Many of us notice truckers each day that we drive upon the open road. We may wave to them, we may pass them, and we may take note of the goods they are carrying.
But what we may not know is that trucking is an industry filled with interesting facts and trivia. The following is simply a test drive of the interesting trucking tidbits.
It's a Long, Long Road
On average, truckers drive about 105,000 miles a year. To put that into perspective, that's like driving all around the world nearly 4.25 times. When all U.S. truckers are added together, they cover nearly one and a half billion miles annually.
The Name Game
The term "semi-truck" comes from trailers. Trailers have no front wheels, and thus can only be used by connecting the trailer to the tractor part of the truck. This led to the term "semi-trailer," which eventually evolved into the term "semi-truck."
Topping the Trains
While the railroads may get a lot of credit, trucks also greatly contribute to transporting goods through the United States each year. Per Popular Mechanics, 68 percent of all goods in America are delivered by semi-trucks. When calculated per person, this averages to about 60,000 pounds of goods per American.
A Rosy Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor, the trucking industry is projected to grow 21 percent between the years 2010 and 2020. This is quite a bit faster than the average job rate (which is projected to grow around 14 percent).
Claim to Fame
Several celebrities are rumored to have been truck drivers before hitting it big. Among some of the marquee names on this list are Sean Connery, Rock Hudson, Chevy Chase, and Richard Pryor.
Aversion to Accidents
While accidents may happen, when they do, the trucker is much less likely to be at fault than the non-commercial driver. In fact, truckers are well trained, have special licensure, and must follow governmental and company-imposed guidelines to avoid sleepiness and other types of fatigue. All of this adds up to commercial drivers being at fault in only 20 percent of the cases in which they are involved.
He Ain't Heavy, He's my Barter
Those 18-wheelers are legally allowed to weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. In other words, they can weigh as much as five male African elephants.
The Unwritten Rules
Truckers abide by unwritten rules of the road, rules used to communicate with other drivers. For instance:
• Truckers may double flash their headlights into oncoming lanes to warn about a police speed trap ahead.
• Truckers may triple or quadruple flash their headlights into oncoming lanes to warn about an upcoming danger on the road, such as a foreign object in the road, a rock slide, or a broken down vehicle.
• Truckers may engage their hazards when the highway traffic comes to a sudden stop, as may be the case with construction.
• Truckers may flash their lights at other drivers once the driver has fully passed their semi. This is used as a form of common courtesy to let the driver know they can change lanes safely. Truckers sometimes expect the same in return; if they have their turn signal on and there is room for a lane change, a flash from the other driver will indicate to the trucker that they are free to proceed.
We recommend taking a closer look into transportation industry, and if you have more questions reach out to a professional. For further help you can always use our contact form and one of our specialists will respond.