The origins of the trucking industry date back the late 1800s, when the federal government first began regulating transportation companies. Over the past century, trucking has played a pivotal role in the growth of the U.S. economy. Trucks are responsible for transporting raw materials, consumer goods, livestock, food, chemicals, and much more across the country quickly, safely, and efficiently.

The Early and Mid-1900s

The origins of trucking truly began during World War I, when the military made extensive use of trucks to move materials and troops. As paved roads improved, trucking continued to grow in popularity. Throughout the early and mid-1900s, trucks and trains were used in tandem to transport containers of goods. In 1935, the Motor Carrier Act was passed to regulate the trucking industry through the use of permits, approved trucking routes, and set tariff rates. The first hours of service rule went into effect in 1965, regulating the amount of time truck drivers could work between rests. In 1967, the Department of Transportation was created to regulate the all U.S. transportation systems.

The Late 1900s to Today

In 1980, a new Motor Carrier Act partially deregulated the trucking industry, which caused intense competition among trucking companies and drivers. Two years later, the Surface Transportation Act limited the weight of trucks to a total of 80,000 lbs. Throughout the 1990s, deregulation of the trucking industry continued with the dissolution of the Interstate Commerce Commission. The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 made the use of Mexican trucks and drivers in the U.S. illegal, while also establishing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In 2004, the FMCSA issued new driver hours of service rules increased the amount of time off drivers must take between shifts to further increase safety and efficiency on the road.

As the U.S. economy continues to strengthen and improve, so too has the trucking industry. Thousands of new jobs are becoming available each month—you can find out more about pursuing your career as a truck driver by calling Phoenix Truck Driving Institute today at call (877) 205-5372 or clicking through our comprehensive website.