I was worried about this year’s big truck show. Really, really worried.
Let’s face it. The economy is lousy. You don’t need me to tell you that. So I wondered if, frankly, anyone would show up in Louisville.
I know there are truckers out there who are making a go of it, even as things are. But I worried that they’d be out hauling loads (I know some who would normally be here who are doing just that).
So I look for signs – things that would indicate that the situation is not as bad as it seems to me, that the recovery we’re all hoping for is in our near, or at least not too distant, future. That the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. That the train is not intermodal and taking freight that could be hauled by a truck. (OK, I’ll drop the metaphors.)
Today, I found one. It may not mean much, but it was a sign.
On Wednesday, members of the trucking press attend a series of press conferences by the folks who make the trucks, the reefers, the lights, the APUs, all the products you use. It’s a chance for those companies to showcase their big new products for the year.
I expected it to be a parade of “we’re working on,” “we hope to have, “we’re trying to cope by,” and so on.
It wasn’t. Quite the opposite. There were new product announcements at every event I attended. Interesting new products and technologies that we will bring you in reports over the next few days and weeks (a lot of announcements, so it might take a while).
I saw hope in the faces of these equipment makers. Real hope, even positive attitude, a real belief that things will be better. It may take a while, but they will get better.
I can’t wait for tomorrow. I hope I see a crowd. Instead of four horsemen of an economic apocalypse, I’d love to see four signs of recovery.
I know a lot of truckers who have been through a lot of pain. And for all of them, no gift could be better.