Those countless miles of highways and byways are so much more fun with the right music playing on your stereo. You’ll hear energetic music blasting out of many trucks passing you by. Just like the tunes of minstrels in ancient times, best trucking songs provide the soundtrack to a life on the road.
Music is the long-time faithful companion of many travelers — truckers are no exception.They just won’t have it any other way. Their favorite tunes put them in the right mood, and even the road they drive on feels a little smoother. Music makes them feel happier especially if the trucker is driving his semi all on his own, with no one to talk to.
We have put together a selection of the greatest trucker hits accompanied by Spotify links, so that you can easily find and enjoy them. No matter if you are a fan of modern electronic music or old country and western, you will find music for truck drivers to put on your playlist. These tunes have won the hearts of diverse audiences and are sure to light a fire in yours.
- Why Is Music for Truck Drivers So Important?
- New Trucking Songs
- Old Trucking Songs
- Trucking Country Songs
- Classic Trucker Songs
- Trucker Rock Songs
Why Is Music for Truck Drivers So Important?
The sound of truckies’ favorite hits playing on the audio speakers or in the headset inspires them to carry on, staying cheerful and optimistic even far away from their homes and family. The trucking songs can have different effects: make one calm or excited, evoke pleasant memories, or relieve pain.
According to the 2022 American Trucks Survey, truck drivers listen to various genres of music depending on the mood and state they are in. For example, rock music can refresh you better than coffee or Coke when you are sleepy. The rhythm of country music is perfect for concentration. On the contrary, soft classic trucker music helps with calming down after a road incident. Beyond any doubt, music has become an important element of day-to-day life for many truckers.
New Trucking Songs
Those buddies of yours who have driven trucks for years probably scoff at the newer tunes as some kind of pop remixes. However, there are exceptions:
- New Truck, performed by Dylan Scott, tells a sad story about the breakup of a trucker with his woman. The hero needs a new truck because everything inside of the old one reminds him of his ex-lover. Could this be a clever marketing trick sponsored by truck vendors?
- Country as Truck is a single released in 2022 by Colt Ford, an American country and hip-hop singer. The punchy tune will keep you up inside the cabin.
- Outlaw Ride is a trucking song from Tony Justice's album "Stars, Stripes and White Lines" released in 2017. The singer uses colorful trucker slang ("bears on my ass", "chicken trucking") combined with simple lyrics ("missing momma, needing loving", "Lord, have mercy sakes alive") that will cut a listener to the depth of the heart.
Old Trucking Songs
If you have been to the moon and back in your truck, you are obviously familiar with these old trucking songs:
- Truck Driving Man is a masterpiece recorded by Terry Fell in the early 50s. It has been covered by many artists, but we still suggest listening to the original version, which Terry recorded before his career was cut short by vocal chord problems.
- A funny story about a truck driver with “a wife in every state from Caroline to California” as told by Charlie Walker in Truck Driving’ Cat with Nine Wives has been soothing the ears of grateful listeners since the late 60s. It remains a popular choice for those truckers who like older tunes.
- 18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses by Kathy Mattea narrates the story of a trucker soon to be retired after thirty years on the road and preparing to spend the rest of his life with his beloved wife. Nice female vocals, romantic lyrics, and a soft melody made this song a big hit in the 80s.
- Being on the road is the greatest time of life for many truckers, because they are able to see the country as most people will never see it. Good song lyrics create evocative images and target your emotional state. Such is the Prisoner of the Highway by Ronnie Milsap, which makes you feel "imprisoned by the freedom of the road."
Trucking Country Songs
Truck drivers like the punchy rhythms and steady drive of country music, underlying uncomplicated lyrics telling stories of the day-to-day lives of simple people like themselves. Unsurprisingly, country music accounts for the largest number of hits about truck driving among all music genres.
- Born Ready is one of the top tracks from an eponymous album by Steve Moakler. The performer of trucking country songs signs this trucker anthem, providing a source of inspiration to those who spend most of their lives on the road.
- East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed is a furious uptempo song telling about a trucker who’s “got a long way to go, and a short time to get there”. The way the protagonist refers to his truck as an “ol Bandit” illustrates truckers’ tendency to treat their trucks as animated objects.
- Go Back by female country singer Chalee Tennison is a sad ballad about a trucker who has been told three times to return to someone important. Finally, he gets into an accident while on the way to his daughter and survives by a miracle. Many truckers appreciate the song's "soulful lyrics", compelling vocal delivery, and beautiful melody.
- Mama Knows The Highway performed by Hal Ketchum, an American country singer warmly acclaimed by the truckers. You will never get tired of this song, which hasn't lost its charm since the day it was released.
Classic Trucker Songs
Music helps pass the time behind the wheel, and classic truck driving songs can make that time unforgetable.
- Dave Dudley is famous for dozens of classic trucker songs dedicated to the value of this hard work, but Lonely Christmas deserves special mention. Many truckers have to spend Christmas eve far away from their families. The song is filled with warm memories of times spent with family and friends.
- On the Road Again is a masterpiece that earned performer Willie Nelson a Grammy. This optimistic story, filled with love of life, music, friends and adventure, induces a feeling of sweet nostalgia for a long drive.
- The song Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison hit the top of the charts in the 1950s. It still holds pride of place on the playlists of many truckers now. But why? The passion of rock-and-roll will make you feel good and vigorous even if you are only halfway to your final destination.
Trucker Rock Songs
How can you do without good old rock music? Some of these songs really make you want to jump into the hammer lane and step on the gas.
- The gentle rock ballad Going to California by Led Zeppelin has the perfect combination of sounds to make you feel like you are flying. Traveling long distances does little to strengthen personal bonds, and this heartbreaking story from the early 70s is familiar to many truckers.
- Performed by the legendary rock group the Rolling Stones, Start Me Up emanates powerful energy. The inspiring tune will be cruising the roads together with you, and you will never tire of the irresistible pounding backbeat and energetic vocals. It’s enough to make any truck driver dance and sing behind the wheel.
- No list of trucker rock songs will be complete without Road to Nowhere by Ozzy Osbourne. This explosive mid-tempo rocker driven along by masterful guitar riffs is not about driving trucks at all, but the theme of searching for meaning in life, which Ozzy compares to a road to nowhere resonates with many truckers.
- Kid Rock’s heavy metal Trucker Anthem will not heat up the engine of a truck, but it will definitely be enough to wake even the dead. It is the right road song to start a new day with.
Truck Driver’s Hip-Hop and Rap Songs
Many drivers admit that high-energy hip hop and rap beats help them to stay focused and awake during overnight trips.
Big Truck Driver by the American rapper Mystical is an ironic but true story about the everyday life of truck drivers who have "even on a bad day everything clean but the ashtray". These funny and creative rhymes inspire even in dull weather or when something is going wrong.
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X released in 2018 is still a bomb and will never get old. It can get stuck in your head after a listen or two. Although the song is about cowboys, it resonates in the heart of every trucker, because the words "I'm gonna ride 'til I can't no more” could be applied to them too.
Godzilla by Eminem feat. Juice WRLD is a popular track in truckers’ playlists. Filled with allusions, it compares the full moon to the vast icy landscapes. The track refers to “Ice Road Truckers”, an American reality show about truck drivers on seasonal routes crossing the frozen lakes and rivers of Canada and Alaska. Only truckers can understand all the risks involved in their work full of challenges, and at the same time, admire the beauty of remote Arctic regions.
The work of a trucker is fraught with danger, mechanical failures and accidents, so why risk it? Yet, for many of us, this is probably the most romantic job we can find, filled with adventure and the excitement of traveling to new places and meeting remarkable people. We associate the road with life and change. It’s about reducing the distance between where you are and where you want to be.
Strange as it may sound, the limitless opportunities for listening to your favorite songs about the truck driving life is one possible reason why being a truck driver is such an attractive prospect. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it's a well-paid job too.
Want to listen to the songs that we mentioned above in one place? Follow the link and save our playlist to your Favorites! Then rev up your engines to explore our list of best trucker movies.
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We also advise you to study our article about what is freight brokerage for truckers.