Did You Know? Surprising Trucking Facts

Most expensive tractor trailer:  Named the “Darth Vader,” this Kenworth T-2000 is the most expensive tractor trailer in the world, costing over $7 million!  This truck is 75 feet long (the longest truck in the country) and weighs 90,000 lbs.  Instead of hauling cargo, this truck transports 30 television technicians and equipment for live TV events.

Most Expensive Freight Class:  There are 18 freight classes ranging from 50 to 500, each becoming more expensive as the class number increases.  Class 500 comprises of those products with little density (weighing under a pound) as well as those carrying an extremely high value.  It comes as no surprise that bags of gold dust would fall under this category but some may be amazed to know that ping balls are also part of this class due to their very low weight.

Largest Truck Convoy:  Last year, a whopping 590 trucks participated in the 27th annual Mother’s Day convoy in Lancaster, PA to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, making it the largest truck convoy to date.

Largest Cargo Heist: Thieves entered in through the roof of an Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield, CT back in March 2010, stealing $76 million worth in prescription drugs, making it the largest commercial drug heist in US history.

The First Tractor Trailer:  The first tractor trailer was invented in 1914 by Charles Freuhauf, who was a German-American blacksmith.  Freuhauf built the truck in Detroit at a merchant’s request to transport his boat to the Ford Motor Company.  Freuhauf was then asked to build a similar tractor trailer to haul lumber, leading him to establish the Freuhauf Trailer Company in 1918. 1

The Fifth Wheel:  John Endebrock, a sales representative at the Sechler Company, a carriage manufacturer which changed its name to The Trailmobile Company in 1915 when Endebrock created a trailer that could be pulled by a Ford Model T, created the fifth wheel, a mechanism that couples the tractor to the trailer. 2

Room to Grow:  With 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. transporting around 70% of domestic freight and accounting for nearly $650 billion in revenue each year, the trucking industry is expected to grow 21% by 2025. 3

To the Moon and Back:  If you were to line up all of the trucks in the United States (close to 15.7 million), they would reach the moon! 3