Hoping that 2017’s changes are as great as 2016’s

Jonathan Willis

December 30, 2016

As we close 2016, I can personally look back on it as a year filled with change.

As someone who had spent more than a decade in the newspaper and lifestyles-type magazine business, going to work for Successful Dealer and Truck Parts & Service was quite a change for me.

To be honest, I was, and am still, learning all the ins and outs of the trucking industry, particularly the aftermarket side of the business. It has been a lot of fun – and a lot of work.

But in this short amount of time, since May, I have found it to be as rewarding as anything that I have ever done and there’s a simple reason for that – the people.

Whether its sales people, distributors, manufacturers, drivers, technicians, you name it, everyone that I have encountered on this job has been nothing short of friendly and helpful.

In many fields, you don’t find that, particularly as a journalist looking to talk to folks on the record. People seem to be hesitant and guarded oftentimes, as if they are afraid of what may be printed.

I have not found that to be true at all in the trucking industry.

I have met drivers at truck stops to talk about issues that I am covering for a given story. I have called distributors and manufacturers who don’t know me from Adam. Just a few weeks ago in San Antonio I met service technicians from across the country whose job is to get trucks back up and running, not to worry with the media.

Do you know common characteristics they all share?

Each has been helpful, friendly and accommodating.

I am not sure that people just driving up and down the road each day truly understands the influence that the trucking industry has on our day-to-day lives. I know I didn’t.

But now, each time I am on a busy interstate or highway, I notice those that are moving the goods that keep us going. It has been a real reward to get to know just a few of the folks in the many segments of this broad industry.

I hope 2017 affords me the opportunity to get to know even more of you. I have come to appreciate the work that you do and I hope you all have a great new year.

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