Who Invented the Semi Truck?

Alexander Winton was a Scottish man who filed more than 150 patents for automobile and engine designs in the late 1800s. Among those patents was one for a semi truck that he invented in 1898. Winton lived in Cleveland and manufactured bicycles before turning to building horseless carriages (early automobiles) in 1896, making the first sale of his manufactured automobile in 1898. Winton devised a unique method of promoting his new automobile. He traveled around the country with the Winton Motor Carriage Company car and challenged people to races wherever he went. The method was very successful, and he sold 22 cars before the end of the first year. The next year, he sold 100 automobiles, but many purchasers lived far from Cleveland. He then faced the problem of delivering the vehicles to his customers without adding extra mileage on the cars. To solve the delivery dilemma, Winton invented a semi truck to facilitate the transportation of his manufactured automobiles. He called his new invention an automobile hauler because it could transport a vehicle on a trailer. His Winton Motor Carriage Company began manufacturing the automobile haulers in 1899 and sold them to other car manufacturers in addition to using them for hauling Winton vehicles. The Invention Winton made his semi truck by modifying a short-wheeled touring car and attaching a cart to it. He wheeled the purchased automobile onto a ramp on the cart, secured it to the platform and mounted the cart onto the pulling vehicle. He placed one end of the cart’s platform over the car’s engine section and the other end on two wheels. He then raised the edge of the platform up from the ground and fastened it to the pulling car’s trunk top. The first semi truck could haul only one vehicle at a time. After successfully building the semi truck, Winton chose not to work on improving his automobile hauler but instead focused on engine designs. George Cassens Car salesman George Cassens depended on car haulers to transport the automobiles he sold to their new owners and expanded the hauling business in the 1920s. Due to the high cost of shipping cars in the 1930s, manufacturers tried to ship vehicles straight to the purchasers. Cassens then designed an auto trailer that cost $1,850 and could haul four cars at once. He used a two-ton Dodge truck to pull the trailer and offered to transport vehicles from the manufacturers to the new car owners. August Charles Fruehauf Detroit blacksmith August Charles Fruehauf built a carriage that he called a semi trailer in 1914 for someone to use to haul a boat. He modified the trailer for other uses like hauling lumber and incorporated his Fruehauf Trailer Company in 1918. John C. Endebrock John C. Endebrock used his experience in building horse carriages to develop a trailmobile in 1918. The trailer had an iron chassis with springs and wheels and trailed behind a Model-T Ford. The design made hooking the trailer to a car easier, and one person could handle the job instead of the three men required for hooking up earlier trailers. 18 Wheeler Accidents Sadly, there have been many 18 wheeler accidents since the semi truck’s invention, causing much damage and many injuries, some of them resulting in death. Fortunately, an experienced truck accident attorney can help victims of those accidents receive compensation for their injuries or losses. While nothing can bring back a loved one killed in an accident, an 18 wheeler accident attorney can help survivors obtain funds for final expenses as well as for the loss of future support from the deceased. Victims involved in 18 wheeler accidents, or victims’ survivors, should consult a truck accident lawyer before accepting settlements from insurance companies. An experienced accident attorney will ensure that victims receive the best possible settlements under the particular circumstances of each event.