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Baffle Them With Trucking Facts!
By Jeff Jensen, Editor
Apr 1, 2008 - 2:26:20 PM
Have you ever been in a discussion about trucking and found yourself grasping for a
needed statistic to drive home your point and win the debate?
Or, have you ever elucidated on a topic before an audience of other drivers at a restaurant table and astounded them with your knowledge of general trucking facts and stats?
Well, your search for those golden nuggets of statistical information is over. The following is a compendium of salient factoids about the trucking industry ever, uhh, compendiumed.
Armed with these tidbits of knowledge, you'll easily win any argument and be the envy of your peer group!
*Number of tractor-trailer drivers in the U.S.
The U.S. trucking industry employs over 9 million Americans with over 3 million of these employees being truck drivers, Over 1 million are long haul drivers who own and operate their truck. 70 percent of them are leased to carriers, while the remainder have their own operating authority.
It is estimated that 300,000 new drivers will be needed each year for the next 10
* Number of women truckers
About 12% of owner/operators and nearly 10% of company drivers are ladies. More than 3 quarters of lady owner/operators are part of a driving team, typically husband and wife.
*Number of trucking companies in the U.S.
There are over 500,000 companies and 80 percent of them have 20 or fewer trucks. It is estimated that owner-operators make up about 70% of the interstate driver population.
As of 2004 the U.S. trucking industry carried 11.6 billion tons of freight, generating $574 billion in revenue, representing a 24% increase of 1994 revenue of $463 billion.
By 2008, the trucking industry will haul 9.3 billion tons, or over 64 percent, of total U.S. freight tonnage. and also by 2008, 87 cents out of every dollar of U.S. freight revenue will go to the trucking industry. 70 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of their goods and commodities.The trucking industry
grows an estimated 5% every year.
The total distance driven by commercial trucks in the U.S. exceeds 150 billion miles each year - equivalent to about 640 trips from the Earth to the Moon.
The average truck in the United States travels an average of 64,200 miles per year, the equivalent of driving almost two and a half times around the world. The average
trip for heavy trucks is about 420 miles one way.
The trucking industry accounts for 12.8% of all the fuel purchased in the U.S. Automobiles and light vehicles accounted for 63% of the fuel purchased.
*The Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and much of the trucking industry's growth can be attributed to the interstate system. The interstate system is so essential to trucking that no list of trucking statistics would be complete without the following factoids:
-There are 46,677 road miles of interstate highway, the largest highway system in the world. One fourth of all U.S. roadway traffic is carried on this system. The price tag (adjusted for inflation was $425 billion in 2006 dollars and it took 35 years to complete.
-The most heavily traveled area of the Interstate Highway System is the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, California, with a 2005 estimate of 382,000 vehicles a day.
-The least traveled section is Interstate 95 just north of Houlton, Maine (near the Canadian border), with 1,880 vehicles a day. (2001 estimate).
-The longest Interstate highway is Interstate 90, which runs 3,099 miles (4,987 km) between Boston, Massachusetts and Seattle, Washington.
-The shortest signed Interstate is Interstate 375 in downtown Detroit, Michigan, at 1.06 miles
*Causes of breakdowns on the road
Tires - 51.3%
Jump or Pull start - 7.6%
Air Line or hose - 4.7%
Alternator - 4.1%
Wiring - 3.9%
Fuel Filter R/R - 3.7%
Fuel - 3.5%
Brakes - 2.4%
All others - less than 1%
-In two-vehicle crashes involving a large truck and passenger vehicle, driver-related crash factors were coded for 26 percent of the truck drivers involved. In contrast, driver-related factors were coded for 82 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers involved.
-Drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal collisions with trucks were more likely than the drivers of trucks to be under 26 or over 65 years old, to have invalid drivers licenses, to be legally drunk, and to be cited for driver-related crash factors.
-In fatal crashes, three-fourths (76%) of truck drivers were using their seat belts, compared with only half (49%) of passenger vehicle drivers.
-It is more than twice as likely in fatal crashes between large trucks and passenger vehicles that the truck is struck in the rear than that the passenger vehicle is struck in the rear.
-In 89% of fatal head-on passenger vehicle/truck crashes, the passenger vehicle crossed the center line into the truck's lane, while in 11 percent of these crashes, the
truck encroached into the passenger vehicle's lane.
-35 percent of fatal passenger vehicle crashes occur in the four blind spots surrounding large trucks. In 71 percent of crashes, the police assigned one or more crash factors to the passenger vehicle driver and none to the truck driver.
-92.2 percent of fatigue-related crashes involve drivers of passenger vehicles. Of all
fatigue-related fatal crashes, only 6 percent involve truck drivers.
(From the American Trucking Associations)
Nearly half of owner-operators and more than half of company drivers have at least some college. Nearly 87% of owner-operators and 90% of company drivers have a high school diploma or better. This is a higher level of education than among the
general population age 20 and over, in which 83% are high school graduates or more.
(Profile of the Interstate Trucker, Newport Communications,1999)
The average age for owner- operators is 49.6 years, and 48.6 years for company drivers; surveys indicate that owner- operators drive an average of 114,847 miles per year, while company personnel drive 120,640 miles;
Home ownership among owner- operators is at 89.7 percent, and 78.9 percent for company drivers;
Company drivers smoke more than owner-operators, with averages reflecting 38.9 percent and 29.9 percent respectively; and 52.1 percent of owner-operators use computers for business, compared to 32.2 percent of company drivers who use them for this purpose.
(OOIDA 2004 member profile)
*American Trucking Association (ATA)
*Bureau of Transportation Statistics
*Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau
*National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
*FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System
*Fatality Analysis Reporting System
© Copyright 2005 by Expediters Online.com
I imagine allot of these so called safety groups will disagree with most of these facts. Can't have actual facts get in the way of their agenda!!
Comment By: Roadhzrd on Fri, Apr 18 2008 @ 3:48 AM [EST]
I got a bone to pick with those figures since I deal with truck breakdowns...I deal with breakdowns on a daily basis and I'd have to say 80% have to do with wiring..Either a relay gone bad or a short..I rarely get a call about a blown tire I'd say about 10%..The main thing I have to deal with is..No brake lights..No tailights...Which the company I work for has a policy of no lights..no go..The biggest problem I have is electrical..Thanks to the Golden State of road repair all the vibration of potholes take a toll on the wiring..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 26 2008 @ 7:08 AM [EST]
By the way fuel filter do also go bad more than your figures lead on..I'd say that is more around 20%..Trust me, I deal with this on a daily basis.. I coordinate repairs with our mechanics day in and day out..VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 26 2008 @ 7:12 AM [EST]
By the way, I smoke, so does Lennut..You can get some useful advice whilst smoking it up among senior drivers..Like NEVER BREAK THE RPM'S..When passing hang back until an opportinity arise's then build your momentum up and they'll think you got a monster of an engine..I passed this one trucker last night like he was standing still because I hung back until I saw my window..VM-out again...
Comment By: VM on Sat, Apr 26 2008 @ 7:18 AM [EST]
Thanks for the comments guys. Remember, not my figures. =-) Just passing them alone. I will keep it in mind. I also smoke and do find that you CAN learn a lot in the smoking area.
Comment By: Truckin Tedybehr on Tue, Apr 29 2008 @ 2:51 PM [EST]
Tires go bad all the time, but its what you consider a "breakdown" to me is how I'm basing my figures..Tires usually have a slow leak and can be repaired at an area and time that is not gonna set your schedule back to far..What normally happens is a guy tells me he's been adding air to a particular tire for days now and it keeps going low..So when his shift is done I call our tire people and have it fixed..Hell they're faster than domino's..They are ususally there in 30 minutes..and fix it about that fast too..VM-out! Blowouts do occur but not too often..
Comment By: VM on Wed, Apr 30 2008 @ 6:24 AM [EST]