Semi-Trucks where do they come from? Outer space? Mars? Well maybe not that outrageous, but if we had to put a beginning on the trucks we love most we would need to start with the transportation industry. An industry founded by Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line that created a boom in the transportation industry with affordable transportation. As the 20th century began we saw an evolution of sorts in the use of these every day vehicles and how two inventors began an era to move America with the powerful Semi-Trucks we have today.
There is a beginning to the “awesomeness” of trucks we have today which can be thanked upon Alexander Winton and Charles Fruehauf whom were two key innovators in creating what would be known as the Semi-Trailer. Mr. Winton began his journey to exploration with a need to transport his customers his own “Horseless Carriages.” Although having his customers live many miles away created a need for him to be able to transport his vehicles without putting use and miles on them. The end result by 1899 was Winton inventing an auto hauling company for his vehicles to be delivered to customers. As for Charles Fruehauf he had a similar need around the same time to move his boat to Michigan. That need grew to creating a trailer that could be towed on the back of his Ford Model T as he found this to be successful it led to Fruehauf Trailer Company in 1918.
Further advances in the Truck Industry began to come with the company MACK back in 1916 when they introduced the MACK AC Truck. This powerhouse showed that with its chain driven rear axle that it was not only capable, but reliable and durable for the drivers. This equipment showed the competition how efficient drivers could be with the right equipment in their hands.
Other major advances came between 1934-1953 with Navistar and Freightliner. Navistar built the first tandem axle six wheel truck in 1934 and later today is known as the brand International. As for Freightliner they not only introduced the all-aluminum cab in 1942, but also the in 1953 brought the need for the first overhead sleeper cab. This allowed for further travels and deliveries of loads across the nation.
As 1959 approached trucks took on to a new shape with the first cab-over engine truck. This resulted in a lighter design that allowed for more trailer capacity when overall length was more regulated. As the design swept the nation was highly adopted by most manufactures at the time. Semi-Trucks and the Semi-Trailer truly had moved America by this time in an ever growing industry for constant need of freight to be moved around the nation.
While today we have seen regulations change the shape, style, and emissions of current vehicles on the road we see more than ever electric Semi-trucks to begin to enter the commercial truck world. With HOS of service regulations and electric charging infrastructure needed to create the ability for long haul can these trucks be made to replace their diesel siblings? According to news articles CEO Elon Musk of Tesla has stated, ““Demand is no problem, but near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale Semi. This limitation will be less onerous next year.” As it seems to be these electric Semi-Trucks are no longer a fantasy and have changed from “IF” to “When!” As for the last century the world of trucking has truly “Moved America” through all times of economic status. With a future that is ever changing, RJS Truck Insurance stands at the forefront of adapting to the “New” and educating ourselves how to best assist our insureds through the years ahead!