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As no doubt you noticed with one glance at the cover, this issue observes Land Line's 25th anniversary as the official publication of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. Researching Land Line's history found us digging around in the basement and in old file cabinets here at OOIDA. We came up with boxes of stuff marked "alibi copy," "old photos" and even one labeled "Todd's junk - don't pitch!"

LL's publication coordinator, Kim Borron, wanted the history project. She took dozens of files and boxes home and re-read every issue from our "morgue," spending a month with her nose buried in the eclectic collection of documents we call archives. The result is the timeline you'll find beginning on page 34. It's more than a trip down memory lane, it's a succinct trail of the tribulations of small business truckers and a depiction of their role in the transportation industry.

For member readers, this edition includes your special "Members Only" supplement, packed with news and tips for your eyes only. For the other 120,000 readers, there's still some good reading, including Jim Johnston's "Issues and Positions." It's interesting to note that this is also Jim's 25th year as president of OOIDA. He's also served all those years as LL's senior contributing editor and our issue-by-issue reader surveys confirm he's still our most popular columnist.

As we approach the end of the year 2000, we come to the closing stages of an administration that, for trucking, leaves some pretty hot potatoes on the table. In Washington Insider, Paul Cullen Jr. reports on the status of the hours-of-service proposal.

An even hotter issue is trucking's desperate and wildly complicated fuel crisis, a situation that is causing disruption and downright panic not only here but globally. One trucker told me this week he could sum up the state of professional truckers in two words - "fed up." And that's the headline of LL's report on page 18. "Issues & Positions" includes a press time update on the status of HR4441, the fuel surcharge legislation. Tick tick tick.

Also in this issue

By special request, LL's technical editor Paul Abelson, offers readers "two fuelish" articles. Page 77, you'll find "Improving Fuel Economy." On page 82, Paul details what diesel fuel is and how we get it and asks the question - "fuel additives, to add or not to add?"

"When it has to be there" is an exclusive feature by Rene Tankersly on the fast-moving and entrepreneurial life of those owner-operators known as expediters. How, what and why.

We've got a chain law update, instructions on absentee voting, and a special trucker-to-trucker article from Ray Kasicki on how to protect yourself before you say "I do" and lease on to a motor carrier. There's photos of truck show contest winners, more on OOIDA members' problems with their Volvo trucks (page 74), and an entertaining (and educational) read on "tall tales" of the road.

This issue's regular columns are topnotch, answering questions for first time truck owners; more "road law;" produce hauling Q and A; tax tips and - by popular demand - more from Bruce Mallinson on turning your truck into an RV.

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