Truck Transportation

Truck transportation is primarily used when a large load must be hauled from one place to another. Truck transportation can be used for shipping goods to retailers, moving individual’s belongings to a new place, transporting cars to a dealership, or any number of other necessary reasons for hauling items. Truck transportation is essential to nearly all industries and facets of life in the United States today. About seventy percent of all cargo that is hauled in the United States is transported by truck.

U.S. Truck Transportation

The trucking industry provided an evolution of the American economy. Prior to the invention and improvement of the automobile, goods were primarily transported by rail or horse-drawn carriage. The advent of large trucks made it possible for companies to be based away from railways without complication. Since trucks play a large role in construction, this also meant faster and more efficient construction could take place.

Just in Time Policy

In the 1990s, many businesses and workplaces began to implement a “just in time” policy. This means that the goods needed to run the company would not be stored within the facility, but transported “just in time” for use. This freed up space in the facility, money from unnecessary overhead, and allowed businesses to operate more efficiently. Trucks are vital to this strategy, as keeping low inventory means more frequent deliveries must be made.

International Truck Transportation

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, about 60.8 percent of all freight moved between the United States and its NAFTA partners was moved by truck in May of 2013. NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement, and NAFTA partners are Mexico and Canada. This statistic is calculated each year and compared to previous years. 60.8 percent reflects a slow but steady increase of about one to two percent each year since the low of the recession in 2009.

Truck Transportation Regulations

In order to operate a large truck or bus, drivers are required to carry a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. A CDL endorsement can be obtained by passing a specialized test. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also regulates the number of hours that a truck driver can spend on the road both daily and weekly and the blood alcohol level that a truck driver is allowed. The BAC for truck drivers is currently 0.04, which is a lower allowance than for other drivers.

Truck Transportation Restrictions

There are also road restrictions for truck transportation. The federal weight limit for trucks is about 80,000 pounds, which is gauged at weigh stations along the highways. There is no federally mandated height limit for trucks, but truck drivers are expected to know the height of their vehicle and ensure that there is proper clearance for highway overpasses and bridges. Certain roads do not allow trucks due to weight limitations, height limitations or narrowness of lanes. Signs are in place to alert drivers to these restrictions, and truck drivers are expected to adhere to all laws and find alternate routes in advance.


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“Industries at a Glance-Truck Transportation: NAICS 484 .” United States Department of Labor. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 21 Oct 2013. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <>.

“Truck and Freight Information and Links.” Ohio Department of Transportation., n.d. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <;.

“Trucks Transported 60.8% of U.S.-NAFTA Trade in May 2013 .” United states Department of Transportation. United States Department of Transportation, 31 Jul 2013. Web. 21 Oct 2013. <>.