By the time you read this, the Truckin' staff and I will be sinking into winter hibernation mode, where truck shows are at a halt and we are able to spend a little extra time working on our personal projects, along with spending quality time at home. As our event schedule wraps up, our significant others patiently deal with the time of year known as show season, where weekend after weekend we hop on a red-eye, travel to another state, and spend the weekend covering an event collecting feature-worthy rides on film to fill the magazine. By the time we adapt to the change in climate and the time zone, it's time to catch the hotel shuttle to the airport and fly back to our offices in Anaheim, California, jump back in front of the keyboard, and create some informative and entertaining custom truck reading material. September and October are by far the most difficult months, and this year they were even more chaotic than usual for me.
Starting on the weekend of September 26-28, Truckin' hosted the first annual Texas Extreme Truck Show, in New Braunfels, Texas, where Associate Editor Dan Ward, Editor Steve Warner, and I spent all weekend behind our cameras covering the intense show action. Each night after the show, Dan and I removed a few feature trucks from the show, headed to our predetermined photo location, and started clicking images to appear in future issues. Once darkness settled in, and bug bites and sunburns were prominent, we headed to dinner and rested up to do it all over again the following day. Upon returning home from the show, I spent the next four days in the office writing articles and preparing for my next adventure in Florida. October 3 came fast, and I was heading toward Tampa, Florida, at 7:15 a.m. to cover Slamfest 2003, hosted by Mini Madness. That trip yielded some great show coverage along with 11 top-notch feature trucks to bulk up our already impressive feature files. My plane touched down in Los Angeles on Monday, October 6, and I returned to my office the next day to return to my writing groove and finish up a few more stories before we all headed out on October 10 for the Truckin' Nationals, in Phoenix, held at the Firebird Raceway. I pounded the pavement in the blistering Phoenix sun myself, but Technical Editor Bob Ryder, along with Associate Editors Sean Holman and Dan Ward managed to cover the entire race and show action going on inside the Firebird grounds.
Amidst all the show madness, we managed to conduct our annual Truck of the Year and SUV of the Year competitions where a different vehicle was driven home by each staff member every night until each staffer had been in every vehicle. The entire staff, including Truckin's SUV Editor Carl Calvert, managed to conduct independent feature shoots on each road test vehicle in order to have a wide array of material for the final testing articles.
As the season comes to a close, we are working overtime in the office to get the issue you are holding finished to leave for a week in Las Vegas for the annual SEMA Show, where plans for technical stories for the year are made by a sales pitch and a handshake, and feature trucks are photographed at the close of the show to grace the pages of Truckin'. With attending various events and new product presentations, all the Truckin' staff's schedules this show season have been demanding and rigorous, which goes to show you, the reader, how hard we work to bring you the finest custom truck publication on the newsstand - period. Until next month, keep hitting those switches, cranking good tunes (such as Devo and Ugly Kid Joe), and cruising until your heart's content.