On the freeway, it’s normal to see multiple large trucks carrying big trailers full of freight to their destinations. Trucking history in the United States has come far since the late 1890s. From a small idea to a big business that still operates to this day, trucking is an essential part of many industries. Here are some facts about trucking in the United States that you may not have known.
The First Trucks
The origins of the modern-day truck date back to the late 1890s with Gottlieb Daimler’s invention. Daimler took a passenger car engine and retrofitted it onto a horse-drawn cart. Only four years later, the Mack brothers, Jack and Gus, started the brand that would become synonymous with the trucking industry: Mack.
The American Trucking Association
After multiple strikes and attempts to unionize throughout the early 1900s, the American Trucking Association (ATA) formed in 1933 by combining the Federation Trucking Associations of America and the American Highway Freight Organization. All 50 states utilize the trade associations from the ATA to this day.
Chicken Changed the Industry Forever
One of the most fun facts about trucking in the United States starts when a chicken crosses the road. A truck carrying raw chicken to a country club broke down, resulting in nearly $4,000 worth of chicken spoiling in the sun.
A trucking executive named Henry Werner invented refrigerated trailers for drivers so that they could ship food without binding themselves to the time constraints that came from melting ice.
The Clean Air Act of the 1960s
Because of technological innovations, trucks eventually became associated with pollution. The clean air bill was passed in 1963 and expanded in 1970 by President Nixon. This was one of the first emission regulations to affect trucking, with many still impacting the industry to this day.