Re: Post War Stock Cars

Guy Wilber

Greg Martin wrote:

"I suspect that there was a real difference in the amount of miles per haul
in trucks versa rail because I just can't imagine (and I could be wrong)
given there was approximately three trucks to the car, by these numbers...
there would have been 1,922,904 truck hauls in 1940 versa 640'968 rail
hauls. !Any numbers out there on the amount of livestock trucks registered
nationwide in 1940?"

Without a doubt truck hauls were of shorter distance. By 1955 the average truck mileage for cattle was 120 miles to terminal markets and 80 miles to packing houses. I haven't seen numbers for earlier years, or found any statistics regarding the number of livestock trucks registered though I can tell you that there were 4,590,386 trucks registered in 1940 with a capacity over 1,500 pounds.

"Am I the only one that sees this as a staggering number of truck hauls of
livestock in short and long haul trucks movements in 1936?"

Staggering as they may seem, the numbers are supported by both AAR and USDA statistics.

"We sometimes forget that both truck and rail business was heavily
regulated in these eras, in an attempt to keep each mode in check."

The highest percentage of trucks used for livestock hauls were exempt from nearly all regulation due to the so-called agriculture commodities exemptions within the Motor Carrier Act of 1935. Those hauling strictly livestock, farmers owning their own rigs and owners operating solely within one state were all exempt from regulations except those regarding operating hours and safety of the truck. Most of the safety requirements were largely ignored by operators and not fully enforced by the largely understaffed ICC. Additionally, none of the listed operators were required to file tariffs though they had full access to the railroad rates which they could, and did, undercut in order to procure the business. The railroads argued for years that those hauling agricultural products should have been placed under the same regulations as the railroads or that they (railroads) should have been extended the same privileges while handling the same commodities.


Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada

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