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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 truckwas built bya 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 Stateswas built byAutocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.
Receiving nation attention during the 1960's and 70's, songs and movies about truck driving were major hits. Finding solidarity, truck drivers participated in widespread strikes. Truck drivers from all over opposed the rising cost of fuel. Not to mention this is during the energy crises of 1873 and 1979. In 1980 the Motor Carrier Actdrasticallyderegulated the trucking industry. Since then trucking has come to dominate the freight industry in the latter part of the 20th century. This coincided with what are now known as 'big-box' stores such as Target or Wal-Mart.
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 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 testsessentiallyled to the 1964 recommendation by AASHTO to Congress.The recommendation determined the gross weight limit for trucks tobe determined bya 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.
With the ending of World War I, several developmentswere madeto enhance trucks.Such an example would be by putting pneumatic tires replaced thepreviouslycommon full rubber versions.These advancements continued, including electric starters, power brakes, 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines. Closed cabs and electric lighting followed. The modern semi-trailer truck also debuted.Additionally, touring car builders such as Ford and Renault entered the heavy truck market.