This is the 85th column I’ve written for FOCUS since I became the publication’s assistant editor back in May 2012 – and not for any of those did I have to think so deeply about what I was writing
Starting at FOCUS on February 7, 2011, was a bold move for me. My knowledge of the road-transport industry was minimal (to put it mildly) and, while I was familiar enough with trucks and their inner workings, my foundations, knowledge and passion always lay with “dinky toys”.
I still giggle at that phrase, and I still love cars; but even I have to admit that diesel – especially of the heavy-duty, multiple-wheeled variety – has well and truly crept into my petrolhead veins – just as I was told it would more than eight years ago.
Indeed, fortune followed that bold move and (with ever more diesel creeping in, too) being entrusted with editorship of this prestigious title in July 2017 was the accomplishment of a career goal I wasn’t quite expecting at the time.
Over the years, since starting as a humble journalist, I have seen the industry grapple with challenges. Likewise, it’s embraced a continually growing wave of technological advancement coming from every corner of the trucking and transport ecosystem (sometimes in direct response to those challenges).
I’ve also seen FOCUS advance: the publication’s style and content evolving with the times, but never losing substance; the development of its digital platforms to reach more people more easily; and the integration of social networking into the daily conversation.
However, while there’s so much more I wish I was able to do – and I do feel my time at the helm has been too short – fortune has reared its head again; this time pushing me to make another bold career move.
So, on a personal note, thank you to all the FOCUS readers, followers, advertisers, supporters and industry figures who have contributed to my journey with the publication over the years. I cannot possibly quantify the knowledge I’ve gained in this time, nor the respect I’ve come to have for the local trucking and road-transport industries – and all those who keep its wheels turning despite sometimes difficult odds.
It’s truly been an honour producing this world-class publication with and for you all.
As for the future, I leave you in good hands and pass editorship of FOCUS to Wynter Murdoch from the next issue. A well-known name and stalwart of South Africa’s motoring and transport media industry, Wynter brings to FOCUS a wealth of experience and a comprehensive skillset that will be sure to safeguard the publication’s future prospects.
I know Wynter and the rest of the FOCUS family will boldly take the publication forward, as it continues to be the most trusted name among readers in the southern African trucking and road-transport industries – and so I wish them nothing but good fortune for the future.
Stay safe and keep on trucking!