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The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.   After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Alongside the many different trailers provided are motorcycle trailers. They are designed to haul motorcycles behind an automobile or truck. Depending on size and capability, some trailer may be able to carry several motorcycles or perhaps just one. They specifically designed this trailer to meet the needs of motorcyclists. They carry motorcycles, have ramps, and include tie-downs. There may be a utility trailer adapted permanently or occasionally to haul one or more motorcycles.

The intention of a trailer coupler is to secure the trailer to the towing vehicle. It is an important piece, as the trailer couple attaches to the trailer ball. This then forms a ball and socket connection. It allows for relative movement between the towing vehicle and trailer while towing over uneven road surfaces. The trailer ball should be mounted to the rear bumper or to a drawbar, which may be removable. The drawbar secures to the trailer hitch by inserting it into the hitch receiver and pinning it.   The three most common types of couplers used are straight couplers, A-frame couplers, and adjustable couplers. Another option is bumper-pull hitches in which case draw bars can exert a large amount of leverage on the tow vehicle. This makes it harder to recover from a swerving situation (thus it may not be the safest choice depending on your trip).

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'.

“Country music scholar Bill Malone has gone so far as to say that trucking songs account for the largest component of work songs in the country music catalog. For a style of music that has, since its commercial inception in the 1920s, drawn attention to the coal man, the steel drivin’ man, the railroad worker, and the cowboy, this certainly speaks volumes about the cultural attraction of the trucker in the American popular consciousness.” — Shane Hamilton

"Six Day on the Road" was a trucker hit released in 1963 by country music singer Dave Dudley. Bill Malone is an author as well as a music historian. He notes the song "effectively captured both the boredom and the excitement, as well as the swaggering masculinity that often accompanied long distance trucking."

Trucks of the era mostly used two-cylinder engines and had a carrying capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms (3,300 to 4,400 lb). In 1904, 700 heavy trucks were built in the United States, 1000 in 1907, 6000 in 1910, and 25000 in 1914. A Benz truck modified by Netphener company (1895)

Invented in 1890, the diesel engine was not an invention that became well known in popular culture. It was not until the 1930's for the United States to express further interest for diesel engines to be accepted. Gasoline engines were still in use on heavy trucks in the 1970's, while in Europe they had been entirely replaced two decades earlier.

The number one hit on the Billboard chart in 1976 was quite controversial for the trucking industry. "Convoy," is a song about a group of reckless truck drivers bent on evading laws such as toll booths and speed traps. The song went on to inspire the film "Convoy", featuring defiant Kris Kristofferson screaming "piss on your law!" After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike. The participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis. However, similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis.

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.

DOT officers of each state are generally in charge of the enforcement of the Hours of Service (HOS). These are sometimes checked when CMVs pass through weigh stations. Drivers found to be in violation of the HOS can be forced to stop driving for a certain period of time. This, in turn, may negatively affect the motor carrier's safety rating. Requests to change the HOS are a source of debate. Unfortunately, many surveys indicate drivers routinely get away with violating the HOS. Such facts have started yet another debate on whether motor carriers should be required to us EOBRs in their vehicles. Relying on paper-based log books does not always seem to enforce the HOS law put in place for the safety of everyone.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

The feature film "Joy Ride" premiered in 2001, portraying the story of two college-age brothers who by a CB radio while taking a road trip. Although the plot seems lighthearted, it takes a quick turn after one of the brothers attempts a prank on an unknown truck driver. They soon find out the dangerous intentions of this killer driver, who is set on getting his revenge. Seven years later in 2008 the sequel "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead" came out on DVD only. Similar to its predecessor, the plot involves another murdering truck driver, a.k.a "Rusty Nail". He essentially plays psychological mind games with a young couple on a road trip.

The 1950's were quite different than the years to come. They were more likely to be considered "Knights of the Road", if you will, for helping stranded travelers. In these times truck drivers were envied and were viewed as an opposition to the book "The Organization Man". Bestseller in 1956, author William H. Whyte's novel describes "the man in the gray flannel suit", who sat in an office every day. He's describing a typical office style job that is very structured with managers watching over everyone. Truck drivers represented the opposite of all these concepts. Popular trucking songs glorified the life of drivers as independent "wanderers". Yet, there were attempts to bring back the factory style efficiency, such as using tachnographs. Although most attempts resulted in little success. Drivers routinely sabotaged and discovered new ways to falsify the machine's records.

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 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 most basic purpose of a trailer jack is to lift the trailer to a height that allows the trailer to hitch or unhitch to and from the towing vehicle. Trailer jacks may also be used for the leveling of the trailer during storage. To list a few common types of trailer jacks are A-frame jacks, swivel jacks, and drop-leg jacks. Other trailers, such as horse trailers, have a built-in jack at the tongue for this purpose.

In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history by using the internal combustion engine. Later that year some of Benz's trucks gave into modernization and went on to become the first bus by the Netphener. This would be the first motor bus company in history. Hardly a year later, in 1986, another internal combustion engine truck was built by a man named Gottlieb Daimler. As people began to catch on, other companies, such as Peugeot, Renault, and Bussing, also built their own versions. In 1899, the first truck in the United States was built by Autocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.

The Motor Carrier Act, passed by Congress in 1935, replace the code of competition. The authorization the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) place was to regulate the trucking industry. Since then the ICC has been long abolished, however, it did quite a lot during its time. Based on the recommendations given by the ICC, Congress enacted the first hours of services regulation in 1938. This limited driving hours of truck and bus drivers. In 1941, the ICC reported that inconsistent weight limitation imposed by the states cause problems to effective interstate truck commerce.

In 1999, The Simpsons episode Maximum Homerdrive aired. It featured Homer and Bart making a delivery for a truck driver named Red after he unexpectedly dies of 'food poisoning'.

The number one hit on the Billboard chart in 1976 was quite controversial for the trucking industry. "Convoy," is a song about a group of reckless truck drivers bent on evading laws such as toll booths and speed traps. The song went on to inspire the film "Convoy", featuring defiant Kris Kristofferson screaming "piss on your law!" After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike. The participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis. However, similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis.

The year 1611 marked an important time for trucks, as that is when the word originated. The usage of "truck" referred to the small strong wheels on ships' cannon carriages. Further extending its usage in 1771, it came to refer to carts for carrying heavy loads. In 1916 it became shortened, calling it a "motor truck". While since the 1930's its expanded application goes as far as to say "motor-powered load carrier".

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.

Popular among campers is the use of lightweight trailers, such as aerodynamic trailers. These can be towed by a small car, such as the BMW Air Camper. They are built with the intent to lower the tow of the vehicle, thus minimizing drag.

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.

The FMCSA is a well-known division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). It is generally responsible for the enforcement of FMCSA regulations. The driver of a CMV must keep a record of working hours via a log book. This record must reflect the total number of hours spent driving and resting, as well as the time at which the change of duty status occurred. In place of a log book, a motor carrier may choose to keep track of their hours using an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR). This automatically records the amount of time spent driving the vehicle.

A properly fitted close-coupled trailer is fitted with a rigid tow bar. It then projects from its front and hooks onto a hook on the tractor. It is important to not that it does not pivot as a draw bar does.

As the American Interstate Highway System began to expand in the 1950's, the trucking industry began to take over a large market share. That is, a large share of the transportation of goods throughout the country. Before this era, trains had been relied on to transport the bulk of the goods cross country or state to state. The Interstate Highway System was influential as it allows for merchandise to travel door to door with ease. Since then, truckload carriers have taken advantage of the interstate system, especially when performing a long distance move. Typically, they bring the merchandise from one distribution center of the country to another part of the country. The increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the time it takes to transport the goods. Whether the freight was manufactured or produced for the different areas internationally, the time it takes to transport goods has decreased dramatically.  

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 much be allowed 10 hours off-duty.

The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) was organized and founded on December 12, 1914. On November 13, 1973, the name was altered to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. This slight change in name reflects a broadened scope of attention towards all modes of transportation. Despite the implications of the name change, most of the activities it is involved in still gravitate towards highways.

The feature film "Joy Ride" premiered in 2001, portraying the story of two college-age brothers who by a CB radio while taking a road trip. Although the plot seems lighthearted, it takes a quick turn after one of the brothers attempts a prank on an unknown truck driver. They soon find out the dangerous intentions of this killer driver, who is set on getting his revenge. Seven years later in 2008 the sequel "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead" came out on DVD only. Similar to its predecessor, the plot involves another murdering truck driver, a.k.a "Rusty Nail". He essentially plays psychological mind games with a young couple on a road trip.

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 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 and was shocked when 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.

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.

Heavy trucks. A cement mixer is an example of Class 8 heavy trucks. Heavy trucks are the largest on-road trucks, Class 8. These include vocational applications such as heavy dump trucks, concrete pump trucks, and refuse hauling, as well as ubiquitous long-haul 6×4 and 4x2 tractor units. Road damage and wear increase very rapidly with the axle weight. The axle weight is the truck weight divided by the number of axles, but the actual axle weight depends on the position of the load over the axles. The number of steering axles and the suspension type also influence the amount of the road wear. In many countries with good roads, a six-axle truck may have a maximum weight over 50 tons (49 long tons; 55 short tons).

Commercial trucks in the U.S. pay higher road taxes on a State level than the road vehicles and are subject to extensive regulation. This begs the question of why these trucks are paying more. I'll tell you. Just to name a few reasons, commercial truck pay higher road use taxes. They are much bigger and heavier than most other vehicles, resulting in more wear and tear on the roadways. They are also on the road for extended periods of time, which also affects the interstate as well as roads and passing through towns. Yet, rules on use taxes differ among jurisdictions.