Did you know that the truck industry is one of the most critical industries in the United States? It employs millions of people and contributes billions of dollars to the economy. This blog post discusses some of the reasons why the truck industry is so essential and highlights some of its challenges. Hopefully, this information will help you better understand this vital economic sector.

Economic contributions

Perhaps the most critical contribution that the truck industry makes to the US economy is its contribution to GDP. According to statistics from The American Trucking Association (ATA), trucks move nearly 70% of all freight in America, contributing almost $700 billion to the country’s gross domestic product each year. These numbers demonstrate just how vital this industry is to economic growth. After all, the higher the GDP, the more money is available to be spent and invested in other areas of the economy.

If you want to be part of the trucking industry, you may consider acquiring your fleet of big rigs. Expect that when it comes to a freezer truck for sale at a reasonable price, you may need to shell out approximately $50,000 or more. Nevertheless, this investment is worth it because you can use freezer trucks to transport food, medicine, and other temperature-sensitive products. Alternatively, you may also consider purchasing a used truck in good condition. Trailer financing options are available if you don’t have enough money to buy a truck outright. Depending on the business you intend to venture into, you may find truck rental options more economical.

  • Tips for choosing the right truck

Before you buy or rent a truck, it’s essential to determine which type is best suited for your needs. You should consider several factors when selecting the right truck, such as payload capacity, fuel efficiency, and cost. Additionally, consider the size of your cab and trailer and the roads you will be traveling on. All these factors will help you find the most suitable truck for your business.

Payload capacity

A truck’s payload capacity is an essential factor that should be considered. This affects how much weight you can safely transport in your vehicle. The bigger the payload capacity, the more items you can haul in one trip. It’s essential to know your payload capacity, so you don’t overload your vehicle, as this can cause damage to the truck and other drivers on the road. It’s also important to note that trucks with higher payload capacities tend to be more expensive. 

Fuel efficiency

When selecting a truck, you should also consider its fuel efficiency. Fuel-efficient trucks can help you save money on fuel costs and reduce your environmental impact. This is because when your vehicle is fuel-efficient, it uses less gas and emits fewer emissions. So, be sure to research the type of engine used in the truck and inquire about its certified MPG rating before making a purchase or rental decision. An engine type such as a diesel will be more fuel-efficient than one that runs on gasoline, so it’s essential to consider this. MPG rating is usually displayed on the fuel canister of a truck.

Cost

Cost is another essential factor that you should consider when selecting a truck. As mentioned earlier, you may need a hefty sum for a single truck. Additionally, consider any additional costs, such as maintenance and insurance, before making your decision. These can quickly add up over time and impact your bottom line. Maintenance costs are significant to consider as they can play a role in the longevity of your vehicle. Insurance costs can also vary depending on the type of coverage required.

Cab size

The size of the cab you choose should also be taken into consideration. Be sure to select a cab size that is comfortable and suitable for the number of passengers you will be carrying. Additionally, consider whether you need additional features such as air conditioning and an audio system. Air conditioning is vital during the summer when temperatures can soar, while an audio system can help make your drives more enjoyable.

Route

Finally, the roads you will be traveling on should also be considered. Be sure to choose a truck suitable for the terrain you will be driving on, such as off-road or mountainous roads. Additionally, inquire about specific regulations or laws governing commercial trucks in your area. For instance, some states require that commercial trucks be equipped with a government-approved exhaust system. This type of exhaust system helps reduce emissions and noise.

Employment

Aside from contributing considerably to the US economy, the truck industry also creates jobs for millions of people. Statistics show that the trucking industry is the largest employer of heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the United States, with more than 3.5 million people employed in this field. In addition to employing individuals, it’s indirectly responsible for creating jobs in other industries, such as transportation services, warehousing, and logistics. Transportation service providers in different states help facilitate the delivery of goods, while warehouses are necessary for storing and distributing products. Meanwhile, logistics companies ensure that orders are delivered on time and in good condition by optimizing truck routes.

Being a part of the trucking industry doesn’t always mean you must establish your own business. You can also take advantage of the jobs available to truck drivers. To do this, you need to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and obtain certifications in various areas, such as hazardous materials transport and cargo securement. CDL is necessary because it gives you the legal authority to operate commercial motor vehicles. At the same time, the other certifications equip you with the knowledge and skills required for safely transporting cargo. With the right skills and qualifications, you can land high-paying jobs with reputable companies.

Social importance

In addition to its economic contributions and job creation opportunities, the truck industry is also crucial from a social standpoint. Truckers are often seen as an essential part of the supply chain and provide goods and services that many people rely on daily. Without their help, shelves in supermarkets would be empty, and pharmacies wouldn’t have access to the medicines they need. Truck drivers play an essential role in keeping society running smoothly by transporting goods quickly and safely. Truckers also provide a valuable service to the community by helping transport goods that would otherwise take up space on the roads, such as garbage.

Trailer trucks that deliver goods to stores and warehouses may not always be the most glamorous or high-profile sector of the economy, but their importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Without this industry, many jobs would be lost, and businesses wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand. Furthermore, the social implications of a lack of truckers could potentially lead to medical and food shortages. By understanding the importance of this industry, you can better appreciate its role in keeping the economy and society running smoothly.

Safety

The truck industry also plays a vital role in promoting safety on the road. The ATA reports that the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks has dropped by nearly 40% since the 1970s, thanks to technological advances, better driver training, and increased regulation. This is a testament to the importance of this sector when it comes to keeping roads safe. Technical safety measures such as lane departure warning systems and collision avoidance systems have further improved the safety of truck drivers and other motorists on the road. Better driver training has also helped reduce fatalities by ensuring that drivers are competent and up-to-date with their knowledge. Increased regulation and enforcement have also helped to reduce the number of truck-related accidents, as many drivers now feel more accountable for their actions.

Nevertheless, there are still road accidents involving trucks, so the truck industry must remain vigilant to improve safety standards and reduce fatalities. For example, introducing speed limiters, more stringent driver training programs, and better vehicle maintenance could help reduce the number of accidents on the road. Speed limiters, for example, could help to reduce the number of speed-related accidents by limiting the speed at which large trucks can drive. More stringent driving training programs, such as the FMCSA’s program, could also help ensure drivers are more competent and qualified to handle large trucks. And better vehicle maintenance that involves regular inspections and repairs could help to reduce the number of mechanical-related accidents.

Challenges faced by the trucking industry

  • Environmental impact

Trucking is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions due to burning diesel fuel. This is why many states have taken steps to reduce emissions from trucks and other commercial vehicles. These efforts include incentives for truck owners to switch to cleaner-burning fuel sources such as natural gas or electric, as well as introducing rules that promote more efficient driving habits. Cleaner-burning fuel sources can reduce emissions by up to 40%, while more efficient driving habits can help to reduce fuel consumption and lower costs. Regarding the latter, practices such as avoiding excessive braking, using cruise control, and avoiding sudden accelerations can help reduce fuel consumption and emissions. As technology progresses, you can expect further improvements in the efficiency of trucking operations, which should help reduce their environmental impact. 

  • Infrastructure

The trucking industry also faces several infrastructure-related challenges, particularly concerning the availability of rest stops. Many truckers spend long hours on the road, which can lead to fatigue and other issues. To address this problem, the Department of Transportation has taken steps to improve the availability of rest stops for truckers. These efforts include expanding existing rest areas, adding new ones, and providing additional parking spaces for trucks. Expanding current rest areas can give the truckers more space while adding new ones can ensure they are available even in remote locations. Providing additional parking spaces can also help reduce congestion at rest stops and ensure that truckers have a place to rest and recharge before resuming their journey.

Another infrastructure-related challenge is the lack of up-to-date roadways. Poorly maintained roads can lead to increased wear and tear on tires, which adds to the cost of trucking operations. To address this issue, state governments are investing in infrastructure projects to repair and maintain existing roads and build new ones. The repair and maintenance of roads also help to reduce the number of accidents and improve truck driver safety. However, not all states can keep up with the necessary repairs, so more investments are needed.

  • High demand for drivers

The trucking industry is facing a severe driver shortage, with the American Truckers Association estimating that there will be a need for an additional 900,000 truck drivers by 2024. The combination of an aging workforce and employers’ preference for younger drivers has contributed to the problem. This means employers now have to offer higher wages and better benefits to attract more individuals into the industry. Younger drivers are preferred as they are more likely to stay in the industry for longer. To ensure a sufficient supply of qualified drivers, employers increasingly turn to driver recruitment services to fill their needs.

Additionally, recent changes in immigration policy have also made it harder for foreign nationals to enter the country as truck drivers. Often, truck drivers are foreign nationals who come to the United States on visas and stay for a few years before returning home. The changes in immigration policy have made it more difficult for these individuals to enter the country, further exacerbating the driver shortage problem. However, within the next couple of years, the industry will likely see an increase in drivers from other countries as immigration policies are relaxed.

truck industry

Overall, it’s evident that the truck industry is significant for the economy and society. Despite the challenges in the trucking industry, its importance cannot be overlooked. It is a crucial part of the economy and provides jobs and services essential to society. The industry is also taking steps to reduce its environmental impact while promoting safety on the road. By addressing these challenges and embracing new technology, the trucking industry can continue contributing positively for years.