Truck lovers, do you know your manufacturing history?

Olivia Seitz

The Mack Truck mascot is a ______, something that stemmed from the truck's nickname in WWI.

During World War I, Mack manufactured trucks earned the nickname "Bull Dog Macks" because of their tough performance and the design of the truck's nose. It's been the hood decoration of choice for Macks since 1932.

A tractor-trailer is usually called a ______.

Semis consist of a tractor (the front unit with the engine and driver cabin) and one or more trailers, where merchandise and other goods are stored for transportation.

A truck outfitted to rescue broken-down cars is called a ______ truck.

Tow trucks, nicknamed "wreckers" by some, were born in 1916 and even have their own museum in Chattanooga, TN. Anyone who's ever been stranded on the side of the road can appreciate their usefulness.

Which manufacturer bought out Chevrolet in 1918?

General Motors Corporation purchased Chevy all the way back in 1918. The move was part of a power play by William Durant, who founded both GM and Chevy but had been forced out of GM.

Which pickup truck is the best-selling in America?

The F-150 has been the highest-selling truck since 1977 and became the most purchased vehicle in 1982. Given its long head start, it would be difficult for other manufacturers to present a challenger to the title.

What is one of the defining characteristics of a pickup truck?

Lots of trucks have oversized wheels, but one of the defining characteristics is a long, open bed in the back with a tailgate at the end. Where else would owners put the materials they need to transport?

These days, almost all pickups have what?

Pickups were a little late to the automatic transmission party, and there are still a few holdouts. Most modern pickups now feature automatic transmission, in part because so few American car buyers know how to drive a stick.

Which U.S. state usually has the greatest demand for pickup trucks?

When you combine way of life, size of the state, and the idea that Texans do things big, it's not too surprising to hear that Texas is the largest consumer of pickup trucks.

What do the British call a flatbed truck?

Flatbed trucks have large, flat, open spaces behind them for placing equipment and latching it down for transport. While the term "lorry" could be used to refer to any type of truck, it commonly refers to flatbeds.

High-performance trucks are sometimes called ______ trucks.

Just like cars can be tricked out and called "muscle" cars, so can pickup trucks. Imagine bulging sides, contoured lines, purring engines and tough tires, and you've got yourself a muscle truck.

One of the most successful ad campaigns for pickup trucks was Chevy's 1991 to 2004 series of TV ads, set to what Bob Seger song?

The refrain croons, "Like a rock/ I was strong as I could be/ Like a rock/ Nothin' ever got to me." The choice of song encouraged viewers to see Chevy trucks as being strong and reliable, like their owners.

How many wheels does a semi truck usually have?

Semi trucks, often called 18-wheelers, typically have 18 wheels, a standard in the industry. The wheels support a longer trailer for increased carrying capacity.

Chevy made a truck in the early 1900s that had to be what?

Anyone who wanted the multipurpose truck Chevy produced had to make the truck body themselves, or buy one separately and do the work of attaching components.

What made Ford a popular place to work?

One of the ways Ford made itself competitive in the early factory days was by raising wages to $5 per day and reducing the workday to eight hours per day. As a result, they had lower turnover and a new loyal customer base.

When was truck manufacturing for consumers banned, if ever?

The government banned the production of trucks for consumers during the war: all resources were needed to support the military's efforts overseas. After the war, manufacturing picked up significantly.

What bill was passed in 1935, to regulate the trucking industry?

The Motor Carrier Act introduced regulations for the number of hours a driver could travel per day, the type of freight they could carry, and more. The trucking industry prompted the construction of better roads.

What was the nickname for Chevy's "light duty" trucks?

Chevy's "light duty" trucks, released in the middle of the 20th century, were marketed as the "gentleman's pickup" because they could perform some work but weren't heavy duty. They were designed to be more elegant.

Chevy began releasing what kind of trucks in 1955?

The change was facilitated by sales of the company's new V8 engine. Buyers could choose the V8 or the old V6 for their new light duty trucks.

Semi trucks were invented in what state?

Semi trucks were invented by Alexander Winton of Cleveland, Ohio. He started manufacturing and selling them in 1899 through his company, Winton Motor Carriage.

Chevrolet's co-founder, Louis Chevrolet, was in immigrant from what country?

Chevrolet taught himself engineering and was a famous racer before moving to America to found Chevrolet with William Durant.

About when did pickup trucks begin to take on their characteristic appearance?

They got larger and stronger, in addition to showing the characteristic grilles associated with pickups. The war interrupted developments in the civilian sector, but manufacturers got right back to it once WWII ended.

The Ford F-series got a major overhaul in 2014, with the release of the F-150. Its creation involved how many new patents?

Ford designers shaved 700 pounds off the truck's previous weight by using an aluminum body. They received over 100 patents for their technological improvements.

General Motors was founded in ______, Michigan, the same city that has been in the news for contaminated water.

Flint, Michigan, was the birthplace of manufacturing powerhouse General Motors. The company was embroiled with controversy after a federal bailout and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but is once again successful.

Ford's first truck was the ________.

The Model TT was released in 1917 and was rated at one ton, meaning it could safely transport goods weighing up to one total ton.

The first factory-assembled pickup truck came from what country?

Ford wasn't the first company to conceive of a pickup truck, but it was the first company to manufacture them. The first fully manufactured pickup debuted in 1925.

Which truck brand was the first to introduce a three-seat pickup?

Chevy added the three-seat option to their light-duty trucks that came out in 1947, post World War II. It was one of many coming changes in the truck industry as the demand for trucks was starting to grow.

What were the first semi trucks designed to carry?

The first semis were designed to help car manufacturers distribute cars without putting miles on them. At first, semis were only capable of carrying one car!

Up until ______, Ford had based truck designs on car beds; afterward, they released a new platform specifically for trucks.

In 1948, Ford produced the F-Series trucks that were designed to function better as trucks instead of simply being a variation on the car. These initial designs have been modified and improved ever since and can still be seen influencing the modern Ford F-Series.

Trucks that transport liquids and gases are called what?

Tank trucks, or "tankers," carry a long cylindrical tank filled with liquid or gas that needs to be transported. They can also carry dry cargo, but they are better known for transporting goods like gasoline.

Which of these safety measures is mandated in semi trucks but not in most consumer vehicles?

While air bags and mirrors are a must for any road-worthy vehicle, ABS has yet to be mandated for many types of vehicles. Antilock brakes were first developed for large trucks and greatly reduce casualties.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

From pickups to semis, how well do you know the history of trucks and the companies that make them? Test your knowledge of the truck manufacturing industry with this quiz!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!