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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 relatable reality t.v. show to the industry is the show Ice Road Truckers, which premiered season 3 on the History Channel in 2009. The show documents the lives of truck drivers working the scary Dalton Highway in Alaska. Following drivers as they compete to see which one of them can haul the most loads before the end of the season.It'll grab you with its mechanical problems that so many have experienced and as you watch them avoid the pitfalls of dangerous and icy roads!
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 andwas shockedwhen 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.