33 Truck Driving Fun Facts
America depends on millions of truck drivers to deliver and transport goods every day. There are many amazing facts about the men and women drivers that transport goods across America. There are also incredible feats that have been accomplished centered around big rig trucks that are at the core of the trucking industry.
How many stacked trucks does it take to reach the moon? What is the longest road train in the world? Do you know about the 3,974 horsepower Peterbilt? It sold recently, do you know for how much? How many billions of gallons of diesel fuel are used for freight each year? What is the fast truck in the world? How fast does it travel? We want to share some of these facts and fascinating stories with you.
- In 2018, there were 15.5 million trucks and only 3.5 million qualified drivers in the United States.
- Each year there are around 300,000 new jobs created around the trucking industry.
- Barcodes used in most industries now started in 1974 at the grocery stores around the country. They were initially designed to keep track of rail cars as they made their way across America. Now barcodes are even used for Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) on big trucks and most vehicles.
- The trucking industry became starstruck in the 1960s and ’70s. All the attention from movies and songs made the trucking profession itself a big hit. The stardom has contributed to the strength of the industry to this day.
- If all 15.5 million trucks in America were stacked end to end, they would reach the moon.
- Of the 3.5 million qualified big rig drivers in America, 1 out of every nine is owned by an owner-operator.
- A typical truck engine is six times larger than a car engine.
- The longest road train is 4,836 feet 11 inches. An Australian named John Atkinson drove it. John towed 113 trailers for a distance of 490 feet in 2006. Now that was a load to haul!
- December of 2019, a 3,974 horsepower Peterbilt truck named Thor sold for $13.2 million in Saudia Arabia. A real estate developer designed the rig. The project cost him $7 million.
- In 2015 the world’s first self-driving semi-truck made its debut on the roadway.
- The trucking industry pays an estimated 21.4 billion dollars to operate on American roadways per year.
- United States Department of Transportation estimates that over 500,000 truck accidents occur every year.
- Truckers fuel their trucks with 12.8% of all the fuel purchased in America.
- Approximately 192,000 big rigs are sold in America every year.
- Semi-trucks drive a combined average of over 140 billion miles a year on American roadways.
- A semi traveling 65 Miles Per Hour (MPH) needs 525 feet to come to a complete stop. That is the distance of three football fields.
- More than 37 billion gallons of diesel fuel is used to move America’s freight each year.
- Many over-the-road professional truck drivers drive over 3 million miles during their lifetime.
- The first licensed woman driver was named Luella Bates. Luella received her license in 1918.
- In 2018, for every doctor in America, there were almost three truck drivers.
- The longest ramp jump with a semi-truck was July 24, 2015. Greg Godfrey jumped 160 feet with a semi-truck.
- The first song to be written about truck drivers was back in 1939. The song was entitled, “Truck Driver’s Blues” and recorded by Cliff Bruner and His Boys.
- Elvis Presley was a truck driver before he became famous.
- The largest parade of trucks driven by women in the world was in the Netherlands. On November 6, 2004, an all-female convoy of 416 trucks made the Guinness Book of World Records.
- The longest ramp jump by a truck and trailer was 83 feet 7 inches. The driver performed the stunt over a moving lotus formula-one car.
- A retired truck driver holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the most extensive collection of salt and pepper shakers. LaVerne Tish has over 10,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers. He has an astounding 6,971 of the sets that are not doubles.
- William Coe of Florida has an impressive record for driving 3,001,276 miles without a single preventable accident.
- Ralph Lendi, a United Parcel Service driver, logged more than 7 million miles behind the wheel and has never received a ticket or been in an accident. A trip to the moon is 239,000 miles. He has traveled American roadways an equivalent of 29 times without a blemish.
- In 1914, a blacksmith from Germany named Charles Fruehauf needed a way to transport his boat, so he invented the first tractor-trailer.
- Lasha Pattaraya, a Georgian man, pulled a semi weighing more than eight tons for 70 feet with his ear.
- A man in South Africa, given the name Gentle Giant, pulled six 10-ton trucks a distance of 98 feet in 46 seconds.
- May 2014, Irv Gordon was driving near Anchorage, Alaska, and turned over his big rigs tachometer to 3,039,122 miles. Irv’s 1966 Volvo 1800s has traveled millions of miles of roadway.
- Shockwave is the name of an incredibly fast jet-engine truck. Shockwave is a triple jet-engine truck on a 260-inch wheelbase. This truck travels a fantastic speed of 376 miles per hour and holds the Guinness Book of World Records.
Did you enjoy the 33 Truck Driving Fun Facts countdown? Surprising facts from Elvis Presley to Luella Bates America’s first female professional driver. National Driving Icon, Ralph Lendi, who has driven 7 million miles with amazing grace because all of those miles were accident and citation free. Ralph’s fantastic record is in the grasp of professional truck drivers all over America. Can you imagine pulling a semi-truck with your ear? Or how about pulling six 10-ton semi-trucks? That is raw human power at work.
All of these stories and amazing facts that center around the trucking industry show a small indication of how vital the trucks and the people who drive them are to society. America appreciates over one million men and women professional drivers. We understand the long hours you put in to keep America moving and going strong can be frustrating and tiring at times. We want to say, “thank you.”
Thank you for letting us share these fun facts and stories with you. Remember to keep trucking the beautiful country of America. As you enjoy the scenery from America’s roadways, please remember to drive safe and leave plenty of stopping distance.