This year's winners include (top left, clockwise) Doug Lloyd, Roy Markham, Mike Palmer, Darrel...

This year's winners include (top left, clockwise) Doug Lloyd, Roy Markham, Mike Palmer, Darrel Wilson, Danny Lilley, and Chris Woody.

Image: HDT

Heavy Duty Trucking has honored six executives as HDT Truck Fleet Innovators for 2020. The annual awards, which have been presented since 2006, recognize fleet executives for their leadership role in fostering innovation in their companies and the industry.

HDT’s editors choose each year’s honorees from industry nominations as well as based on their own interactions with fleets throughout the year. Some are honored for a specific initiative, while others are honored for their general leadership in innovation.

This year's awards are sponsored by ConMet.

“ConMet is proud to sponsor the HDT’s 2020 Truck Fleet Innovators and congratulates each of the recipients for their foresight, creativity, hard work, and achievements," said Beto Dantas, ConMet chief technology and innovation officer. "These forward-thinking individuals embody the spirit of innovation, boldly driving critical change to shape tomorrow’s commercial vehicle industry. We’re looking forward to seeing what each of these honorees will do next.”

The 2020 HDT Truck Fleet Innovators are:

Danny Lilley

Vice president of fleet systems and technology, Werner Enterprises, Omaha, Nebraska

Lilley is leading a digital transformation at the truckload giant, focusing on making everyday tasks less cumbersome for drivers and office staff through a workflow-based technology solution.

Doug Lloyd

Director of maintenance, Averitt Express, Cookeville, Tennessee

Lloyd has turned to technology and data to keep the primarily less-than-truckload fleet running safely and efficiently, improving shop efficiency and reducing unscheduled downtime, while adopting advanced safety technology on trucks.

Roy Markham

Vice president of operations and transportation, Ben E. Keith Foods, Fort Worth, Texas

Markham’s innovativeness doesn’t revolve around adopting cutting-edge technology, but rather around paying attention to the people who work for him and adopting ideas that can make their work easier, safer, and more productive at Ben E. Keith, which distributes food and supplies to restaurants and institutions.

Mike Palmer

Vice president of fleet services, Estes Express Lines, Richmond, Virginia

Palmer is one of those guys who’s never happy with “good enough.” He’s always looking for ways to do things better at the less-than-truckload fleet. Several projects he’s been working on with vendors have recently come to fruition, including a pup trailer that can handle more pallets and a liftgate designed for extra-large cargo.

Darrel Wilson

CEO, Wilson Logistics, Springfield, Missouri

Wilson’s trucking story begins like many do, growing up in the industry and buying a truck with the dream of crisscrossing the country behind the wheel. Today, the truckload company he founded is out in front with early adoption and testing of technology such as a cloud-based transportation management system that promises frictionless connections between brokers, carriers, and shippers, as well as automated truck platoons.

Chris Woody

Safety manager, M&W Logistics, Nashville, Tennessee

Woody has a passion for safety, and has used onboard technology and data to build a safety bonus program, coach drivers, and foster a safety culture at the truckload carrier.

The 2020 HDT Truck Fleet Innovators will be profiled In the April issue.

They will receive their awards and participate in a panel discussion at Heavy Duty Trucking Exchange, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic from its original May dates to November 16-18, still in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information visit

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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