Has anyone checked out the recent prices we are paying for fuel lately? I am sure any conscious adult of driving age has paid more than their fair share for fuel in recent months. I know the hurricane tragedies that have occurred in the Gulf have added to the price runup at the pump but come on, gas prices had been getting totally out of hand well before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ever hit.

Case in point, after returning home from a family vacation over the Labor Day weekend, I came across the gas receipt. This particular receipt had fallen between the driver seat and the center console and was tucked well under the seat track. It was dated October 6, 2004, so at the time of my find, it had been almost exactly 11 months to the day. On October 6, 2004, I paid $1.91 for diesel fuel. I have no idea what the gas prices were at the time but my best guestimation is gas was 10-15 cents higher than diesel. You have to remember that was a keen selling point for automotive dealers: that diesel, while being a great fuel mileage maximizer, was also priced significantly lower per gallon than regular petroleum gasoline. Now flash forward to September 2005 and gas prices have well exceeded $3 a gallon, and diesel prices are even higher. In fact, so much higher that the Friday before Labor Day weekend, I stopped at a gas station outside of the town I was going to vacation in knowing this station in fact carried diesel fuel (another problem in Los Angeles is simply finding diesel fuel to begin with, so when you do, you make a mental note of all the local stations around that carry diesel fuel). Anyway, after stopping at this station, I paid a staggering $3.89 per gallon to get me to my destination, and I wasn't even empty. After leaving nearly $100 with the station as well as a few choice words about price gouging, I was on my way.

I know demand is at an all-time high right now with the state of the world and all, but come on. I am paying on average 50 percent more than I was a year ago. I also know my wages haven't increased 50 percent to cover these costs, so what are we to do? First off, is contact your local legislature and seriously voice your concerns about the escalating fuel prices. The second is more obvious, making sure tire pressures are up to snuff, your engine is properly tuned, and so on. Finally, the third is to read Technical Editor Bob Ryder's story on 10 ways to significantly improve your fuel mileage. Until the first two have been met, the third will seem insignificant, but to us and to you, this is a story that is very timely given the nation's economy. We hope you enjoy it.

On a lighter note, we also add two new faces to the magazine. We have replaced Sean Holman who left us nearly 9 months ago to go work on his love, Four Wheeler magazine. We have replaced him with Brandan Gillogly, who offers a wealth of technical knowledge and should become a valued employee to Truckin' magazine, so if you see him out at a show this summer, please make him feel welcome and part of our scene. The other newbie isn't new to Primedia, our corporate entity, but is new to Truckin'. Rob Muoz takes over as Truckin's new art director as Paul Graff, our former art director, chose to leave and pursue other interests. Rob's ideas and layouts will become much more apparent in the next issue, but we welcome both of these individuals and hope that both will be here for many years to come.

Also, for all those individuals who answered my call to action about helping us with cover decisions and ideas, I want each of the first 25 who responded to know, your brand new Truckin' T-shirts should be arriving about the time you are reading my editorial. Thank you for your input and for helping us. We really appreciate it.