The history of the commercial trucking industry in the US can be traced back as far as the post WWI after the significant development and expansion of the highway system. It provided a faster alternative to trains or horse-drawn vehicles which took a long time to transport goods.
Fast-forward to this day, the trucking industry is responsible for transporting over 60% of the goods traded across the US. These include products, construction materials, and demolition waste, to name a few.
This success is largely owed to the several advantages of trucks over other methods of transport, plus the various technological advances that made trucks one of the most reliable, flexible, and cost-effective methods of transportation. People who are looking to enter the industry can start by investing in cheap dump trucks for sale.
Continue reading as we look into the history of the amazing developments in the trucking industry.
A Brief History of Trucking in the US
In the 19th century, freight was moved from place to place using railroads. But, as impressive as they were, they had fairly limited freight movement. From the end of the railroads, the loads had to be moved to their destinations using horse-drawn vehicles.
Trucking didn’t start until the 20th century—the 1970s saw the heyday of truck driving and the start of trucker culture. It also marked the beginning of several, significant changes in the movement of freight.
First on the list is the replacement of solid rubber tires with pneumatic or air-filled tires. While rubber tires cannot go flat, they are also too heavy that it would take more energy to accelerate the wheels. Pneumatic tires, on the other hand, are lighter. They also offer better shock absorption so the ride is smoother.
Some other advancements during this time included the introduction of gas-powered internal combustion engines, better transmissions, and the transition from chain drivers to gear drives. These led the truck to become a preferred transport mode.
The automatic transmission was first introduced in 1921. Unlike a manual transmission system where the driver uses a clutch and gear shifts to control the vehicle, the system has a built-in mechanism that handles all the shifting of gears in a truck.
It has made driving much safer and easier, which is helpful at this time when the industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers who can manage complex manual transmissions in trucks. Additionally, AMTs are also more economical. With the computer running the gears, fuel costs can be significantly reduced.
Automated Car Diagnostic Tests
Before there were car diagnostic tests, identifying problems was expensive and time-consuming. This much is true considering car owners only brought their vehicles to the mechanic after a breakdown.
With the computerization of the many truck components, built-in processors, and sensors, it’s easier to run diagnostics to determine the problem areas and fix them before they turn into a serious and expensive issue. It also helps ensure safe operating conditions.
Communication & GPS Tracking Systems
Of all the technological advancements in the trucking industry, this is by far the most that benefitted truck operators, drivers, and consumers.
Communication systems that send signals and assist in tracking loads, creating routing programs, and estimating expected delivery times have made the logistics industry more transparent from all ends. It has made deliveries more efficient by avoiding traffic delays, reducing idle time, and reducing fuel costs. These systems are also effective in tracking trucks in cases of robbery.
Several apps are geared towards helping truckers. These include apps that show comprehensive routes, track real-time road conditions, monitor gas prices, and locations of nearby truck stops. Others, on the other hand, connect shippers with freight movers to transfer their goods. This removes the middlemen freight brokers and so does the costs involved.
Consumers today are much more aware of their carbon footprint and as a way to reduce their impact on the environment; they are embracing businesses that practice an eco-friendly work ethic. Trucking businesses that wish to tap on this trend should make it their priority to make their services greener.
The good news? There are actually eco trucks that exist to transport goods while reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40%. You can also adopt some changes in your operations to make them greener.
The trucking industry has undergone a significant amount of change, but it’s all for the better.
Although these waves of change escalated the costs of truck operation, they also helped save money in various areas. As mentioned above, many of these developments are geared towards saving on fuel costs, reducing delivery times, and increasing vehicle efficiency to avoid costly breakdowns. In return, all these benefits can improve one’s bottom line.
While the industry has come a long way, we can only expect more advancements in the near future as we continue to rely on trucks for the transport of goods and necessities.
What are your thoughts on these amazing developments in truck technology? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Joie is the passionate writer and blogger of UsedVending.com. She enjoys writing and works at an amazing pace. Blessed with two adorable boys, she dreams of creating a successful career online. She also loves to write about parenting, home and family life, technology and gaming, as well as beauty and health.