and chemical transporter in Indiana. With 16 years as an owner operator and 13 years specifically in a tank truck, Dave has built a distinguished career rooted in integrity. Raised on a farm, his initial aspiration was to become a firefighter until his father, Dean, introduced him to the world of trucking, sparking a lasting passion. Starting at Gordon Food Services, where his father still works, Dave quickly realized that operating a tank truck is more than just a job — it's a craft requiring dedication and unwavering determination. Prioritizing mental readiness for driver safety, he addresses factors like distracted driving and complacency, ensuring a proactive approach.

Highly regarded by colleagues and customers, Dave's impact reaches beyond his exceptional work ethic. Recognized as a driving force for success, he has received accolades such as the 2001 Gordon Food Service Rookie of the Year and Usher Transport's Driver of the Quarter and Year. With over 2 million career accident-free miles, Dave has established an impeccable track record.

When not on the road, Dave treasures time with his wife, Emily, and their children. He actively supports the Special Olympics and enjoys family moments riding ATVs and boating on the lake.

Mark Schroyer, Grammer Logistics
Mark Schroyer epitomizes the legacy of dedication and safety within the trucking industry, boasting an impressive career spanning 35 years with Grammer Logistics. With a solid foundation laid at a young age through his family's involvement in trucking, Schroyer's journey started early, sweeping shop floors and learning the intricacies of truck maintenance. This early exposure evolved into a lifelong passion for trucking, marked by his extensive experience, encompassing over 2 million accident-free miles and a commitment to safety that resonates through every aspect of his work.

Safety isn't just a protocol for Schroyer; it's a way of life deeply ingrained in his career. Handling hazardous materials demands a meticulous approach, and Schroyer exemplifies unwavering vigilance, not just for his own safety but for everyone on the road and at the facilities where loading and unloading occur. His involvement in Grammer Logistics' Independent Contractor Council showcases his dedication to aiding fellow drivers, offering guidance and assistance to ensure a unified and safety-conscious approach across the board. Schroyer's commitment to safety and professionalism, evident in his impeccable record and influential role within the trucking community, makes him an exemplary candidate for the William A. Usher, Sr. Award. His dedication and passion, fostered from a young age within a family devoted to the industry, underscore his ability to represent not only Grammer Logistics but the entire trucking industry with integrity.


As the NTTC celebrates these extraordinary individuals, the accomplishments, dedication, and unwavering commitment to safety and excellence exhibited by these finalists profoundly impact the industry. They exemplify the core values of safety, professionalism, and dedication, embodying the spirit of William A. Usher, Sr. Their journeys, shaped by a tireless pursuit of excellence, mentorship, and community service, set a standard of distinction within the tank trucking community. Congratulations to these exceptional finalists, whose remarkable contributions serve as a beacon of inspiration for the industry and represent the very essence of integrity, honor, and professionalism within the tank trucking profession. 

The Professional Tank Truck Driver of the Year Grand Champion will be announced during NTTC's Annual Conference held in Las Vegas from May 4-7, 2024. For more information, visit