Q:

How many trucks are on the road?

A:

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were more than 133 million total trucks in the United States in 2012. Of these trucks, more than 130 million were used for private or commercial purposes. California and Texas were the states with the most trucks, combining for nearly 25 million.

A large number of the registered trucks were used for commercial purposes, including tractor trailers. Several large companies, such as UPS, have massive fleets that contributed to this total. The trucking industry is an important part of the economy, employing millions of drivers and support staff.

Trucks first appeared in the United States in 1899. These vehicles differed from cars in their utility. Generally more powerful than cars, early trucks were able to carry larger loads, which made them ideal for individuals who worked in certain major industries, such as farming, trades and construction. The utility of trucks expanded to other industries, including food service as food trucks that housed full kitchens emerged.

Trucks remain popular for personal use. One variation that the Department of Transportation still classifies as a truck is the Sport Utility Vehicle. In 2012, the Department reported there were more than 55 million SUVs in the United States.


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