to the Trucking Industry
We see trucks on the freeway everyday,
discount their importance to our way of life. Here is an overview of
the history of the trucking industry and its importance.
The word truck comes from the Greek word "trochos" which means wheel.
This is interesting because it reflects the idea that the earliest use
of the invention that was to alter the world was the transportation of
goods. It was always possible for humans to transport themselves rather
easily by jumping on the back of a horse, but it was not possible to
pack everything they owned on the animal's back. It was carts and
wagons that were the first wheeled vehicles.
This is the purpose of the modern trucking industry. It moves material
goods from one place to another. In the United States, goods have been
moved long distances over a variety of highways. The first highways
were the rivers, and barges and steamboats were the carriers. Next came
the railroads and goods were moved over the iron rails that eventually
ran from coast to coast. Wagons and carts continued to doing the
hauling, and the first freight companies took on the task of
transporting the goods from the river ports and railheads and
distributing them to the surrounding areas.
The invention of the combustion engine was the revolutionary
development that brought the truck to the forefront. Highways of
asphalt began to connect every part of the country, and development no
longer depended on the rivers and railroads. Today it is estimated that
81% of the value of the nation's freight moves by truck, and over 60%
of its tonnage. This fact is evident to any traveler who is used to
seeing the endless procession of tractor trailer haulers moving day and
night over the Interstate highways, or lined up in rest areas and truck
The importance of the trucking industry to the nation's economy is best
illustrated by the amount of government regulation that it endures. The
thought of a trucking strike has haunted the nation's leaders for many
years. Trucks are truly the lifeline of the nation moving the food,
fuel, and goods that are necessary to keep our world operating. There
are large trucking companies with thousands of individual trucks, and
small companies with only a hand full. There are independent haulers
with only a single truck sometimes driven by a husband and wife team.
They haul every thing that you could possibly imagine, and our world
could not long survive without them. It has been a long way from that
first two wheeled cart pulled by an ox to the eighteen wheel diesel
driven giants that ply our highways today.
Carl Stinson is with TruckingCompaniesforyou.com - a directory of trucking companies