One of Don Freymiller’s earliest memories is of riding his tricycle as fast as possible, back and forth in front of his grandmother’s house in Fennimore, Wisconsin. His older cousin owned a trucking company, and as Don pedaled up and down the sidewalk, he imagined he was driving one of his cousin’s big, shiny trucks.
This was a portent of things to come.
Although Don’s modest demeanor might suggest otherwise, he has not only run on wheels—and run hard and fast most of his life—but he has also managed to create one of the most successful refrigerated trucking companies in the country.
Boyhood on the farm
Don spent his youth working on his parents’ dairy farm in Fennimore, Wisconsin. The farm had no electricity, no running water, and no milking machines. So it’s no small feat that when Don was about 12 years old and his father fell ill, Don ran the farm by himself for a year. He milked cows, cleaned the barn, tended the herd, and kept things going—all while continuing to attend school each day. What this taught him about responsibility and the value of hard work has shaped his entire life.
The wheel turns
When Don was a bit older, his life took a fateful turn. The dairy business was struggling, so he started driving a cattle truck to help make ends meet. He then bought his own truck, and that led to starting his own trucking company.
The trucking business flourished. And despite encountering many of the challenges that are typical of a family enterprise, the Freymillers persevered over the years and made Freymiller, Inc. the great success it is today.
The journey to Newell
Don’s journey to becoming a Newell owner began when he purchased a small camper for his young family. Like so many Newell owners, the Freymillers progressed through a series RVs, until they purchased their first Newell 45.
The racing bug
Don’s trucking company was originally headquartered in Bakersfield, California. This is where he caught the car-racing bug and became a NASCAR team owner. He also became fast friends with motor-racing icon and fellow Newell owner, A.J. Foyt.
Better than airline travel
As Don drove across the Western United States to attend races, he entertained clients and promoted his trucking services along the way. He found that driving his Newell to visit clients was more effective and efficient than flying. One year, Don and his wife Manya travelled to 25 states and visited 80 customers—all in the comfort of their Newell.
A wealth of good spirit
These days, Don and Manya remain enthusiastic about their Newell. They spend the winter months at Desert Shores Resort in the Palm Springs area, living in their Newell. They also often join us at Newell rallies. And we’re always glad they do. Don and Manya bring a wealth of good spirit to the good life, wherever they go.