Clear Shot: Pleased to Meet You…hope You Get My Name

by Ingrid Phaneuf

Hello out there…

There’s no rest for the wicked, so they say, and even though truck industry people are no more wicked than anyone else, the saying holds especially true for them in summertime.

While others spent the season taking vacations, leaving the office early, maybe indulging in a few “meetings” on the green, the industry struggled to deal with new U.S. hours of service, prenotification, load broker laws, trailer service brake failure, etc.

For a newcomer like myself, it was a baptism by fire.

Some of you have already had the dubious pleasure of meeting me, but for those who haven’t – Hi, my name is Ingrid Phaneuf, and I’m the new executive editor here.

Yeah that’s me – the persistent, annoying caller who just doesn’t give up until you finally break down and call me back. So now we’ve met, and I’ve harassed some of you to the point of exasperation, I think it’s time I said thank you.

Thanks for making sure I get my batteries and my Cheerios and my milk every day. Thanks for the dye that goes in my hair and the clothes that go on my back. Thanks for taking care on the highways even though you’re tired and I’m pretty sure you’d rather get home than let me cut in before you in traffic. Thank you for your patience answering my questions and your willingness to show me how things work.

Also thanks to you, I’ve been in this industry just three months now and already I’m a convert. In just a very short time I’ve learned how central motor carriers and O/Os are to our country, our economy and my own personal comfort.

I’ve been intellectually challenged to a degree I would never have anticipated. I’ve spent hours pouring over U.S. prenotification rules, HOS rules above and below the border, highway traffic acts, maintenance manuals and truck, trailer and parts brochures. And I’ve started to appreciate how frustrating it must be to get the kind of coverage that makes trucks and their drivers look like crazed killers, this even though car accidents which occur as a result of bad driving and maintenance are by far more frequent.

All this to say that I’ve got the bug for the industry and I’ve got it bad. As for our future together, here’s what I have in mind: There are many components to what makes up a good publication, but first and foremost, that publication must value its readers. It must also strive to provide the highest quality information as quickly as possible. Finally, and this is especially true of a trade publication, it must build understanding and knowledge of the industry and industry issues..

It all comes down to recognition, research and education. And most importantly, you readers, who have been spending so much time explaining complicated things to newcomers like myself. So don’t be shy, e-mail, write and call. Let us know when we screw up or when there’s a story that needs to be told.

After all, Truck News isn’t just about you; it’s for you.

P.S. Just so you know, I called this column “Clear shot,” because apparently that’s the lingo for clear going on the highway up ahead.

Wishful thinking in this industry I know, but I’m hoping that at least this column will provide a clear unobstructed view of what matters most to Truck News readers.

– Ingrid Phaneuf can be reached at 416-442-2091 or by e-mail at

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