DON MILLS, Ont. - At the beginning of the 20th Century entrepreneurs like Gottlieb Daimler and Rudolf Diesel had already laid the first bricks in the foundation of truck building. In 1899, Monsieur Fe...
DON MILLS, Ont. – At the beginning of the 20th Century entrepreneurs like Gottlieb Daimler and Rudolf Diesel had already laid the first bricks in the foundation of truck building. In 1899, Monsieur Felix Dubois ushered in the era of long-haul trucking with the 9.5hp DeDietrich gasoline-powered engine, which was designed to link Kayes and Bamako in the French Sudan. Prior to this innovation, trucks had been confined to the major centres of the world.
While it would still be some years before trucks would begin to play the key role they occupy in today’s economy, the blueprint was set and truck makers began filling the need for the affordable transportation of goods.
Jim Hebe, president and chief executive officer of Freightliner LLC, recently described truck making as an art form that requires a precise balance between form and function. While function has always been a top concern, the many different incarnations of rigs that have graced North American highways over the past century are a testament to the variables on the form side of the equation.
A simple perusal of the North American original equipment manufacturers shows that the appearance of trucks has been as varied as the loads they haul.
Truck News offers a look at just a few of the many faces of the truck over the past 100 years. n
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