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.
“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
The moving industry in the United States was deregulated with the Household Goods Transportation Act of 1980. This act allowed interstate movers to issue binding or fixed estimates for the first time. Doing so opened the door to hundreds of new moving companies to enter the industry. This led to an increase in competition and soon movers were no longer competing on services but on price. As competition drove prices lower and decreased what were already slim profit margins, "rogue" movers began hijacking personal property as part of a new scam. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces Federal consumer protection regulations related to the interstate shipment of household goods (i.e., household moves that cross State lines). FMCSA has held this responsibility since 1999, and the Department of Transportation has held this responsibility since 1995 (the Interstate Commerce Commission held this authority prior to its termination in 1995).
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 whichare usedin highway design and construction throughout the United States. Despite its name, the association represents more thansolelyhighways. Alongside highways, they focus on air, rail, water, and public transportation as well.
The basics of all trucks are not difficult, as they share common construction.They are generally made of chassis, a cab, an area for placing cargo or equipment, axles, suspension, road wheels, and engine and a drive train. Pneumatic, hydraulic, water, and electrical systems may also be present. Many also tow one or more trailers or semi-trailers, which also vary inmultipleways but are similar as well.
In 1933, as a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the National Recovery Administration requested that each industry creates a “code of fair competition”. The American Highway Freight Association and the Federated Trucking Associations of America met in the spring of 1933 to speak for the trucking association and begin discussing a code. By summer of 1933 the code of competition was completed and ready for approval. The two organizations had also merged to form the American Trucking Associations. The code was approved on February 10, 1934. On May 21, 1934, the first president of the ATA, Ted Rogers, became the first truck operator to sign the code. A special "Blue Eagle" license plate was created for truck operators to indicate compliance with the code.