The big screen has taught us plenty of life lessons since the creation of film. We’ve rambled through a collection of trucking films and compared summaries and comedic tag-lines to give you our top 3 trucking lessons from some pretty iconic cinematographic work. We encourage you to watch these films if you haven’t already, or re-watch them to freshen up on the lessons they provide.
Big Rigs On The Big Screen
Starring Dwayne Johnson, Benjamin Bratt, and a 2009 Freightliner Coronado, this film captures the essence of fatherhood. Johnson, an owner of a successful transportation company tries to free his innocent son, who is facing 10 years in prison after being set up by an acquaintance. As a businessman and father with past regrets of being neglectful, he stops at no end to free his son. Risking his successful business credibility, as an informant, to smuggle narcotics across the border and even manipulate and expose one of the biggest kingpins. In this film Johnson proves himself to be one tough trucker.
Fun Fact: This film is based on the true story of James Settembrino who worked as an informant to lower his son’s sentence.
What you can learn: The success of the transportation company owned by Johnson’s character was created by his determination to cater to his family. This determination eventually led to neglect of his families needs and ends with divorce. The transportation industry can be demanding, but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
Warning: Beware Of Dog
Black Dog (1998)
Jack Crews, played by Patrick Swayze is a trucker convicted of vehicular manslaughter after losing control and hitting a stranded motorist. Desperate to find work after being released he is tricked into hauling a load of illegal firearms. He later finds out that his wife and child are in danger if he fails to deliver the goods on time. To truckers, it comes as no surprise that Crews finds himself facing the ‘black dog’ during his long-haul, a term used to describe visions caused by fatigue.
Fun Fact: Patrick Swayze went through the entire process to receive his Class A CDL for the film.
What you can learn: There are different variations of the black dog legend, an omen to truckers that a fatal crash is coming. No matter what variation it is you believe, we can all agree that a delivery made on time is not worth more than life. If you feel as though you have seen this mystery K-9, take the precaution to get off the road and let dispatchers know that you are too tired to continue on your route.
Don’t Discredit The Little Guy
High Ballin’ (1978)
We don’t believe this list could actually exist without at least one 70’s trucking film. Where else did that cool CB lingo come from?
King Carroll is the boss of one of the biggest trucking companies in the area. He uses his money and undermining tactics to run small independent truckers, like Duke Boykin, out of business. Duke is one of the many independent truckers tired of the monopoly plaguing the industry and has decided he has had enough. Out of fear other independent truckers in the industry let Duke take on Carroll alone. It isn’t until he finds an ally in his good friend, Rane and fellow female trucker, Pickup that he gets some back up to take down Carroll.
Fun Fact: 41 years later the Triple T Truck Stop featured in the film is still in business.
What you can learn: Don’t let big players in the trucking industry bully you. Big companies were considered the ‘little guy’ before, stay passionate and persevere. Other people will see your fight and want to help. The key is to never stop fighting for what you believe in.