Although there are about 1.9 million drivers throughout the United States hauling 70% of transported goods, many people truly do not understand the vital role that the trucking industry plays in this society. The fact is that without the qualified drivers of semi-trailers many areas of our country would go without day to day necessities. This business is a billion dollar industry which also points to the important role that it plays.
What is the Purpose of a Semi-Trailer?
The sole purpose of a semi-trailer is to haul goods from one place to another. Fact is, in the business world of buying and selling there are often humongous orders that need to be filled. The most efficient way for many of them to be moved from point A to point B is by using a tractor-trailer. Not only are these large trucks the best for hauling, they are also very useful when it comes to loading and unloading because the trailer detaches. As such, a driver can drop one load at a particular place, and immediately pick up another load to be transported elsewhere.
What does it take to be a Tractor-Trailer Driver?
Becoming a tractor-trailer driver is not a simple matter. There are many schools that cater to folks looking to start a new career as semi drivers. Once a person has learned to drive a truck well, they may move on to take the tests required to get their Commercial Driver’s License. These tests are very rigorous because driving a tractor-trailer is much different than driving a regular vehicle.
How has the Semi-Trailer Industry Evolved?
Large trucks have been around in this country for more than a century. However, until roads across America were paved, these oversized vehicles were few and far between. Once paving became commonplace and an interstate system was implemented, we have seen huge jumps in the numbers of semi-trailers on the road. In 1904 there were approximately 700 predecessors to semis around. By 1924 that number had exploded to 416, 569 trucks.
What Different kinds of Freight can be transported with a Tractor-Trailer?
There are many kinds of trailers available to accommodate a variety of freight types.
- A tanker hauls liquid substances. These include such items as milk, gasoline, water and oil.
- An enclosed box trailer is very common, and is used to haul almost any kind of palletized load.
- A reefer, or a refrigerated box car, is used to move perishable items or anything that is temperature sensitive.
- A flatbed trailer, on the other hand, can be used to haul awkward loads as long as they can be strapped down.
What Restrictions are tied to this Industry?
Tractor-trailer drivers are expected to follow the same rules and regulations that everyday drivers do when on the road. However, they are held to an even higher accountability at times. Drivers of semis must keep a time log constantly. These logs can be checked at any time by authorities to insure that the driver has had enough rest. There are also specialized weight and height requirements that they must not exceed.