The trucking industry has been around for decades, and as the decades have continued, the industry continues to skyrocket, with its own ups and downs, but nevertheless persists time and time again. The industry finds its roots around the 1800s, and while many of us may not realize this, the history of the trucking industry internationally and in the U.S. has paved the way for our current industry’s success! 

Here are the biggest notions when it comes to the history of the trucking industry that all truckers, fleet managers, terminal owners and management teams should know! 

1.The first semi

The first semi truck was invented in the late 1800s by a Scottish engineer named Alexander Winston. Winston’s company originally designed and sold bicycles, but as technology continued to advance and vehicles became increasingly popular, Winston decided to dabble in vehicles, race cars and even trucks. In 1987, Winston developed the Winston Motor Carriage Company in Ohio.

As time progressed, over 10,000 trucks were on the very few highways that were in the United States, and thanks to Winston, this is the start of our industry! However, while this was the first start to our industry, the industry didn’t take off with this new invention. In the 1930s, trains and ships were still the preferred means of logistics and transportation. 

2. World War I

In the United States, this is when parts of trucking became a necessity due to the lack of trains and ships traveling internationally. Not only were trucks needed in the military, but smaller, local good trucks were also becoming popular. The trucking industry was not known for what it is today yet, but it did start to get more recognition and a better understanding of the importance of this industry. 

3. The first fifth wheel 

In the 1920s, the first trailer on a fifth wheel was invented to provide the ability to transport goods and materials for longer distances and hold a considerable amount of these items. Along with that, the first fifth wheel was modified and provided more speed for deliveries and pickups that companies and consumers were searching for. With more and more paved highways and roads, this also helped fifth wheels in proper transportation and safety. 

4. The Motors Carrier Act of 1935 

This was a significant moment in the history of the trucking industry because the industry had finally “proven” its importance and need in the United States, in return, the Motor Carrier Act of 1935 was set in place to provide proper regulation within the industry. This transformed the industry for the better and some could argue for the worse due to legislation finally being passed, regulations implemented and nationwide changes mandated. 

5. The development of interstates!

Interstates not only changed the way that people traveled on a daily basis, but also in our industry. Interstates changed how we are now able to provide goods and products to companies and consumers!  In 1956, the federal government finally provided funding for the improvement and construction of interstate highways, and once this was done, the industry took off! 

The history of trucking is interesting with so many different mile markers that all played a significant role in the development of trucking. TransWood is proud to be part of this industry and provide our customers across the United States with their needed goods! For over 90 years, we have been able to lead our industry into success!  For more information, contact us today!

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