The Evolution of Trucking

Over the past half-century, the trucking industry has undergone significant evolution. We've spoke with several of our drivers to discuss the many changes in trucking and the impact it makes on their daily life on the road.

From advancements in safety and technology within trucks to government-imposed rules and regulations, the scope is too broad to cover in a single conversation. Instead, we've picked a select few of the more prevalent shifts in the industry to share with you.

Be sure to tune in to episode 4 of Big Motors Radio where we spoke to some of our younger drivers about why they decided on OTR trucking as a career, if they made any rookie mistakes and what they enjoy most about the industry.

Electronic Logbook Mandate

The ELD mandate, part of the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act," was implemented in February 2016. Despite an extension due to the significant initial effort required from companies, the ATA reported that it contributed to an 11.7% reduction in crash rates.

All motor carriers and drivers mandated to maintain duty records under Hours-of-Service regulations are required to use an Electronic Logging Device (ELD). Exceptions exist, such as for vehicles manufactured before 2000 and short-haul drivers. While ELDs simplify the tracking and sharing of HOS records, they also serve to foster a safer work environment for drivers.

Safer Equipment

Over the years, similar to personal vehicles, semi-trucks have experienced significant safety improvements. Modern trucks are not only built to endure tougher impacts, but they also offer advanced features like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning systems. Even the addition of a more ergonomic seat can lessen driver fatigue, which helps prevent accidents related to tiredness.

Cameras have increasingly become integral to safety in trucking. Road-facing cameras serve as a significant aid in the exoneration process following accidents.

How the CDL-A is Obtained

Before April 1st, 1992, a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) was not required to operate certain commercial motor vehicles. Even after that date, the process of obtaining a CDL-A differed significantly from current practices. Individuals could simply visit their local DMV, take a brief test, and walk out with a CDL. Nowadays, the procedure for acquiring a CDL has changed considerably.

This change is due to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations of 2022. Now, drivers must pass a theory test and complete behind-the-wheel training with an FMCSA-approved training provider.

Professional Drivers

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