One of the big headlines recently was that Tesla Inc. is working on a ‘Tesla Semi’: a heavy-duty electric-powered cargo-hauling semi-tractor trailer. Some experts estimate that this new design could become a catalyst in the trucking industry and become 70% cheaper to operate.1 Engine-maker Cummins also recently announced the development of an electric big rig.
Excitement is building over these new technologies that promise improved metrics. Every single American feels the effects of the trucking industry, so increased efficacy is good news for all! Here are a couple mind-boggling facts on how massive the US trucking industry is:2
- 80% of all cargo is transported by trucks
- 1.3 million trucking companies in the US
- $726 billion, annual trucking industry revenue
- 7.1 million trucking industry employees (6% of working population)
- $143 billion annually is spent on fuel powering tractor trailers
- Truck driver is the most common occupation in 29 states
Here at UEA in Waverly, Iowa, we deal with the trucking industry on a daily basis. All of our components ship out on trucks. We routinely need to send components out to have secondary operations done such as painting, plating, heat treating, over-molding, etc.
The need to transfer products to customers and other companies requires us to be very mindful of how we package our products. Some of our components are much more difficult to ship than others. Our hydraulic swivels, especially when there is an electrical slip ring attached, require specially made shipping containers.
Over the past few years, we have consolidated our hydraulic shipping pallet designs. We offer large, medium and small pallet options. We have had very good luck with our custom designed pallets. Unfortunately, we have had swivels shipped back to us where the customer did not follow good procedure when repacking the swivel, causing the swivel to become loose during shipping. The shipping company then proceeded to put the swivel that had come loose back on the pallet without securing it any further.
This picture is what happens when a swivel is just dropped onto a pallet – notice where the electrical harness is! We completely repaired this damage caused by the shipping company.
Please let this be a reminder of how important it is to secure objects while shipping with over the road trucking firms!
Proper shipping materials are another item on a long list of reasons why UEA supplies high-quality, U.S.-made components. We offer custom designs that meet your specifications with low lead times and high-quality pallets and boxes that all but eliminate shipping damage.
Sr. Design Engineer