As truck.com passes its fourth birthday, it's time to recognize just how much the trucking industry has changed and how we need to change with it.
How time flies when you're having fun. It's been over four years since we produced the first issue of truck.com as a supplement to Fleet Owner. Over that time, there's been some fine-tuning (we dropped an "m" from "comm" in the title), but aside from increasing frequency from two to four times a year, the editorial structure has remained constant.
Four years is a few lifetimes for anything that has to do with technology. When we published the first supplement in 1993, information technology was a relatively new management tool for fleet executives. Almost without warning, they were facing new technologies that needed to be understood and evaluated as management tools with the potential to radically alter the way they ran their businesses. And from day one, providing that information in ways that make sense to fleet managers has been truck.com's editorial mission.
Now it's time for a change, not in truck.com's editorial mission, which is as valid today as it was four years ago, but in its structure. Starting in February, truck.com will be published six times a year instead of four, and will become a special section in the pages of Fleet Owner, instead of a separate supplement mailed with the main magazine.
We're expanding the frequency of truck.com simply because we need more pages to report on trucking's steadily increasing use of information management.
The move back into the pages of Fleet Owner is also driven by that increasing reliance on information management to run fleets of all sizes.
In its 70-year history, Fleet Owner has gone through many evolutionary changes, but it has always remained constant in its efforts to bring trucking's executives the information they need to manage their businesses. Information management has now become an integral element in the trucking business, as much a part of the fleet executive's daily responsibilities as drivers, vehicles, and shops. As such, it belongs with the rest of Fleet Owner's coverage of issues and topics of primary importance to fleet managers.
Although come February it will be part of Fleet Owner's main editorial package, truck.com's content will change little except that there will be more of it. I'll continue to write this column. We will continue to provide concise but thorough news and analysis, as well as comprehensive coverage of new hardware, software, and services. There will be in-depth feature stories in each section and each will also close with a "Fleets On Line" case study.
While much will remain the same within the pages of truck.com, there will be one change that I think you'll especially appreciate. Starting in February, there'll be one fewer magazine in that must-read pile on your desk and one more good reason to keep Fleet Owner on top of that pile.