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did you know

Did you know?

Receiving nation attention during the 1960's and 70's, songs and movies about truck driving were major hits. Finding solidarity, truck drivers participated in widespread strikes. Truck drivers from all over opposed the rising cost of fuel. Not to mention this is during the energy crises of 1873 and 1979. In 1980 the Motor Carrier Act drastically deregulated the trucking industry. Since then trucking has come to dominate the freight industry in the latter part of the 20th century. This coincided with what are now known as 'big-box' stores such as Target or Wal-Mart.

In many countries, driving a truck requires a special driving license. The requirements and limitations vary with each different jurisdiction.

The intention of a trailer coupler is to secure the trailer to the towing vehicle. It is an important piece, as the trailer couple attaches to the trailer ball. This then forms a ball and socket connection. It allows for relative movement between the towing vehicle and trailer while towing over uneven road surfaces. The trailer ball should be mounted to the rear bumper or to a drawbar, which may be removable. The drawbar secures to the trailer hitch by inserting it into the hitch receiver and pinning it.   The three most common types of couplers used are straight couplers, A-frame couplers, and adjustable couplers. Another option is bumper-pull hitches in which case draw bars can exert a large amount of leverage on the tow vehicle. This makes it harder to recover from a swerving situation (thus it may not be the safest choice depending on your trip).

In 1976, the number one hit on the Billboard chart was "Convoy," a novelty song by C.W. McCall about a convoy of truck drivers evading speed traps and toll booths across America. The song inspired the 1978 action film Convoy directed by Sam Peckinpah. After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike and participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis (although similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis).

AMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority. Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check, be licensed by the FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers. Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions. This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one can imagine, those that pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

As the American Interstate Highway System began to expand in the 1950's, the trucking industry began to take over a large market share. That is, a large share of the transportation of goods throughout the country. Before this era, trains had been relied on to transport the bulk of the goods cross country or state to state. The Interstate Highway System was influential as it allows for merchandise to travel door to door with ease. Since then, truckload carriers have taken advantage of the interstate system, especially when performing a long distance move. Typically, they bring the merchandise from one distribution center of the country to another part of the country. The increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the time it takes to transport the goods. Whether the freight was manufactured or produced for the different areas internationally, the time it takes to transport goods has decreased dramatically.  

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the USDOT specializing in highway transportation. The agency's major influential activities are generally separated into two different "programs". The first is the Federal-aid Highway Program. This provides financial aid to support the construction, maintenance, and operation of the U.S. highway network. The second program, the Federal Lands Highway Program, shares a similar name with different intentions. The purpose of this program is to improve transportation involving Federal and Tribal lands. They also focus on preserving "national treasures" for the historic and beatific enjoyment for all.

Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40 million United States citizens have moved annually over the last decade. Of those people who have moved in the United States, 84.5% of them have moved within their own state, 12.5% have moved to another state, and 2.3% have moved to another country.

Invented in 1890, the diesel engine was not an invention that became well known in popular culture. It was not until the 1930's for the United States to express further interest for diesel engines to be accepted. Gasoline engines were still in use on heavy trucks in the 1970's, while in Europe they had been entirely replaced two decades earlier.

During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

The interstate moving industry in the United States maintains regulation by the FMCSA, which is part of the USDOT. With only a small staff (fewer than 20 people) available to patrol hundreds of moving companies, enforcement is difficult. As a result of such a small staff, there are in many cases, no regulations that qualify moving companies as 'reliable'. Without this guarantee, it is difficult to a consumer to make a choice. Although, moving companies can provide and often display a DOT license.

AMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority. Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check, be licensed by the FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers. Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions. This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one can imagine, those that pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

A business route (occasionally city route) in the United States and Canada is a short special route connected to a parent numbered highway at its beginning, then routed through the central business district of a nearby city or town, and finally reconnecting with the same parent numbered highway again at its end.

Business routes always have the same number as the routes they parallel. For example, U.S. 1 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, U.S. Route 1, and Interstate 40 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, Interstate 40.

Signage of business routes varies, depending on the type of route they are derived from. Business routes paralleling U.S. and state highways usually have exactly the same shield shapes and nearly the same overall appearance as the routes they parallel, with a rectangular plate reading "BUSINESS" placed above the shield (either supplementing or replacing the directional plate, depending on the preference of the road agency). In order to better identify and differentiate alternate routes from the routes they parallel, some states such as Maryland are beginning to use green shields for business routes off U.S. highways. In addition, Maryland uses a green shield for business routes off state highways with the word "BUSINESS" in place of "MARYLAND" is used for a state route.

As the American Interstate Highway System began to expand in the 1950's, the trucking industry began to take over a large market share. That is, a large share of the transportation of goods throughout the country. Before this era, trains had been relied on to transport the bulk of the goods cross country or state to state. The Interstate Highway System was influential as it allows for merchandise to travel door to door with ease. Since then, truckload carriers have taken advantage of the interstate system, especially when performing a long distance move. Typically, they bring the merchandise from one distribution center of the country to another part of the country. The increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the time it takes to transport the goods. Whether the freight was manufactured or produced for the different areas internationally, the time it takes to transport goods has decreased dramatically.  

The FMCSA has established rules to maintain and regulate the safety of the trucking industry. According to FMCSA rules, driving a goods-carrying CMV more than 11 hours or to drive after having been on duty for 14 hours, is illegal. Due to such heavy driving, they need a break to complete other tasks such as loading and unloading cargo, stopping for gas and other required vehicle inspections, as well as non-working duties such as meal and rest breaks. The 3-hour difference between the 11-hour driving limit and 14 hour on-duty limit gives drivers time to take care of such duties. In addition, after completing an 11 to 14 hour on duty period, the driver much be allowed 10 hours off-duty.

In 1991 the film "Thelma & Louise" premiered, rapidly becoming a well known movie. Throughout the movie, a dirty and abrasive truck driver harasses the two women during chance encounters. Author Michael Dunne describes this minor character as "fat and ignorant" and "a lustful fool blinded by a delusion of male superiority". Thelma and Louise exact their revenge by feigning interest in him and then blowing up his tanker truck full of gas.

The concept of a bypass is a simple one. It is a road or highway that purposely avoids or "bypasses" a built-up area, town, or village. Bypasses were created with the intent to let through traffic flow without having to get stuck in local traffic. In general they are supposed to reduce congestion in a built-up area. By doing so, road safety will greatly improve.   A bypass designated for trucks traveling a long distance, either commercial or otherwise, is called a truck route.

In 1984 the animated TV series The Transformers told the story of a group of extraterrestrial humanoid robots. However, it just so happens that they disguise themselves as automobiles. Their leader of the Autobots clan, Optimus Prime, is depicted as an awesome semi-truck.

The decade of the 70's in the United States was a memorable one, especially for the notion of truck driving. This seemed to dramatically increase popularity among trucker culture. Throughout this era, and even in today's society, truck drivers are romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws. These stereotypes were due to their use of Citizens Band (CB) radios to swap information with other drivers. Information regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. The general public took an interest in the truckers 'way of life' as well. Both drivers and the public took interest in plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and CB slang.

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 tests essentially led to the 1964 recommendation by AASHTO to Congress. The recommendation determined the gross weight limit for trucks to be determined by a 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.

Some trailers can be towed by an accessible pickup truck or van, which generally need no special permit beyond a regular license. Such examples would be enclosed toy trailers and motorcycle trailers. Specialized trailers like an open-air motorcycle trailer and bicycle trailers are accessible. Some trailers are much more accessible to small automobiles, as are some simple trailers pulled by a drawbar and riding on a single set of axles. Other trailers also have a variety, such as a utility trailer, travel trailers or campers, etc. to allow for varying sizes of tow vehicles.

The term 'trailer' is commonly used interchangeably with that of a travel trailer or mobile home. There are varieties of trailers and manufactures housing designed for human habitation. Such origins can be found historically with utility trailers built in a similar fashion to horse-drawn wagons. A trailer park is an area where mobile homes are designated for people to live in.   In the United States, trailers ranging in size from single-axle dollies to 6-axle, 13 ft 6 in (4,115 mm) high, 53 ft (16,154 mm) in long semi-trailers is common. Although, when towed as part of a tractor-trailer or "18-wheeler", carries a large percentage of the freight. Specifically, the freight that travels over land in North America.

Driver's licensing has coincided throughout the European Union in order to for the complex rules to all member states. Driving a vehicle weighing more than 7.5 tons (16,535 lb) for commercial purposes requires a certain license. This specialist licence type varies depending on the use of the vehicle and number of seat. Licences first acquired after 1997, the weight was reduced to 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb), not including trailers.

In the United States and Canada, the cost for long-distance moves is generally determined by a few factors. The first is the weight of the items to be moved and the distance it will go. Cost is also based on how quickly the items are to be moved, as well as the time of the year or month which the move occurs. In the United Kingdom and Australia, it's quite different. They base price on the volume of the items as opposed to their weight. Keep in mind some movers may offer flat rate pricing.