Buckle Up, We’re Hitting the Cinematic Highway: The top 8 Trucking Movies of All Time

Grab your trucker hat and a bucket of popcorn, because we’re about to roll down memory lane with the top 8 trucking movies of all time! These films aren’t just about big rigs and open roads; they’re epic tales of adventure, heart, and horsepower that captured our imaginations and revved up our love for all things trucking. So, fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be an entertaining ride!”

1. Smokey and the Bandit” (1977)

The king of the road comedy.

  • Starring: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reid, Jackie Gleason, a basset hound, and a ton of cameos.
  • Starring Truck: Kenworth W900 
  • Plot: The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor-trailer full of beer over state lines, in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.
  • Why We Love It: Smokey and the Bandit” isn’t just a movie; it’s an enduring cultural phenomenon. It has everything – action, comedy, romance, and a sense of freedom and rebellion that resonates with anyone who’s ever dreamed of hitting the open road. Burt Reynolds’ charismatic performance as Bandit, combined with the hilarious antics of Jackie Gleason, creates an unforgettable cinematic experience. The film also celebrates the trucking culture, highlighting the camaraderie and the thrill of the chase.
  • Best Scene: The unforgettable bridge jump scene.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

2. Convoy (1978)

When truckers become folk heroes.

  • Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Ali McGraw, Ernest Borgnine
  • Starring Truck: 1977 Mack RS712LST
  • Plot: The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor-trailer full of beer over state lines, in hot pursuit by a pesky sherif.
  • Why We Love It: Convoy” captures the spirit of the 70s trucking culture like no other film. Its portrayal of truckers as modern-day cowboys and outlaws resonates with the sense of freedom and defiance against authority. The film’s blend of action, drama, an
  • Best Scene: The climactic scene where the convoy of trucks bulldozes through a town, confronting the corrupt sheriff and his force, is both exhilarating and symbolic. It’s a powerful representation of unity and resistance, marking it as a standout moment in trucking film history.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

3. Big Rig (2008)

A real-life ode to truckers.

  • Starring: Real-life-truckers
  • Summary: Big Rig” is a documentary that offers an authentic look into the lives of American truck drivers. It explores the realities, challenges, and joys of life on the road, providing a human face to the trucking industry.
  • Why We Love It: This film is a heartfelt tribute to the trucking community. It provides an intimate, unglamorized view of the trucker’s life, highlighting their resilience, dedication, and the often-overlooked importance of their role in society. It’s a poignant, eye-opening journey that resonates deeply.
  • Best Scene: The whole film.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

4. Over The Top” (1987)

Arm-wrestling in a trucker hat.

  • Starring: Sly Stallone, Robert Loggia, David Mendenhall
  • Starring Truck: Volvo White WIM64T (custom for film)
  • Plot: Lincoln Hawk is a truck driver priming himself and pumping his right arm for a big armwrestling tournament in Las Vegas while trying to reconnect with his son, Mike after years of absence.
  • Why We Love It: This film is a unique blend of sports drama, trucking and the relationships between fathers and sons. Its underlying theme of determination and the pursuit of dreams, set against the backdrop of the trucking and arm-wrestling world, offers an unusual but captivating storyline. Stallone’s performance as a tough but tender father gives the film an emotional depth
  • Best Scene: The final arm-wrestling match where Hawk battles for the world arm-wrestling championship is not just about physical strength but emotional triumph. The tension, excitement, and emotional stakes make this scene a memorable highlight.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

5. Big Trouble in Little China” (1986)

Trucking meets kung-fu.

  • Starring: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, James Hong.
  • Starring Truck: 1985 Freightliner FLC-120
  • Plot: Kurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco’s Chinatown. An ancient Chinese prince and Chinatown crime lord has kidnapped a beautiful green-eyed woman, who is the fiancee to Jack’s best friend. Jack must help his friend rescue the girl before the evil Lo Pan uses her to break the ancient curse that keeps him a fleshless and immortal spirit.
  • Why We Love It: The film’s blend of absurdity, action, and humor makes it a cult classic. Russell’s portrayal of the wise-cracking Jack Burton, along with the film’s inventive storyline, combines elements of trucking with an outlandish kung fu adventure, offering an experience that’s both thrilling and hilariously entertaining.
  • Best Scene: The exploding bad guy.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

6. Maximum Overdrive” (1986)

When trucks take over.

  • Starring: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington
  • Starring Truck: Western Star 4800
  • Plot: Kurt Russell plays hard-boiled truck driver Jack Burton, who gets caught in a bizarre conflict within, and underneath, San Francisco’s Chinatown. An ancient Chinese prince and Chinatown crime lord has kidnapped a beautiful green-eyed woman, who is the fiancee to Jack’s best friend. Jack must help his friend rescue the girl before the evil Lo Pan uses her to break the ancient curse that keeps him a fleshless and immortal spirit.
  • Why We Love It: This film stands out for its blend of horror, sci-fi, and dark comedy. Its over-the-top premise of sentient, menacing trucks creates a uniquely entertaining and suspenseful experience. The soundtrack by AC/DC adds an electric pulse to the already high-energy narrative.
  • Best Scene: The scene where a truck stop turns into a battleground with the rogue trucks is both thrilling and comically absurd.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

7. Black Dog” (1998)

The comeback of the trucking thriller.

  • Starring: Patrick Swayze, Meat Loaf, Randy Travis
  • Starring Truck: Peterbilt 379
  • Plot: Black Dog” stars Patrick Swayze as Jack, a trucker reluctantly dragged into the dangerous world of illegal arms transportation. It’s an action-packed thriller that combines trucking with high-stakes drama
  • Why We Love It: The movie shines for its intense action sequences and the dramatic portrayal of a trucker’s life on the edge. Swayze brings a rugged authenticity to his role, blending the tension of the road with personal conflict. It’s a thrilling ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  • Best Scene: The climax, featuring a high-speed chase and a showdown between Jack and the antagonists, is a standout. It combines the thrill of trucking with gripping action, making it a memorable cinematic moment.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options

8. The Road Warrior (1981)

The ultimate post-apocalyptic truck chase.

  • Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston
  • Starring Truck: Mack R-600 Coolpower
  • Plot: After avenging the death of his wife and young son at the hands of a vicious gang leader, Max (Mel Gibson) drives the post-apocalyptic highways of the Australian outback, fending off attacks from nomadic tribes that prey on outsiders. 
  • Why We Love It: This film is a masterclass in action and suspense, set in a gritty, desolate world where gasoline is gold. The intense truck chases and battles are brilliantly executed, and Gibson’s portrayal of Max is iconic. It’s a gripping tale of survival that has influenced countless films in the genre.
  • Best Scene: The climactic chase sequence, featuring Max driving a fuel tanker pursued by a horde of marauders, is an amazing. In an era when stunts were actual footage and not greenscreen, the stunts in this film are as good as one can find anywhere. Best scene honorable mention- any scene of the feral kid and his boomerang.
  • Click here to view availability on all streaming services and purchase options
Scroll to Top