5 trucking industry facts you probably didn’t know

The trucking industry is arguably the most important sector in the United States. Without it, supplies would be non-existent and food would be scarce in certain areas. That’s why it’s so important to support trucking, especially for the future.

But with an industry as large as trucking, there are certain surprises that come along.

Some of these surprises come on the road, while some are on paper. Here are 5 trucking industry facts that you probably didn’t know.

Over 97 percent of trucking fleets operate 20 or fewer trucks

While there is an endless number of trucking fleets in the United States, most of them are very small. For perspective, over 97% of these fleets have 20 or fewer trucks. Over 91% have six or fewer.

This means that most fleets are microscopic and the mega-fleets are not as common as you might think.

There are 7 million employees in the trucking industry

This number can be slightly misleading, as only around two million of these employees are truck drivers. That said, a whopping five million work in the trucking industry in some capacity.

In total, over 2% of the United States population works in the trucking industry. That number doesn’t sound overly impressive, but this means that one in every 50 people works for one of these companies.

Trucking companies cap your speed to save fuel – and it helps a lot

If you ever wondered why so many trucking companies cap their trucks’ top speed, it’s much more simple than you might think. They want to save gas.

In fact, by capping the speed of these trucks at 65 MPH instead of 75 MPH, companies save 27% on fuel usage. While this may seem insignificant, it can save up to $200 per tank of gas.

Commercial trucks use over 20,000 gallons of fuel per year on average

Ever wondered how much gas you go through in a year as a truck driver? That number likely sits above 20,000 gallons, which can equate to over $100,000 in gasoline.

In comparison, a normal four-wheeler will only go through an average of 500 gallons of gas. Cheaper gas, too.

Trucking is one of the highest-earning blue-collar professions in the US

The number for average salary of a truck driver varies greatly. If you ask a trucker, they’ll probably claim to be making six figures. If you ask someone who isn’t in the industry, they’ll give you a drastically low number. Generally speaking though, that number sits around $60,000 per year, which is on the higher end up blue-collar professions.

Saints Row 3 Trucking

How did this video game get this trucking detail so wrong?

Semi-trucks are well-represented in the media. There are countless films, commercials, and advertisements that feature 18-wheelers as a key piece in their storyboard. Truckers and semi-trucks are a huge part of pop culture and gaming is no exception to this.

Many of these games are hyper-realistic, like American Truck Simulator or any game in the Forza series. Generally speaking, these games do a good job of recreating semi-trucks down to specific details in the engine.

Sometimes, however, the creators of these games do a bad job. No — scratch that — sometimes, they do a terrible job.

Saints Row: The Third put all of the semi-trucks backward into the docks

If you haven’t already, go look at the image above from r/Truckers on Reddit. If you’re a trucker, you’ll immediately spot the issue.

That’s right, the trucks are somehow forward-facing to the docks in this screenshot of Saints Row: The Third Remastered. It’s unclear just how anybody would rationalize the positioning of these trucks, as it would be pretty much physically impossible to get them into the docks without backing them in. A Reddit user jokingly mentioned that the trailers might be double-sided.

Here’s the positive — sometimes games like this do things incorrectly on purpose. As an example, Grand Theft Auto V has stats that show each car’s acceleration, speed, and handling. These stats are known to be completely made up. Why? The developers thought it would be funny.

Let’s hope that this is another example of a gaming developer trying to be funny. Otherwise, it’s one of the sillier-looking mistakes that I’ve ever seen in a video game.

And the worst part? This game was remastered, meaning that the developers updated all of the graphics in the game. This means that they had the chance to fix this error and once again, left the trucks facing the wrong way into their respective docks.

trucking, california

This California trucking law just banned over 200,000 semi-trucks

The trucking industry in the United States is very dependent on laws, rules, and regulations. These laws, rules, and regulations often determine how long a driver can drive, how much money a driver can make, and even where a driver can work.

They completely control the trucking industry.

And unfortunately for a lot of truck drivers, a new 2023 law will be impacting their livelihood. Thankfully for Whiteline Express drivers, this law is specific to California and mostly owner-operators.

Trucks made before 2011 are no longer allowed on California roads

Financially speaking, new laws can turn out to be a big negative for a truck driver. In this case, over 200,000 trucks will be impacted — this means that tens of thousands of truckers will be impacted, too. Possibly even hundreds of thousands.

To keep it simple, trucks built in 2010 or earlier will no longer be allowed on California roads. This has been coming for a long time and is a result of clean air regulations set in place by California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) back in 2008. According to MotorBiscuit, big rigs make up for just six percent of vehicles but account for about half of the state’s total emissions. This number increases as trucks age.

For many owner-operators, this change will have devastating consequences.

There are exceptions to California’s new law, but not many

Before all drivers are sent into a panic — there are acceptions to this rule.

For example, if you have a truck that was built before 2011 but has never been used, you can continue to drive it. I’m not sure about the specifics of this rule going forward, but if the vehicle has less than 1,000 miles per year of use since its original acquisition, it can still be used.

Another example is that of vehicles that have had their engines replaced with one built past 2010.