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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.
As of January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established as its own separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. This came about under the "Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999". The FMCSA is based in Washington, D.C., employing more than 1,000 people throughout all 50 States, including in the District of Columbia. Their staff dedicates themselves to the improvement of safety among commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and to saving lives.
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.
Words have always had a different meaning or have been used interchangeably with others across all cultures. In the United States, Canada, and the Philippines the word "truck" is mostly reserved for larger vehicles. Although in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the word "truck" is generally reserved for large vehicles. In Australia and New Zealand, a pickup truck is usually called a ute, short for "utility". While over in South Africa it is called a bakkie (Afrikaans: "small open container"). The United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and Hong Kong use the "lorry" instead of truck, but only for medium and heavy types.
In today's society, there are rules and regulations everywhere you go, the same goes for commercial vehicles. The federal government has strict regulations that must be met, such as how many hours a driver may be on the clock. For example, 11 hours driving /14 hours on-duty followed by 10 hours off, with a max of 70 hours/8 days or 60 hours/7 days. They can also set rules deciding how much rest and sleep time is required, however, these are only a couple of regulations set. Any violations are often subject to harsh penalties. In some cases, there are instruments to track each driver's hours, which are becoming more necessary.