In the Driver's Seat

By on September 1, 2008
RoadKing Mag

I KNOW THAT OTHER people love it — couldn’t live without it on a long road trip — but I never warmed to cruise control. I like “me” control when I’m in my car.

And that’s what I was thinking about while attending a press conference about yet another device for big rigs that made automatic ride adjustments in order to enhance safety.

Considering the number of drivers who still harrumph at power steering and automatic transmissions because they take away the need for muscle and skill that was required when they first climbed up behind the wheel, I wondered about all of these new tools. They monitor the road, air pressure, stability, speed, and take over control of the brakes, the steering, the tires. Were these technical advances that drivers should embrace? Do they take the fun, or the control, out of driving?

Naturally, I turned to Road King’s Senior Technical Editor, Paul Abelson, for a better understanding of what was happening. His story, Robo Trucks, (p.32) gives the background story of how these tools work, the rundown of what is available and the overall impact that all of these new devices can have in making a trucking career safer for drivers.

Plus he offers his opinion about what it all means to the driver in terms of controlling the vehicle.

But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I asked Senior Editor David A. Kolman to chime in with his thoughts on these advances in driving technology. His column (p. 12) offers a slightly different point of view of the control issue.

Yet another perspective on driving a truck comes courtesy of three Ohio men who have regular day jobs in various other industries, but earned their CDLs so that they could drive the equipment truck for their local high school’s marching band. I dare anyone to read their story (p. 38) and avoid smiling at the sheer joy they get out of climbing into the school’s old cabover and hitting the road.

Finally, don’t forget to send us your own trucking stories. You could be featured in the next Hard Work, Big Dreams (p. 30). Wayne Baker, the driver who is profiled in this issue, is celebrating his 74th birthday in September, and says the road is his home.

Send us your own stories — the things you see, the people you meet, the goals you have reached through driving. Send them via email to me at editor@roadking.com or mail them to Hard Work, Big Dreams, Road King, 28 White Bridge Rd., Suite 209, Nashville, TN, 37205.

After all, how often do you get a chance to be a magazine centerfold?

Drive safe!

Nancy Henderson
Managing Editor

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