Ever wonder about the history of trucking and how it grew into the vast industry it is today? Next time you roll through Iowa, pop in to the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott and take part in the industry’s story.
While you are at the museum:
- Learn the history of trucking, taking a glimpse back in time to the trucks of yesteryear.
- View short films about the trucking industry in the museum’s REO theater.
- Check out unique, one-of-a-kind trucks.
- Browse the array of current exhibits, including vintage transportation related toys, signage, gasoline pumps, and engines.
- And more.
A rare collection…
Over 100 antique trucks comprise the museum’s collection, with 60 vehicles currently on display spanning every decade from a 1910 Avery Farm Wagon to a 1983 Ford 9000.
A man on a mission
Founded by Bill Moon, the Iowa 80 Trucking museum’s collection of antique trucks and trucking memorabilia have been lovingly restored and preserved in order to provide the public and trucking enthusiasts a rare glimpse into the history of trucking and the impact the industry has on our everyday lives.
Support the cause
The museum is passionate about preserving trucking history, but relies on the support of fellow enthusiasts for the funding of exhibits and restoration projects. Help Iowa 80 continue to grow and share the positive history of trucking with the public. Make a donation on your visit, become a member, or take part in the museum’s annual August golf tournament. (This year a local man got a hole-in-one and won a car!!)
Headed that way?
Plan your visit with directions, hours of operation, and a listing of upcoming events directly from the museum’s website.
It’s not hard to figure out where 18 wheelers get that name from, but do you know why we also call them semi-trailer trucks? Here are some interesting bits of trivia and trucker tips that you might not have known.
Why the Name “Semi”?
The name “semi-trailer” is believed to come from the fact that the trailer part has to be connected to the trailer in order to go anywhere, since it doesn’t have any front wheels.
How Big Are Truck Engines?
Truck engines in 18 wheelers are about six times bigger than car engines, and they give you up to 1,800 more pound-feet of torque. That’s because they have 300 to 400 more horsepower.
How Much Can They Haul?
Most 18 wheelers are 70 to 80 in length and can haul up to 80,000 pounds, but Australian “road trains” can haul 300,000 pounds or more. They’re able to do this since the tractors have four trailers connected to them.
What’s the Engine Lifespan?
Semi engines can last up to 800,000 more miles than standard car engines, which makes sense since they’re built to run more often.
What Does “Jackknife” Mean?
Jackknife means that there’s a 45-degree angle between the trailer and tractor on your 18 wheeler. This angle happens at the kingpin that connects the two.
Where Are Most 18 Wheelers Registered?
Semis are registered all over the US, but California, Texas and Florida have the biggest numbers among them. Roughly one-third of semis are registered in these states.
How Is Driving a Semi Different in Europe?
For one, European 18 wheelers have speed limiters on them that prevent them from going above 56 MPH. Truckers in England aren’t allowed to smoke in their semis.
How Long Does It Take to Brake?
Usually, it takes about two football field lengths to stop safely, but it takes even longer when you’re driving on smooth roads with little or no resistance.
While many people are able to unwind with family and friends during the holidays, it can be one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year for truck drivers. Customers are counting on you to make deliveries in time for Christmas sales. The weather tends to be awful at the same time with winter storms causing unexpected delays and numerous road closings. There are still things you can do to create cherished memories and even start holiday traditions that you and your family look forward to each year.
Create your own traditions
It was Somerset Maugham who said, “Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” If you are away from home during the holidays, there is nothing to keep you from celebrating with your family when you do reunite. The actual days of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years tend to be more stressful for people than enjoyable because they fall into a trap of complying with society’s arbitrary rules about when to shop, eat, or celebrate.
Utilize technology to stay connected
Being apart gives you an advantage that so many people do not have. You are able to reflect and truly appreciate what matters to you in life rather than stress about rushing from one relatives house to another. The toughest part is being away from your kids and grand-kids. Plan in advance for a time that you will talk to them by phone or video and allocate yourself plenty of time to hear every detail about their day.
Watch out for other drivers
Many of the people on the road are hurriedly driving on roads they are not familiar with and trying to get to stores before everyone else on the road gets there first. They may be visiting family in a different state or town and rushing to get back to their home. Remember why you are out there on the road and get back home safe to the people that love and support you.
Wherever you may be during the holidays, visit TruckerToTrucker.com, your one-stop resource for information on all trucker-related issues.
A recent lawsuit may change training requirements for those seeking to embark on a career in the trucking industry. Though auto fatalities have dropped in recent years, fatalities involving large trucks are on the rise, increasing by 4 percent in 2012. Injuries have also increased 18 percent, racking up an astounding 4,000 deaths and over 70,000 injuries.
Department of Transportation has yet to institute training requirements
Though ordered twice by Congress to develop training requirements for commercial truck drivers, the DOT has left drivers across the U.S. sharing the road with big-rig operators who have had only 10 hours of classroom training.
Procrastination results in federal lawsuit
Safety advocates and the Teamsters union recently sued the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, citing repeated delays since 1993 including some as recent as last year.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains safety is a top priority
The agency claims to be engaging in a collaborative process aimed at improved training. History, however, shows otherwise. It took the administration a decade following a 1993 court order to come up with the current 10 hour training requirement. Federal courts ruled the standard inadequate as most national trucking companies already require more extensive training, and the recent 2013 deadline also appears to be being ignored.
How does national trucking company training compare to state tests?
Commercial truck drivers can obtain a nationwide license through their home state DMV following a 10 hour class, written exam, short practical driving test, and no on-the-road training. The testing process is similar to an everyday driver’s license exam. National trucking company training, however, is typically more extensive. Most require several weeks of training, including classroom and on-the-road experience with a senior operator. Difficult to regard this training as overkill when you consider the implications of staying safe while driving an 80,000 truck.
Looking for more news on what’s shaking up the trucking industry? Count on TruckerToTrucker.com, your online truck superstore.