History of trucking

Prior to the automobile, freight was carried by train or horse-drawn carriage. The American supply chain was much smaller than it is now.

Trucks came into widespread use in the 1930s as more roads became paved and the American Highway System exploded in the 1950s.

Trucking has become the primary source of freight transportation in America since then. Trucks haul more than 70% of freight every year.

Because of this, trucking has affected the politics and history of the last century in America.

History of trucking

The economic impact of trucking

  • Trucking is a $700 billion industry.
  • Trucking employs 10 million people.
  • Trucks haul 71% of America’s freight.
  • Trucks haul 10.8 billion tons of freight a year.
  • Without truckers, grocery stores would run out of food in just 3 days.
  • Trucking is a $700 billion industry.
  • Trucking employs 10 million people.
  • Trucks haul 71% of America’s freight.
  • Trucks haul 10.8 billion tons of freight a year.
  • Without truckers, grocery stores would run out of food in just 3 days.

Number of employees by industry

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How freight is hauled in the United States

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Revenue by industry

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Trucking Regulations

In addition to special driver’s licenses, truckers are also required to register for and pay a huge number of other kinds of registration, licenses, and taxes.

In order to drive a truck weighing in excess of 55,000 pounds, truckers need to file a Form 2290 (also know as Heavy Vehicle Use Tax) with the IRS.

In order to travel between states, truckers are required to report their truck’s mileage and fuel consumption through the Interstate Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and to obtain an Motor Carrier (MC) Number, a USDOT number, Interstate Registration Plan (IRP) number, and a Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) number.

Many states require additional registration and taxation on top of these federal requirements.

Problems truckers are facing

  • Exorbitant insurance rates.
  • Astronomical lawsuit settlements.
  • Complicated tax requirements.
  • Lack of organizational tools.
  • High turnover rates.
Future of trucking

Future of trucking

While trucking may have problems, it isn't going anywhere soon. The American economy relies almost entirely upon truckers to deliver freight of all kinds to manufacturing, restaurants, and retail locations. As more and more Americans come to rely on products shipped directly to their homes and businesses, more and more truckers will be needed.

The only foreseeable threat to truck drivers’ way of life is the rise of autonomous trucking. This may begin to change trucking in the next 10-20 years as AI and robotics become more advanced.

How we’re helping truckers stay on the road