The Long Haul: American Trucking Companies

Book review

The Long Haul: American Trucking Companies
The Long Haul: American Trucking Companies

While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the first American trucking company originated, prominent trucking expert Ron Adams steps back in time to chronicle the history of the American trucking companies – many of which lasted the distance and developed into the heavyweights of today.

As the prolific trucking author reports, some of these trucking company histories stretch back to the 1860s when men began hauling freight with just a single horse and wagon. Others, such as a company in the 1800s, managed to accumulate a 200 strong herd of horses before swapping it for a motorized fleet.

For at least 15-20 years both horses and trucks had to learn to cooperate in a cheek by jowl existence. In those days however, long distance trucking had yet to be invented as quality roading was in short supply.

The majority of the freight hauling therefore occurred in the city. By 1910 a couple of men ventured further afield, creating new roads in the countryside where previously there had been none.

By the 1920s, vastly improved roading meant intercity trucking was at last on the rise. Other innovations and developments such as new tyre technology, made for a much smoother ride as well as making freight damage a lot less likely.

The 1920s also saw a brief golden era of trucking - when trucking companies were regularly springing up, creating employment and fulfilling the dreams of men of the time in the process. The stock market crash curtailed this relatively prosperous period, culminating in the great depression where jobs dried up, cash flow was tight and the outlook was bleak.

The Long Haul: American Trucking Companies casts a nostalgic look back through the pages of trucking history, showcasing and saluting the companies which began as "old dobbin" (only a truck or two), survived the hardships and eventually merged into the businesses that are synonymous with the trucking legends of today.

Retails for $80.00 from Techbooks, 378 Broadway Newmarket, Auckland. Ph: 09 5240132

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