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5th Grade

Social Studies

1.  Watch the movie Wheels of Progress.

2.  Ask students different trucking vocabulary.

Click here for list.

3.  Why is trucking important to America?

Trucking is important because the boats and trains can only get goods to the station/dock and we need another mode of transportation to get products to the stores were they will be sold.

4.  What would happen if trucks could not cross state lines?

There would be a lot of products that could not leave Iowa like corn and soybeans.  There would be a lot of products that would not be able to come to Iowa like oranges, bananas and shrimp.

What other products would we not have here in Iowa?

5.  Ask students fun fact questions.

Click here for list.

6.  Discuss President Eisenhower and the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956.

This act authorized construction of a 42,500 mile network of roads to link major U.S. urban centers.  90% of the $33.5 billion cost to be covered by the federal government.  If President Eisenhower did not get this passed, we would not have an Interstate System today.

7.  Ask definition of a logo?

A logo is a name, symbol, or trademark to make a product easily recognizable) (Find the John Bean logo this is located on the left wall in the garage)

Why is using a logo important to a company?

People recognize the logo and the logo becomes an advertisement for the company.

8.  Discuss the Mack Bulldog logo and how it came to be.

The Mack bulldog logo came from soldiers in World War I who thought the 1916 AC Mack truck looked like the English Bulldog’s flat nose and face.

Ask how trucks were used during WWI?
They were used to get supplies to the troops. Some of the trucking companies stopped making the normal road trucks to make trucks just for the military.

9.  Compare and contrast semi trucks today versus trucks of 50-75 years ago.

Trucks now use GPS navigation systems, roomy sleepers with refrigerators, TVs, beds, closets and microwaves; comfortable seats; easy to start .  Trucks of yesteryear could not drive as fast, some were hand crank start, many had open cabs with no windows, no power steering,

10.  Discuss the history of the electric truck and why it didn’t catch on like gas-powered vehicles.

Several factors influenced the rise in popularity of the gas-powered vehicle over the electric vehicle. The electric truck took longer to charge then it took to fill up a gas tank.  Gas-powered vehicles could also travel longer distances on a tank of gas than the electric truck could on a charge.  Also, gasoline was portable, but the availability of electricity was not widespread until President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Rural Electrification Act in 1935; bringing electricity to rural areas of the country.  Without electricity being conveniently available, people weren’t able to recharge electric vehicles at home.

Why are electric powered vehicles becoming a popular idea again?
The use of electric vehicles is becoming popular again because of our desire to explore the use of other energy sources that are not harmful to the environment.


1.  Find the difference between the trucks’ top speed (of the older trucks) and the speed limit on
     Interstate 80 (70 MPH)

  • 1912 Mack Jr. 1 ton—18 MPH ( answer: 52)
  • 1917 Velie—12 MPH (answer: 58)
  • 1910 Avery Tractor – 15 MPH(answer: 55)
  • 1925 Kenworth KS 3 Ton—25 MPH (answer: 45)
  • 1927 Graham BB—40 MPH (answer: 30)
  • 1930 Ford Model A Snowmobile – 45 MPH (answer: 25)
  • 1949 Brockway 260 X-W—50 MPH (answer: 20)

2.  Find the difference between the retail price per gallon of gas then and the retail price now.

For example:  In 1950 gas was= 14 cents per gallon & today’s price= $X.XX

3.  Determine how fast the Bandag Bandit can go and how many miles per hour that is over the
     speed limit on Interstate 80.

The Bandit can go 150.918 and the speed limit on Interstate 80 is 70MPH (answer: 80.918 MPH)

4.  Find the 1919 International. This is the first truck Bill Moon (Iowa 80 Truckstop founder) added to
     his collection.  How old is it?

5.  Read the sign of the 1910 Avery. How many years was the company in business?

They were in business from 1910 until 1923 (answer: 13 years)

6.  How many years were Walker Electric trucks produced?

From 1906 to 1942 (answer: 36 years)

7.  How many years did Mack produce the Mack Jr.?

From 1905 to 1916 (answer: 11 years)

8.  The 1926 Fwd can dig 25 to 35 holes per day how many holes could it dig in a 5-day work week?

answer: 25*5=125 or 35*5=175)

9.  How much could a truck haul – limit is 80,000 LBs truck and trailer weigh 36,382 – how much can
     the cargo weigh?

answer:  43,618

Ideas for the Classroom

  • Ask students describe their favorite truck and explain why it is their favorite.  Ask them to include a fun fact they remember about it or trucking in general.
  • Ask students to research a semi truck manufacturer and write a paragraph about the company’s history.  This could be a current or past manufacturer.
  • Ask students to design their own logo and explain why they chose the design.
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