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Can’t tell you how many editorials I’ve written over the years or how many subjects I’ve covered. A lot. But I’ve never written one like this, and I don’t like it much.

Highway Star has become yet another victim of a changing industry that’s still struggling to find its way at the tail end of a prolonged, nasty recession. This is our final issue, but it’s definitely not goodbye from me. I’ll explain that in a bit.

In September of 1999, full of hope and enthusiasm, I launched Highway Star with a promise to celebrate what was good about the truck-driving life. I’d lobbied for such a magazine within our small company for ages, and I knew exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I couldn’t take us back to the so-called good old days, but I felt sure I could help to resurrect the pride that used to be commonplace, especially amongst owner-operators.

Finally, I got the go-ahead. I dragged ex-driver Jim Park into the fold and together we set about turning the magazine I’d conceived into a reality. It was as much fun as I’ve had in all my trucking years, and I think we were a great team. When Jim took the reins a few years later, you had accepted us fully.

Fortune smiled on us when B.C. story-teller Don McTavish, another ex-driver, sent me a couple of his tales asking if we’d like to publish them in sister magazine Today’s Trucking. You bet, I wrote back, but not in that one, rather in the soon-to-be-born Highway Star. So Don had a page in Volume 1, Number 1 and every issue afterwards until a brain tumour rendered him unable to write several years later, even though he survived the cancer’s attack.

I can’t overestimate Don’s role in putting this magazine on the map. His stories were terrific, his sense of humour exactly right, and he resonated deeply with the trucking crowd. I still get questions about when we might see him writing again, others asking about his health. He’s fine, by the way.

So what happened to change things so much that we can’t continue? Well, simply, the market can’t support a niche magazine like this. Advertising budgets are smaller than ever, and they don’t always get spent on magazines of any sort these days. Websites, social media, even TV shows are often used nowadays to reach you guys.

All of this is really part of a huge transformation in trucking at large, as I wrote in our July issue’s Last Word. Everything is changing, and there are those who say the owner-operator is not long for this world. I don’t believe that for a second, though I can’t argue that he’s not in trouble.

So what’s the good news? Well, for the first time since we launched it in 1987, sister magazine Today’s Trucking will be distributed in bulk at truckstops nation-wide as well as being available by mail as it always has been. Some of you will already be subscribers because about a third of its readership consists of folks who own and operate from one to nine trucks.

Owner-operators, in other words, have always been a critical component in the magazine’s makeup. We built it that way.

Many of you will be seeing it for the first time. The key difference between the two publications is that Today Trucking deals pretty much exclusively with the business of trucking while HighwayStar focused on the driving life. Subject matter often intersected, of course, because no matter how you play the trucking game, the rules and the hardware and the general context are exactly the same.

In fact, you’ll probably learn more from reading Today’s Trucking because its sole purpose is to help its readers make a buck. It’s won a trailer-load of awards over the years, here and stateside, and I think you’ll find it pretty useful.

The demise of Highway Star doesn’t mean you can get rid of me, by the way. I launched Today’s Trucking too, and since 1987 I’ve been variously its editor, publisher, and nowadays editor at large. My involvement there, and thus in your lives, won’t change. Nor will my deep affection for the smallest operators in trucking. You’re the backbone.

So, finally, I thank you sincerely for all the support you’ve shown us since the fall of 1999. All the conversations, the laughs, the letters and e-mails, the praise, and even the criticism… it’s been a blast.

Look for Today’s Trucking’s September issue in the same place you found Highway Star, and let me know what you think.

See you there.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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