intro to effective trucking

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An introduction to the history of tractor-trailers

In the United States, 70 per cent of goods are transported tractor trailers. This represents 13 billion tons of goods worth $255.5 billion. Also referred to as semi trucks and trailer trucks, their use started with the introduction of paved road in the 1920s. Later, the interstate highway network popularized these vehicles amongst trucking companies.

According to, only 700 large trucks existed in the US roads in 1904. By 1914, there were almost 25,000 trucks in the country. The number then greatly rose to 416,500 in 1924. Since then, there are innumerable trucks and semi trucks in the United States. Trucks require DOT reflective tape to transport goods in the United states.

Introduction of a semi truck?

A semi truck is simply any truck with 18 wheels on the truck and on the trailer. According to, these vehicles have three axles. One joins the front wheels for steering while the trailer has an axle on each end.

The very first trucks were constructed for utility rather than for comfort. They simply rode on wheels made of solid rubber and mechanical braking system. As they travelled on unpaved roads, these vehicles only travelled at a slow speed over short distances.


Technology would later play a great role in the introduction of pneumatic tires and hydraulic brakes. This advancement changed the semi truck to a more efficient workhorse. The popularity of the semi truck was witnessed in 1917, with the lawmakers passing the Federal Aid Road Act. It saw the construction of a national raid system 3.2 million miles long.

Later, the Federal Highway Act was passed in 1956 and increased the number of trucks plying American roads. In 1994, the North America Free Trade Agreement created an explosion as far as road network and number of vehicles is concerned.

Mack Trucks

As early as 1900, Mack introduced its heavy-duty trucks in America. Having been founded in Brooklyn New York, the company would develop its own truck engines with an inventive self-starter as opposed to the succeeded the hand crank.

Since then, the company has manufactured and sold hundreds of thousands, if not millions of trucks. Today, the Mack trademark is prominently present on all parts of the world. For a long time now, the name is synonymous with the heavy duty transportation industry.

Impact of logging industry

As the number of factories in the US increased, there was an increase in the demand for fuel. Logging therefore brought about the need for commercial transportation. Previously, people used to transport logging materials by river and horse-drawn vehicles.

As these methods did not effectively deliver lumber from forests to the mills, companies manufactured trucks, a medium of transportation that is still as effective today as it was back then.

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