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Prior tothe 20th century, freight was generally transported overland via trains and railroads.During this time, trains were essential, and they werehighlyefficient at moving large amounts of freight.But, they could only deliver that freight to urban centers for distribution by horse-drawn transport.Though there were several trucks throughout this time, theywere usedmore as space for advertising that for actual utility.At this time, the use of range for trucks was quite challenging.The use of electric engines, lack of paved rural roads, and small load capacities limited trucks to most short-haul urban routes.
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'.
The Federal Bridge Law handles relations between the gross weight of the truck, the number of axles, and the spacing between them. This is how they determine is the truck can be on the Interstate Highway system. Each state gets to decide themaximum, under the Federal Bridge Law. They determine by vehicle in combination with axle weight on state and local roads