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In the United States, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum requirements that must be met when a state issues a commercial driver's license CDL. It specifies the following types of license: - Class A CDL drivers. Drive vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater, or any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater when towing a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning placards under Department of Public Safety regulations. - Class A Driver License permits. Is a step in preparation for Class A drivers to become a Commercial Driver. - Class B CDL driver. Class B is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including driver) or more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.

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 truck was built by a 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 States was built by Autocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.

As we've learned the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was crucial in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Described as an interconnected network of the controlled-access freeway. It also allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas alike. This act was also the first to allow the first federal largest gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg). The very same year, Malcolm McLean pioneered modern containerized intermodal shipping. This allowed for the more efficient transfer of cargo between truck, train, and ships.

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.

A trailer is not very difficult to categorize. In general, it is an unpowered vehicle towed by a powered vehicle. Trailers are most commonly used for the transport of goods and materials. Although some do enjoy recreational usage of trailers as well. 

In 1999, The Simpsons episode Maximum Homerdrive aired. It featured Homer and Bart making a delivery for a truck driver named Red after he unexpectedly dies of 'food poisoning'.

In the 20th century, the 1940 film "They Drive by Night" co-starred Humphrey Bogart. He plays an independent driver struggling to become financially stable and economically independent. This is all set during the times of the Great Depression. Yet another film was released in 1941, called "The Gang's All Here". It is a story of a trucking company that's been targeted by saboteurs.

Many modern trucks are powered by diesel engines, although small to medium size trucks with gas engines exist in the United States. The European Union rules that vehicles with a gross combination of mass up to 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) are also known as light commercial vehicles. Any vehicles exceeding that weight are known as large goods vehicles.

In 1978 Sylvester Stallone starred in the film "F.I.S.T.". The story is loosely based on the 'Teamsters Union'. This union is a labor union which includes truck drivers as well as its then president, Jimmy Hoffa.

“Writer-director James Mottern said he was influenced by nuanced, beloved movies of the 1970s such as "The Last Detail" and "Five Easy Pieces." Mottern said his female trucker character began with a woman he saw at a Southern California truck stop — a "beautiful woman, bleach blonde ... skin tanned to leather walked like a Teamster, blue eyes.” - Paul Brownfield

In the United States, commercial truck classification is fixed by each vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). There are 8 commercial truck classes, ranging between 1 and 8. Trucks are also classified in a more broad way by the DOT's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA groups them together, determining classes 1-3 as light duty, 4-6 as medium duty, and 7-8 as heavy duty. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has its own separate system of emission classifications for commercial trucks. Similarly, the United States Census Bureau had assigned classifications of its own in its now-discontinued Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS, formerly known as the Truck Inventory and Use Survey).

Truckload shipping is the movement of large amounts of cargo. In general, they move amounts necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer or inter-modal container. A truckload carrier is a trucking company that generally contracts an entire trailer-load to a single customer. This is quite the opposite of a Less than Truckload (LTL) freight services. Less than Truckload shipping services generally mix freight from several customers in each trailer. An advantage Full Truckload shipping carriers have over Less than Truckload carrier services is that the freight isn't handled during the trip. Yet, in an LTL shipment, goods will generally be transported on several different trailers.

The basics of all trucks are not difficult, as they share common construction. They are generally made of chassis, a cab, an area for placing cargo or equipment, axles, suspension, road wheels, and engine and a drive train. Pneumatic, hydraulic, water, and electrical systems may also be present. Many also tow one or more trailers or semi-trailers, which also vary in multiple ways but are similar as well.

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 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.

The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation. 

The 1980s were full of happening things, but in 1982 a Southern California truck driver gained short-lived fame. His name was Larry Walters, also known as "Lawn Chair Larry", for pulling a crazy stunt. He ascended to a height of 16,000 feet (4,900 m) by attaching helium balloons to a lawn chair, hence the name. Walters claims he only intended to remain floating near the ground and was shocked when his chair shot up at a rate of 1,000 feet (300 m) per minute. The inspiration for such a stunt Walters claims his poor eyesight for ruining his dreams to become an Air Force pilot.

Ultra light trucks are very easy to spot or acknowledge if you are paying attention. They are often produced variously such as golf cars, for instance, it has internal combustion or a battery electric drive. They usually for off-highway use on estates, golf courses, parks, in stores, or even someone in an electric wheelchair. While clearly not suitable for highway usage, some variations may be licensed as slow speed vehicles. The catch is that they may on operate on streets, usually a body variation of a neighborhood electric vehicle. A few manufacturers produce specialized chassis for this type of vehicle. Meanwhile, Zap Motors markets a version of the xebra electric tricycle. Which, believe it or not, is able to attain a general license in the United States as a motorcycle.

The industry intends to both consumers as well as moving companies, this is why there are Ministers of Transportation in the industry. They are there to set and maintain laws and regulations in place to create a safer environment. It offers its members professional service training and states the time that movers have been in existence. It also provides them with federal government representation and statistical industry reporting. Additionally, there are arbitration services for lost or damaged claims, publications, public relations, and annual tariff updates and awards. This site includes articles as well that give some direction, a quarterly data summary, and industry trends.