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.
Another film released in 1975, White Line Fever, also involved truck drivers. It tells the story of a Vietnam War veteran who returns home to take over his father's trucking business. But, he soon finds that corrupt shippers are trying to force him to carry illegal contraband.While endorsing another negative connotation towards the trucking industry, it does portray truck drivers with a certain wanderlust.
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 ishighlyinconsistent. For example, in Des Moines, Iowa the genuine bypass is the main route.Morespecifically, it is Interstate 35 and Interstate 80, with the loop into downtown Des Moines being Interstate 235. As itis illustratedin this example, they do not alwaysconsistentlybegin with an even number.However, the 'correct' designationis exemplifiedin Omaha, Nebraska.In Omaha, Interstate 480 traverses the downtown area, whichis bypassed byInterstate 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.
In the United States, commercial truck classificationis fixed byeach vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). There are 8 commercial truck classes, ranging between 1 and 8.Trucks are also classified in a more broad way by the DOT's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA groups them together, determining classes 1-3 as light duty, 4-6 as medium duty, and 7-8 as heavy duty.The United States Environmental Protection Agency has its own separate system of emission classifications for commercial trucks.Similarly, the United States Census Bureau had assigned classifications of its own in its now-discontinued Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS,formerlyknown as the Truck Inventory and Use Survey).
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 transportationbe elevatedto a cabinet level position. He continued, suggesting that the FAAbe foldedor merged, if you will, into the DOT.Clearly, the President took to Halaby's fresh ideasregardingtransportation, thus putting the DOT into place.
The 1950's were quite different than the years to come.They were more likely tobe considered"Knights of the Road", if you will, for helping stranded travelers.In these times truck driverswere enviedandwere viewedas an opposition to the book "The Organization Man".Bestseller in 1956, author William H. Whyte's novel describes "the man in the gray flannel suit", who sat in an office every day.He's describing a typical office style job that is very structured with managers watching over everyone. Truck drivers represented the opposite of all these concepts. Popular trucking songs glorified the life of drivers as independent "wanderers".Yet, there were attempts to bring back the factory style efficiency, such as using tachnographs. Although most attempts resulted in little success. Driversroutinelysabotaged and discovered new ways to falsify the machine's records.