Road King finds a vast online community of truckers
I don’t even recall where I started, but a couple of months ago, during a bout of Web-surfing I landed on a YouTube.com post by a fellow named Rogertrucker. When I clicked on “Trucking in Louisiana,” the zippy Garth Brooks hit “Callin’ Baton Rouge” played over scenes of the road from Calgary to New Orleans. It was the very same view that the driver saw through his windshield and mirrors as he hauled his freight, and without any narration said everything it needed to about the joy of rolling down the highway.
Soon I was looking at YouTube videos posted by other drivers — some telling stories of their life on the road, others letting music and scenery speak for them. As I got deeper into my trucker-surfing obsession, it became clear that a lot of drivers were using the Web to connect, to share, to create journals of their experiences on the road.
Just two years ago Road King profiled Tom Wiles, the only truck driver delivering regular podcasts about the trucking life, specifically aimed at other drivers. His work has inspired others,and today there is a steady stream of podcasts, blogs and YouTube posts from truckers. In this issue, we take a look at this growing Web-based community. (To see even more examples of this phenomenon in action, check out www.roadking.com.)
And speaking of communication, a few drivers made their feelings very clear when it came to a piece in the November/December 2007 issue. I would like to take my lumps for a headline that confused and even angered some readers. Kurt Rivard wrote a poetic piece about driving through the middle of the country and seeing the great expanse of land around him. I pulled one reference to I-80 from the piece and built the headline and subhead around it. Believe me, I heard from a few drivers that I-80 does not go through Abilene, Texas, one of the first cities mentioned in the article. My apologies to all — I hope that you enjoyed the column despite the rotten headline.
By the way, I was happy to hear from the drivers who complained. I want to know your reactions — good or bad — to our articles. Please send your comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy the issue!