The rise of online social networking, with sites like Facebook and Twitter, has transformed the lives of many owner-operators and company drivers by increasing their personal interactions with family and friends while isolated on the road. Some truckers have gone a step further, using free blogging sites and other web publishing tools to broadcast their expertise, experiences, opinions and creativity in new ways.
“It would be very frustrating to be out on the road if you didn’t have a way to share it with others,” says owner-operator/blogger Phil Madsen. “Blogging is really a godsend.”
Some, including Madsen, view online publishing as mere hobby, while others are more mission-driven. Whatever their goals, the following truckers have attracted a large and growing number of readers. A few have even begun to bring in a small amount of ad/sponsor revenue for their efforts, supplementing their trucking income.
Learning something new every day
One half of expediting team chronicles on-highway adventures for truckers and industry outsiders alike.
*Phil Madsen, team expediter with his wife, Diane
*TRUCK: Straight Volvo VNL with 132-in. ARI sleeper and 16-ft. box
*FLEET: Leased to FedEx White Glove Services
Minnesota native Phil Madsen turned to trucking for a new life of adventure with his wife, Diane, in 2003 after the two met during Jesse Ventura’s successful campaign for governor. They jumped into the expediting business.
Active in online trucking forums and message boards from the get-go, Madsen sought a way to communicate not only with other drivers but with communities outside trucking. He also wanted a resource by which he and Diane could document their trucking adventure.
He launched SuccessfulExpediters.com in 2006, hoping to provide a platform for himself and others to blog about their businesses and experiences.
While many blogs become meandering accounts of day-to-day trivia, Madsen’s “Learning something new every day” blog is focused, offering an ongoing sense of discovery. His audience includes trucking insiders, expediter-wannabes and outsiders with an interest in trucking. Such a broad audience is drawn to the quality of Madsen’s writing, which, in a few paragraphs, can update owner-operators on efficiency steps he’s taking, detail the history of where he and Diane are parked, and muse about their line of work.
“Expediting is a funny business,” Madsen concludes in an entry about visiting the Terrell Heritage Museum in Texas. “When you have freight on the truck, you want to get to the delivery and get it off. When you have no freight on the truck, you want to get some on. And wherever you happen to be, you want to be someplace else.”
From “Learning Something New Every Day”
Wed., May 5, 2010: I learned today that Dracula was a Baptist. Learned by seeing the Transylvania Baptist Church as we drove today.