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Did You Know

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 In the United States, a commercial driver's license is required to drive any type of commercial vehicle weighing 26,001 lb (11,794 kg) or more. In 2006 the US trucking industry employed 1.8 million drivers of heavy trucks.

Question During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

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 The year 1611 marked an important time for trucks, as that is when the word originated. The usage of "truck" referred to the small strong wheels on ships' cannon carriages. Further extending its usage in 1771, it came to refer to carts for carrying heavy loads. In 1916 it became shortened, calling it a "motor truck". While since the 1930's its expanded application goes as far as to say "motor-powered load carrier".

Question The FMCSA is a well-known division of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). It is generally responsible for the enforcement of FMCSA regulations. The driver of a CMV must keep a record of working hours via a log book. This record must reflect the total number of hours spent driving and resting, as well as the time at which the change of duty status occurred. In place of a log book, a motor carrier may choose to keep track of their hours using an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR). This automatically records the amount of time spent driving the vehicle.

Question 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.

Question The main purpose of the HOS regulation is to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue. To do this, the number of driving hours per day, as well as the number of driving hours per week, have been limited. Another measure to prevent fatigue is to keep drivers on a 21 to 24-hour schedule in order to maintain a natural sleep/wake cycle. Drivers must take a daily minimum period of rest and are allowed longer "weekend" rest periods. This is in hopes to combat cumulative fatigue effects that accrue on a weekly basis.

Question

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.

Question

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.

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 Released in 1998, the film Black Dog featured Patrick Swayze as a truck driver who made it out of prison. However, his life of crime continued, as he was manipulated into the transportation of illegal guns. Writer Scott Doviak has described the movie as a "high-octane riff on White Line Fever" as well as "a throwback to the trucker movies of the 70s".

Question By the time 2006 came, there were over 26 million trucks on the United States roads, each hauling over 10 billion short tons of freight (9.1 billion long tons). This was representing almost 70% of the total volume of freight. When, as a driver or an automobile drivers, most automobile drivers are largely unfamiliar with large trucks. As as a result of these unaware truck drivers and their massive 18-wheeler's numerous blind spots. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that 70% of fatal automobile/tractor trailer accident happen for a reason. That being the result of "unsafe actions of automobile drivers". People, as well as drivers, need to realize the dangers of such large trucks and pay more attention. Likewise for truck drivers as well.

Question The Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974 established a federal maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg). It also introduced a sliding scale of truck weight-to-length ratios based on the bridge formula. Although, they did not establish a federal minimum weight limit. By failing to establish a federal regulation, six contiguous in the Mississippi Valley rebelled. Becoming known as the "barrier state", they refused to increase their Interstate weight limits to 80,000 pounds. Due to this, the trucking industry faced a barrier to efficient cross-country interstate commerce.

Question Some trailers can be towed by an accessible pickup truck or van, which generally need no special permit beyond a regular license. Such examples would be enclosed toy trailers and motorcycle trailers. Specialized trailers like an open-air motorcycle trailer and bicycle trailers are accessible. Some trailers are much more accessible to small automobiles, as are some simple trailers pulled by a drawbar and riding on a single set of axles. Other trailers also have a variety, such as a utility trailer, travel trailers or campers, etc. to allow for varying sizes of tow vehicles.

Question There are various versions of a moving scam, but it basically begins with a prospective client. Then the client starts to contact a moving company to request a cost estimate. In today's market, unfortunately, this often happens online or via phone calls. So essentially a customer is contacting them for a quote when the moving company may not have a license. These moving sales people are salesman prone to quoting sometimes low. Even though usually reasonable prices with no room for the movers to provide a quality service if it is a broker.

Question Words have always had a different meaning or have been used interchangeably with others across all cultures. In the United States, Canada, and the Philippines the word "truck" is mostly reserved for larger vehicles. Although in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the word "truck" is generally reserved for large vehicles. In Australia and New Zealand, a pickup truck is usually called a ute, short for "utility". While over in South Africa it is called a bakkie (Afrikaans: "small open container"). The United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and Hong Kong use the "lorry" instead of truck, but only for medium and heavy types.

Question Tracing the origins of particular words can be quite different with so many words in the English Dictionary. Some say the word "truck" might have come from a back-formation of "truckle", meaning "small wheel" or "pulley". In turn, both sources emanate from the Greek trokhos (τροχός), meaning "wheel", from trekhein (τρέχειν, "to run").

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.

Question Commercial trucks in the U.S. pay higher road taxes on a State level than the road vehicles and are subject to extensive regulation. This begs the question of why these trucks are paying more. I'll tell you. Just to name a few reasons, commercial truck pay higher road use taxes. They are much bigger and heavier than most other vehicles, resulting in more wear and tear on the roadways. They are also on the road for extended periods of time, which also affects the interstate as well as roads and passing through towns. Yet, rules on use taxes differ among jurisdictions.