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Firing Order: Goodbye And Hello

Posted in Features on June 6, 2016
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Four Wheeler Editor Christian Hazel has left the building. Well, not exactly, he has simply moved to our sister publication, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, where he is strapping into the editor seat. He took over the Big Desk at Four Wheeler beginning with the June 2014 issue, and his incredible technical knowledge, years of experience, and sense of humor was a great addition. Christian lives the four-wheel-drive lifestyle and it shows. His perfect day seems to be in his driveway fabbing parts or exploring a trail in a vintage 4x4. His impact on Four Wheeler during his tenure has been very positive and is proven by the numerous reader compliments on the content of the magazine. Oh, and he’s a nice guy who is always ready to lend a hand even if that hand is guaranteed to get covered in grease. Now he is taking his talents to 4-Wheel & Off-Road, where he will undoubtedly have a positive impact. I wish him the best on his Ultimate Adventure.

With that said, I’m the new guy that has been tasked with Four Wheeler editor duties. I’m not new to Four Wheeler—just new to this seat. I’m a Four Wheeler reader-turned-staffer, and I started with the book way back in 2001 in the days when we still took photos on film. Prior to that I was a Four Wheeler freelance contributor beginning in 1998. Going back even further, my first assignment for a four-wheel-drive magazine was in 1989 for 4-Wheel & Off-Road. Yeah, I’m old. Old enough to vividly remember seeing new Jeep CJ-5s on the dealer lot and my uncle showing off his brand-new ’72 K5 Blazer. I live in a rural farming area where we use four-wheel drive often. So often in fact I rarely unlock the hubs on our Dodge Power Wagon. In my world, a 4x4 is a tool that’s always needs to be ready, and it has to be good at many things from plowing snow to slingin’ mud to towing and hauling in nasty conditions. My idea of a perfect day is in a 4x4 exploring old mining trails in the Colorado Rockies. Or exploring the beaches of the Outer Banks. Or the forests of Florida. Or the great emptiness of South Texas. Heck, as long as there’s a trail and I have a 4x4, I’m happy. So many places, so little time.

So what’s on tap for Four Wheeler’s future? Well, we’re going to continue to bring you the type of premium four-wheel-drive and off-road content you’ve come to expect. Here at Four Wheeler we don’t focus on one brand of 4x4, one kind of wheeling, or one type of engine. We unapologetically dig into all things four-wheel drive, no matter the brand, terrain, or powerplant, and we’ll remain on that path. Plan to continue to see interesting and exciting 4x4 news, events, features, new products, and tech stories. In addition, we have some major surprises in store including a new signature competition event that will replace Top Truck Challenge. More on that soon.

I’m excited to announce that in addition to our long-time first-rate contributors that are experts in the 4x4 field, we’ll be featuring the work of some new contributors, as well as work from former Four Wheeler staffers. All of the talented contributors bring great 4x4 content to the table. This dream team of all-star off-road journalists will help this title continue to be the leading off-road publication we have been since our first issue published in 1962. And behind the scenes we have a professional group of individuals that include an art director, managing editor, and web team that skillfully exercise their craft to help make Four Wheeler a top-notch publication.

So one editor says goodbye and one says hello. Now it’s your turn to say something. Drop me an email and let me know what you’d like to see in Four Wheeler. I’d love to hear from you.

–Ken Brubaker

Christian Hazel prowling Moab backcountry in typical vintage fashion.

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