Special Coverage of the National Truck Driving Championships

Road to NTDC Spotlight: Andrew Lewis

Rookie Marks Fourth Generation of Family Competitors in Maine TDC
Lewis family of Maine
From left: Andrew, Nate and Warren Lewis represent three fourths of the Lewis family tree who have competed in state truck driving championships. Andrew's great-grandfather, also named Warren, competed in the 1950s. (Lewis family photo)

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Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series exploring the Lewis family’s connection to the National Truck Driving Championships.

The National Truck Driving Championships is an exciting, electrifying test of fundamentals, comprehension and professionalism. And, throughout its nearly nine decades, it also has become a multigenerational family affair in which patriarchs frequently have passed on to their children a sense of pride about every aspect of the industry.

On May 18, when the Maine Motor Transport Association hosted its annual precision-driving championships, 22-year-old Andrew Lewis joined elite drivers at the event. The Pine Tree State contest marked Lewis’ first time as a competitor. Considering his rookie status, his result was impressive. Lewis placed second in the flatbed representing his firm, Chapman Trucking, and in doing so he kicked off the fourth generation of “roadeo” competitors for the Lewis family.

Lewis grew up in the industry. Admittedly, he said his first word probably was “truck,” and his world was marked by all-things trucking. He even had volunteered at tournaments long before competing this year. Andrew credits his father, Nate, for instilling his passion for the industry.

NTDC 2024

2024 National Truck Driving Championships

Who: Winners from nine categories at the state level who have advanced to the national competition, where a Grand Champion will be crowned

What: Contestants are judged on a written exam, pre-trip inspection and driving skills

When: Aug. 21-24

Where: Indianapolis

Nate Lewis, a transportation executive with Tyson Foods, is a member of the National Truck Driving Championships’ organizing committee, which is readying for the 87th annual showing of what’s known as the “Super Bowl of Safety.”

During Andrew’s childhood, Nate Lewis was a multiyear winner at state tournaments in the New England area and competed at nationals several times prior to joining the organizing committee. His father, Andrew’s grandfather, Warren Lewis, captured a national title in the sleeper berth class in 2007. Before that, Warren Lewis’ father, also named Warren, competed in the 1950s.

Simply put, for the Lewis family, trucking is an identity and a tradition.

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis finished second in the flatbed class as a rookie at the Maine's state truck driving championships. (Chapman Trucking)  

“I know when I was born, the first word I ever said, apparently, according to my parents, was ‘truck,’ ” he recalled during a recent interview with Transport Topics exploring the Lewis family’s place in NTDC history. “So I’ve been to a TDC in the stroller, you know, seeing trucks. My bedroom was wallpapered with truck posters and stuff that my father put in there because he wanted me to like trucks as much as he did. And just seeing trucks pretty much since the minute I was born made it something — it just became a part of me, no matter what.”

Andrew Lewis, it will perhaps not be surprising to learn, is a trucking wunderkind of sorts. His wonky passion for the industry’s role in communities and the economy is a trait he said he learned from his father.

“Watching my father, you know, every son’s father is a hero,” he explained, “and watching my father be really good at what he did, and talk about going across the country in his truck and hauling these awesome loads … stuff like that really made me want to aspire to be that, because he just seemed so awesome to me for doing it.”

About Chapman Trucking

Founded: 1977

Services include: Longhaul/shorthaul, local/regional, dry van, flatbed, refrigerated box truck 

Warehousing includes: Cross-docking, specialized equipment, long- and short-term storage, material handling

Source: Chapmantrucking.com

Each spring, thousands of truckers sign up for precision-driving tournaments in their home states. The competitors in Maine, seeking to qualify for the national tournament, promote a culture of safety embodied by the Lewis family and many others. Andrew detailed his outing at the state competition in May, which he called thrilling, inspiring and consequential.

“It was a different feeling because really I’ve been going to the [truck driving championship] for, I’ve gone for 18 years. I’ve only ever missed two since I was born. So, it’s been a part of my life my whole life.

“And when I was old enough to start volunteering to help set it up and doing stuff like that, I’ve always been a part of it. And it was different because I was on the other side of the fence, essentially. I’ve always been some somebody helping the competitors, and now I’m a competitor.”

For Andrew, the trucking contests are havens for camaraderie where traditions are preserved. These roadeos also turned into his family’s passion project.

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“It became part of me. I mean, just listening to their stories about what trucking was like back in the day and what it meant to them and all the things they did — all the different types of trucks,” he explained. “And just diesel engines, all that kind of stuff. And listening to the stories kind of shaped who I became now and became one of my biggest passions.”

Rejoicing in a legacy built on trucking for more than two decades — almost his entire life — Andrew described the deep sense of awareness he has about an industry that has guided the course of his journey. This keen awareness of his family’s contributions to NTDC is central to Andrew’s approach to safety. And celebrating the family’s place in trucking circles is something he takes on proudly.

As he readies to start a family of his own, Andrew said he intends to carry on the family tradition. For the Lewis gang, there’s just something special about trucking.

“Everything I’ve ever done in my life has involved the industry. And I have no resentment towards that. Some people grow up feeling like they’re forced to be part of something or like, ‘Oh, this is my family’s thing, but I want to branch out.’ I mean… it’s always been such a positive part of my life that it immediately became something that I was like, all right, that is me. That is entirely me.”