[Publisher’s Note: Time flies, almost as much as Bruce Sauer has flown around the world meeting people in the trailer- and truck body-building industry, attending conferences, and touring facilities over his 40- year career. He passes along a farewell in his column this month (It's time to say goodbye), but we’ve also collected a few words about Bruce and from some folks who have worked with him.]
For only the second time in its 58-year history, Trailer/Body Builders has a new editor. Bruce Sauer is retiring after covering the commercial truck and trailer industry for 42 years.
Sauer joined Trailer/Body Builders as an associate editor in 1974. After stints as the magazine’s managing editor and executive editor, he took over full editorial responsibilities from founding editor Paul Schenck in 1996.
“Bruce Sauer was crucial to the growth and success of Trailer/Body Builders,” says Schenck, editor of the magazine for the first 40 years. “He joined our small staff and quickly adapted his journalistic talents to reporting events in our specialized truck manufacturing industry.
“Bruce helped shape and expand our editorial coverage of the truck trailer manufacturers and truck body builders, and beyond that to the distributors of all kinds of truck equipment.
“For 25 years he was my trusted accomplice and valued friend,” Schenck continued. “Then he took over the entire editorial responsibility as chief editor so that I could take semi-retirement with full confidence. He not only continued our faithful support of the industry, but expanded our editorial coverage even farther to new producers of truck-related equipment.
“And he did it with an added touch of humor. Bruce has become the Voice of the Industry—with a smile”, Schenck concluded.
Between Schenck and Sauer, Trailer/Body Builders has become a fixture at industry events such as the conferences put on by the National Trailer Dealers Association (NTDA), the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA), and the National Truck Equipment Association ( NTEA ).
“Bruce’s talent as an editor is unmatched. He provided an invaluable service to so many dealers and manufacturers in the industry throughout his career by writing articles and profiles over the years,” said NTDA President Gwendolyn Brown. “In addition to Bruce’s wonderful array of talents, he is an all-around great guy! Bruce is the consummate professional. He listens. He is kind and courteous. He cares about people and the industry.
“I have so enjoyed meeting Bruce, Cindy and their family over the years. The NTDA will be forever indebted to Bruce and Penton Media for supporting our events and providing such excellent coverage on our behalf,” Brown said. “Bruce, best of luck in your retirement. Thank you for everything!”
TTMA President Jeff Sims offered a similar take on Sauer’s place in the industry.
“Bruce is one of the nicest and most sincere people you would ever want to meet. Always has a kind word and encouraging,” Sims said, “In his reporting he is always fair and consistent stating the facts on both side of the debate so that the reader can make their own decision.”
When he wasn’t covering trade events, Sauer typically was traveling to find and report on the latest innovations in trailer manufacturing technology and processes. He’s toured facilities in nearly every state in the U.S., and along with site visits in NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, he’s also traveled to China and Europe during his career.
“I believe that the publishing industry is as competitive as the trailer- and body-building business, and to be in the business of publishing about the trailer and body manufacturing industry for as long as Bruce speaks to his tremendous commitment and passion for what he does,” said Dean Sink, president and CEO of Mickey Truck Bodies. “And of course you don’t do anything for that long unless you are very good at it. Thank you, Bruce, for your accuracy, honesty and outstanding editorial vision. You’ve been a great advocate of our industry. May the road ahead be smooth and maintenance-free.”
Added Senior Director of Corporate Communications Tim Davis, “Trailer/Body Builders has been a ‘must read’ for me for as long as I have been at Mickey Truck Bodies. The information is always timely and informative … and accurate. That is a direct reflection on Bruce Sauer’s commitment to his profession and our industry. Enjoy the next part of your journey Bruce. You will be missed.”
Taking Sauer’s place is Kevin Jones, who’s been covering the trucking industry for more than 10 years, most recently as editor of American Trucker. Both Trailer/Body Builders and American Trucker are part of the Penton Commercial Vehicle Group.
“It’s a truism in sports that you never want to be the coach who follows a legend,” said Jones. “But the whole team at Trailer/Body Builders is legendary, so my plan is to hit the road early and often, and generally stay out of their way. I can’t replace Bruce, but I really look forward to getting out in the market, meeting folks—and to maintaining the winning streak.” ♦