Skip to Content

When Was The First Semi-Truck Made?

When Was The First Semi-Truck Made?

Winton started making horseless carriages in 1896, which resulted in the development of the first semi-truck. Over the years, the first six-wheeled semi-truck has changed into an 18-wheeler with three axles. 

When Was The First Semi-Truck Made? The first semi-truck was made in 1898 by Alexander Winton, and August Charles Fruehauf made a boat carriage in 1914. The first semi-trailer was invented to transport automobiles without damage, and Mack is the oldest semi-truck manufacturer in the USA. 

The first semi-trailer had a smaller carriage capacity to accommodate one automobile at once. The trailer required the effort of 2 to 3 people to load and unload the vehicle from the carriage. 

When was the first semi-truck invented?

Alexander Winton invented the first semi-truck in 1898 with six wheels and a carriage. Winton invented it in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold it in the nearest regions in the early years.

However, Alexander sold the first design in 1899. Due to their heavyweight carriage, they became famous. 

In 1917, their number increased due to the Federal highway act and better road conditions. In earlier years, the manufacturers made them to transport automobiles with minimum damage.

However, August Charles Fruehauf manufactured a carriage to transport a boat. It had a separate carriage and comprised an identical design to the first semi-truck.

The Detroit Blacksmith made this carriage in 1914. According to Charles Fruehauf’s design, it was a tractor-trailer with heavyweight loading and transportation capabilities.

For lumber carriage, August Charles made several carriages. Moreover, he launched his Fruehauf Trailer Company in 1918.

The company still makes tractor-trailers for transportation and heavyweight carriage. Alexander Winton invented the semi-truck with a distinct design.

However, it was a hauler to carry and transfer the cars to distant places. According to its layout, the hauler had a short-wheel automobile on the front. 

The rear side has a trailer attached to the backside of the tractor. Its platform had adjusted on the upper side of the engine.

However, the carriage unit settled on the wheels. Unlike a modern tractor-trailer, it had the engine on the rear side.

Alexander Winton never pursued the design of this hauler or carriage. However, other manufacturers copied the design and continued it for better transportation of heavy loads. 

What is the oldest semi-truck manufacturer?

The oldest manufacturer of semi-trucks is Mack, which made and sold thousands of tractor-trailers across the United States of America. Mack started these tractor-trailers in the 1900s, and the company still makes them. 

It offered different tractor-trailers with distinct payloads and modified designs. Moreover, Mack is famous as the innovator of the first heavy-duty trucks.

The company made commercial vehicles with durable designs. The older manufacturers made their high-quality engines with specific properties. 

Furthermore, Mack was the inventor of automatic starters, which reduced the manufacturing and use of hand cranks. As a result, the company offered one of the most reliable tractor-trailers with durable frames. 

The company produced around 2700 haulers from 1929 to 1944. 

Why was the first semi-truck made?

It had invented for the transportation of heavyweight automobiles. However, the following are a few reasons behind the invention.

Transportation of different cars

They were produced in 1898 to transport an automobile on the rear attached cart for the tractor-trailer. In this era, automobiles did not have a transportation method for safe transfer. 

In such circumstances, Winton made this semi-truck to transport automobiles to their customers without surface or internal damage. Across the USA, around 700 commercial trucks transported automobiles to their consumers in 1904. 

However, their number increased in 1914 due to the demand and durable performance. The concept behind this carriage is the movement of heavyweight objects to distant areas without damage. 

Winton adjusted the car on its cart and optimized the weight load capacity. Due to the stability of the cart and automobiles, the semi-trucks became popular transportation trucks of cars.

Design of the semi-truck

The first tractor-trailer was an automobile hauler due to its specific designs and attached cart on the backside. The platform and weight hauling cargo were the distinct properties of their layout. 

However, its trailer was attached to the rear like the latest haulers. Its engine facilitated the power to move forward. 

Due to internal power support, this hauler stabilized heavy loads on the built-in carts. Moreover, it shaped the shipment procedure of cars in the USA.

Furthermore, it performed the procedures of trains and other carriage vehicles due to its versatile design. Due to its unique layout, its cart looked separate from the front automobile. 

However, the engine powered them to stabilize the weight on the rear compartment. Also, it had durable frames with wooden carts and flexible joints to stabilize the load pressure. 

Number of wheels and weight handling

Winton made the two-wheeled tractor-trailer, and it had around six wheels. On the front, they supported the frame. 

However, they facilitated support and movement to the rear cart. According to standard limits, it comprised solid rubber tires.

The cart had four wheels, two on the front and the other two on the rear. According to its specifications, the rubber wheels were rigid enough to withstand the load of an automobile.

The cart had settled over two pairs of tires. However, the front tractor moved the carriage unit with dual tires on both sides.

According to its history, it has two axles on the front and back sides of the hauler. 

Engine to support load 

The first automobile hauler had a four-horsepower engine according to its standard design. In 1897, Gottlieb Daimler invented the first four-horsepower engine. 

With the invention, Daimler reduced the number of horse-drawn haulers. However, the first tractor-trailer had the engine on the rear side. 

The engine had comprised two cylinders without a drawbar. The engine was named Phoenix due to its dual cylinders and excessive strength to stabilize the load.

It was a 1.06L four-horsepower engine with better efficiency. In addition, it supported the tractor and trailer with optimized power. 

How do semi-trucks have evolved?

The semi-trucks have evolved due to the advancement of their engines, modified designs, and the number of wheels. Unlike the first tractor-trailer, the latest variants have eighteen wheels to support the cab and cargo. 

First-made haulers were horse-drawn carriages with undefined frames. According to evolution, their engines shifted to steam-powered properties. 

From 19 to 20th century, electric motors became popular. In the 1950s, gasoline engines stopped in these haulers. From these years, turbocharged diesel motors became popular. 

They became standard for semi-haulers due to their direct fuel injection properties. Over the year, they became advanced and fast. 

Their payload capacity has increased far more than the first-made hauler. Current semi-trucks have various properties, carry transportation of heavyweights, and platform stabilizes on 18-wheels.

Related Articles:

How Fire Trucks Got Their Name?

Best Gear Ratio For 37 Inch Tires on Silverado