The Best Truck Driving Songs for Your Journey
Professional drivers spend an average of 11 hours per day behind the wheel, working to deliver essential freight to their destinations. While there are many options for entertainment while driving, nothing compares to a song about life on the road! Long-haul trucking entails such unique circumstances that many artists have released music to pay homage to this iconic lifestyle. This topic spans many cultural decades of music and is still relevant today! Whether you’re into oldies or the new wave, keep reading to learn about the trucker songs that deserve a spot on your next playlist!
Trucking Songs Powering Through Social Reform (1960-1975)
The 60s and early 70s were a period of rapidly evolving societal norms and expectations. Sparked by World War II, the increased demand for consumer goods led to exponential growth of the American trucking industry. The trucking industry commonly considers this turning point the beginning of the “Golden Age”! Some of the most iconic released trucking songs in this period include:
- “Phantom 309” – Red Sovine
- This spoken-word song, released in 1967, tells the story of John William Trudelle. He was a tanker truck driver who tragically passed away in a fiery crash after swerving to avoid a school bus of children. The urban legend is that he still drives his phantom rig and occasionally picks up hitchhikers along that road.
- “Convoy” – C.W. McCall
- Based on actual protests from the time, this 1975 novelty song is about a band of truckers. They teamed up to drive across the country in a demonstration of imposed speed limits and fines.
- “Truckin’” – Grateful Dead
- Although this 1970 rock song references the band’s experience on the road, its message also relates to truckers. Life on the highway is a journey full of highs and lows, but ultimately, it is one of adventure!
Driving in an Advancing Society (1976-1995)
Pop culture, materialism, and increased consumerism characterized the 80s and early 90s. As truckers rolled into this time, they saw many changes in their line of work. Technological advances quickly swept through the industry as the sun began to set on the “Golden Age” of trucking. Still, at this time, some great hit truck driving songs about the trucking lifestyle stole the scene:
- “Big Wheels in the Moonlight” – Dan Seals
- A young man who narrates this 1988 country song relays his childhood memories of watching semi-trucks drive along the highway. He often dreamt of the day that he would become a truck driver.
- “Life is a Highway” – Tom Cochrane
- This popular 1991 tune, later rerecorded by Rascal Flatts, is an upbeat rendition of living life on the highway. It adopts the theme of working hard to persevere through challenges.
- “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” – Kathy Mattea
- Released in 1987, this country song tells a touching story about a truck driver on his last run after 30 years on the road. He is eager to make it home to his wife and spend the rest of his life by her side.
Trucker Songs About Driving During Dynamic Change (1996 – Present)
As pop culture continued to advance into the 2000s, the trucking industry also faced adjustments. Modern technology has made its way into the daily lives of truckers and how they manage their hauls and schedules. This revolution extended to entertainment – radio was slowly overtaken by MP3 players and cell phones. In this modern era, drivers can easily stream popular trucker songs that top the charts, capturing the essence of long-haul adventures:
- “Asphalt Cowboy” – Jason Aldean
- This country hit from 2005 tells the standard tale of a truck driver who misses his wife but keeps moving forward.
- “Born Ready” – Steve Moakler
- This 2018 patriotic song praises American truck drivers for working hard through adversity to get their job done.
- “I’ve Been Everywhere” – Johnny Cash
- In this 1996 country release, a hitchhiker describes his travels – far and wide. This story resonates with all long-haul truckers who have the lucky opportunity to see America like many never will!
Trucker Songs: Honorable Mentions
There are so many great songs about the trucking lifestyle. We couldn’t quite fit them all in, so here are some honorable mentions that also deserve a listen:
- “Six Days on the Road” – Dave Dudley
- “Wagon Wheel” – Old Crow Medicine Show
- “Roll On (Eighteen-Wheeler)” – Alabama
- “On the Road Again” – Willie Nelson
- “Brothers of the Highway” – Tony Justice
- “Trucker Man” – Gretchen Wilson
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