Lewie Pugh began his career in trucking as a motor transport operator for the U.S. Army Reserve in 1992. He joined the commercial trucking ranks as a company driver in 1994, but soon bought a truck and made the leap to owner-operator in 1996.
He was leased to several motor carriers throughout his career, but was most recently leased to Landstar Ranger. In his 13 years with Landstar, he pulled a flatbed trailer, hauling various goods under his company name, Bum Steer Trucking. During this time, Lewie received Landstar’s Star of Quality Award as well as the Million Miles Safe Drivers Award. In his more than 25 years as a successful owner-operator, he accumulated more than 2.5 million safe, accident-free miles behind the wheel.
Lewie joined OOIDA in 1996 because he was looking for an organization to represent his positions in Washington, DC. He believes he contributes to the industry from the viewpoint that he started out as a younger, small-business owner and can encourage others to grow their own careers in trucking. He was later nominated and elected alternate to the OOIDA Board of Directors in 2004. In 2006, Lewie was seated as a director - a position he holds to this day. In 2017, Lewie (reluctantly) parked his truck and moved from his home state of Ohio to Grain Valley, Mo. to work full time at OOIDA. He was elected Executive Vice-President in 2018.
Lewie regularly travels to Washington, DC to meet with lawmakers about issues affecting small- business truckers. He attends numerous Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) meetings as an industry representative. In 2020, he testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He also serves as the Chairman of the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Committee.
He resides in Holden, Mo. and enjoys working on his farm, motorcycles, working on antique tractors and trucks, tractor pulling, hunting and fishing. His Border Collie and trucking companion Bandit used to ride with him in the truck while traveling on the road. His name is of course inspired by the movie Smoky and the Bandit, Lewie’s favorite movie.