Before World War 1 (WW1) most U.S. freight was transported via train and/or horse-drawn carriage. Those technologies meant slower and smaller transport of goods. During WW1 the military was the first to begin extensive use of trucks for hauling needed materials. Increased needs during the war caused congestion on the railways resulting in the need for an alternative method to transport cargo. Roy Chapin, and a military committee, began to work on long distance truck hauling using pneumatic (inflated) tires. Vehicles, supplies and large weapons were the main goods transported during this period.
During the 1950' and 1960's an increased demand for goods and services led to construction projects and paved roads. This time period also saw the advent of the Interstate Highway System (IHS) which significantly sped-up the trucking industry. The IHS is a system of interconnected freeways which bridge major cities together. These freeways also allowed special access lanes for trucks allowing them to reach urban and rural areas. The increased demand for truck drivers and the hauls they carried were reflected in movies and music circa the time period such as, White Line Fever (1975), Convoy (1978) and Smokey and the Bandit (1977).
Around 1899 Winton Motor Carriage built one of the first tractor-trailers. Ten years later Fruehauf began to experiment with the tractor-trailer. Winton Motor Carriage is, however, credited with designing the first 18 wheeler. Currently, 68% of all goods travel via 18 wheelers. Approximately 3.2 million people are truck drivers in the U.S. Trucks are allowed to carry up to 18,000lbs. over 18 conventional wheels. Around 90% of trucking companies operate with fewer than six trucks.
As to the future of trucking current challenges include autonomous or driverless trucks. The company Tesla is an industry leader in the development of this technology. Google subsidiary, Waymo, began testing autonomous trucks in May 2018. Starsky Robotics and Uber are also said to be competitors in driverless trucking ventures. To date autonomous truck tests have had drivers present as a safety precaution, but it remains to be seen if drivers continue to be present after testing is complete.
Whether horse drawn or self-driven when it comes to truck needs there's one company you can count on. Here at Robertson Truck Sales we take the complexity out of the financing process. We are Mid-Ohio's largest pre-owned truck dealer. Whatever your truck needs may be, Robertson Truck Sales has the solution.