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The public idea of the trucking industry in the United States popular culture has gone through many transformations. However, images of the masculine side of trucking are a common theme throughout time. The 1940's first made truckers popular, with their songs and movies about truck drivers. Then in the 1950's they were depicted as heroes of the road, living a life of freedom on the open road. Trucking culture peaked in the 1970's as they were glorified as modern days cowboys, outlaws, and rebels. Since then the portrayal has come with a more negative connotation as we see in the 1990's. Unfortunately, the depiction of truck drivers went from such a positive depiction to that of troubled serial killers.
“The association of truckers with cowboys and related myths was perhaps most obvious during the urban-cowboy craze of the late 1970s, a period that saw middle-class urbanites wearing cowboy clothing and patronizing simulated cowboy nightclubs. During this time, at least four truck driver movies appeared, CB radio became popular, and truck drivers were prominently featured in all forms of popular media.” — Lawrence J. Ouellet
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'.
Full truckload carriers normally deliver a semi-trailer to a shipper who will fill the trailer with freight for one destination. Once the trailer is filled, the driver returns to the shipper to collect the required paperwork. Upon receiving the paperwork the driver will then leave with the trailer containing freight. Next, the driver will proceed to the consignee and deliver the freight him or herself. At times, a driver will transfer the trailer to another driver who will drive the freight the rest of the way. Full Truckload service (FTL) transit times are generally restricted by the driver's availability. This is according to Hours of Service regulations and distance. It is typically accepted that Full Truckload carriers will transport freight at an average rate of 47 miles per hour. This includes traffic jams, queues at intersections, other factors that influence transit time.
The word cargo is in reference to particular goods that are generally used for commercial gain. Cargo transportation is generally meant to mean by ship, boat, or plane. However, the term now applies to all types of freight, now including goods carried by train, van, or truck. This term is now used in the case of goods in the cold-chain, as perishable inventory is always cargo in transport towards its final home. Even when it is held in climate-controlled facilities, it is important to remember perishable goods or inventory have a short life.
In 1991 the film "Thelma & Louise" premiered, rapidly becoming a well known movie. Throughout the movie, a dirty and abrasive truck driver harasses the two women during chance encounters. Author Michael Dunne describes this minor character as "fat and ignorant" and "a lustful fool blinded by a delusion of male superiority". Thelma and Louise exact their revenge by feigning interest in him and then blowing up his tanker truck full of gas.
Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.
Driver's licensing has coincided throughout the European Union in order to for the complex rules to all member states. Driving a vehicle weighing more than 7.5 tons (16,535 lb) for commercial purposes requires a certain license. This specialist licence type varies depending on the use of the vehicle and number of seat. Licences first acquired after 1997, the weight was reduced to 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb), not including trailers.