Trucks—the proverbial kings of the highways. We count on these big machines to transport goods from long distances, and they do their jobs day-in and day-out. Whatever you think of these vehicles driving down the road, the reality remains that trucking has been and continues to be the backbone of America’s commerce. Explore our overview on the brief evolution of the trucking industry and discover how freight trucking earned its place among the U.S.’s most essential industries. The trucks are the fundamentals of a dispatch company.
In the beginning, trains were the lifeblood of transporting goods. Trucks were just an alternative option, even when they were built with air-filled tires and electric lights. But all of this changed when soldiers occupied trains for World War I and II. The federal government committed $75 million on additional highway development by the mid-1930s. As a result, the trucking industry drew ever closer to the spotlight. And by the end of the second World War, freight trucks were built to be faster and more fit for long-distance driving.
Age of Peace (50s-70s)
As the world started to settle down, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the Federal-Aid Highway Act and effectively made it law in 1956. In the same instance, 41,000 more miles of highway for trucks to travel on were developed. But highways weren’t the only thing in development. The 1960s was a decade that saw substantial political, cultural, and economic development, too.
Along with these changes, trucking became more mainstream and trips on the open road were romanticized by movies and television programs of the time. In the trucking sector, the 70s saw the most significant cultural and social shifts. The industry was thought to have a pretty groovy way of life thanks to media representation in television and radio. Overall, more than 18 million trucks were in use in the United States in the 1970s. As a result of this newfound notoriety, America became increasingly reliant on the trucking business.
High-Tech Eras Ahead (80s – The Present)
The 1980s conceived advancements in engine technology as well as the introduction of automated transmissions. These two innovations would make trucking easier and more accessible for everyone. Plus, the 80s made way for women to enter the profession. This was also a time when many rules and regulations were adjusted for safer, more effective truck transportation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was established as a result of these industry developments, and it currently controls the whole sector.
A few decades later, our brief evolution of the trucking industry brings us into the modern era of trucking, where technology is rapidly growing and sustainability is practiced. Innovations make drivers safer while also enhancing their efficiency. Autonomous, self-driving trucks and vehicles are even being discussed. This may not happen soon, but it is a possibility. Whatever the future holds, the fact that truckers are the core of American trade will likely never change.