Tractor trailers made a huge splash in the 1970’s. The logo “Keep on Trucking” was everywhere. There were TV shows and movies and songs. And indeed that culture helped lead us into our present dependence (especially in smaller centers) on the tractor trailer.
Maybe we could hark back to those earlier days and idealize the tractor trailer again. But I think we should add a ‘Teens’ twist, such as environmental friendliness. Like early recycling, the basic idea was there for trucking as well. The idea of the convoy.
And what, pray tell, is so good about the convoy? It’s the fuel efficiency. The first truck breaks up the air and has about the same drag as a lone truck. But the 2nd and 3rd and so on trucks use less fuel because they fit nicely into the slipstream created by the first truck. You could also change positions so the extra fuel used by the lead truck is spread around.
I propose going even further with the ‘Teens’ convoys. How about giving them right of way at every intersection on the road. Traffic lights can be made to give emergency vehicles right of way, so why not convoys? Thus, all the slowing down and stopping and accelerating could be avoided, saving even more fuel.
To be best at fitting into the slip stream of the convoy it would soon be seen that the closest these trucks could be would be best. Why not attach each of the trailers to a giant front engine. We could use articulated connectors for all the cars. Now we’ve just saved money by needing only one driver and maybe a couple of backup drivers.
Indeed, there are more savings to be had by making the engine pull as many trailers as possible. Roads, as they are built now, may not be so good for huge convoys. It would be expensive at first, but may I suggest building roads between suitable destinations specifically for the articulated convoy. That way, very steep grades and sharp curves could be avoided.
But I must say I’m at a loss as to what to call my huge ‘Teens’ convoys. Could anyone help?