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14 Classic Trucking Movies Every Trucker Should Watch

Max 3 min read

If you think big trucks are badass enough, wait until you see them grace the big screen. The likes of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, and Patrick Swayze have all tested their acting chops as trucking heroes – and villains – in many trucker movies.

If you’re a trucker, these movies would be a great source of entertainment between long trips. While there are literally hundreds of them, we’ve listed here 14 flicks that every hauler will find worth watching.  

1. Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Written and directed by genius novelist Stephen King, ‘Maximum Overdrive‘ follows the story of a local man, Emilio Estevez, as he tries to protect a North Carolina town from homicidal trucks after a radiation storm.

This movie is the perfect blend of suspense and action for an hour and a half. It’s an interesting watch if you’re into unique truck movies.

Trivia: Some of the trucks used in the movie are from actual local businesses. They even retained the businesses’ names on the trucks. Watch and see if you can spot them! 

2. Over The Top (1987)

From Rocky Balboa to tough trucker Lincoln Hawk, Sylvester Stallone stepped away from the boxing ring to star in the movie ‘Over The Top‘. In this movie, Lincoln is a struggling yet tough trucker determined to win back his son after his wife’s death.

True to Stallone’s macho image, the main character joins the World Arm Wrestling Championship. The prize? $100,000 and an exclusive semi-truck that he plans to use to start a trucking company.

Trivia: The movie is based on John Brzenk’s story. He’s a real-life arm wrestler who won the actual Over The Top tournament with a Trail-mobile trailer and Volvo White Truck as the grand prize.  

3. Breaker, Breaker (1977)

As one of the classic ’70s trucker movies, ‘Breaker, Breaker‘ features martial artist Chuck Norris as J.D. This follows the story of J.D. as he looks for his missing trucker brother. With the help of other truckers, Norris’s character sets on a mission to unravel the mystery behind his brother’s disappearance.

The title ‘Breaker, Breaker’ is a nod to trucker lingo used by truckers as a courtesy call to request access to their CB radio channel. It also features more classic trucker lines throughout the movie.

Trivia: It only took Chuck Norris 11 days to shoot this movie.  

4. Steel Cowboy (1976)

Steel Cowboy‘ is a TV movie starring one of the ’70s most prominent stars, James Brolin. It follows the story of a trucker named Clayton Ray Davis and how he tries to turn things around on the verge of financial ruin.

As one of the classic trucking movies, it also stars young Rip Torn, Melanie Griffith, and Jennifer Warren.

Trivia: The tractor used in this film is a White Western Star. It’s an old-school rig with the classic ’70s look.

5. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)

Five years after his breakthrough role as Lewis Medlock in the movie ‘Deliverance‘, Burt Reynolds stars as The Bandit in the film ‘Smokey and the Bandit‘. This movie tells the story of The Bandit, who was hired to transport a tractor-trailer full of beer interstate. All this while he’s on a hot pursuit by an eager sheriff.

This action-comedy film is great to watch after a long day on the road. As one of the well-loved semi-truck movies, you’re surely in for a ride.

Trivia: ‘Smokey and the Bandit‘ was the 2nd highest-grossing movie in 1977, right next to Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It just proves that this is one of the best trucker movies 1970s has to offer. 

6. Big Rig (2007)

‘Big Rig’ is one of the newer truck driving movies on this list. It’s actually a documentary made to show the contemporary life of American long-haul truckers. It follows men and women in the trucking industry as they deliver goods to various cities in the US.

Moreover, this documentary is a homage to truck drivers for all their hard work and dedication that often go unnoticed.

If you’re not into fiction, this might be the perfect flick for you in between long trips.

7. Thunder Run (1986)

Thunder Run‘ is set during the Cold War, where Charlie, a truck driver, tries to keep dangerous plutonium from terrorists’ hands.

Forrest Tucker will be the trucker hero you never knew you needed. In this movie, he drives an 18-wheeler stashed with amazing gadgets. This old trucker movie is also packed with many chase scenes and explosions, including an entire rig being thrown off the ground.

Trivia: This is Tucker’s last theatrical film. He passed away a few months after the movie was released.

8. Trucks (1997)

Trucks‘ is yet another masterpiece from Stephen King. This film is set in a fictional Canadian town Lunar being overrun by driverless trucks. These trucks are being driven by a mysterious alien force and are thrilling enough to keep your eyes on the road.

Some of the taglines used to promote this movie include ‘U Turn, U Die” and “A Thriller Without Breaks”. From that alone, you can tell this movie leads to a road of suspense.

Trivia: Like other big truck movies, ‘Trucks‘ used a Western Star truck, the same as the movie ‘Maximum Overdrive‘ (1986). 

9. Black Dog (1998)

If you haven’t had your fill of truck driver movies yet, you should definitely see ‘Black Dog‘. This movie stars ‘Ghost‘ actor Patrick Swayze as an ex-con left with no choice but to haul illegal firearms to save his family.

This race-against-the-clock film will keep you on your toes with explosions, hijacking attempts, and high-octane truck driving.

Trivia: Patrick Swayze is so committed to the role that he went through an actual truck driving school to earn a commercial driver’s license.

10. Convoy (1978)

Can’t get enough of 70’s trucker movies? The movie ‘Convoy‘ is undoubtedly an ear-candy for truckers since it’s stuffed with CB shorthand. It also captured scenic locations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, which are frequent routes for haulers.

The movie follows a trucker’s vengeance on an abusive sheriff, loosely based on C.W. McCall’s hit song of the same title.

Trivia: This trucking movie is a big hit not just in America but also in the Soviet Union at that time.

11. White Line Fever (1975)

White Line Fever is one of the first and best trucker movies to bring the trucking industry to the big screen. It follows the story of an over-the-road trucker Carrol Jo Hummer as he navigates the corruption within the local trucking industry.

The movie includes adrenaline-pumping car chases and heavily armed guards. It’s surely a great watch if you’re a trucker who loves classic movies about truckers.

Trivia: ‘White Line Fever’ refers to the hypnotic state truckers experience when they drive very long distances, wherein they can’t remember the majority of the trip. It’s also sometimes called ‘Highway Hypnosis’.

12. High-Ballin' (1978)

High-Ballin‘ is a follow-up to Jerry Reed’s performance in another trucker movie ‘Smokey and the Bandit’.

In ‘High-Ballin‘, a group of trucker friends led by an owner-operator named Iron Duke (Reed) hatches a plan against a local fleet boss. However, things started to go south when Iron Duke and his sidekick tried to haul illegal liquor.

As with many old trucking movies, this flick is packed with gun fights, car crashes, and explosions.

Trivia: Aside from acting, Jerry Reed also wrote and sang the title track of this film.

13. The Great Smokey Roadblock (1978)

One of the trucker movies from the 70s you should see is ‘The Great Smokey Roadblock‘. It follows the story of a 60-year-old driver, played by Henry Fonda, who tries to get his rig back after being repossessed.

The pursuit involves a hitchhiker and prostitutes, making the plot thicker for the struggling character.

Trivia: Susan Sarandon is one of the hookers in this film, and she also has a co-producer credit.

14. Christmas Comes to Willow Creek (1987)

Are you looking for the best trucking movies to watch during your holiday haul? The ‘Christmas Comes to Willow Creek‘ is surely a heartwarming choice.

This flick follows two trucker brothers as they try to bring Christmas presents to Willow Creek, Alaska, in the middle of a blizzard.

Have more movie time by partnering with Factoring Express

Do you want to have more time to binge-watch all these movies about trucks? If so, Factoring Express is here to help!

We will free up your time with our comprehensive list of services, including trucking accounting, factoring, dispatch services, and more. You no longer have to keep chasing payments from shippers, which means more time to enjoy these movies!

On top of that, we also offer fuel cards for trucking to give you more savings.

Did these old truck movies inspire you to start your own trucking business? Call us, and let’s start the conversation! 

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