Trucks across America

I’ve been on a road trip all week.

Whenever I spend time driving on the interstates, what strikes me the most is the number of 18-wheeler trucks.

Most people drive during commute times in the morning and then again later in the day. Naturally there are a lot of cars during so called ‘rush hour’ times (which last longer than an hour!).

However when you’re out on the freeways during the rest of the day, it’s trucks, and more trucks rolling along. It’s amazing how many there are.

What are they doing? Resupplying anything and everything that we as a people consume. 70% of all goods are transported via semi truck!

Truck drivers transport raw materials and finished goods all over the country from manufacturing plants, retail and distribution centers.

Have you ever seen some of these distribution centers? They’re huge!

It makes me think – If those trucks ever stopped rolling, like I’ve written before, “When the Trucks Stop, it’s Over”.

You might draw analogy to the body requiring blood to flow through it’s veins. How long would it take to die without the flow of blood? Not long at all…

Major sectors affected by trucking include food, transportation, manufacturing, retail.

Trucks distribute fuel. The average gas station requires fuel resupply every 2.4 days. Without fuel, even the trucks won’t roll!

No city can feed its own people. How do you think all that food gets there? For that matter, regardless of where people live, trucks deliver food to the grocery stores “just in time” – to keep the shelves stocked.

 
You might ask, what could possibly affect or disrupt trucking?

The price of diesel fuel (oil).
The availability of diesel itself!
A shortage of drivers (Retention).
Driver compensation.
Truckers going on strike to an extent.
The interstate systems/roads themselves.
Grid down, and/or EMP disaster (though hopefully less likely!).

Anyway, I find it interesting to observe the undercurrent of the trucking industry as I travel. Huge population centers are entirely dependent upon them.

There are nearly 2 million semi trucks in operation in the U.S., and around 5.6 million semi trailers. (Semi trucks and semi trailers are also known as tractors and tractor trailers, respectively.)

How many trucks are being driven on the road right now? Pretty much all of them with available drivers except for those on mandatory rest time.

Truck drivers drive an estimated 140 billion miles every year, and a single semi drives about 45,000 miles a year on average. According to the Federal Highway Administration, long-distance trucks travel upwards of 100,000 miles a year.

I wonder how many people take it for granted?

Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas

The #1 selling trucker’s road atlas in North America