Truck driving is more than just an occupation; it is a lifestyle with a thriving and passionate culture. While trucking is not easy, it is a very fulfilling and romanticized job. Hence, the media’s glance at the truck driving lifestyle tells the stories of individual truck driving experiences. Artists, filmmakers, and media personnel have portrayed truck driving and told tales surrounding it through movies, art, and, more importantly, music.
Songs that encapsulate, admire, and spread the essence of trucking are not just great representations of the trucking lifestyle. They are also powerful tools for truckers that help them get through the long hours of truck driving alone.
Most of the best trucker songs come from the 80s and the 90s. These songs age like fine wine; the older they are, the better they sound. Additionally, some truckers would not find ways to cope with adverse conditions on the road if it weren’t for the sweet twang and southern sounds.
Truck Driving Songs are Important!
Songs are a form of energy, and a sweet melodious sound is nothing but a vibrating harmonic frequency that energizes the soul. Truckers, being on the road for hours on end, need some tunes to stay awake and vigilant during long-haul trucking.
Moreover, trucking songs are also great morale boosters for when times are tough. You could be hauling a huge load over the worst of weather conditions, and Willie Nelson will be there right by your side, pushing you to get on the road again!
You can find plenty of great trucking songs when you browse through the discography, and it is impossible to rate them higher than the others. Each trucking song resonates with different truckers and shares a personal story that relates closely to a trucker’s life.
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Best Trucking Songs
Songs are adamantly crucial for truckers and enrich you, the truckers, and the average audience with the love of trucking. Apart from just being trucking songs, some of the best ones are truly amazing auditory gems that you must listen to, even if you are not a trucker.
Songwriters and singers put their heart and soul into some of the amazing 18-wheeler songs that are instant Goosebumps triggers. Below is a list of classic tunes that live in the hearts of many across the country.
Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen – Kathy Mattea
This is a wondrous trucking song by the elegant singer Kathy Mattea. Featured on her album, Untasted Honey in 1987, 18 wheels and a dozen roses is an amazing song that magnificently tells the tale of a trucker named Charlie.
The songwriters Gene and Paul Nelson beautifully constructed the lyrics and managed to poetically describe the tough life of a trucker and his desire to return home to his wife. Like many other trucker songs, it also musically resonates with the feelings of truckers when they depart from their wives and cannot wait to come back with a dozen roses. This country song has everything that you want from the genre, the classic four-beat strumming and the sweet southern vocals of Kathy Mattea.
Truckin – Grateful Dead
What better way to spend your long-haul miles than to listen to the blues on repeat? For truckers or just classic blues fans, this is the tune. Grateful Dead is a 60s American rock band that is known for its ability to switch up and experiment with different genres and come up with their unique sound.
This is the country/blues song for the road – it is simple, catchy, and splendid. It does not give you much to process; it just sings about truck driving in different cities around the country and overcoming the hurdles along the way. It gives off a good, jolly vibe, makes you want to nod along, a true mood lifter.
East, Bound, and Down – Jerry Reed
This song is a 70’s hit; it was the number 2 song on the Billboard for hot country music. Listen to this song if you want to up the tempo a bit and have a nice roadside throw down. It makes you want to move your body and dance along with the upbeat tunes of the guitar.
To many, it is a masterpiece in the line of trucking songs – straight out of the album Smokey and the Bandit, Jerry Reed sings this with vigor, excitement, and energy. Hence, another song you can play when feeling low, bored, or tired. It is sure to lift your mood and kill time.
Brothers of the Highway – Tony Justice and Aaron Tippin
This is one of the best trucking songs on the list of all trucking songs out there. Aaron Justice is one of the best country singers. For this one, he teams up with Aaron Tippin. This song captures the true essence of trucking songs. It has meaningful lyrics that any truck driver will relate to. In addition to that, it has a catchy melody with a country chord progression and the southern sensation in the voice of Tony Justice.
Asphalt Cowboy – Jason Aldean
This song goes out to the truck-driving lovers who miss their loved ones while on the road. It is a heartfelt piece that describes the pain that you have when certain things remind you of your loved one, but you cannot do anything about it because you still have miles to cover.
More importantly, it reminds you that everything will work out in the end, and you will be resting in the arms of your lover. The song, in actuality, describes a person who has no option but to leave his wife and fulfill his duty as a truck driver.
It encompasses all the sacrifices that truck drives make for the commerce of the nation. Moreover, it glorifies their job and paints an amazing picture of the trucking lifestyle. In terms of the music, it is one of the slower genres, somewhat of a classic rock vibe, with beautiful vocals. It protrudes the feeling of relaxation, calm, and serenity.
Roll on 18 Wheeler – Alabama
Dave Loggins wrote this splendid song that describes the modest and simple life of a truck driver from the perspective of a son singing about his truck-driving dad. Despite having a fun and lively tune, the lyrics speak about how a son has to cope with hardly seeing his dad because he stays on the road.
However, the song emphasizes that he has to be okay with his dad leaving because he has to provide for the family. It’s another song that sits well with the lifestyle of truck drivers and truckers around the world familiar with the sentiment that it explains.
On the Road Again – Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a legendary artist who has revolutionized country music and put it on the global map. Unlike other songs, this one does not exactly target 18-wheelers and talks about the trucking lifestyle. However, it gives a more general idea of being on the road and the perks that come with it.
This song has more optimism to it, as it encourages others to get on the road and engulf in the adventure of looking at places that you have never yet seen. It tinges with the desires of travelers and truckers alike to venture out and explore the distant lands.
Although originally, the song is about being on tour and playing music in different places, truckers can also relate to it to quite an extent. Even if they can’t, it is still one of the best country songs of all time, by one of the greatest country singers of all time. There is no denying that the music, vocals, and production of this song are emphatic.
Prisoner of the Highway – Ronnie Milsap
Too many truckers around the world; once you devote your life to trucking, there is no turning back. Regardless of how gruesome and tough your job can get, you cannot stay too long away from the road. This concept and feeling are difficult to explain.
This is why Ronnie Milsap took it upon him to write a song about it. Just like the name of the song, it wonderfully and poetically explains the sentiments behind being a “prisoner of the highway.” Truckers and admirers must listen to this song.
This song cuts out to be one of the best trucking songs in terms of not only vocals and lyrics but also the music composition. The song is not another country song but shows the influence of rock in the truck driving songs. It has a groovy and amped-up tune, which evokes a sense of love and passion for putting miles on the highway. It dignifies the job of a truck driver in the best ways possible.
Songs have played a big part in the lives of truckers and still do to this day. When it comes to 18-wheeler songs, no one makes them better than country singers and bands of the old. Truckers of the new generation may resort to other options, but the best ones tell a trucking story behind the crisp, country rhythm.