Today, as much as 70% of all freight tonnage that is transported in the United States is moved via truck. However, the trucking industry did not truly come into its own until the 1920s. Although the history of large-scale trucking is less than a century old, trucks have become a significant factor in the U.S. economy during this time.
Prior to the 1900s, most of the freight that was moved in the U.S. was carried by trains. In the early 20th century, however, many technological advancements began to make trucks more efficient in terms of hauling weight over long distances. However, trucking was not used in any widespread manner until World War I, when supplies first needed to be moved through areas in Europe without the help of railways. After the war, trucking began to make its way into other domestic industries.
1930s and Beyond
Although trucks had become more popular throughout the 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the trucking industry became regulated. The American Trucking Associations was formed in 1933 and a “code of fair competition” was developed. In 1935, Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act, which called for the regulation of the trucking industry throughout the U.S. by the Interstate Commerce Commission. In the ensuing decades, more advancements in both automobile technology and the condition of paved roads in the U.S. have continued to help the trucking industry grow. The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 deregulated the industry in part, which in turn increased the number of trucking companies. Other important changes include the instatement of hours of service regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulate the number of hours a trucker is required to rest between shifts to improve trucker health and safety.
The time has never been better to pursue a career in trucking—call Phoenix Truck Driving Institute today at (877) 205-5372 to find out how you can enroll in our CDL courses in Phoenix. You can learn more about becoming a trucker and the state of the trucking industry today on our website.