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The City of Angels, good old Los Angeles, California. Be warned, a city built around show biz knows the ins and outs of deception. Portrayed to be much more glamorous than it actually is, Los Angeles might prove to be quite the shocker upon arrival if you’ve never actually been. For some, the shock comes with a suitcase and freshly signed lease in hand. Do yourself a favor, give L.A. the reality check it needs and know your facts before settling down in the entertainment capitol of the world.

1.)  Los Angeles does not always look nor smell glamorous. If you’re looking for all palm trees and blue skies, head to the Hills for a nicer zip code and a bigger blow to your wallet. Southern California has one of the highest Homeless populations in the entire world, a responsibility that does not come lightly. Unfortunately, places like Skid Row exist, litter is quite an issue, nature is about as scarce as DoDo’s, and the color brown makes an appearance around every corner. Make the most of it and do your best to get out to Runyon Canyon as much as possible.

2.)  Los Angeles is the city of impossible transportation. Whether you’re driving, taking a bus, or hopping a train, it won’t work and you’ll regret it. Traffic is a pain. The subway system can be unreliable and dirty. Luckily, apps like Lyft and Uber exist to help, and adapting to L.A. lifestyle means compensating for traffic.

3.)  Los Angeles is one of the most spread out cities you will come across. Miles stretch in between Culver City, Beverly Hills, North Hollywood, Downtown L.A., and South Central, and it could take you hours, with no cause from traffic, to reach your destination.

4.)  It’s a diverse city. From Chinatown to Little Armenia, there isn’t an ethnicity that can’t be found, or isn’t celebrated for that matter. Los Angels holds public events regularly to celebrate culture. Communities like LatinoLA offer platforms in which to share experiences related to ethnicity.

4.)  Crosswalks can save your life. Los Angeles is notorious for bad drivers so it’s best to avoid people.

5.)  Things are expensive in Los Angeles. It’s a city with a higher cost of living, so be prepared. You may want to save up some money before the move to have a little cushion in your budget. There’s a lot of thing to do in Los Angeles but most of them involve spending money. Save to avoid missing out.

6.)  Los Angeles has a lot of construction. This is awesome because the city is going though a complete revitalization and the sense of community is booming. The elevated property value, assortment of convenient and nearby entertainment, and promising business are quite worth a few mornings being woken up by a jackhammer.

7.)  Los Angeles is the city that will never turn you away. Los Angeles is not only a community that celebrates diversity in culture, but in lifestyle, appearance, sexual orientation, and religious background. It’s a city that urges you to not only be yourself, but express yourself, which as a result is a beautiful quality about it.

Did You Know

Question Prior to the 20th century, freight was generally transported overland via trains and railroads. During this time, trains were essential, and they were highly efficient at moving large amounts of freight. But, they could only deliver that freight to urban centers for distribution by horse-drawn transport. Though there were several trucks throughout this time, they were used more as space for advertising that for actual utility. At this time, the use of range for trucks was quite challenging. The use of electric engines, lack of paved rural roads, and small load capacities limited trucks to most short-haul urban routes.

Question The public idea of the trucking industry in the United States popular culture has gone through many transformations. However, images of the masculine side of trucking are a common theme throughout time. The 1940's first made truckers popular, with their songs and movies about truck drivers. Then in the 1950's they were depicted as heroes of the road, living a life of freedom on the open road. Trucking culture peaked in the 1970's as they were glorified as modern days cowboys, outlaws, and rebels. Since then the portrayal has come with a more negative connotation as we see in the 1990's. Unfortunately, the depiction of truck drivers went from such a positive depiction to that of troubled serial killers.

Question In 1978 Sylvester Stallone starred in the film "F.I.S.T.". The story is loosely based on the 'Teamsters Union'. This union is a labor union which includes truck drivers as well as its then president, Jimmy Hoffa.

Question Medium trucks are larger than light but smaller than heavy trucks. In the US, they are defined as weighing between 13,000 and 33,000 pounds (6,000 and 15,000 kg). For the UK and the EU, the weight is between 3.5 and 7.5 tons (3.9 and 8.3 tons). Local delivery and public service (dump trucks, garbage trucks, and fire-fighting trucks) are around this size.

Question A semi-trailer is almost exactly what it sounds like, it is a trailer without a front axle. Proportionally, its weight is supported by two factors. The weight falls upon a road tractor or by a detachable front axle assembly, known as a dolly. Generally, a semi-trailer is equipped with legs, known in the industry as "landing gear". This means it can be lowered to support it when it is uncoupled. In the United States, a trailer may not exceed a length of 57 ft (17.37 m) on interstate highways. However, it is possible to link two smaller trailers together to reach a length of 63 ft (19.20 m).

Question As we know in the trucking industry, some trailers are part of large trucks, which we call semi-trailer trucks for transportation of cargo. Trailers may also be used in a personal manner as well, whether for personal or small business purposes.

Question 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.

Question 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.

Question DOT officers of each state are generally in charge of the enforcement of the Hours of Service (HOS). These are sometimes checked when CMVs pass through weigh stations. Drivers found to be in violation of the HOS can be forced to stop driving for a certain period of time. This, in turn, may negatively affect the motor carrier's safety rating. Requests to change the HOS are a source of debate. Unfortunately, many surveys indicate drivers routinely get away with violating the HOS. Such facts have started yet another debate on whether motor carriers should be required to us EOBRs in their vehicles. Relying on paper-based log books does not always seem to enforce the HOS law put in place for the safety of everyone.

Question Relocation, or moving, is the process of vacating a fixed location, such as a residence or business, and settling in a different one. A move might be to a nearby location such as in the same neighborhood or a much farther location in a different city or even a different country. Moving usually includes packing up all belongings, transferring them to the new location, and unpacking them. It will also be necessary to update administrative information. This includes tasks such as notifying the post office, changing registration data, change of insurance, services etc. It is important to remember this step in the relocation process. 

Question In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was established as an organization. However, in 1905 the name was changed to the Office Public Records (OPR). The organization then went on to become a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. As seen throughout history, organizations seem incapable of maintaining permanent names. So, the organization's name was changed three more times, first in 1915 to the Bureau of Public Roads and again in 1939 to the Public Roads Administration (PRA). Yet again, the name was later shifted to the Federal Works Agency, although it was abolished in 1949. Finally, in 1949, the name reverted to the Bureau of Public Roads, falling under the Department of Commerce. With so many name changes, it can be difficult to keep up to date with such organizations. This is why it is most important to research and educate yourself on such matters.

Question The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the USDOT specializing in highway transportation. The agency's major influential activities are generally separated into two different "programs". The first is the Federal-aid Highway Program. This provides financial aid to support the construction, maintenance, and operation of the U.S. highway network. The second program, the Federal Lands Highway Program, shares a similar name with different intentions. The purpose of this program is to improve transportation involving Federal and Tribal lands. They also focus on preserving "national treasures" for the historic and beatific enjoyment for all.


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 Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.

Question The 1950's were quite different than the years to come. They were more likely to be considered "Knights of the Road", if you will, for helping stranded travelers. In these times truck drivers were envied and were viewed as 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. Drivers routinely sabotaged and discovered new ways to falsify the machine's records.

Question In 1984 the animated TV series The Transformers told the story of a group of extraterrestrial humanoid robots. However, it just so happens that they disguise themselves as automobiles. Their leader of the Autobots clan, Optimus Prime, is depicted as an awesome semi-truck.

Question 1941 was a tough era to live through. Yet, President Roosevelt appointed a special committee to explore the idea of a "national inter-regional highway" system. Unfortunately, the committee's progress came to a halt with the rise of the World War II. After the war was over, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 authorized the designation of what are not termed 'Interstate Highways'. However, he did not include any funding program to build such highways. With limited resources came limited progress until President Dwight D. Eisenhower came along in 1954. He renewed interest in the 1954 plan. Although, this began and long and bitter debate between various interests. Generally, the opposing sides were considering where such funding would come from such as rail, truck, tire, oil, and farm groups. All who would overpay for the new highways and how.

Question Moving companies that operate within the borders of a particular state are usually regulated by the state DOT. Sometimes the public utility commission in that state will take care of it. This only applies to some of the U.S. states such as in California (California Public Utilities Commission) or Texas (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. However, no matter what state you are in it is always best to make sure you are compliant with that state