Driving for long distances without many breaks is not an easy thing to do, especially if you have to do it for up to 70 hours a week.
When you’re a trucker, you might drive from one side of the country to the other in a matter of days, so it’s no surprise when you see some of the most bizarre stuff the US of A has to offer. Even if you’re not a trucker, some of these behind-the-scenes trucker stories may leave you feeling just a little less comfortable on the road.
38. Now He’s Riding Solo
Coming out of our Washington state terminal, I was asked to take one of our drivers to Southern California. Not a big deal. I’ve done it before, but let’s meet our driver.
He here seemed very normal, cheerful, and a delightful person to keep you company while talking your ear off. However, this all changed once the sun went down.
The driver here turned to me and said, “Hey can you pull over for a sec? I need to ward off the snake people”. This is where my brain didn’t quite process this, and I said, “What”?
He repeated the same line and here’s where my Spidey Sense told me if this guy didn’t ward off his snake people, I was going to have a bigger problem then this guy’s cookie getting flipped.
So I pulled over and he got out. Now here comes the weird part. He did this dance in front of my headlights. All I can say is he certainly did his snake warding dance.
Now here’s my dilemma. This guy obviously had a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but I was asked to drive him to Southern California.
Unfortunately, I thought too long about this and the guy was sitting again next to me in the passenger seat as though nothing had happened.
I drove 1,200 miles without stopping, and the driver got to his new truck in Southern California, and I never give another person I don’t know a lift… ever.
37. The Consequences Of Stealing
My dad drove a long haul for years. One company he worked for had a yard right in the city. One night a sketchy person tried to steal material from a stack in the yard and pulled the wrong piece.
Stack came down and decapitated him. They found his body the next morning.
36. The Silent Passenger
One of the guys at the company I work at got into a lot of trouble because he had a blow up doll in the passenger seat, buckled in and everything.
35. Ghost Cowboy
I had left out from around Austin and went up to just north of Amarillo to drop some cattle at a feed lot, a round 600-mile trip.
I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to turn around and come on back to the cattle company instead of taking my break. I called dispatch and he gave me a sale barn to go pick up and bring back to the company.
When I got back, I was pretty worn out, but they told me that a truck had broken down headed to Texarkana and he needed me to go and get the cattle.
I thought sure, I can do this.
I made it about an hour from Texarkana, on a little two-lane Texas back-road, talking to a friend of mine on the phone to try and stay awake, when I fell asleep.
I remember hearing my friend yelling my name and waking up to find myself off in the grass with a cowboy on a horse right in front of me, roping a calf.
He roped, dallied off, and turned to face me, and just as I hit him he disappeared.
It was a hallucination. Scared me so bad I was wide awake the rest of the trip.
34. Highway Con-Artists
I stop at an offramp to stretch out and take a breather. A little girl from some direction I couldn’t figure out giggles and says, “Hi, mister”!
My initial reaction was, “What on earth is a little kid doing out here at this time”? So I talk back and say hello. She then responds with, “My mommy says you’ll be ok, don’t worry”!
Now utterly confused, I ask her what she means. No response. Then suddenly, I feel like somebody is standing next to me, but it doesn’t feel negative or bad.
Just feels like somebody is right there next to me. Since it doesn’t have a negative vibe to it, I just finish my break and leave.
Later on down the road, I realize that I forgot to fuel up at my last stop when the warning light came on. I scramble to look at my GPS and find the nearest truck stop.
I find one and set the course. As I roll up to the truck stop, my truck starts sputtering and I barely make it to the fuel line before the truck starts dying.
I ran out of fuel right as I got on the fuel line. It wasn’t until I was fueling up that it occurred to me what actually happened at my last stop.
33. Riding In Style
I stopped for a refill on my coffee in Quebec.
Backed into a spot, and in front of me was a livestock hauler.
Well, they had stopped and opened the back and out came one goat.
53-foot trailer hired to transport one goat for 600 miles.
The goat was really cute, and they had taken him out to play with him. Yes, I got to play with him as well.
32. A Bad Feeling
I once noticed a man standing on a bridge that I went under while on the highway. I took notice of him because he wasn’t walking.
He was just standing there looking down at the highway, and I swear he was looking at me. I was not far from my destination, so it wasn’t long before I came back by that same bridge going the other direction.
Sure enough, he had jumped. It messed with my head for a while.
31. Why You Shouldn’t Sleep In The Driver’s Seat
My dad told me a story about one time when he was sleeping at a truck stop.
He didn’t have a sleeper, so he was in the seat. Another trucker was pulling up to spend the night, so the trucks were nose to nose.
He woke up in the driver’s seat of his truck with a truck with its lights on looking like it was coming head on.
Said he almost pooped himself.
30. Women And Children First
In high school, we had a class called career seminars, where we got to listen to people tell stories from their jobs.
One day, a truck driver was telling us how he struck a car and the occupant passed away. We asked what made him decide to stay on the road, instead of swerving.
“If I can see into the car, I look to see if there’s a family, children. If there’s not, I’m not gonna swerve off the road for one guy”.
So naturally, I work in an office and stay away from semis.
29. Government Classified Delivery Area
My mom made a delivery to Area 51. She doesn’t know what she delivered and wasn’t allowed to look inside the trailer.
When she got there she asked to use the bathroom and everybody got all serious and whispery. They finally agreed to take her but with an armed guard who waited with her inside the bathroom.
She thought it was so cool.
28. Highway Bribery
I once got hit by a gallon jug of pee following a large semi on the trans-Canada.
The guy realized what he did and offered to pay for a new windshield in exchange for my silence.
27. Road Rage Will Kill You
I was making my way through Ashland, Virginia, and a frustrated driver overtakes me, and in his manic state, he swerves his car into my lane.
He jerks the wheel so hard the back wheels came around and I watched this guy flip at least six times through the air. Miraculously, the driver walked away, though he was shaken up as one would imagine.
His car was a ball of scrap metal torn to pieces. Every time I go through that area I now get flashbacks of that night.
26. An Overreaction, Perhaps
A friend of my dad’s was stuck on a bridge in a traffic jam and noticed there was a couple in the car beside him that looked like they were arguing.
The guy got out and jumped off the bridge… into boulders, not water.
25. Fur Company Is The Best Company
I worked in a toll booth in the summers during college and you’d be surprised how many cats I saw in the cab of trucks.
Some guys had those little cat hammocks hanging from the ceiling and everything.
24. Job Perks
Once, I delivered a load of plastic bags, and apparently, there was an extra pallet on the truck.
I asked dispatch what to do with it, he says “get rid of it”.
I’m stupid, so I say the receiver doesn’t want it.
Dispatch says not my problem, get rid of the bags yourself.
So I had plastic bags from 1995 to 2008, even after giving cases away to family and friends.
23. When The Mob Gets Involved
During prohibition, while making a big delivery to Chicago, my grandpa got stopped by a bunch of gangsters in the city. Held him at gunpoint while they made sure he wasn’t hauling anything.
When they confirmed it was just produce, he was allowed to go on his way. Turns out they were Al Capone’s men.
There’s a dog food distribution plant in Flagstaff, AZ.
They require you to drop your trailer doors open. It is always windy in Flagstaff.
At night, in their dimly lit parking lot, all I heard was the evil howl of the wind passing over the open trailers.
It was similar to the noise that you make when blowing over a soda bottle, except a thousand times louder as the chilling wild wind blows through you.
I’m not very religious, I’m not very superstitious, but for the 15 minutes I was dropping and hooking, my heart was pounding and I was looking over my shoulder.
Once at a truck stop, I saw this guy flip over his car on the road. He got out of it and came to us all bleeding.
At first, he offered us money to take him to a next city, but we said he needed to go to the hospital. He started asking us for money for a cab or a bus, and we were taken aback.
First he offered us cash and now he was asking us scary stuff, and this was during night. He was really in a hurry.
20. The Secret Lives Of Semi Drivers
My dad was a trucker.
He was apparently a good man, but I didn’t really know him. The first time I ever met him was on a long haul road trip across the US that my mom arranged so I could get to know him.
The bizarre thing was, he was actually a world famous arm wrestling champion. We bonded throughout then trip, as he competed in regional competitions in preparation for the World Championships in Las Vegas.
19. Expert Truck Mods
A friend of mine used to work at a truckstop garage. Truckers would come in and get things repaired, oil changes, trucks washed, etc.
Some guys had a truck that they had cut a hole in the floor of so they could poop without stopping for bathroom breaks.
There was poop all underneath the truck. They wanted an oil change. He said no and told his boss they needed to take it to the truck wash.
18. Trouble With The National Bird
Not a driver, but a dispatcher.
One of my drivers called in a few months ago because he hit a bald eagle with his truck.
Sent me a picture, and was running two hours behind schedule because he had to call the cops about it. This was in Georgia, too.
Didn’t even realize they were around there.
17. Freelance Elephant Herder
My dad once saw an elephant that had escaped from a wrecked trailer in the middle of the road.
The elephant and driver were both injured, but I don’t remember how. Having worked with large herd animals for 35 years, my dad felt it was his duty to “herd” the panicked elephant off the road, for the safety of the elephant as well as other drivers.
It was scared and making a lot of loud noises and making small charges at him as he tried to direct it off the road.
He said he almost wet himself out of fear.
16. Gold On The Go
My dad was a truck driver. This one time, he was at a truck stop, and this guy kept trying to get my dad to buy gold necklaces from him.
My dad didn’t want to, but wasn’t convinced that the guy didn’t have a weapon. They were in the parking lot, at my dad’s truck.
I think my dad just threw the guy some money and the guy threw the necklaces in the truck. Still have the necklaces, but not sure they weren’t stolen.
15. A Nasty Surprise
I saw a coiled-up football scarf on the ground at a service station in the UK. It was a German team and I thought to myself, that’s a bit odd to be here.
I went over and tried to pick it up, and wrapped up inside was the biggest poop I’ve ever seen. I got right out of there and am now suspicious of the diets of most German football fans I meet.
14. When To Say No
Pulled over to stay the night near the Arizona welcome center on I-40. I hear a light knocking on my door. An old lady wearing nothing but an oversized sweatshirt is standing outside.
I roll down my window and ask what’s up. In the tiniest, creepiest little voice, she says that there’s something in her car making a weird noise and that she needs help with it.
I didn’t help her.
13. You’ve Got Company
Stopped at a rest stop around 4 a.m. outside of Chicago. Must have been at least 20 toilets in the place, if not more.
I’m the only guy doing my duty in this gigantic room of toilets, and about a minute later someone else comes in, sits in the stall right next to mine, and starts tapping his foot rhythmically.
I still have some denial, but I think the guy wanted something from me.
12. Spontaneous Stunt Man
I’m not a truck driver, but I felt bad for the person who was.
I was going down a steep hill on my bike and I fell of my bike, and skid underneath an oncoming logging truck. I just laid down on the pavement and hoped for the best.
I got back up just fine, and found my bike and everything, but never saw the guy again.
11. No News Is Good News
I had stopped for the night at a small truck stop, just outside Phoenix.
Early in the AM, I awoke with a deep fear feeling that someone was being attacked or was attacked or buried just beyond the truck stop.
I was in such fear that I threw on my clothes and got out of that truck stop as fast as I could. A day or so later, I stopped at that truck stop again to scan a local paper (bright daylight, mind you).
Nothing was in the paper about an attack or anybody found. I have never had that feeling before or since. This took place in the late 80’s.
10. Can Roadkill Also Be Dinner?
I’m not a trucker, but on my drive home from college, I saw a semi truck hit a flying turkey going 70 mph. The little guy exploded in a puff of feathers and was thrown a hundred feet into the ditch.
9. Just In Case You Decide To Go Swimming
I had a trailer tire flat in Florida one time, and this little wiry guy came to change it. He had like a ten-foot long pole that he used for leverage to get the lugs off.
He stuck that pole on the tire iron, jumped up on that sucker, and rode it down. Over and over. Then the other way after changing the tire to get the lugs back on.
When he was done, he tried to sell me a bathing suit out of the back of his pickup.
8. Truckers Have A Lot Of Love To Give
Driving up to college for the first time, my mom got tired and wanted to pull over for a nap at a truck stop.
While she slept, I people watched. A huge truck pulled up (one of those tricked out, well lit and super shiny trailers), and a big, tattooed driver climbed out.
Then he leaned back in to pull something out.
It was a kitten! A tiny little white kitten. He played with that kitten on the truck stop benches for so long, happy as could be, giggling and smiling like I would have.
It was the cutest juxtaposition I’ve ever seen.
We had a driver who had… shall we say… an odor problem. I’m not talking like, body odor like sweat.
I’m talking worse. Any time he’d come into the dispatch office it was a race to get him to leave again. The kind of putrid tang that would make you gag immediately and completely involuntarily, regardless of your best efforts.
Driver was a rather heavyset guy. Nice enough but a little slow. We let it go until we started getting complaints from customers about the smell.
Now, this driver was a flatbed driver. Meaning most of his deliveries were onto construction sites, job sites, steel and lumber mills, etc. 90% of deliveries were outdoors, and in the company of rough and tough dudes who otherwise wouldn’t give a damn what you smelled like.
We’d get a couple phone calls a week from a job foreman saying that they wouldn’t take this guy onto their site anymore because even outdoors, the smell was too bad for the workers.
We started delicately attempting to bring it up, try to urge proper hygiene, etc. He claimed he showered every day or every other day at worst, and that’s just what he smelled like and has had the problem for as long as he could remember.
Nothing he could do. Okay.
At some point he had to bring his truck in for maintenance. It was a company truck, he didn’t own it, but we don’t rotate trucks so he had the same one for months.
Something had to be checked into at the gearshift, so the mechanic had to get inside the truck. Upon climbing into the cab, the mechanic promptly did a 180 and threw up out the driver’s side door.
It was then that he saw it – A job-site shop bucket, filled nearly to the top with pee. The floor was wet around it indicating it had splashed out.
The inside of the cab, I’m told, smelled like him x10. It was basically pure concentrated evil. Plus the walls of the cab had a slight yellow/brown dull sheen.
We fired the driver using the complaints from customers as the excuse, and then parked the truck outside in our yard, doors and windows open for a week just to dull it.
Then had a guy with a ghetto pieced together hazmat type suit (rubber gloves, rubber boots, mask, rain slicker etc) go in and basically douse the whole thing in bleach and cleaners.
No matter what they did they couldn’t get rid of the smell.
That truck sat outside in our yard for a full year, windows and doors standing wide open.
Rain, snow, blustery wind. It just sat wide open to the elements. One day a year later the boss decided to close it up and see how it was.
Just as bad as the day they tried to clean it.
He scrapped the truck a week later.
6. Life Saver
I’m not a great story teller, but the things I’ve seen…I’ll try to share the most exciting, surprising, and meaningful experiences.
Preface: Trucking….it’s routine. The same task, the same chair, the same wheel, the same job. But if you pay attention, it can be an adventure every day.
Most exciting: let’s see…
Lots of fire. I’ve probably personally saved people loads in damages just from calling 911. The craziest was this one time I was almost home.
The sun was just barely down and I saw a truck headed the other way with something bright. There was a constant line of sparks, 4 feet high, flying from his back right tire (his right).
I’d never seen so many sparks, as if he was doing it on purpose. As he passed me I could see that the sparks were now a solid wall of fire, several hundred feet long and about three feet high.
I called 911 that second and told them to hurry because that fire had a head start. Figured I might have saved the firefighters a few seconds before the next call would have been in and hoped it had made the difference.
Saw it three days later – they got there in time before it reached away from the highway.
I’ve driven into storms that convince me I’m about to kick it… I mean like walls of storm, it took less than a minute to go from clear to “I can’t see…I really can’t see and I’m going 70 with a full load, in all likelihood I am about to either smash into a stopped car or manage to stop in time and get wrecked from behind”.
I’ve had to literally dodge other cars. Sometimes people make mistakes, or get enraged, or drive under the influence but I’ve had cars both unintentionally and intentionally try to hit me on the highway.
You want an adrenaline rush, experience that. When you’re trucking you’re controlling something so powerful that you hold the lives of everyone around you.
Can you imagine a 26 thousand pound truck hitting a 3 thousand pound car? I’m sure I’ve saved people’s lives by keeping track of the big picture and dodging other cars in HEAVY traffic.
Still scars me thinking about those times when I’ve been a fraction of a second from a national-news worthy wreck.
I’ve seen my fair share of supernatural stuff out on the interstate. Once, I was trying to follow a flat-bedder who was hauling through the mountains.
Suddenly, I feel the air get real cold. That’s when I see there’s a guy standing off to the shoulder just outside the tree line wearing what appeared to be some type of soldier’s uniform. Looked like it was revolutionary war era and he had a musket as well.
As I approach, I can see him staring right at me, and then he starts walking back into the tree line still looking at me.
Then he does something that still haunts me to this day. Before he manages to make it through the trees, he disappears. Like literally vanishes in thin air.
I had my windows down, and the air in the area got real cold. After about a mile, the air warmed up again. I had a really sad feeling come over me for a while afterward.
Needless to say, I didn’t stop for the rest of my shift.
4. Monkey Business
I was waiting out front of a truck stop back in the mid 80’s.
Sitting on a park bench with a guy that had a big Rottweiler kinda dog on a leash with him. I tried to make small talk but he wasn’t a nice guy.
So we sat in silence for a few minutes until the most unexpected thing I have ever seen, happened right before my very eyes.
While we were sitting there a big 18 wheeler pulls in without a trailer, so he parks right up front like a normal car would.
Inside the cab of the truck, with the driver is a little monkey. The dance for the organ grinder kind. I think they are called Rhesus monkeys perhaps.
Well the dog spots this little monkey and proceeds to go crazy over it. Lunging at the end of his leash and barking at the top of his lungs.
Generally making a real spectacle of himself to say the least.
The driver is obviously upset, but not nearly as much as the monkey is.
Actually upset may be the wrong adjective to use for the monkey though. In retrospect I think eagerly aggressive may be a more appropriate description for his disposition.
He was pacing the dashboard back and forth. Never taking his eyes off of this very aggravating dog.
The driver opens his little triangle window that they don’t make on cars anymore.
The ones made for smokers back in the day. He yells out to this guy to call his dog off because it is upsetting his monkey.
The guy laughs and says no way (I told you he was mean didn’t I)?. Says that his dog ain’t bothering nobody. The dog hasn’t shut up since he laid eyes on the monkey.
I promise you he is bothering everybody for several blocks around.
Now here’s where things start to get interesting. The driver says that if he doesn’t call his dog off he’s gonna let his monkey loose on that dog.
The guy I’m with laughs and says that his dog would eat that monkey alive. Upon hearing this the driver leans over and reaches into his glove box I guess.
Pulls out one of those tiny baseball bats like you used to get at Astroworld or carnivals, and places it in the monkeys hand.
The monkey obviously knows what’s about to go down because he is now trying to squeeze out of that little triangular window I mentioned earlier.
This monkey has murder in his eyes if I have ever seen it. Driver hollers “Last chance to save your dog man”. In response, this guy lets his dog off of the leash.
Now we have a situation that has escalated to the point where we have a dog jumping up at the window and a monkey screaming right back at him.
Well, the driver finally rolls down the regular window and out leaps all kinds of miniature primate hell. The dog never knew what hit him.
Quick as a flash this monkey is riding on the back of this dog’s neck. His two back feet all wrapped up in his neck fur with one hand hanging onto an ear.
The other hand as you may have guessed by now is steadily and mercilessly raining down blows about this dog’s head and face. I mean hard blows.
You can hear them whap whap whap.
Well it only took a moment for the dog to realize he was in way over his head.
He bolts, yelping as he runs away at full speed. I mean this dog is running so hard he’s throwing up tufts of grass and dirt as soon as he leaves pavement.
The monkey still riding him and beating on him the whole time. The dog owner acts like he wants to fight now but several people including myself stepped in to stop that nonsense.
In a couple of minutes or so the little monkey comes loping back with his little bat still in hand, and leaps up into the still open window of the truck to await his master who has gone on into the store.
That wanker ran off to try to go find his dog, but I don’t know if he ever did. My ride showed up and I had to go.
Never again in this lifetime will I see something so totally crazy and unexpected like that. I am both fortunate and humble to have been so privileged to be present for such an event.
3. Tonight On The X-Files
Travelling through New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah, I’ve seen my fair share of UFOs. I know military aircraft pretty well and some of the things I’ve seen absolutely can not be any military air craft currently in mainstream use. Conventional aircraft do not move like that.
The most vivid one would be at an off ramp in New Mexico, I decided to tale a 15 minute break since my back was sore anyway.
As I’m stargazing and admiring how clear the sky is, I saw what looked like a formation of lights in the shape of a triangle lift off from the desert floor, and then take off into the sky.
I kept me eyes on it, and it just kept gaining altitude until the lights suddenly disappeared. Just then I looked down at my watch and noticed it wasn’t ticking. That’s when things started to get real weird. I pulled out my phone and it’s off.
I turn my phone on, and according to the time on my phone, it had been 5 minutes since my watch stopped. I felt like whatever it was that just took off had something to do with it.
2. Watch Your Step
One time I stopped at an old Chevron station in Kent, Texas. I rolled up to an empty lot since Kent is an abandoned town.
I walk up to the bush line and noticed a makeshift fire pit. The wood was somewhat burned, but not all the way. The weird thing was that there was this unscathed dollar bill stuck on top of it.
For a second I was like “Ooh piece of candy”! but then this sudden feeling of NOPE came over me. So I left it alone and went to the outhouse.
As I’m walking back, I gazed over at the dollar again and get a real negative feeling. I look to the ground in front of me and bam, there’s a rattlesnake looking right at me.
I knew if I didn’t act quickly I wouldn’t be getting out of this one alive. I held eye contact while slowly moving around it and ran as fast as I could back to my truck feeling like somebody was behind me.
I kicked up a lot of dust getting out of there, and have never stopped in Kent since.
1. Poor Bambi
I was running on Kansas Highway 96 out of Great Bend.
Dawn was just peeking over the horizon back to the east. I rounded the curve out of town heading west when I see Bambi and the gang crossing the road.
Must have been about 12 or more of them. I get up in the middle of the road and lay on the air horn. They stop crossing, but they all start running along on both sides of the road in the direction I’m going.
I get back on the throttle and just as I come up on the group, I see two of the deer on the north side deciding they now want to join the group on the south side.
Reflexes kicked in and I jumped into the oncoming lane to avoid them. I saw one’s face clear as day as my fender and door went past him.
He didn’t hit the front corner of my trailer or my drives, luckily. However, he did hit his head on the side of my trailer.
It must have been enough to daze him as I watched him fall and get hit by my back hopper on the side. He went under my trailer tandems.
I was over gross weight so he didn’t stand a chance. I pulled over about a mile up the road where it was wide enough to do so (two lane) and went to look over my trailer.
I didn’t see any marks on my trailer or hopper, nor anything much on the trailer tandems. The only thing left was a tuft of fur or two and blood dripping off both mudflaps.