In August, 1993, 25 years ago this month, then-Trailer/Body Builders editor Paul Schenck was discussing new trailer shipment figures in his editorial when he touched on a topic that’s hot today – the truck-driver shortage.
In trying to gain a true sense of the number of trailers produced that year, Schenck noted “For the past four or five years, the industry has been building domestic containers that have replaced piggyback trailers on the railroads. And now, starting with 1993, domestic containers are replacing highway trailers in large numbers as the truckload carriers turn to double-stacking on railcars to relieve the cost squeeze and driver shortage in longhual operations.”
So, the driver shortage problems we’re seeing today are nothing new, and neither are the solutions, which, outside of the raises some fleets are giving drivers, include towing multiple trailers with one tractor and piggybacking on railcars, a practice that’s making a comeback in response to the ongoing increase in online commerce – Hello Amazon! – necessitating more shipping capacity.
That month’s issue also spotlighted one of the first electric vehicles, the 1916 CT Electric, new trailer designs by Bestway and Travis Body & Trailer, Stahl’s new Grand Challenger service body, and several companies’ efforts to recover from devastating flooding in the Mississippi River Valley.
So, jump in the Trailer/Body Builders Time Machine and travel with us back to August 1993 with a photo gallery gleaned straight from the time-worn pages of the only magazine published specifically for those who produce and sell commercial truck bodies, trailers and truck equipment.