Being in CDL trucking is more of a lifestyle than a job, and the world of over-the-road trucking attracts people who are seeking independence and adventure. Of course, there’s the other side of the coin, with days or weeks away from home and a grab-bag of frustrations along the way. But the lure of the open road and the trucking life can be enticing.
Interesting Things You May Not Know About Big Rig Trucking
- Owner-operators logged an average of 101,000 miles in 2018, with almost 20% deadhead miles. The typical owner-operator drives 2.6 million miles during an average 20-year career.
- There are currently between 350,000 and 400,000 owner-operators in the United States, and the numbers are expected to swell as the demand for truckers increases to keep up with skyrocketing truck freight business.
- The first woman truck driver to earn her CDL and drive a commercial truck was Willie McGee Drennan in 1929. Today, women make up about 6% of all CDL drivers and 4% of owner-operators in the United States. Fleet Management Solutions Company “Omnitracs” found that women drivers get into fewer preventable accidents and they are less likely than men to quit driving.
- Safety belt use by CDL drivers rose to new national levels in 2012. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) survey showed seat belt use by commercial truck and bus drivers rose to 86%. They added, “While it is good news that we are making strong progress, we need to continue to emphasize that everyone, everywhere, should securely fasten their safety belt 100% of the time.”
- Most owner-operators in the U.S. have trucks built since 2006. While the top-selling semi-trucks are Freightliners, owner-operators buy more Peterbuilt trucks. (Freightliners came in second.)
- The semi-trailer was invented by Alexander Winton in Cleveland, Ohio in 1898. He was an automobile manufacturer and he developed the trailer-truck to deliver his cars. In 1900, John and Gus Mack founded Mac Trucks. They adopted their bulldog symbol in 1923 when their company’s chief engineer carved the first bulldog hood ornament while he was recovering from surgery.
- Steven Speilberg’s first full-length film as a director was “DUEL”, a 1971 television movie about a terrified motorist (Dennis Weaver) and a deranged trucker (Cary Loftin) in a monstrous Peterbuilt 281. Speilberg’s next movie was “Jaws”. And speaking of movies, “Smokey And The Bandit” was 1977’s second highest-grossing release, behind “Star Wars”.
- It takes the length of two football fields (600 feet) to stop a tractor-trailer, but it takes longer on a smooth road! No resistance equals longer breaking time. And, forget about making a U-Turn in a big truck. An average tractor-trailer needs 55 feet to complete a U-Turn. With U.S. lanes averaging 12 feet per lane, you would need five lanes with no center divider.
- What are the Top Trucking Songs ever? Who knows – every list was different! So here are some that appear on multiple lists:
- “East Bound And Down” (Jerry Reed)
- “Six Days On The Road” (Dave Dudley)
- “Teddy Bear” (Red Sovine)
- “Roll On 18 Wheeler” (Alabama)
- “Truckin’” (Grateful Dead)
- “Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses” (Kathy Mattea)
- “On The Road Again” (Willie Nelson)
- “Convoy” (CW McCall)
When it comes to trucking, it’s not just a business, it’s a lifestyle and if you work in the industry, it’s a family too. Contact Canal Cartage Company today, to learn more about our commercial freight services in Houston, Texas and surrounding states.