Five Fascinating Fast Facts About Semi Trucks

May 22, 2018

The history of semi-trucks goes back almost to the dawn of the automobile.  The moment someone had a working internal combustion engine, someone else was thinking about how to harness it to ship goods around.  In that time, there’s been plenty of change and innovation in trucking – something we’re proud to have been a part of, offering semi-trucks for sale here at Coopersburg & Liberty Kenworth.

So today, just for fun, let’s just have a quick list of factoids about trucks and the history of trucking.

Five Things You Might Not Have Known About Semi Trucks and Trucking

1 – The first “semi-truck” was invented in 1898.

In 1897, Alexander Winton founded the Winton Motor Carriage Company, one of the first dedicated automotive manufacturers in America.  Just a year later, he rolled out what’s commonly considered the first heavy-duty truck specifically for the shipment of goods.   In fact, it was a car-hauler, so that his customers could receive their cars in mint condition!

Winton was a pioneer in early American automotive who is rarely discussed.  He was also an avid race-car builder, and even raced Henry Ford in 1901.  But Ford won.

2 – The “semi” in semi-truck refers to the trailer.

A lot of people don’t actually know where the “semi” comes from.  That’s actually the trailer, and it’s called a “semi” because it lacks front wheels and is therefore totally dependent on the truck hauling it.

3 – Grinding lots of gears.

The maximum number of gears that a truck transmission can have is actually eighteen!  However, the most common setup is twelve – ten forward gears, and two for reversing.

4 – The “fifth wheel” isn’t unnecessary at all!

In common usage, calling someone a “fifth wheel” suggests that they’re useless or extraneous in a gathering.  However, fifth wheel is actually a trucking term – it’s part of the coupling which holds the trailer in place.  So, a fifth wheel is a highly vital component!

And speaking of trucking terms that became slang…

5 – All hail the kingpin.

A “kingpin” isn’t just a mob boss – it’s actually large pin that goes through the fifth wheel and anchors the coupling in place.  (Someone should tell that to Daredevil.)

Get Great Deals on Semi Trucks for Sale from Coopersburg & Liberty

We have a huge selection of both new and used Kenworth’s.  Come visit and see for yourself!