Overdrive‘s Rearview series is a new recurring monthly feature taking a historical look at the trucking industry through the lens of archived editions of Overdrive.
Overdrive’s founding purpose was primarily fighting the “Bigs” looking to squash the independent trucker – Big Labor, Big Government and Big Rail, to name a few – but it didn’t fight alone. Upon its 1961 launch, Overdrive also provided the first real forum for owner-operators to make their opinions known on the Bigs or any other issue that ailed them.
From its first issue, September 1961, Overdrive included the Our Readers Write section, in which truckers wrote letters to the editor, detailed on-highway happenings to their peers and responded to articles in Overdrive and in other national publications.
Though the section has changed names and formats in the 55 years since, Overdrive continues to build its reputation on championing reader representation and the principles they care about. The magazine cover still proudly uses the tagline “The Voice of the American Trucker.”
In addition to the truckers cited throughout the magazine, each issue today leads off with six pages of the Voices section (as well as a regular online presence), devoted to letting readers comment on topics such as burdensome regulations, shady brokers and the etiquette of fellow truck drivers. They also speak out on non-trucking issues such as gun control and health care.