Ah, to be a truck driver. No stuffy office to confine you, the freedom of listening to music and podcasts all day, and seeing the beautiful countryside zip by. However, a lot of strange things occur in some of the most far-flung reaches of the vast highway networks that stretch across our nations. Things we would never see, unless we happened to be driving by at the exact right moment, at the exact right—or wrong—time. Whether it be gruesome roadside casualties, nitrous-pumped semi-trucks spewing flame, or waking up to a grown man barking like a dog into your window, these chilling stories will leave you with mental road-rash.
1. Satan, Take the Wheel
On the I25 south of Albuquerque, there’s a huge dip in the road that goes straight down one side of a canyon and up the other. I’m a very cautious driver, so I took the downgrade slow and crawled up the other side with my hazards on. Looking in my mirror, I see headlights from another truck at the bottom, then two jets of flame shooting like 20 feet into the air above it.
This truck runs past me doing 80 miles per hour up the slope. I didn’t even know it was possible to put nitrous into a semi; I know it isn’t legal, but I thought the devil himself was riding up on me.
2. Seeing Red
A friend who is a truck driver told me this one. He was driving through the edge of some bushland on his way back to Perth, Western Australia when he hit a kangaroo. He stopped the truck, grabbed his flashlight and knife in case he needed to dispatch it, and got out. He went over to the kangaroo. It needed to be dispatched, as it was alive and in immense pain, but he got this weird feeling that he was being watched.
He flashed his light around and saw dozens of pairs of red eyes watching him. A whole mob of kangaroos was just standing there watching him kill one of their mates—kangaroo eyes reflect red. He quickly dispatched the kangaroo, bolted back to his truck, and took off. He said it was the creepiest thing he had ever seen on the road.
4. Clowning Around
In the 90s, I lived in a logging camp in northern British Columbia. It was a big one made up of trailers and had about 300 people living there including families. I drove a water truck on weekends when the camp had days off. When driving on logging roads, you radio your kilometer markings with the name of the road to avoid collisions.
“Empty on Windfall 10” to say you were 10 clicks on the Windfall road heading away from camp, and “Loaded on Windfall 10” to say you were coming back. Anyway, being that is was a weekend, I didn’t expect anyone to be hanging around except a skeleton crew. I had no idea that there was a kid’s birthday party up on the top end of the windfall road.
It’s beautiful up there with a clear landing and a pond, so why not. The family hired two clowns from a nearby town for the kids. Apparently, the clowns wrapped up their show and were heading back to camp, but they were not using the radio. I’m on the road in a big water truck doing 50 kilometers per hour, and they come bombing around a corner doing 50 in a freaking clown car, and we almost collide.
I blasted the horn as this car with a plastic star on its roof goes whipping by with two screaming clowns inside, and I could just not figure out what the heck had just happened.
4. Dinosaur Screams
While driving on the 80 East, I saw a semi two truck-lengths in front of me drift, bounce off the median barrier, then regain traction, tip, and slide on its side. The entire load was all over the freeway. It was the most god-awful noise I’ve ever heard. It’s what I would imagine a T-Rex getting shot, and dying sounds like.
My father-in-law said he was hauling a truckload of Furbies when they started talking to each other. He said they didn’t stop talking the whole time he drove halfway across America.
6. Prized Bulldog
One night after completing his water delivery, my grandfather stops at a roundabout to let another car go through. It doesn’t, and soon people hop out with knives and tools, while they yell at him to cut the engine and to hop out of the truck. He guns it, smashing their car out of the way, goes around the roundabout and drives to the nearest police station to tell them what happened.
He thinks they were trying to steal the bulldog hood ornament from his truck because the only way to get it is to steal it or buy a Mack truck.
7. Looking for a Good Time
My buddy was stopped at this rest stop somewhere in Ohio. He was outside of his truck, checking something near the rear trailer wheels. A car pulled upside him and the driver rolled his window down. The driver was a middle-aged male and creepily asked my buddy if he wanted to have a good time. My buddy responded, “Nah, leave me alone.”
The guy driving the car sped off. Around two hours later, my buddy went back outside to check something near the rear wheels again. As he was bent down, he heard this car approaching quickly. It was the same man he had encountered earlier. The man attempted to hit my friend with his car, at probably 25mph but was unsuccessful as he quickly jumped under the trailer.
The driver of the car stopped about 30 feet from the trailer and put his car in reverse. As he began to back up, my buddy grabbed his tire iron and threw it at the car. The tire iron smashed through the rear window of the car. The driver sped off immediately. My buddy didn’t get a plate number, description of the vehicle or of the perpetrator himself, as it all happened at night.
He was upset that he lost his tire iron though.
8. In the Nick of Time
There’s a driver where I work who tells a story about driving through the desert in Arizona back in the 80s. With nothing around for miles, he broke down in the middle of the night. It was an easy fix—his fuel filter was clogged, so he drained it a little to free up the fuel and got the truck running about 15 minutes later.
He took off down the highway when he saw a man that was out of breath on the side of the highway that was staring at him as he passed. He said it looked like the guy had been running toward him until he got his truck running and drove away. He said if he had been there a few more minutes, the guy would’ve been able to walk up on him with his head in the engine bay.
He said the look on the guy’s face gave him chills and telling the story, it was clear that it still creeped him out.
9. Birthday Suit
Not me, but a friend saw a naked kid (9-10 years old) walking at night, on a long empty stretch of highway 41 south, where it meets highway 285, in New Mexico. He picked the kid up and called in to the local law enforcement. The kid wouldn’t speak. A state trooper showed up, and according to my friend, acted like it was no big deal, like he had seen it all before.
My friend asked the officer to hold up, and what was going on. The officer said, “don’t worry about it,” and just turned and walked away, loading the kid into his vehicle. He tried to find newspaper articles about it in papers from nearby cities but never found anything. He looked and couldn’t find anything in any missing person cases.
He told this story with a haunting simplicity and air of dread.
10. Need a Hand?
This is a story my dad told me. He was a long-haul trucker for about 15 years and is currently on shorter runs in the tristate area. He and his older brother were tag-team truck drivers back in the early 2000s when driving times weren’t as closely regulated. They drove two trucks and would switch out when their time driving was up, to hit deadlines faster.
One night, as they were driving through Arkansas I believe, my uncle was leading with my dad behind. My father recalls a giant poof of red, much like when you hit a deer in a semi. They thought nothing of it until they pulled over for the night. On my uncle’s grill was a hand. Naturally, they freaked the heck out and called authorities.
The hand was confiscated, and it was later discovered to belong to a suicidal man who had jumped off an overpass and was disintegrated by my uncle’s truck. They still made the deadline, despite spending a day in jail. They were released when they found the suicide note in the man’s house.
11. Don’t Talk to Strangers
When I was about 12 years old, our family vehicle broke down on the side of the highway. The two adults present asked me and my 10-year-old cousin to go walking and find a payphone because one was heavily pregnant and the other was disabled. We walked for about two miles when a trucker pulled over and asked what we were doing.
We explained the situation, then he said to get in the truck, and that he would take us to Walmart. He was an older black man with a gray beard and a heavy foreign accent. As we climbed into his truck, he told us we should never, ever get in the truck with a strange man because it’s extremely dangerous, but we did it anyway.
He took us to Walmart, and we called somebody to come help us. Any random truck driver could have kidnapped and killed us easily. But thankfully, this one didn’t!
12. Trust Your Gut
I have come upon some god-awful accidents at night. Cars completely under trailers with the tops basically sheared off, people laying in the road after being ejected from their car, the roads can be an awful place at night. Although, the creepiest thing I have ever had happen was this. One night I was making a night drop and kept getting the feeling like someone was watching me.
The hair kept standing up on the back of my neck, and I just felt uneasy. I decided something was off, and left to circle back in the morning. Turns out I’m pretty sure someone was watching me, because someone was shot and killed there a few nights later in an attempted robbery. That’s one thing the person who trained me drilled into me, and I tell it to everyone I meet.
Always trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. It’s your subconscious’ way of telling your brain to pay attention.
13. White Out
The most frightened I have been while driving a truck was going over Donner Pass one night, on the I80 toward Sacramento. I had stopped in Reno, and checked weather reports. It was early May or late April, can’t remember now, but there was still a chance of bad road conditions up there. The weather reports only called for light snow flurries, so I went on my way.
I got up to the top of the pass, and suddenly the sky just dumped a blizzard. It was almost total white out conditions. I was past the chain up areas and the rest areas, with no real safe place to stop. I could just barely make out the tracks of the truck ahead of me, and I slowly followed them, praying that they did not run off the road.
The worst thing about it was the wind; It was blowing hard, making the snow swirl violently in my vision. That caused me to experience this weird vertigo, that I have not experienced since. I began to feel like my body was losing which way was up. Fortunately, it did not last very long. I got down to a lower elevation, and it suddenly became heavy rain.
I was never so happy to see a rain storm on a mountain that I can remember.
14. Drift King
I was driving down Hell’s Pass in British Columbia during the winter when my truck started to jackknife. The cab was right up against the trailer, and I was being pushed down the hill sideways. The slope was 7%–10% grade. I managed to use the trailer brake to bring the cab back around, then bring the truck to a safe stop, but it was still scary as heck.
15. Like a Deer in the Headlights
My dad used to drive for a commercial grocery store back in the day, this was probably around 1975 or 1980. The route he drove took him past a hospital for the mentally ill. Apparently, the place wasn’t known for its security, because my dad said he would pass people walking down the road in varying levels of nudity.
He said he would see about one or two escaped patients a week, and eventually, it became a pretty normal thing. He told me the creepiest part one day. He said that sometimes they would look at the headlights the way a deer or wild animal would, and he was terrified that one day they would just run out in front of the truck.
They never did though, just stared and watched him drive by.
16. Stay Put, Comrade
Picture the Soviet Union somewhere near Omsk, back in the 60s. There was practically no traffic whatsoever because car ownership was very limited at the time. A trucker could drive for hundreds of miles without seeing a single car. This is the backdrop for a story from my grandfather’s friend that was an experienced trucker, who was training a young recruit, bringing him along where he went.
So, it’s mid-winter, and they are driving through a snow desert stretching for as far as the eye can see. It’s the middle of nowhere, and there was not a soul for literally hundreds of kilometers around. While they were driving, an immense blizzard hit them, reducing the visibility to a 1-meter maximum. They kept on driving until they went off the road, and got stuck in the snow.
Again, with no passing cars, their situation was desperate. There was little food, no heating, no other supplies, and the blizzard could potentially continue for days. After six hours of what I imagine was very uneasy waiting, the fear and panic got the better of the young and inexperienced fellow. He insisted that they should walk along the road, and try to find help.
Keep in mind, there were no towns or cities for hundreds of miles around. The older fellow tells him to calm down and wait. If they went, they would most likely die from exhaustion or exposure, and their best bet would be to at least wait for the sky to clear. There was not much hope at the moment, but at the least, better visibility would give them a slim chance to reach safety.
The lad, however, was extremely nervous and they began to argue. It escalated and the younger one grabbed a wrench threateningly. My grandfather’s friend had a knife in his hand but decided not to risk it. His partner got out of the truck—being barely able to open the door, and stumbled away, knee-deep in snow. My grandfather’s mate waited there for another day, and in the morning, he was rescued by the military who were sent to look for them guessing that they got stuck in the snow.
He and a group of soldiers left the truck there and continued along the road. In a few kilometers, my grandfather’s friend saw a small black object, barely visible in the sea of white. His heart stopped because he could guess what this was. He yelled at the soldiers to stop the car. Upon inspection, what was buried in the snow was his young partner.
The black object that he’d spotted was his partner’s cap, which could easily have been missed as deep as he was under the snow. The body was sat upright frozen, and rigid as stone. The trucker told my grandfather that the cold had perfectly captured the expression of profound despair and horror on the young and boyish face of the lad.
That fellow blamed himself for the rest of his life for not stopping him, and for failing to convince him to stay.
17. Golden Tickets
Not a trucker, but I work as a customer service representative for a trucking company in Omaha. This one happened shortly after I started working there. We dispatch local and long-distance drivers. One evening, just before shutting down for the day, we start getting multiple calls from people in the California area headed west.
Motorists are reporting that one of our drivers is speeding, cutting off people, not signaling, and just being a reckless driver all around. We manage to identify the driver in question so we call him up, and the guy is inconsolable. Turns out his sister had been murdered at her apartment, and he was literally racing to get back home as fast as his truck could take him.
My boss told him to park the truck immediately, and bought two plane tickets. One for the driver to fly back to Omaha, and another ticket to fly a volunteer out to California to pick up his truck.
18. The Missing Car
I used to be a tow truck operator. Once, I got a phone call from my wife, who was picking me up at 1 am. She calls me, frantically screaming that there’s been an insane accident, but she only sees one car. My shop was a block away. I get to the scene of the accident to light it up with my emergency lights and block the scene for first responders.
I’m at a six-lane bridge the goes over the thruway, and there’s only one car in sight. The car is missing its entire front half, with the engine visible, shoved into the firewall of the vehicle. I get out and start talking with this guy who is in shock. I ask him, were you hurt? He says, “No, I pulled over because I thought I had a flat tire. I got out and walked around the front to look at the passenger’s side tire, and soon as my foot hit the curb, I heard a loud bang. I turned around and my car was gone!”
My next words were “What did you hit?” He said nothing at all. Now I’m even more confused and point out that the front of his car is gone. He says, “Nope that’s not my car.” So, I start looking around and there aren’t any other cars on the road, and there’s nothing within eyesight. I can clearly see a quarter of a mile, and there is nothing anywhere. Some lady comes walking by and he says it’s her car.
She’s hammered as heck. Police and the fire department get there, and for about 15 minutes they are looking for the car with me. A cop radios in, and says he found the car. It went over six lanes and a median, down then up a thruway ramp, up a hill, through a fence, then bounced off four parked cars into a pole half a mile away.
This thing had its parking brake on. The car’s rear bumper was squished against the front seat. They estimated her speed at 100+ mph. This guy had pulled over to check a flat tire, and a drunk driver had crashed into his car and launched it half a mile. If he would have taken just a tenth of a second delay stepping on that curb, he would have been beyond dead.
I was off the clock, but I helped the police secure the scene until accident investigation showed up. Neither of the involved people were hurt, and both cars were totaled. I have seen many fatal accidents as a tow operator and a wrecker driver. I have never seen anything that bad, where folks walked away without a scratch.
19. Poor Horse
My dad has been a truck driver in the Netherlands for about 30 years now. He was leaving our town around 3 AM for store deliveries. He drives off with a colleague, and a kilometer outside my town he hits the brakes because there’s a horse walking on the road. His colleague behind him stops as well and is informed about the situation over the CB radio.
The two trucks, which look the same—both yellow-blue Scania box trucks with an additional blue trailer—are standing still on a quiet road in the middle of the night. A guy pulls up behind them in an Audi A6 station wagon. He, of course, did not know what was going on, and after a few minutes—the horse wasn’t moving—he got very annoyed with the trucks standing still. It would be a choice he’d come to regret: he floored it to get past them.
He crashed into the horse, killing it and totaling his car. The guy ended up going to the hospital, and this all happened in front of my father’s eyes. Pretty terrifying stuff. The guy ended up surviving, but my dad was pretty messed up about it.
20. A Game of Chicken
One night, I was hauling sulfuric acid from the rail siding to the mine site. Normally I do three loads a shift, so it was pretty full on. I’m on my first load of the night, and I get overtaken by a car full of hooligans. Now, country Australians will recognize the type. No windows because they’re all smashed, only one headlight, no tail lights, and a stream of empty beer cans falling out.
I drive a few more kilometers down the road, and they’re stopped off the side of the road trying to flag me down. As I pull up to the car, someone leans out and says, “Hey brudder, we got no petrol! Can you gib us some?” Well, actually, no. I run on diesel, you need petrol. He responds, “Nah brudder, dat’s ok. We only going to Laverton.”
Yeah, nah, it ain’t gonna happen. Sorry guys. I take off again, warning everyone about the carload of hooligans right on the side of the highway. Now I’m heading back after the first load, and as I pass the broken-down vehicle for the second time, they start jumping on to the road, trying to make me stop. Not happening guys.
I pull on the air horn and drive straight towards them. Sure enough, once I’m about 200 meters away they run off the road. I got back to rail, rang the police in Leonora, and they promised to send a car out. Then I head out on the second load, and the coppers overtake me before I get there, so no troubles when I went past.
Coming back from the second load, the coppers are just leaving, the hooligans have gotten a fire going, and they had pushed the car well off the road. Third load, and by now it’s nearly 3 AM. I figured it’d be a nice, quiet run. Not likely! Now, for a bit of information, I’m driving a fully loaded, triple trailer road-train, grossing 147 tons, and coming in at about 40 meters long. Say 325,000 pounds and 130 feet for our American brethren.
I’m doing 90km/h approaching the broken-down car, the fire’s burnt low, and it looks like they’re all asleep. Then I notice a dark patch in the middle of my lane. I figure it’s probably a dead kangaroo, so I move over to the opposite lane to avoid it. I kid you not, this dark pile jumps up out of my original lane, runs over, and lies down in the middle of the opposite lane, directly in my path!
So, I move back to my correct lane. Then the pile jumps up, runs over, and lies down in his original spot! I start slowing down, spotlights shining, and grab ahold of the dang air horn cord again. I slowly start to swerve into the oncoming lane again, and a second dark pile jumps up off the side of the road, runs out, and lies down in this lane!
So, now I’ve got 2 lumps to avoid. I just gave in to the inevitable. I took my foot off the brakes, slammed the throttle to the floor so hard I nearly punched it through the firewall and aimed for the gap between them. I pulled, and never let go of the air horn, it was just screaming to the world that I was coming. Well, dang.
There’s not enough room between them for me to fit through. But I’m committed, there’s no way I can stop in time. So, I just screwed up my eyes and kept rolling. Thank the lord these boys gave in. Right at the last second, they both bailed off the road and disappeared into the bush. But, I’m willing to bet they never tried that crap again!
21. Rude Awakening
My dad is a trucker. One night as he was taking a nap, he woke up and saw someone looking through the front window watching him. He was on a bed in the back and got startled. Then he noticed the window was open a little bit because it was in the middle of summer in Australia, and saw this strangers hand reach for the keys to unlock the car.
My dad yelled at him, which thankfully scared him away, and drove home immediately.
22. A 14 Ton Alarm Clock
I used to drive buses, and I did what we called the “first sign on” shifts that started between three and four in the morning. One morning with a workmate at the depot, we go out into the yard to start up our buses. I hear him scream, and then I see him come bolting out of his bus—scaring the crap out of me, of course, but I tentatively went over to investigate.
Turns out there was a homeless man asleep on his bus, and when he started the bus it woke him up. The homeless guy did not say a word and just walked down the bus to get out, scaring the crap out of my co-worker when he was right behind him. We used to have a good laugh about it after the fact, but at the time it was scary as heck to experience.
I thought someone was trying to kill him at first.
23. The Great Tarantula Migration
My mom is a trucker, this is her story. She was driving through Arizona, when she saw what she thought was leaves blowing across the road in the distance. This puzzled her since there’s mostly pine trees in northern Arizona. When she finally got to the “leaves”, she realized that they were actually migrating tarantulas, thousands of them.
There were so many of them, that her truck was sliding on their guts so she had to slow down. She stopped at the first truck stop, and told her co-driver to fuel up—he was sleeping at the time—because she wasn’t going to step foot outside after what she had just seen. Her co-driver was pissed since it was technically his time off.
He thought she was crazy until he saw the tarantula guts and legs caked in the inside wheel well of the truck.
24. You Don’t Know the Half…
This happened to me when I was 15. My dad ran a wrecker service for over the road truckers. Late one night, we got a call that a truck had run off the road and struck a tree 20 miles south of town. So, my dad and I fired up the wrecker and headed south. When we arrived on the scene, we saw that the truck and trailer had run off the road to the right, and smacked a tree head on.
It was one of those, 100-year-old oak trees. The truck was still running at an idle, and the door was closed, but no driver was seen from the driver’s window. The driver’s windshield was busted, and there was a large hole in the middle of it. The trailer was loaded with sheets of steel, a quarter-inch thick. Of course, it was pitch-dark and you couldn’t really see things that well when we first got there.
Our impression was the driver smacked a tree, hit his head on the windshield and was already getting treatment somewhere. We were so wrong. My dad set up the wrecker to hook onto the trailer and he wanted me to open the cab in order to release the brakes. When I opened the door, I was greeted with the lower half of a body.
When the driver hit the tree, a single sheet of steel broke free, and cut through the cab, cutting the driver in half. The upper half of his body went through the windshield. I found the other half in a cornfield, about 40 feet from the truck. He was still grabbing the upper part of the steering wheel. It looked like he was frozen in time still driving the truck.
This is one of many experiences I had growing up in a wrecker service family.
25. Cool as a Cucumber
Former trucker here. I was driving north through the mountains of Colorado towards Pueblo, and it was my first time dealing with anything like the Rocky Mountains, so I was taking it nice and slow with my hazards on and in the right lane. This was in the spring, and there wasn’t much snow on the ground aside from a light dusting.
I remember passing another truck pulled to the shoulder on my way up, nothing out of the ordinary. However, as I was heading down the mountain, which can be scary as heck in an 18-wheeler, I saw the same truck I passed earlier, fly past me in the left-hand lane. Now being passed on the left going downhill in the Rocky Mountains by another tractor-trailer is crazy enough, but what really makes this story? This guy’s trailer brakes were on fire.
He was pulling a load—I could tell because the trailer was sealed. If you know anything about trucks, you know there’s only so much braking you’re supposed to do before they overheat and worst-case, catch fire. This guy’s truck looked like a streaking comet as he sped down the mountain, at what I thought was a surely a deadly pace.
I grabbed the mic to the radio and called out to him, “Hey driver! Your brakes are on fire! I mean literally on fire!” This rough and weathered sounding voice comes back over the speaker of my radio and says, cool as a cucumber, “I know.” Then he disappeared around a curve. I never saw any wrecked truck, emergency crews, or even mention of an accident over the radio.
I did see a discarded fire extinguisher on the ground at the base of the mountain though.
26. Sliding into my Nightmares
A few years back, I was driving up an icy hill in the middle of winter after a snowstorm, when another semi coming down the hill towards me started to jackknife, sliding back and forth across the road. His trailer swung out sideways, blocking the entire road at around 50 mph, giving me nowhere to go and no choice but to stop.
I tried to back up as quickly as possible, to give him a little more space to get his trailer to tuck back in behind him. Thankfully it did about 50 feet in front of me. The whole time, all I could think of was “I really hope he’s empty because this is gonna hurt.”
27. Loaded Cargo
I was a transportation broker for a number of years. One of those years, we obtained government contracts for the transfer of “undisclosed hazardous materials.” We were under restrictions to keep everything about these loads confidential; from the trucking companies, to whom we brokered these loads with, to their specific locations.
Every single day, we had to give hourly updates to an internal agency about the status of our drivers. Each load required a team in order to minimize stopping time. These trucks had specific instructions to not stop for more than a half-hour throughout the itinerary, nor to open the contents of the trailer. Their location was constantly monitored by a GPS coupled with a timer to ensure these conditions were met.
We had many of these contracted loads, without any notable issues. However, one day was different. That day, one of our truckers was stopped by DOT (Department of Transportation). The officer demanded the drivers open the trailer to reveal the unidentified contents. Our drivers cited our contract with our client, stating that we could not open the trailer under any circumstances.
However, the DOT was persistent and broke the electronic seal himself. Our systems at dispatch were frozen immediately. To the officer’s surprise, the trailer contained Tomahawk missiles used by the Department of Defense. Two Apache helicopters were scrambled from the nearest air force base and the DOT officer was taken into custody—he was later released.
It turns out that the transportation of dangerous contents like this are quite common. Since they are concealed in a dry van, however, the public is completely unsuspecting.
28. Fluffy Companions
I was only a long-haul driver for three months, but one of the strangest things I noticed were the number of other truckers who had life-sized stuffed animals riding shotgun. I saw one with a life-sized gorilla, a huge dog, and a few aliens. All in their seat belt of course, for safety.
29. Superhuman Trucker
Out in remote Montana, my dad had a can of ether crack open behind his seat. It sprayed onto the battery box, causing the interior of the truck to catch on fire while he was driving down the road. He downshifted so it would eventually slow down, and aimed the truck off the road at an open field, then jumped out. I kid you not, the police counted his shoe marks on the highway—they were several yards apart at first.
He somehow managed to keep upright, doing the Olympic triple jump down the blacktop. He did eventually fall and get scraped up badly. Then he got up, chased after his truck—which was driving a long slow circle out in that field—opened a side hatch while running beside it, got his fire extinguisher, and put out the fire.
I saw the tracks, the burnt truck, the used extinguisher, and my dad’s scrapes. I always wished that somehow someone else could’ve seen it.
30. Zombie Moose
My friend who works as a trucker once passed a completely totaled car on the side of the road, with a seemingly dead moose in front of it. My friend got out to help the guy, and out of nowhere, the moose rose up screaming in its moose tongue, then ran away.
31. An Eye for an Eye Leaves an Owl Blind
My dad sometimes drives a WPS shipping truck out of state. He has a couple of stories, but there is one that I really like. My dad was coming back from a route one night, when he hears a loud thud that sounded like it came from the front of his truck. He pulled over and finds that he had hit a huge owl and that it was lodged in his grill.
It also turns out the owl is still alive. This happened at around midnight, so my dad had a great idea and decided to buckle the owl up in the passenger seat. For the first hour, the owl was unconscious, but at around 1 AM my dad hears the seat belt move, and he turns to see one angry owl staring at him. One of the owl’s eyes was hanging out, and the owl knew that it was my dad’s fault.
The first thing my dad now notices are the talons on this owl, and how they could have easily torn him up. Even so, the owl seemed content to stay put, probably because he was pretty beat up. So, my dad just turns his head back to the road, and they both have an awkward ride. He pulled over at the next gas station and called the police.
He was pretty much at the border, so it took a while for both state departments to decide who had to pick up the owl. After that, my dad decided that he has a newfound respect for owls.
32. A Delicious, Cream-Filled Truck
A friend of mine has a relative who was an owner-operator of a trucking company. One time, he was supposed to ship containers of whipped cream from one state to another, passing through the Rocky Mountains. He looked at the route that was provided and realized he could save time by taking another road—a high pass through the mountains.
Once he gets to the other side of the mountain range, he stops for a meal and checks the load in the back. Turns out, the pass he took was high enough in altitude that the pressure caused the lids to pop off of all the containers, and the inside of his trailer was covered in whipped cream.
33. Lights Out
My dad was a long-haul trucker from his teens until his mid-30s. He never told us a lot of stories—except the one about how he knew it was time to get off the road when the pills he was taking to stay awake made him see giant rabbits on the road—but his favorite was when he was about 19, when he went across a bridge in the middle of the night, then was surprised to be pulled over.
Turns out the lights on the bridge were all wired together over the roadway—and his trailer had been high enough to catch the wires, very efficiently pulling down every single light pole. How he didn’t see or hear what was going on, is probably due to how much attention he was to paying to those aforementioned road bunnies.
34. Noble Truckers
It was the worst day of my life, but also the one that convinced me that there are good people in the world. When I was young, my family had a dog named Mackie. He was a runner. You had to be careful when you opened the door to the house, because Mackie would take off. When I was in the fourth grade, Mackie made it out the door when we were being babysat.
I chased him out the door, but he was too fast. I followed him out of the neighborhood, and out to a country road nearby. As I ran after him, Mackie paused in the middle of the road. A red hatchback came zooming up the road and hit Mackie right in front of me. They didn’t stop. They didn’t swerve. They didn’t even slow down, they just kept on driving.
Mackie was left in the middle of the road, still alive. I was hysterical. I tried to move him out of the road, but he bit me on the hand. Thanks, Mackie. A semi-truck slowed and stopped for the sobbing boy in the road. Two truckers got out. One asked me my name, what happened. I can’t remember the specifics, but I remember them asking what vet we took him to. I couldn’t remember.
One of the truckers wrapped Mackie in his red and black flannel shirt, and they took him to a vet. I can’t remember if they took me home, or if I walked. I don’t know how they found a vet—this was in the late 80s, and no one had an iPhone then. Mackie didn’t make it. He had to be put down. I never forgot the kindness of those truckers to stop and help out a boy grieving over his wounded dog.
As far as I’m concerned, they were heroes.
35. Chill Out, Man
My trucking days were garbage, but I got some good stories from them. Going south on I-75 in Georgia at around 3 AM, I see this bright light about two miles behind me. Not only is it super-bright, but it is on the interstate and it is hauling butt. It’s big too, and it’s moving faster than anything I think I’d ever seen.
Now, earlier that day I had called the guy who taught me how to drive, and he is really, really superstitious about life on the road. He would tell me stories about how a green apparition chased him in Florida when he was pulling too many miles, all kinds of stuff. I was already spooked from that conversation earlier, so looking into my mirror and seeing this giant light flying towards me made my butt clench onto the seat.
This thing closes the distance between us, and flies past me, probably doing around 120 mph. I had the window down and as it went past me, I felt this massive amount of heat. When it passed me, I could finally tell what it was. It was a hay hauler, a truck that hauls a trailer designed for hay, and the entire load of hay in the back was ablaze.
I jumped in the CB radio and screamed, “DRIVER, YOUR TRAILER IS ON FIRE!” The driver comes back in a surprisingly calm voice with, “I know, I’m just letting it burn off. I figure if I go fast enough, I can keep my cab from getting burned.”
36. Free Hugs
I’m not a trucker and neither is my mom, but this happened on her way home from Pennsylvania. There was no one else on the highway, except an 18-wheeler and my mother. Since there was no one else around, she decided to drive next to the truck. After a couple of hours of this, the truck got off for a stop and so did my mom.
When she got out of her car the trucker gave her a big hug, because he felt so lonely driving with no one else on the road before she started driving next to him.
37. Quake Your Time
Once back in 1994, I had delivered a load down near Riverside, CA, and dispatch told me to lay over in a hotel for the night at company expense, a rare treat. Halfway through dinner and a movie on the TV mid-evening, they called again and told me to deadhead (run the empty trailer) to Salt Lake City for a morning pickup. It sucked to hear, but okay.
I got to St. George, UT and pulled into a truck stop to fuel up. I put the hose in the tank and jacked it so that it would run fuel into the tank without my help. I stood there waiting for the first tank to fill, when all of a sudden, the hose jumped out of the tank and sprayed diesel all over me. Perfect. I finished fueling, got my shower ticket and cleaned up, washed my clothes, and went on to Salt Lake.
I got there and found out that I’d missed the Northridge earthquake by a couple of hours. I don’t know if that’s what made the hose jump out of the fuel tank in St. George, but I figure it must have been, as that was the only time it ever happened to me.
38. Bad Teleportation Method
I was once at S.A.D.D. meeting (Students Against Drunk Drivers), and the guest speaker was a long-haul trucker and recovering alcoholic. He told a story of stopping in Indiana and picking up a handle of whiskey, drinking it, and basically blacking out completely. He said he woke up at a truck stop in Texas, with no recollection of the last three states he drove through.
Now that story freaked me out.
39. Super Grandad
My grandparents were truckers. One time they were driving along in British Colombia, Canada, and came across a fill station. They filled up and started to head down the road, when they see a camper just sitting on the side of the road with smoke coming out of it. They stopped and investigated, and it looked as though the camper was on fire.
So, my grandpa, being the crazy man he is, wrapped his hand in a cloth and opened the door. It was a really good thing he did, because there was a family trapped inside. So, he got them out, brought them back to the gas station, and went on his way. No idea what happened to the family, and they never took my grandparents’ names.
40. Barking up the Wrong Tree
Many years ago, I was on what is called a “meet and turn.” This is where a driver that is domiciled out of one city, will drive a load halfway to its destination, while a driver domiciled out of that destination will drive halfway with a load that is destined for my city. We meet in a parking lot, switch trailers and drive back home.
I had been on this run for a few months and found that I always got to the meet point about an hour before the other driver. It was a dark and empty dirt lot at about 3 AM, so I would stretch out across the seat and take a short nap. One night, about 10 minutes into my nap I was awoken by a barking dog. I tried to ignore it, but it carried on for several minutes and got louder as the dog got closer.
Soon, it became apparent that the dog was right outside of my truck barking at me. “Okay,” I thought, either this dog is Lassie and is trying to alert me to something, or else he is just a pain in the butt and I will need to throw something at him to scare him off. It is important to note that the barking had been going on for a good 10 minutes at this point.
So, I sat up and looked out my window. Standing mere inches on the other side of the glass, was a man of about 35 years old. He was a large fellow, and he was barking at me. His eyes were crazy, and he was frothing at the mouth a little—the scene really held my full attention for a moment. The sheer creepiness of this struck me.
Gently, and making an absolute minimum of sudden movements, I reached down and started my truck, then slowly pulled away. He chased me, much like you might expect an angry dog to, barking all the while. Needless to say, it played havoc with my power naps from then on.
41. Suck on This
My uncle was a long-haul trucker back in the 90s. He mainly did international runs from Canada down into the US and back. He had a nice new Kenworth that had one of those maximum size sleepers on it. It had a built-in toilet and the works. He decided that the small tank that came with the toilet was a pain in the butt to have to empty so frequently, so he converted half of his passenger side diesel tank into a septic tank.
A few weeks after converting his tank he happened to pull in at a truck stop somewhere in the States and parked for the night after driving longer then he should have. When he woke up at 5 AM with the dawn just starting to get bright, he climbed out to see something that makes him laugh hysterically every time he tells the story.
On the ground to the right side of his truck, was a 5-gallon jerry can, and a siphon hose with one end in his tank and the other laying on the ground. Next to this was a puddle of puke, and some puke footprints. Another few feet away, there was another puddle of puke, a trail leading away from his truck. Some dumb unfortunate fellow tried to siphon his septic tank in the middle of the night.
42. Training Wheels
I was driving at night and the truck starts making this odd grinding noise. Like I ran over something that got stuck. It’s about 2 AM. I pull into a well-lit rest stop and wake up my buddy who was sleeping. As I explain the situation to him, we get out of the car, and both hear what sounds like a kid crying. There are no other cars at the rest stop, but we frequently heard stories about child trafficking and kidnapping nearby, so we decided to check it out.
We grab our flashlights and head towards the noise, which is coming from the bathrooms at the rest stop. As we get closer, we realize it’s coming from the women’s bathroom, and it’s a low, dull sobbing. We are prepared for the worst. We walk in expecting to see some brutally abused child or something, and we see nothing.
The sound is still there, and it’s still clearly coming from the room, but the room is empty. We turn on the lights—still nothing. Check each stall, the trash can. Nothing. Even start looking for where in the room it’s coming from. Is it a hidden speaker? Are we on candid camera? What the heck? My buddy climbs up one of the stalls to close the lone window in the room.
He closes it, and the noise stops. Completely. He opens it again, and there’s no more noise. We sit there for a few seconds, staring at each other. He shrugs. Then the window slams shut again, without him touching it. We were out of that forsaken bathroom in seconds. The noise starts up about 10 seconds later, as we get to the truck, and we’re tearing out of the parking lot within 10 more seconds.
The grinding noise is still there. So, this time I pull over a few miles later at a Flying J Truck Stop, it was well-lit, and known to be occupied. A couple of truckers were there. We check under the truck. There’s a red and silver piece of metal wedged between a part of the truck and the road, about a half-inch or so off the ground, so with us in the vehicle it would definitely have been grinding against the ground.
We can’t remove it by hand—it’s really wedged in there, so we kick at it to bend it and figure we’ll remove it when we get back. A week later I had my mechanic take it out when he was doing a service, and when he told me what it was, my blood ran cold. It was part of a kid’s tricycle.