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Did You Know

Question

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.

Question

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).

Question The decade of the 70s saw the heyday of truck driving, and the dramatic rise in the popularity of "trucker culture". Truck drivers were romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws (and this stereotype persists even today). This was due in part to their use of citizens' band (CB) radio to relay information to each other regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. Plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and using CB slang were popular not just with drivers but among the general public.

Question According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40 million United States citizens have moved annually over the last decade. Of those people who have moved in the United States, 84.5% of them have moved within their own state, 12.5% have moved to another state, and 2.3% have moved to another country.

Question 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.

Question 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.

Question The American Trucking Associations initiated in 1985 with the intent to improve the industry's image. With public opinion declining the association tried numerous moves. One such move was changing the name of the "National Truck Rodeo" to the "National Driving Championship". This was due to the fact that the word rodeo seemed to imply recklessness and reckless driving.

Question Within the world of transportation, bypass routes are often very controversial. This is mostly due to the fact that they require the building of a road carrying heavy traffic where no road existed before. This has created conflict among society thus creating a divergence between those in support of bypasses and those who are opposed. Supporters believe they reduce congestion in built up areas. Those in opposition do not believe in developing (often rural) undeveloped land. In addition, the cities that are bypassed may also oppose such a project as reduced traffic may, in turn, reduce and damage business.

Question 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.

Question The United States Department of Transportation has become a fundamental necessity in the moving industry. It is the pinnacle of the industry, creating and enforcing regulations for the sake of safety for both businesses and consumers alike. However, it is notable to appreciate the history of such a powerful department. The functions currently performed by the DOT were once enforced by the Secretary of Commerce for Transportation. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA), had an excellent suggestion. He spoke to the current President Lyndon B. Johnson, advising that transportation be elevated to a cabinet level position. He continued, suggesting that the FAA be folded or merged, if you will, into the DOT. Clearly, the President took to Halaby's fresh ideas regarding transportation, thus putting the DOT into place.

Question 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 which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States. Despite its name, the association represents more than solely highways. Alongside highways, they focus on air, rail, water, and public transportation as well.

Question 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.

Question 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.

Question 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.

Question In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was established as an organization. However, in 1905 the name was changed to the Office Public Records (OPR). The organization then went on to become a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. As seen throughout history, organizations seem incapable of maintaining permanent names. So, the organization's name was changed three more times, first in 1915 to the Bureau of Public Roads and again in 1939 to the Public Roads Administration (PRA). Yet again, the name was later shifted to the Federal Works Agency, although it was abolished in 1949. Finally, in 1949, the name reverted to the Bureau of Public Roads, falling under the Department of Commerce. With so many name changes, it can be difficult to keep up to date with such organizations. This is why it is most important to research and educate yourself on such matters.

Question Business routes generally follow the original routing of the numbered route through a city or town. Beginning in the 1930s and lasting thru the 1970s was an era marking a peak in large-scale highway construction in the United States. U.S. Highways and Interstates were typically built in particular phases. Their first phase of development began with the numbered route carrying traffic through the center of a city or town. The second phase involved the construction of bypasses around the central business districts of the towns they began. As bypass construction continued, original parts of routes that had once passed straight thru a city would often become a "business route".

Question

The concept of a bypass is a simple one. It is a road or highway that purposely avoids or "bypasses" a built-up area, town, or village. Bypasses were created with the intent to let through traffic flow without having to get stuck in local traffic. In general they are supposed to reduce congestion in a built-up area. By doing so, road safety will greatly improve.
 
A bypass designated for trucks traveling a long distance, either commercial or otherwise, is called a truck route.

Question The industry intends to both consumers as well as moving companies, this is why there are Ministers of Transportation in the industry. They are there to set and maintain laws and regulations in place to create a safer environment. It offers its members professional service training and states the time that movers have been in existence. It also provides them with federal government representation and statistical industry reporting. Additionally, there are arbitration services for lost or damaged claims, publications, public relations, and annual tariff updates and awards. This site includes articles as well that give some direction, a quarterly data summary, and industry trends.

Question The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is a non-profit trade association. AMSA represents members of the professional moving industry primarily based in the United States. The association consists of approximately 4,000 members. They consist of van lines, their agents, independent movers, forwarders, and industry suppliers. However, AMSA does not represent the self-storage industry.

Question Light trucks are classified this way because they are car-sized, yet in the U.S. they can be no more than 6,300 kg (13,900 lb). These are used by not only used by individuals but also businesses as well. In the UK they may not weigh more than 3,500 kg (7,700 lb) and are authorized to drive with a driving license for cars. Pickup trucks, popular in North America, are most seen in North America and some regions of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Although Europe doesn't seem to follow this trend, where the size of the commercial vehicle is most often made as vans.