The trucking industry keeps the world turning. It keeps fresh food in our groceries, transports parts to factories, and more.
How much do you really know about truck driving? Here are some fun facts about the industry and truck drivers that you might not be familiar with.
Trucking Industry Creates Over $700 Billion in Revenue Per Year
The trucking industry makes billions of dollars of revenue each year. To some, this may be surprising, but when you consider the number of drivers in the U.S. and the number of goods they move, it makes more sense.
Truckers serve as the vital link between goods and consumers, making sure stores are fully stocked.
Truck Drivers Move Over 10 Billion Tons of Freight Per Year
The amount of goods transported by truck varies slightly each year, but for the past several years, it has surpassed 10 billion tons of freight, including various goods.
Many of those goods are the food we eat, the furniture we use, electronics, and other daily necessities. If you need a visual, imagine this amount as 30 pounds of goods delivered to every person in the country.
With Clean Diesel Technology, Trucks Give Off Fewer Emissions Than Ever
Modern trucks give off a mere fraction of the emissions that those from 1988 gave off.
It would take 60 modern trucks to match the emissions from a truck from 1988. Nitrogen oxide emissions have been reduced by 99%, and particulate emissions have been reduced by 98%.
This reduction in harmful emissions is important because our economy is so reliant on truck transportation of goods.
Truck Engines Last 5 Times as Long as Cars
Cars and trucks operate on the same basic principles, but trucks are built to withstand much more wear and tear. Even so, it’s important to have quality insurance for truck drivers in place.
Most car engines are designed to be replaced after a mere 200,000 miles. Truck engines, on the other hand, can cover more than a million miles before they need to be replaced.
Truck Driving Has Been Around Since 1896
You might be surprised to learn that this profession has been around for over a century. The German inventor Gottlieb Daimler created the first version of a truck powered by an engine instead of horses. It was designed to carry goods, as opposed to the passenger car.
This first truck needed some work before it could truly compete with trains as the most efficient method of transportation.
However, nowadays, there are trucks designed to carry all kinds of goods, from livestock to produce to fuel.
Trucks Transport Most Freight Across the Country
There are plenty of ways to transport goods these days, but they still aren’t used as widely as trucks. Railways, water transportation, air transport, multiple modes, and mail combined make up less than 15% of all freight transportation across the United States.
In 2018, trucks moved 67.5% of all freight across the roads of America, more than any other possible form of transportation by far. Pipelines came in a distant second, covering 18.6% of freight, and transport mostly fuels, in the form of propane, crude oil, and more.
Without Truckers, Grocery Stores Would Run Out of Food In 3 Days
The trucking industry is responsible for supplying food and other goods to stores across America. A study by the American Trucking Associations projected that if it all stopped functioning, grocery stores would be facing shortages in roughly three days.
Aside from food shortages, there could also be shortages of drinking water without long-haul truckers delivering purification chemicals. These water shortages would occur between two to four weeks later.
Most Trucking Companies Are Small Businesses
When people think of trucking companies, they mostly imagine FedEx and UPS. However, nearly all such companies in the country are small businesses. 91% of American trucking companies have six or fewer trucks out on the road, putting them firmly in this category.
If you include companies that are slightly larger, owning fewer than 20 vehicles in total, that covers 97% of trucking companies.
3 Categories Make Up Over Half of the Truck Freight in California
Trucking moves all kinds of goods, including electronics, furniture, clothes, and more. However, there are three categories that make up the bulk of goods moved by trucks in California.
The first is mineral fuels, which include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Vegetables and roots come next, which comes as no surprise to anybody familiar with the state’s thriving agricultural industry. Fruits and nuts are the third groupings, and likely include lots of almonds, oranges, and grapes, some of the top crops in California.
More Than 5% of All Full-Time Jobs Are in Trucking
The trucking industry is a significant source of jobs in America. It employs more than 7 million people across the United States, including both long-haul drivers and more local drivers. Some truck drivers are full-time, while others along are self-employed or owner-operators.
Not all of these jobs are as truck drivers, though. Some of these jobs may be in supply chains, logistics coordinators, or otherwise related to receiving and shipping goods.
All the Trucks in the U.S. Could Form a Line Long Enough to Reach the Moon
Trucking is still one of the most common ways to transport goods across America. There are more than 15 million active trucks in the country that regularly go out on the roads.
That’s a huge number, and if you could line all those cars up to form a line, they could stretch all the way from the ground to the moon! This goes to show just how much the U.S. relies on truckers to transport goods of all kinds.
American Truckers Drive Enough Each Year to Reach Saturn
Truckers drive a total of roughly 421.3 billion miles per year. That distance is great enough to reach from Earth to Saturn not just once, but 546 times. This statistic is a great way to illustrate how much America relies on commercial trailer truck drivers to get products to stores and warehouses.
The average truck driver covers between 80,000 and 110,000 miles per year, and there are an estimated 3.5 million truckers in the country.
Commercial trucking insurance is a necessity for any trucker. We offer affordable and reliable insurance for Californians. For a free truck insurance quote, contact our team at SoCal Truck Insurance today.