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How the World Had to Change for Trucks

It's obvious how large trucks have changed the world, but the world had to change first. TeletracNavman outlines the beginning of the trucking industry here. The trucking industry can trace it's start to back in the late 1800's when Karl Benz put the first internal combustion engine in a truck. Before this the only available source of power was steam engines. Steam engines were heavy, complicated, dangerous and inefficient. The invention of the gasoline engine, and later the diesel engine, made trucks simpler and more efficient to drive. Before trucks became king, most small towns that didn't have a railroad or river nearby had to rely on horse-drawn wagons to bring in their supplies. 

Large trucks started to become popular in the early 20th century, but most rural roads (which covered most of America at the time), were nothing more than two wagon tracks in the dirt. And to make matters worse, when it rained the roads became mud, and the early trucks of the time became useless. Even the "main roads" of the time, were just made of loosely packed, uneven gravel and large rocks. Many states even placed legal limits on the weights of trucks, in order to protect their inadequate roads. The lack of good roads, for the most part, made trucks uneconomical for widespread use at the time. Even the best roads of the time still limited drivers to top speeds of 15MPH. Nothing like what we're used to today.

Slowly, but surely better roads started to be built all across the country. More powerful engines kept being developed, which meant trucks kept becoming more powerful and faster. Paved roads started connecting America's small towns and big cities coast to coast, yet it was still mostly "back-roads" that were used for long distance travel through the 1940's. Although, trucking by this time had become a major industry, it was still being held back by the lack of a country-wide highway system. The trucking industry got a huge boost with the creation of the Interstate Highway System in 1956. This led to the creation of interstates that cover America today, and created the very-large, smooth-operating trucking industry we know today.

Today, millions of trucks haul all types of cargo, across the country, everyday. Our world, as we know it revolves around large trucks, and those that drive them. 

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