Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Professor Paul

He’s known in the trucking industry by many names. Hot Air, Dah Godfaddah, Professor Paul.

Illustration by Mo Paul
We also call him Senior Technical Editor, and since 1998 Paul Abelson has written technical and equipment articles for Land Line.

He’s also a life member of OOIDA. During the years we’ve known Paul, he’s been a loyal member of the Association and solid part of our Land Line family. He’s been a mentor, an industry connection, and a traveling companion. He has represented Land Line at hundreds of press events and plant tours. 

Paul knows everybody. He’s been involved in everything. Half the people I know in trucking were first introduced to me by Paul. He has a huge resource list that he calls his “brain trust,” and if he doesn’t know the answer to a technical question – he knows how to find out.

For more than 20 years, I have relied on Paul. He has been a critical part of my education in the trucking industry.

In my early days here, some of my questions were pretty dumb.

“Hey, Paul, does the cab of a truck really have a doghouse?”

“Does a parasitic load mean the cargo has bugs?”

“Why does a diesel truck engine have so many gears?”

My questions to him now are not so elementary. Most are editing questions, and others are on behalf of members with technical questions.

“Paul. I have a member who wants to know if you should use a spray-on belt dressing compound on a drive belt with glazed sides?”

Today’s news that he is retiring does not mean Professor Paul is saying goodbye to his for fans. He has agreed to continue Maintenance Q and A for Land Line and other technical articles as a consulting technical editor.

In other words, he is taking off a lot of his other trucking caps and leaving his Land Line cap on for now. And it means I can still call him with a question like “Paul, we have an email from a member who has mold on the heater core and wants to know how to get rid of it.”

Or – “Paul, what was the name of that place in Louisville that was your favorite? The Ole Hickory Place?