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Did You Know

Question 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 Act drastically deregulated 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.

Question As we've learned the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was crucial in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Described as an interconnected network of the controlled-access freeway. It also allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas alike. This act was also the first to allow the first federal largest gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg). The very same year, Malcolm McLean pioneered modern containerized intermodal shipping. This allowed for the more efficient transfer of cargo between truck, train, and ships.

Question 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.

Question With the partial deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 by the Motor Carrier Act, trucking companies increased. The workforce was drastically de-unionized. As a result, drivers received a lower pay overall. Losing its spotlight in the popular culture, trucking had become less intimate as some unspoken competition broke out. However, the deregulation only increased the competition and productivity with the trucking industry as a whole. This was beneficial to the America consumer by reducing costs. In 1982 the Surface Transportation Assistance Act established a federal minimum truck weight limits. Thus, trucks were finally standardized truck size and weight limits across the country. This was also put in to place so that across country traffic on the Interstate Highways resolved the issue of the 'barrier states'.

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 Federal Bridge Law handles relations between the gross weight of the truck, the number of axles, and the spacing between them. This is how they determine is the truck can be on the Interstate Highway system. Each state gets to decide the maximum, under the Federal Bridge Law. They determine by vehicle in combination with axle weight on state and local roads

Question Signage of business routes varies, depending on the type of route they are derived from. Business routes paralleling U.S. and state highways usually have exactly the same shield shapes and nearly the same overall appearance as the routes they parallel, with a rectangular plate reading "BUSINESS" placed above the shield (either supplementing or replacing the directional plate, depending on the preference of the road agency). In order to better identify and differentiate alternate routes from the routes they parallel, some states such as Maryland are beginning to use green shields for business routes off U.S. highways. In addition, Maryland uses a green shield for business routes off state highways with the word "BUSINESS" in place of "MARYLAND" is used for a state route.

Question A relatable reality t.v. show to the industry is the show Ice Road Truckers, which premiered season 3 on the History Channel in 2009. The show documents the lives of truck drivers working the scary Dalton Highway in Alaska. Following drivers as they compete to see which one of them can haul the most loads before the end of the season. It'll grab you with its mechanical problems that so many have experienced and as you watch them avoid the pitfalls of dangerous and icy roads!

Question Public transportation is vital to a large part of society and is in dire need of work and attention. In 2010, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects. The awardees specifically focused light rail projects. One includes both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City. The public transportation New York City has to offer is in need of some TLC. Another is working on a rapid bus transit system in Springfield, Oregon. The funds also subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia. This finally completes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line, connecting to Washington, D.C., and the Washington Dulles International Airport. This is important because the DOT has previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.

Question

Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) are fundamental to the FMCSA's compliance program. The purpose of the CSA program is to oversee and focus on motor carriers' safety performance. To enforce such safety regulations, the CSA conducts roadside inspections and crash investigations. The program issues violations when instances of noncompliance with CSA safety regulations are exposed.
 
Unfortunately, the CSA's number of safety investigation teams and state law enforcement partners are rather small in comparison to the millions of CMV companies and commercial driver license (CDL) holders. A key factor in the CSA program is known as the Safety Measurement System (SMS). This system relies on data analysis to identify unsafe companies to arrange them for safety interventions. SMS is incredibly helpful to CSA in finding and holding companies accountable for safety performance.  

Question The word cargo is in reference to particular goods that are generally used for commercial gain. Cargo transportation is generally meant to mean by ship, boat, or plane. However, the term now applies to all types of freight, now including goods carried by train, van, or truck. This term is now used in the case of goods in the cold-chain, as perishable inventory is always cargo in transport towards its final homeEven when it is held in climate-controlled facilities, it is important to remember perishable goods or inventory have a short life.

Question The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) was organized and founded on December 12, 1914. On November 13, 1973, the name was altered to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. This slight change in name reflects a broadened scope of attention towards all modes of transportation. Despite the implications of the name change, most of the activities it is involved in still gravitate towards highways.

Question Unfortunately for the trucking industry, their image began to crumble during the latter part of the 20th century. As a result, their reputation suffered. More recently truckers have been portrayed as chauvinists or even worse, serial killers. The portrayals of semi-trailer trucks have focused on stories of the trucks becoming self-aware. Generally, this is with some extraterrestrial help.

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

The term 'trailer' is commonly used interchangeably with that of a travel trailer or mobile home. There are varieties of trailers and manufactures housing designed for human habitation. Such origins can be found historically with utility trailers built in a similar fashion to horse-drawn wagons. A trailer park is an area where mobile homes are designated for people to live in.
 
In the United States, trailers ranging in size from single-axle dollies to 6-axle, 13 ft 6 in (4,115 mm) high, 53 ft (16,154 mm) in long semi-trailers is common. Although, when towed as part of a tractor-trailer or "18-wheeler", carries a large percentage of the freight. Specifically, the freight that travels over land in North America.

Question In today's popular culture, recreational vehicles struggle to find their own niche. Travel trailers or mobile home with limited living facilities, or where people can camp or stay have been referred to as trailers. Previously, many would refer to such vehicles as towable trailers.

Question With the ending of World War I, several developments were made to enhance trucks. Such an example would be by putting pneumatic tires replaced the previously common 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.