When I met owner-operator David Lewis during “That’s a big 10-4 on D.C.” on the National Mall last month, he wasn’t yet an owner-op, though he was looking toward a three-year lease-to-purchase of this 1997 International Eagle. He’d been hauling in it for Bradner, Ohio-based Davidson Trucking for a good while, running a variety of freight, including a power-only set-up with a direct customer of theirs he talks about in the video up top.

Since then, though, said Davidson small fleet owner Daniel Davidson this week, Lewis has entered into the lease agreement and is well on his way toward ownership under a three-year lease plan. Davidson said Lewis hit a couple hiccups early on with the two-decade-plus-old unit (a leak at the rear main seal and a decision to replace a clutch with the transmission out of it) but otherwise was trucking along as usual, newly mindful of all the new tax accounting and other financial considerations that come along with added truck responsibilities.

1997 International semi truck with N14 cummins engine

The 1997 International is powered by an N14 Cummins. Lewis lives in Burgoon, Ohio.

Lewis, a proud father of two daughters and a son, caught the trucking bug from his grandfather, further cemented through his relationship with his wife’s grandfather. When I talked with longtime owner-op Artie Daniel at the 10-4 event, he singled Lewis out as among those he could clearly see had the necessary passion about the trucking business for success. “He’s got it,” Daniel said.

Lewis hopes, too, that passion infects his offspring, as you’ll also hear in the vid.

Looking ahead to his future as an owner-op, he’s leaning on the counsel of associates from Dan Davidson to fellow Davidson-leased owner-operator Kit Spanfellner, and many more. (You can hear more from Spanfellner about his own rig, a 2015 KW T680, via this video and interview from the 2019 10-4 on D.C. edition.)

international eagle logo on the front grille of semi-truck





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