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).
A semi-trailer is almost exactly what it sounds like, it is a trailer without a front axle.Proportionally, its weightis supported bytwo factors. The weight falls upon a road tractor or by a detachable front axle assembly, known as a dolly. Generally, a semi-traileris equippedwith legs, known in the industry as "landing gear". This means it canbe loweredto support it when itis uncoupled. In the United States, a trailer may not exceed a length of 57 ft (17.37 m) on interstate highways.However, it is possible to link two smaller trailers together to reach a length of 63 ft (19.20 m).
As of January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)was establishedas its own separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. This came about under the "Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999".The FMCSAis basedin 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.
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 muchbe allowed10 hours off-duty.
With the onset of trucking culture, truck drivers often became portrayed as protagonists in popular media.Author Shane Hamilton, who wrote "Trucking Country: The Road to America's Wal-Mart Economy", focuses on truck driving.He explores the history of trucking and while connecting it development in the trucking industry.It is important to note, as Hamilton discusses the trucking industry and how it helps the so-called big-box stores dominate the U.S. marketplace. Hamiltoncertainlytakes an interesting perspectivehistoricallyspeaking.
By the time 2006 came, there were over 26 million trucks on the United States roads, each hauling over 10 billion short tons of freight (9.1 billion long tons). This was representing almost 70% of the total volume of freight.When, as a driver or an automobile drivers, most automobile drivers arelargelyunfamiliar with large trucks.As as a result of these unaware truck drivers and their massive 18-wheeler'snumerousblind spots.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that 70% of fatal automobile/tractor trailer accident happen for a reason. That being the result of "unsafe actions of automobile drivers". People, as well as drivers, need to realize the dangers of such large trucks and pay more attention. Likewise for truck drivers as well.