In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history by using the internal combustion engine. Later that year some of Benz's trucks gave into modernization and went on to become the first bus by the Netphener. This would be the first motor bus company in history. Hardly a year later, in 1986, another internal combustion engine truck was built by a man named Gottlieb Daimler. As people began to catch on, other companies, such as Peugeot, Renault, and Bussing, also built their own versions. In 1899, the first truck in the United States was built by Autocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.
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.
Beginning the the early 20th century, the 1920's saw several major advancements. There was improvement in rural roads which was significant for the time. The diesel engine, which are 25-40% more efficient than gas engines were also a major breakthrough. We also saw the standardization of truck and trailer sizes along with fifth wheel coupling systems. Additionally power assisted brakes and steering developed. By 1933, all states had some form of varying truck weight regulation.
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.
"Six Day on the Road" was a trucker hit released in 1963 by country music singer Dave Dudley. Bill Malone is an author as well as a music historian. He notes the song "effectively captured both the boredom and the excitement, as well as the swaggering masculinity that often accompanied long distance trucking."
Trucks and cars have much in common mechanically as well as ancestrally. One link between them is the steam-powered fardier Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, who built it in 1769. Unfortunately for him, steam trucks were not really common until the mid 1800's. While looking at this practically, it would be much harder to have a steam truck. This is mostly due to the fact that the roads of the time were built for horse and carriages. Steam trucks were left to very short hauls, usually from a factory to the nearest railway station. In 1881, the first semi-trailer appeared, and it was in fact towed by a steam tractor manufactured by De Dion-Bouton. Steam-powered trucks were sold in France and in the United States, apparently until the eve of World War I. Also, at the beginning of World War II in the United Kingdom, they were known as 'steam wagons'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues Hours of Service regulations. At the same time, they govern the working hours of anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the United States. Such regulations apply to truck drivers, commercial and city bus drivers, and school bus drivers who operate CMVs. With these rules in place, the number of daily and weekly hours spent driving and working is limited. The FMCSA regulates the minimum amount of time drivers must spend resting between driving shifts. In regards to intrastate commerce, the respective state's regulations apply.
The feature film "Joy Ride" premiered in 2001, portraying the story of two college-age brothers who by a CB radio while taking a road trip. Although the plot seems lighthearted, it takes a quick turn after one of the brothers attempts a prank on an unknown truck driver. They soon find out the dangerous intentions of this killer driver, who is set on getting his revenge. Seven years later in 2008 the sequel "Joy Ride 2: Dead Ahead" came out on DVD only. Similar to its predecessor, the plot involves another murdering truck driver, a.k.a "Rusty Nail". He essentially plays psychological mind games with a young couple on a road trip.
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.
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.