Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping OTR volumes were well on their way to breaking records. According to a February FreightWaves post, “It is still early in the year, and there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome for carriers, but an often overlooked pattern has changed since last summer that may help their bottom line — long-haul volumes (loads that move over 800 miles) have been averaging over 8% higher since September of last year.” Then, COVID-19 pulled the rug out from under the industry, and now, it’s a full race to the finish line to find, move and complete loads faster with fewer resources.
Additionally, The Trucker noted, “while down over 10% sequentially in April, truck tonnage did not fall as much as other economic indicators that month.” Fortunately, freight data is on its way to save the day and make managing supply chain networks easier. But until the time comes when a bid, quote or booking is necessary, we decided we match our end of the weekend energy with Dooner & The Dude over on “WHAT THE TRUCK?!?” where they’ve been featuring every Friday a guest on #PlayItForward to close out the shows with some groovy tunes! Make sure you check out all episodes of “WHAT THE TRUCK?!?” tuning in each Monday and Friday at 12 PM ET.
Truckers can turn their ears to these top 15 trucking songs to make any day go a little faster. Check out the BONUS Editor’s pick at the bottom.
1. I’ve Been Everywhere by Johnny Cash
Kicking off the list is this classic trucking song. While this song was written by Australian singer Geoff Mack, it was popularized by beloved musician and road warrior Johnny Cash. The song perfectly reflects the mindset of some truckers out there. It is a real joy to get to listen to this song while on the road. Also, it is hard not to sing along with the lyrics, even if we cannot keep up with good old Johnny at times or we do not know all the words of every verse.
2. Convoy by C.W. McCall
This one is a true trucking classic. One of the best trucking songs ever, Convoy is hard to top for jamming out while on the road. Also, this song was part of one of the best trucking movies ever made – and it shared the same name – Convoy, which starred Kris Kristofferson and Ali McGraw.
3. Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead
No trucking song list would be complete without this entry. Recorded back in 1970, among all trucking songs, this one really pins down what the trucker life is like and how a trucker moves around. Plus, it is a great rock song that is fun and a pleasure to listen to any time, but especially enjoyable when you are on the road jamming out and singing along.
4. C.B. Savage by Rod Hart
In his one-hit-wonder song, Rod Hart nails down the lingo and fun truckers can have communicating with one another on the road. It highlights the information that gets passed along and the entertainment factor that the CB radio is for most long-haul truckers.
5. On the Road Again by Willie Nelson
Willie released this song in 1980 and it has since made its way into all our hearts as one of the most popular trucking songs ever to exist. You cannot help but sing along with this one and it will stick in your mind for days after hearing it.
6. Phantom 309 by Red Sovine
This eerie song is about a hitchhiker getting a ride from a trucker and finding out after he gets dropped at the next truck stop that the trucker he just rode with for a few hours had died a few years earlier. It is an instant classic that pulls at your heartstrings and will have you wondering what it would be like to get picked up by the phantom trucker named Big Joe.
7. White Line Fever by Merle Haggard
A true trucker classic that gets right down and displays the heart of a trucker who just cannot stop trucking, even though he can see the end – and his own death – is coming soon. It is a tale that is almost a bit too real for many truckers and is a great song for getting the old heart and mind working while you’re spending countless hours on the road.
8. 30,000 Pounds of Bananas by Harry Chapin
This song tells the true story of a trucker coming down from the mountains and into town whose brakes have gone out. The trucker speeds towards a town full of people with a huge load of bananas behind him, and the song picks up the pace along with the truck. It will get your heart pumping and puts you right there in the cab with this trucker as he avoids panic and figures out what to do. He must decide between his health, safety and possibly life and those of the townspeople.
9. Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler) by Alabama
In this well-known song performed by the ultra-popular band Alabama we follow a trucker trying to make it back home to his family after an exceptionally long haul. Unfortunately, the trucker ends up jackknifing in a winter storm and the song holds us in suspense to find out what happened to him. In the end, the family hears from their patriarch that he will be home safe and sound soon.
10. 6 Days On The Road by Dave Dudley
It is said that this 1963 hit song is the one that launched the entire genre of trucking songs into the forefront of music and the public eye. It is hard not to sing along with this one, and you will surely find the miles melting away as you listen to it on the road. This one truly is a song made for the working man and with his life in mind.
11. Eastbound And Down by Jerry Reed
A song written exclusively for the best trucking movie ever made – Smokey and the Bandit – this song is one that will stick in your head for weeks after hearing it. You will find yourself humming the tune days later and cannot help but sing the chorus’ mainline and song title out loud when you do.
12. Tombstone Every Mile by Dick Curless
A song about the harsh realities of truck driving and the dangers involved. It is about a well-known stretch of road in Maine that has a reputation for being hazardous for a variety of reasons. Expressing the danger truck drivers face every single day on the road, this song is an important record of history and warning for future drivers on how to stay out of trouble.
13. I’m A Road Hammer by The Road Hammers
In their debut song, The Road Hammers rock out with this jam that will have you bobbing your head along with the uppity beat that will wake you up and help you focus while trucking the miles away. It is about covering all the roads across the entire country and is a fun recount of a trucker’s many experiences.
14. Teddy Bear by Red Sovine
A sad but uplifting song about a young crippled boy whose father died recently in a trucking accident who gets on his daddy’s CB radio to tell his story and ask for just one thing from any trucker who may be listening. What does he want? A chance to ride one more time in a big rig… Then, when the trucker listening in hears it, he turns around and heads to fulfill the wish only to find a line of trucks waiting for their turn to take the boy on a ride. A great song about the hearts of truckers and how they do for other truckers and their families too.
15. Drivin’ My Life Away by Eddie Rabbit
This song will have you singing along at the top of your lungs with its catchy chorus. It is a great representation of trucking life in general and is an incredibly fun rocking song that every trucker knows by heart.
BONUS Editor’s Pick: Winner Takes It All BY SAMMY HAGAR
It would be nearly criminal if we left this song out of the top trucking songs. This was featured in the movie “Over The Top,” starring Sylvester Stallone as a championship arm wrestler Lincoln Hawk. Hawk is a struggling trucker who arm wrestles on the side to make extra cash while trying to rebuild his life. In the music video, Hagar and Stallone arm wrestle. Hagar wins. Eddie Van Halen plays bass on this song.
Combine your trucking songs’ playlist with freight data insights to get that load on the road and make the gold.
The top 15 trucking songs can only go so far; use freight data the rest of the way to make that delivery more profitable and efficient. In today’s world, it’s easy to want to get back on the road, but that’s far from the full scope of a driver’s responsibilities. There are decisions to be made about which lanes are best, what freight is most lucrative, and which companies are easier to work with, and it all begins with having access to the right freight data. FreightWaves SONAR makes it all simpler. Find out how to get and apply freight data the right way by requesting a SONAR demonstration today.