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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.
Trucks and cars have much in commonmechanicallyas well asancestrally.One link between them is the steam-powered fardier Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built it in 1769. Unfortunately for him, steam trucks were notreallycommon until the mid 1800's. While looking at thispractically, it would be much harder to have a steam truck. This ismostlydue to the fact that the roads of the timewere builtfor horse and carriages. Steam truckswere leftto 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 truckswere soldin France and in the United States,apparentlyuntil the eve of World War I. Also, at the beginning of World War II in the United Kingdom, theywere knownas 'steam wagons'.
Trailer stability can be defined as the tendency of a trailer to dissipate side-to-side motion. The initial motion may be caused by aerodynamic forces, such as from a cross wind or a passing vehicle. One common criterion for stability is the center of mass location with respect to the wheels, which can usually be detected by tongue weight. If the center of mass of the trailer is behind its wheels, therefore having a negative tongue weight, the trailer will likely be unstable. Another parameter which is less commonly a factor is the trailer moment of inertia. Even if the center of mass is forward of the wheels, a trailer with a long load, and thus large moment of inertia, may be unstable.
In 1986 Stephen King released horror film "MaximumOverdrive", a campy kind of story.It isreallyabout trucks that become animated due to radiation emanating from a passing comet.Oddlyenough, the trucks force humans to pump their diesel fuel. Their leaderis portrayedas resembling Spider-Man's antagonist Green Goblin.
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.
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.