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In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history by using the internal combustion engine. Later that year some of Benz's trucks gave into modernization and went on to become the first bus by the Netphener. This would be the first motor bus company in history.Hardly a year later, in 1986, another internal combustion engine truckwas built bya man named Gottlieb Daimler.As people began to catch on, other companies, such as Peugeot, Renault, and Bussing, also built their own versions.In 1899, the first truck in the United Stateswas built byAutocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.
Beginning the the early 20th century, the 1920's saw several major advancements. There was improvement in rural roads which was significant for the time.The diesel engine, which are 25-40% more efficient than gas engines were also a major breakthrough.We also saw the standardization of truck and trailer sizes along with fifth wheel coupling systems. Additionally power assisted brakes and steering developed. By 1933, all states had some form of varying truck weight regulation.
The main purpose of the HOS regulation is to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue. To do this, the number of driving hours per day, as well as the number of driving hours per week, havebeen limited.Another measure to prevent fatigue is to keep drivers on a 21 to 24-hour schedulein order tomaintain a natural sleep/wake cycle. Drivers must take a dailyminimumperiod of rest andare allowedlonger "weekend" rest periods. This is in hopes to combat cumulative fatigue effects thataccrueon a weekly basis.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conducted a series of tests.These tests were extensive field tests of roads and bridges to assess damages to the pavement.In particular they wanted to know how traffic contributes to the deterioration of pavement materials. These testsessentiallyled to the 1964 recommendation by AASHTO to Congress.The recommendation determined the gross weight limit for trucks tobe determined bya bridge formula table. This includes table based on axle lengths, instead of a state upper limit. By the time 1970 came around, there were over 18 million truck on America's roads.