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.
In the United States, the term 'full trailer' is used for a freight trailer supported by front and rear axles and pulled by a drawbar. This term is slightly different in Europe, where a full trailer is known as an A-frame drawbar trail. A full trailer is 96 or 102 in (2.4 or 2.6 m) wide and 35 or 40 ft (11 or 12 m) long.
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.
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.
Many modern trucks are powered by diesel engines, although small to medium size trucks with gas engines exist in the United States. The European Union rules that vehicles with a gross combination of mass up to 3,500 kg (7,716 lb) are also known as light commercial vehicles. Any vehicles exceeding that weight are known as large goods vehicles.
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).
In some states, a business route is designated by adding the letter "B" after the number instead of placing a "Business" sign above it. For example, Arkansas signs US business route 71 as "US 71B". On some route shields and road signs, the word "business" is shortened to just "BUS". This abbreviation is rare and usually avoided to prevent confusion with bus routes.
The United States' Interstate Highway System is full of bypasses and loops with the designation of a three-digit number. Usually beginning with an even digit, it is important to note that this pattern is highly inconsistent. For example, in Des Moines, Iowa the genuine bypass is the main route. More specifically, it is Interstate 35 and Interstate 80, with the loop into downtown Des Moines being Interstate 235. As it is illustrated in this example, they do not always consistently begin with an even number. However, the 'correct' designation is exemplified in Omaha, Nebraska. In Omaha, Interstate 480 traverses the downtown area, which is bypassed by Interstate 80, Interstate 680, and Interstate 95. Interstate 95 then in turn goes through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Interstate 295 is the bypass around Philadelphia, which leads into New Jersey. Although this can all be rather confusing, it is most important to understand the Interstate Highway System and the role bypasses play.
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!
“Writer-director James Mottern said he was influenced by nuanced, beloved movies of the 1970s such as "The Last Detail" and "Five Easy Pieces." Mottern said his female trucker character began with a woman he saw at a Southern California truck stop — a "beautiful woman, bleach blonde ... skin tanned to leather walked like a Teamster, blue eyes.” - Paul Brownfield
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.
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".
The 1980s were full of happening things, but in 1982 a Southern California truck driver gained short-lived fame. His name was Larry Walters, also known as "Lawn Chair Larry", for pulling a crazy stunt. He ascended to a height of 16,000 feet (4,900 m) by attaching helium balloons to a lawn chair, hence the name. Walters claims he only intended to remain floating near the ground and was shocked when his chair shot up at a rate of 1,000 feet (300 m) per minute. The inspiration for such a stunt Walters claims his poor eyesight for ruining his dreams to become an Air Force pilot.
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.
Heavy trucks. A cement mixer is an example of Class 8 heavy trucks. Heavy trucks are the largest on-road trucks, Class 8. These include vocational applications such as heavy dump trucks, concrete pump trucks, and refuse hauling, as well as ubiquitous long-haul 6×4 and 4x2 tractor units. Road damage and wear increase very rapidly with the axle weight. The axle weight is the truck weight divided by the number of axles, but the actual axle weight depends on the position of the load over the axles. The number of steering axles and the suspension type also influence the amount of the road wear. In many countries with good roads, a six-axle truck may have a maximum weight over 50 tons (49 long tons; 55 short tons).
In today's society, there are rules and regulations everywhere you go, the same goes for commercial vehicles. The federal government has strict regulations that must be met, such as how many hours a driver may be on the clock. For example, 11 hours driving /14 hours on-duty followed by 10 hours off, with a max of 70 hours/8 days or 60 hours/7 days. They can also set rules deciding how much rest and sleep time is required, however, these are only a couple of regulations set. Any violations are often subject to harsh penalties. In some cases, there are instruments to track each driver's hours, which are becoming more necessary.