Every month we all read 10-4 Magazine, never imagining what it takes to put these organized and well-written editions on the newsstands and maintain them on the Internet each and every month. As with everything in life, it takes hard work and perseverance to turn out 12 editions a year with informative information and advertising. This has been ongoing for 20 years and is still going strong. Do the math – this is the 249th edition to hit the newsstand since 1993 (it was printed twice a month for the first few months). There are many persons that assist in getting this monthly project completed from start to finish – one of them is Daniel Linss of Daniel Designs, contracted by 10-4 Magazine.
Dan (46) was born in Southern California and came from a family of three children – he was the middle kid, sandwiched between two sisters. After graduating from high school in Riverside, California, Dan headed to college to study architecture. While attending college at night, Dan drove for a delivery service in the day, running up to 300 miles per day in and around Los Angeles. He worked for almost 10 years full time while going to college part time – it was not an easy road, but with perseverance, he never gave up and did eventually earn his college degree. Then, in 1993, he started working with 10-4.
In the beginning, Dan was a “Johnny on the Spot” type of worker, doing whatever was needed. He vividly remembers doing the tedious job of bulk mailing the very first edition, but after only a few months, he found himself putting the entire magazine together. Back then, 10-4 was not the polished, glossy magazine that we are all familiar with today, but instead a 24-page “rag” that was printed on newsprint in black and white. That quickly changed when a salesman by the name of Erik came on board early in 1994. Between Dan and Erik, the two built up the little “rag” into a 64-page edition with color and stories. It was ironic that Dan and Erik had never driven a big rig – heck, they had never even sat in one at that point! But that did not matter – their drive and devotion to the magazine was soon to change.
The owner of the company decided to stop production of 10-4 in June of 1994 so Erik stepped up to the plate. Now, both Dan and Erik were able to use their talents to create 10-4 Express (they changed the name and printed their first edition in July of 1994). In 2000, the name was changed back and then officially trademarked as 10-4 Magazine. They make a winning team – Erik is the “heart and soul” of 10-4 and Dan is the “nuts and bolts” of the magazine. Who is Dan? In addition to being the Editor and Art Director of the magazine, he is also instrumental in the monthly cover stories and pictures. Erik and he have been in places, photographing trucks, that maybe they were not supposed to be, looking for that “perfect” shot, and have even been removed from an area a few times! But their motto is, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” It seems that the combination of big trucks and cameras seems to scare some security people, but in the end, the job must get done – and it usually does.
In addition to putting the cover features together, Dan also contributes to some of the other articles, is responsible for the professional art work and, as production manager, he is responsible for the finished layout of the magazine. As the editor, one of his jobs is to manage and assist the contributors and writers for 10-4. Dan is diligent as an editor – he contacts all of us every month and always offers to assist us in finding a subject to write about (if we don’t already have one) or to help us in writing the article to meet the deadline. Not only that, but he also creates most of the ads in the magazine and corresponds with many of the advertisers every month for their changes. In this modern computer age, Dan also helps to maintain the 10-4 Magazine website and Facebook page, and also organizes their show schedules and booths. And, last but not least, he distributes the magazine to the San Gabriel Valley and Castaic areas of Southern California. One would say that he is a “man wearing many hats” but he does it gladly, for he believes in the hard work of making 10-4 Magazine successful each and every month.
Dan feels blessed that he has been able to meet some very awesome people throughout his career, including truckers, advertisers, readers, writers and people from the monthly featured stories. Meeting and getting to know all of these people over the years have added to his life, and he will be the first to tell you that it is one of the greatest benefits of his career.
Each of us experience life-changing events – a most important one in Dan’s life was when he met a young lady named Shannon in 1987. She was dating his roommate at the time, and yes, he did what any red-blooded young man would do – he saw what he wanted and stole her away. Three years later, in 1990, they married and now have three teenage children – Peyton (16), Parker (14) and Paige (13). Dan is a family man, and no matter how hectic work may get, he still takes time for his family, for they are his world. His life also reflects his Christian values of hard work and dedication to his family and 10-4.
During the interview with Dan, I asked him what advice he would give the younger generation out there who might be looking for a rewarding and fulfilling career. Dan replied by saying, “Follow your heart and do something you are passionate about – utilize the gifts God has blessed you with – whatever they are.” 10-4 Magazine is blessed to have this man on board – he is one of the people responsible for the hard work and dedication that have created what we read each month. May we all be blessed with many more years of 10-4 Magazine and many more years of Dan and Erik working together as a dynamic duo!