Thoughts from the Editor: Completing the Picture

Road King July August 2009 Issue

I was excited about the UPS driver training school story for Road King as soon as I assigned it. Here was a place that took truck driving safety so seriously that they brought an elite group of driver-trainers to a three-week boot camp on driving safely. Our writer, David Kolman, nailed the details — rules of the road shouted out on demand, timed inspections, barked orders and exhausted trainees pushing themselves so they wouldn’t wash out.

But the story really came to life when it went into layout. The photo: A trainee, drained from the day’s brutal schedule, leans against a truck – the strain he feels is obvious. The article describes the men examining their trucks inch by inch at midnight, long after classes have ended. Photo: Three stone-faced men sit at a folding table. The article explains how the instructors judge their students’ actions every second they are in sight.

The images were powerful. The words were compelling. They built on each other to make the article zing-pop-wow in a way that neither could have done separately.

You can read the full article on our website.

Nancy Henderson is the managing editor of Road King, a consumer publication Parthenon publishes for TravelCenters of America.