A Brief History Of Trucking
The commercial trucking industry is a big part of our national economy. However, it’s not always understood how trucking came to be so important. Before trucks, goods were shipped via horse-drawn wagons. This helped small towns develop but it wasn’t a cost effective way to ship things long distances.
How Did It start?
The history of trucking goes back to when the first colonists in America decided to ship freight and goods across the country. At that time, freight haulers relied on horse, oxen, and mule-drawn wagons. They carved trails into the wilderness and then made their way to their destination. They also helped to improve small towns and grow their local economies. However, when the trucking industry began, truckers were underpaid and often worked 12 to 18 hours a day for $2 a day. They were also liable for any damages to the goods they delivered. Tired of these conditions, drivers formed the Team Drivers International Union.
The Interstate High System
Then the trucking industry started to flourish as technological and cultural changes improved the transportation system. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which authorized the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The system is now the main mode of transportation in the United States. It is estimated that it cost $3.5 billion to construct, and the federal government paid for 90 percent of the costs. Afterward, the states picked up the remaining expenses. This paved the way for long-haul trucks to travel more efficiently and safely through rural areas. It also led to the creation of tachographs, which helped to keep track of the number of hours spent driving each day.
There are a variety of truck designs used in the commercial trucking industry. The most common are flatbed trucks, articulated (or rigid) trucks and semi-trailer trucks. The most common type of commercial truck in the US is a semi-trailer, which is a tractor unit that attaches to one or more trailers for hauling freight. Tractor-trailer trucks can also be equipped with a sliding fifth wheel that can change the weight distribution between the axles. Other common truck types include dump trucks and service utility trucks. Dump trucks typically have a hopper in front of the body and are often used to haul garbage. Some of these trucks can be fitted with lifts that allow for the compacting of waste into a dumpster at the rear of the vehicle. Service utility trucks are usually customized to provide a specific service, such as electrical or plumbing work, which requires the truck to have compartments for tools and supplies.
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