What's your story?
As the incoming editor of highwayStar, I'll be doing more listening than talking.
By Allan Janssen
Well, as the incoming editor of this magazine, I guess I should start by telling
you something about myself.
I suppose that's only fair since it will be my job in the coming months to
ask you a lot about yourselves. I might as well set the tone by being as candid
as I can.
The first thing you should know about me is that I'm not a trucker. I love
big rigs, and I'm actively pursuing my A-Z. But I wouldn't dream of calling
myself a trucker. That would be presumptuous and, frankly, insulting to you.
The second thing you should know, though, is that I'm definitely on your side.
As a journalist, I'm here to tell your stories, celebrate your successes, and
pass along the wit and wisdom I hear when I talk to you one on one. I'll be
doing a lot more listening in this job than talking.
If that approach sounds familiar to you, it should. It's long been the mantra
of my predecessor, Rolf Lockwood. In fact, about the best thing I can say for
myself as the new editor of highwayStar is that I've worked alongside of Rolf
for well over a decade and I plan to cover the world of professional trucking
in much the same way that he did. (Although without his skill and natural flair,
I'll have to work a lot harder to achieve the same results!)
Rolf has always stressed that it is our job as journalists to inform, entertain,
and help our readers make a buck or two.
In pursuit of those goals, I want to talk to as many of you as I can. I want
to hear about the issues you're facing, and learn how you're dealing with them.
I want to understand what you think this industry needs to do to stay efficient,
competitive, and profitable.
I may be a stranger to you now, but if I do my job properly a good number of
you will get to know me quite well. I'll be calling you up to get your views,
buying you coffee at some far-flung truck stop, and walking the aisles of truck
shows with you.
My first stop was the biennial Truxpo show in Abbotsford, B.C. I brought some
business cards and introduced myself to as many people as I could. I was struck
by how friendly and open everyone was. And there was no shortage of opinions!
You told me about ongoing confusion over hours of service, the dearth of proper
rest stops across the country, the importance of staying up to date on new
technology in this ever-changing industry, coping with increasingly burdensome
government regulations, and the reason some companies can't retain drivers.
But the issue that I found most compelling was how you're all dealing with
an economy that has been less than kind.