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In 1938, the now-eliminated Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) enforced the first Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Drivers became limited to 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period. At this time, work included loading, unloading, driving, handling freight, preparing reports, preparing vehicles for service, or performing any other duty in relation to the transportation of passengers or property.   The ICC intended for the 3-hour difference between 12 hours of work and 15 hours on-duty to be used for meals and rest breaks. This meant that the weekly max was limited to 60 hours over 7 days (non-daily drivers), or 70 hours over 8 days (daily drivers). With these rules in place, it allowed 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period, 9 hours of rest, with 3 hours for breaks within a 24-hour day.

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.

In 2009, the book 'Trucking Country: The Road to America's Walmart Economy' debuted, written by author Shane Hamilton. This novel explores the interesting history of trucking and connects certain developments. Particularly how such development in the trucking industry have helped the so-called big-box stored. Examples of these would include Walmart or Target, they dominate the retail sector of the U.S. economy. Yet, Hamilton connects historical and present-day evidence that connects such correlations.

With the partial deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 by the Motor Carrier Act, trucking companies increased. The workforce was drastically de-unionized. As a result, drivers received a lower pay overall. Losing its spotlight in the popular culture, trucking had become less intimate as some unspoken competition broke out. However, the deregulation only increased the competition and productivity with the trucking industry as a whole. This was beneficial to the America consumer by reducing costs. In 1982 the Surface Transportation Assistance Act established a federal minimum truck weight limits. Thus, trucks were finally standardized truck size and weight limits across the country. This was also put in to place so that across country traffic on the Interstate Highways resolved the issue of the 'barrier states'.

Trucks and cars have much in common mechanically as well as ancestrally. One link between them is the steam-powered fardier Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built it in 1769. Unfortunately for him, steam trucks were not really common until the mid 1800's. While looking at this practically, it would be much harder to have a steam truck. This is mostly due to the fact that the roads of the time were built for horse and carriages. Steam trucks were left to very short hauls, usually from a factory to the nearest railway station. In 1881, the first semi-trailer appeared, and it was in fact towed by a steam tractor manufactured by De Dion-Bouton. Steam-powered trucks were sold in France and in the United States, apparently until the eve of World War I. Also, at the beginning of World War II in the United Kingdom, they were known as 'steam wagons'.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is an influential association as an advocate for transportation. Setting important standards, they are responsible for publishing specifications, test protocols, and guidelines. All which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States. Despite its name, the association represents more than solely highways. Alongside highways, they focus on air, rail, water, and public transportation as well.

In 1938, the now-eliminated Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) enforced the first Hours of Service (HOS) rules. Drivers became limited to 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period. At this time, work included loading, unloading, driving, handling freight, preparing reports, preparing vehicles for service, or performing any other duty in relation to the transportation of passengers or property.   The ICC intended for the 3-hour difference between 12 hours of work and 15 hours on-duty to be used for meals and rest breaks. This meant that the weekly max was limited to 60 hours over 7 days (non-daily drivers), or 70 hours over 8 days (daily drivers). With these rules in place, it allowed 12 hours of work within a 15-hour period, 9 hours of rest, with 3 hours for breaks within a 24-hour day.

The Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula is a mathematical formula used in the United States to determine the appropriate gross weight for a long distance moving vehicle, based on the axle number and spacing. Enforced by the Department of Transportation upon long-haul truck drivers, it is used as a means of preventing heavy vehicles from damaging roads and bridges. This is especially in particular to the total weight of a loaded truck, whether being used for commercial moving services or for long distance moving services in general.   According to the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula, the total weight of a loaded truck (tractor and trailer, 5-axle rig) cannot exceed 80,000 lbs in the United States. Under ordinary circumstances, long-haul equipment trucks will weight about 15,000 kg (33,069 lbs). This leaves about 20,000 kg (44,092 lbs) of freight capacity. Likewise, a load is limited to the space available in the trailer, normally with dimensions of 48 ft (14.63 m) or 53 ft (16.15 m) long, 2.6 m (102.4 in) wide, 2.7 m (8 ft 10.3 in) high and 13 ft 6 in or 4.11 m high.

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.

There are many different types of trailers that are designed to haul livestock, such as cattle or horses. Most commonly used are the stock trailer, which is enclosed on the bottom but has openings at approximately. This opening is at the eye level of the animals in order to allow ventilation. A horse trailer is a much more elaborate form of stock trailer. Generally horses are hauled with the purpose of attending or participating in competition. Due to this, they must be in peak physical condition, so horse trailers are designed for the comfort and safety of the animals. They're typically well-ventilated with windows and vents along with specifically designed suspension. Additionally, horse trailers have internal partitions that assist animals staying upright during travel. It's also to protect other horses from injuring each other in transit. There are also larger horse trailers that may incorporate more specialized areas for horse tack. They may even include elaborate quarters with sleeping areas, bathroom, cooking facilities etc.

Business routes generally follow the original routing of the numbered route through a city or town. Beginning in the 1930s and lasting thru the 1970s was an era marking a peak in large-scale highway construction in the United States. U.S. Highways and Interstates were typically built in particular phases. Their first phase of development began with the numbered route carrying traffic through the center of a city or town. The second phase involved the construction of bypasses around the central business districts of the towns they began. As bypass construction continued, original parts of routes that had once passed straight thru a city would often become a "business 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 year of 1977 marked the release of the infamous Smokey and the Bandit. It went on to be the third highest grossing film that year, following tough competitors like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Burt Reynolds plays the protagonist, or "The Bandit", who escorts "The Snowman" in order to deliver bootleg beer. Reynolds once stated he envisioned trucking as a "hedonistic joyride entirely devoid from economic reality"   Another action film in 1977 also focused on truck drivers, as was the trend it seems. Breaker! Breaker! starring infamous Chuck Norris also focused on truck drivers. They were also displaying movie posters with the catch phrase "... he's got a CB radio and a hundred friends who just might get mad!"

The rise of technological development gave rise to the modern trucking industry. There a few factors supporting this spike in the industry such as the advent of the gas-powered internal combustion engine. Improvement in transmissions is yet another source, just like the move away from chain drives to gear drives. And of course the development of the tractor/semi-trailer combination.   The first state weight limits for trucks were determined and put in place in 1913. Only four states limited truck weights, from a low of 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) in Maine to a high of 28,000 pounds (13,000 kg) in Massachusetts. The intention of these laws was to protect the earth and gravel-surfaced roads. In this case, particular damages due to the iron and solid rubber wheels of early trucks. By 1914 there were almost 100,000 trucks on America's roads. As a result of solid tires, poor rural roads, and a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (24km/h) continued to limit the use of these trucks to mostly urban areas.

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 are largely unfamiliar with large trucks. As as a result of these unaware truck drivers and their massive 18-wheeler's numerous blind 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.

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.

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.

With the ending of World War I, several developments were made to enhance trucks. Such an example would be by putting pneumatic tires replaced the previously common full rubber versions. These advancements continued, including electric starters, power brakes, 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines. Closed cabs and electric lighting followed. The modern semi-trailer truck also debuted. Additionally, touring car builders such as Ford and Renault entered the heavy truck market.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the most common government agency that is devoted to transportation in the United States. The DOT is the largest United States agency with the sole purpose of overseeing interstate travel and issue's USDOT Number filing to new carriers. The U.S., Canadian provinces, and many other local agencies have a similar organization in place. This way they can provide enforcement through DOT officers within their respective jurisdictions.