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Curious about the 18-Wheeler’s History?

As you are about to embark on your new career path as a professional truck driver, are you a bit curious as to how the industry got started? Are you wondering who jumpstarted the idea of an 18-wheeler? Well, read on and you’ll find your answers!

Mr. Alexander Winton and the Winton Motor Carriage Company

Around 1896, an automotive manufacturer by the name of Alexander Winton noticed how difficult it was to transport completed cars around the country. His customers were scattered about the United States of America, and driving the cars to their location from Cleveland, Ohio was not an option. Should he decide to drive the car to the customer, damage could occur and his hard work would have been torn up by the roads.

Instead, he attached a cart to the back of a modified truck and began using this invention for transporting cars. This idea was so successful that his company began making this truck for other automobile manufacturers around the country. 

However, the very first version of the 18-wheeler could only transport one car and it took the effort of three men to attach the cart to the truck. Clearly, it needed some improvement.

Improving Mr. Winton’s Design and Model

As more and more manufacturers were demanding Winton’s semi-trailer trucks, significant modifications needed to be made to meet demands and improve productivity. While Winton attempted to keep up with demands, others in the industry began to make their own design adjustments.


A man by the name of John C. Endebrock invented a trailer that only required one man to attach to the truck in 1918. Another gentleman named George Cassens, a car salesman, relied on the delivery of cars but was subject to waiting for singular cars to come in at a time. So, determined to change the process, Mr. Cassens decided to create an inexpensive trailer that was able to hold four cars, thus quadrupling the productivity and capacity of the trailer.

As time passed, the trailers received more and more adaptations, such as changing the original solid rubber tires to air-filled tires and going from four to eighteen wheels on a trailer.

Today, the 18-wheeler is used for far more than delivering automobiles! Join the successful industry by earning your commercial driver’s license (CDL) from United Truck Driving School in Murfreesboro, TN.