How Trucking Has Changed The World


Trucks, in many ways, have become the symbol of the United States and United States culture. There’s really nothing quite like the feeling of driving off the lot of the new car dealership in your brand new pickup truck and thinking all of uses you are going to have for your new truck. They’ve become the symbol of strength, the open road and industry and for good reason. After all, the pickup truck has been used to ferry goods across the wide expanse of the country, they’ve been used to grow and change and strengthen industry. It wasn’t always this way, though. The truck might seem like a classic example of Americana but this wasn’t always the case. To better understand this symbol, we’ve got to go back to a time before trucks, to a time before most vehicles and fast moving transports. We’ve got to back when moving heavy objects was not only hard, it was downright impossible with the mass use of human and animal labor. The precursor of the modern day pick up truck wasn’t fully the car, after all. It was, of course, as much as old cars are the precursor to more modern cars but, in fact, the spirit of the truck itself goes back to a time much older than even the oldest cars. You see, we’ve always needed some way of transporting goods over vast and difficult distances. That’s been a need since the beginning of civilization and for most of civilization’s history, it was feasible only through two ways. There was no way to buy new trucks back then, or used trucks, or a used car or any car or personal motorized transport. They simply didn’t exist. The only way to do with without a huge number of human beings in mass or through a lot of cattle or horses was through the ship. The invention of the galleon and other ships somewhere around the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries was a huge leap forward for middle aged society and ushered in the age of exploration. Ships were the way to go for hundreds of years in the interim and were the tools that eventually led Europeans, the Chinese and others to many different cultures and places. But it wasn’t even the passenger or cargo ship that led to the invention of the truck that we know. It was something similar but also a little different.
On the Tracks
As previously stated, there was no new car dealership where you could buy a truck back then. Without a new car dealership or any place that sold or built mass transportation inventions, it was up to intrepid inventors to try and come up with something that could be used to move large amounts of goods at once that wasn’t a regular ship or a steamship. In fits and starts, however, through the industrial revolution and through other breakthroughs, they came up with it. The steam train, a huge powerhouse engine on wheels that just need a track to run. The steam train was really the first overland vehicle that could transport massive amounts of cargo and goods, whether it be lumber, coal, tea, spices, crops, from one place to another. From one state to another. At first, trains could only go in relatively flat areas that were already accessible to animal transportation but eventually the train companies learned how to build tracks up mountains, how to cross difficult terrain while still having trick integrity. The train revolution really was underway.
The Modern Day Truck
Of course, today we have the new car dealership, planes, huge metal ships and other vehicles that can transport just as much as the train. But we still have an affinity for trucks and trucking in a special way, the spiritual successor of the old steam train that revolutionized the American west. Now, the truck is the powerhouse machine that has changed how we move cargo and build industry. The symbol of strength will continue on and eventually change to something else but we never forget the past. Trucks will always hold a special place in our hearts.

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