From Autocult's website:
During the 19th century, commercial products were moved by horse-drawn wagons and steam-powered lorries. The need for greater load capacity and longer-range service as the driving force to create self-propelled commercial vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. The first "commercial truck" was developed by Karl Benz in 1895 followed in 1896 by a similar vehicle built by Gottleib Daimler. During the early 1900s, commercial truck manufacturers were established in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Progressive during World War I as self-propelled trucks and prime movers were used to haul munitions, wheeled guns, troops, and supplies of every description.
In the 1920s, evolutionary technical advances saw the development of more powerful and efficient diesel engines, pneumatic tires, rigid steel ladder frames, multi-speed transmissions, and enclosed driver's compartments. One of the most important advances was developed by Knorr-Bremse AG in 1923.
After World War II , the production of commercial vehicles has been greatly diminished. After the cessation of hosting, commercial vehicle production was at a standstill and cleanup and rebuilding commenced earlier using surviving heavy-duty military trucks and tractors. The rebirth of commercial vehicle manufacturing is driven by the rebuilding of industrial growth in Europe.
One of the main factors in the development of modern commercial vehicles is the construction of the Autobahns in Germany in the 1930s. These modern highways increase vehicle speeds and shortened delivery time. Legal guidelines have been decisive in shaping truck and bus design, appearance, and versatility and will continue to do so in the future.
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