Editor’s page

This issue’s cover was photographed by an OOIDA member from Athens, GA, who seems on the fast track to notoriety thanks to his new book. McGrew, who says he used to be just a trucker with a camera, gathered his favorite photos of the America “you may never see,” and published them in a beautiful collection. A guest appearance on “CBS News Sunday Morning” catapulted Richard and his book to national prominence. More about Richard in this issue’s member profile on page 36.

Special report: OOIDA has been documenting member complaints concerning their Volvo trucks since mid-1999. These owner-operators have been dealing with some damnable problems and have largely been ignored by Volvo. What’s happening now? See “Waiting for answers, hoping for solutions from Volvo” on page 28.

Bill status: Throughout the states, lawmakers are picking up the pace. LL’s spring legislative update begins on page 20 and is loaded with bills that affect the trucking industry. If you want to have a voice in what laws are effected in your state, it begins with knowing what’s being proposed.

Also in this issue: On the national scene, President Bush’s plan to open the border to Mexican trucks is all the buzz. Paul Cullen Jr. reports the latest on that situation in “Washington Insider,” page 18.

Keeper: One of the most useful pieces of information in this issue is “Tax Tips.” In today’s dog-eat-dog world of trucking, it’s critical that you know how to calculate both revenue per mile and cost per mile. The article by Barry and Howard (page 38) is one of the best I’ve ever read on this subject. You’ll want to keep this info.

OOIDA and LL’s crew had a great trip to Louisville this year. On page 62, highlights from the Mid-America Trucking Show include a list of the truck show winners, some candid pics and a special report from technical editor Paul Abelson. Paul spent hours walking the floor to bring readers the coolest stuff. See “Paul’s Picks” on page 64. The next truck show is scheduled for June 27, 28 and 29 in Las Vegas. If you’re planning a truckin’ vacation, consider the International Truck Show.

Do you ever have one of those great moments that inexplicably reinforces how much you like the pure and simple joy of rolling down interstate America? I don’t know where the heck it was. Indiana, Illinois, maybe Missouri. Todd Spencer was driving and we had followed Jim and Mary Johnston (who were driving their truck and big horse trailer full of booth stuff) and the others all the way from Louisville. Jim had been talking all night to truckers on the CB. In our car, we listened to Truckin’ Bozo and Todd tried to call a couple of times but it was busy. We pulled into a small convenience store somewhere off the highway to get coffee and stretch our legs. It was pitch black, cold and windy and the harsh light of the little store hurt our eyes. As we pulled back on the highway and past a big yellow neon sign that said, “Good luck Hornettes,” I thought to myself, “This is pretty good.”