Home Page About Us Contribute

Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto

By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.


American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking Topics:  Brainard Taylor


Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr.
Washington Times-Herald
December 31, 1922

War Department Works Out Scheme to Prevent Traffic Paralysis.


System Could Transport Big Army Across Country in Time of War.

Railroad strikes or not, the transportation facilities of the United States will never again be paralyzed.

Government officials, who have worked out a gigantic scheme for use of motor trucks as a substitute for railroads in the event of strikes, are responsible for that statement.

Diligent efforts on the part of the War and Agriculture Department officials have organized 78 per cent of the motor truck companies of the United States for use in any emergency affecting rail transportation.

There are 10,620,471 motor vehicles in this country today, and of this number well over a million are auto trucks. No claim is made that this means of transportation can be as effective as railroads, but it is asserted that under the plan there can never be complete paralysis of the transportation systems.

Col. Brainard Taylor, chief of the Motor Transport Section, War Department, has worked out the plan. He says of it:

In the early stages of a national strike, State governments must keep the population supplied with the necessities of life. Volunteer motor transport organizations would spring up all over the country and there would be confusion and repetition. That is why the Government has taken this matter in its own hands.

It must be borne in mind that rail and motor transportation should never be in competition. They must work side by side. Railroads even in case of strikes must be kept moving by employes and Government guards. It is essential that the railroads supply the long distance hauls.


Our business has been to chart the country. Every city of more than 25,000 population has become a key to the plan. Inside the city transit lines and small delivery trucks would act as deliveries. Then we must make an average ten-mile circle around around the city, drawn from the point of further service of transit lines. To the radius of that circle trucks of not more than five-ton capacity would act. Another fifty-mile circle is drawn. Ten-ton trucks would serve that area.

Twenty cities form an area. For each area there is one main repair center. Trustworthy agencies are equipped with every conceivable part of a truck. These agencies can be turned into repaid shops as neded. This will enable us to keep 85 per cent of trucks in use.

Every mountain area is commanded by a civil and an army supervisor. Every city has a dictator. They have their staffs. These men have private cars and motorcycles at their disposal. The government equips each state automobile bureau with instructions and empowers it to appoint supervisors and directors who serve without pay, in emergency cases only. State bureaus are the logical headquarters because they have records of all trucks and automobiles.


The army transport service during the war maintained and operated 200,000 trucks and cars. Its officer personnel, many of them back in civil life, form the nucleus of the system.

In case of war on the Pacific coast and a tie-up of train service, we could move troops by the truckload in 100-mile daily hauls. An entire infantry regiment would take but 200 trucks and six staff cars. We would move troops in waves of 10,000 trucks.

The War Department can know at a moment's notice the exact topography, the number of trucks and equipment, repair stations and the like in every locality in any section of the country.

(Copyright, 1922, C-V Newspaper Service.)

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr

The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute