1977 was a significant year in trucking. Issues like deregulation, the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit, highway use taxes, the increasing cost of equipment, rising interest rates, low wages, hours of service, strikes and unfair enforcement practices dominated headlines.
The United States also was going through a transitional period. We were experiencing a recession. Inflation and unemployment were highs not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Americans were still stinging from the Watergate scandal and the attempted cover-up by a president forced to resign in shame. And the country was trying to heal from the emotional wounds of the Vietnam War.
But the trucking lifestyle was never more popular thanks to popular movies like Smokey and the Bandit and hit songs like “Convoy.” The big screen and popular songs conspired to promote a rebel-like image of truckers that blended both truth and fabrication. A fascination with CB radios swept the nation.
In November 1977, NATSO, the trade organization that represents the truckstop and travel plaza operators, launched Truckers News. Its goal was to look at issues facing American truckers, offer a voice to the road warriors and help find solutions whenever possible.
Over the past 25 years, Truckers News has continued its mission to keep truckers abreast of the issues that affect them. Just as a great deal has changed for truckers – equipment, technology, regulations, demographics, truckstops and basic lifestyle – the magazine has experienced its own evolution.
Truckers News has often gone the extra mile and then some to inform and entertain its readers. We have traveled from the frozen tundra of the far reaches of North America to the villages of Mexico, as well as all the points in between.
We have featured famous people and the drivers who help get them there. As the No. 1 news and lifestyle publication in the trucking industry, we have spotlighted some of the best drivers ever to take the road and those who follow their example and continue the tradition.
The following pages are a look back at the roads trucking has taken over the past quarter of a century and the magazine that was there to record the tracks it has made. We hope you enjoy the journey.