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Prior to the 20th century, freight was generally transported overland via trains and railroads. During this time, trains were essential, and they were highly efficient 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, they were used more 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.
A trailer is not very difficult to categorize. In general, it is an unpowered vehicle towed by a powered vehicle. Trailers are most commonly used for the transport of goods and materials. Although some do enjoy recreational usage of trailers as well.
In 1976, the number one hit on the Billboard chart was "Convoy," a novelty song by C.W. McCall about a convoy of truck drivers evading speed traps and toll booths across America. The song inspired the 1978 action film Convoy directed by Sam Peckinpah. After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike and participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis (although similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis).
In the United States, shipments larger than about 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) are classified as truckload freight (TL). It is more efficient and affordable for a large shipment to have exclusive use of one larger trailer. This is opposed to having to share space on a smaller Less than Truckload freight carrier.
As most people have experienced, moving does involve having the appropriate materials. Some materials you might find at home or may be more resourceful to save money while others may choose to pay for everything. Either way materials such as boxes, paper, tape, and bubble wrap with which to pack box-able and/or protect fragile household goods. It is also used to consolidate the carrying and stacking on moving day. Self-service moving companies offer another viable option. It involves the person moving buying a space on one or more trailers or shipping containers. These containers are then professionally driven to the new location.
All cars must pass some sort of emission check, such as a smog check to ensure safety. Similarly, trucks are subject to noise emission requirement, which is emanating from the U.S. Noise Control Act. This was intended to protect the public from noise health side effects. The loud noise is due to the way trucks contribute disproportionately to roadway noise. This is primarily due to the elevated stacks and intense tire and aerodynamic noise characteristics.
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).
A moving scam is a scam by a moving company in which the company provides an estimate, loads the goods, then states a much higher price to deliver the goods, effectively holding the goods as lien but does this without do a change of order or revised estimate.
A business route (occasionally city route) in the United States and Canada is a short special route connected to a parent numbered highway at its beginning, then routed through the central business district of a nearby city or town, and finally reconnecting with the same parent numbered highway again at its end.
In the United States, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum requirements that must be met when a state issues a commercial driver's license CDL. It specifies the following types of license:
- Class A CDL drivers. Drive vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater, or any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater when towing a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning placards under Department of Public Safety regulations.
- Class A Driver License permits. Is a step in preparation for Class A drivers to become a Commercial Driver.
- Class B CDL driver. Class B is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including driver) or more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.
This includes, but is not limited to, tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.
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.
In the moving industry, transportation logistics management is incredibly important. Essentially, it is the management that implements and controls efficiency, the flow of storage of goods, as well as services. This includes related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet customer's specifications. Logistics is quite complex but can be modeled, analyzed, visualized, and optimized by simulation software. Generally, the goal of transportation logistics management is to reduce or cut the use of such resources. A professional working in the field of moving logistics management is called a logistician.
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 in multiple ways but are similar as well.
The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation.
A circumferential route refers to a public transportation system that follows the route in the shape of a circle. Over time a nickname developed in the European Union, calling transportation networks such as these a "ring road". This is no surprise as Europe has several famous "ring roads" such as the Berliner Ring, the Brussels Ring, the Amsterdam Ring, the Boulevard Périphérique around Paris and the Leeds Inner and Outer ring roads. Other countries adopted the term as well which in turn made the name go international. Australia's Melbourne's Western Ring Road and India's Hyderabad's Outer Ring Road both adopted the name. However in Canada, the term is most commonly used, with "orbital" used to a much lesser extent.
On the contrary, the United States calls many "ring roads" as belt-lines, beltways, or loops instead. For example, the Capital Beltway around Washington, D.C. Some ring roads use terminology such as "Inner Loop" and "Outer Loop". This is, of course, for the sake of directional sense, since compass directions cannot be determined around the entire loop.
Although there are exceptions, city routes are interestingly most often found in the Midwestern area of the United States. Though they essentially serve the same purpose as business routes, they are different. They feature "CITY" signs as opposed to "BUSINESS" signs above or below route shields. Many of these city routes are becoming irrelevant for today's transportation. Due to this, they are being eliminated in favor of the business route designation.
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!"
With the onset of trucking culture, truck drivers often became portrayed as protagonists in popular media. Author Shane Hamilton, who wrote "Trucking Country: The Road to America's Wal-Mart Economy", focuses on truck driving. He explores the history of trucking and while connecting it development in the trucking industry. It is important to note, as Hamilton discusses the trucking industry and how it helps the so-called big-box stores dominate the U.S. marketplace. Hamilton certainly takes an interesting perspective historically speaking.
Ultra light trucks are very easy to spot or acknowledge if you are paying attention. They are often produced variously such as golf cars, for instance, it has internal combustion or a battery electric drive. They usually for off-highway use on estates, golf courses, parks, in stores, or even someone in an electric wheelchair. While clearly not suitable for highway usage, some variations may be licensed as slow speed vehicles. The catch is that they may on operate on streets, usually a body variation of a neighborhood electric vehicle. A few manufacturers produce specialized chassis for this type of vehicle. Meanwhile, Zap Motors markets a version of the xebra electric tricycle. Which, believe it or not, is able to attain a general license in the United States as a motorcycle.