Life is always just a bit weirder on the wide-open road. And if that's the case then truckers have a front-row seat on all the strangeness. These drivers share their most bizarre experience while on the job.
The road can be a strange place. Content has been edited for clarity.
Good Thing She Wasn’t Arachnophobic
“My mom is a trucker, this is her story.
She was driving through Arizona when she saw what she thought was leaves blowing across the road in the distance. This puzzled her since there’s mostly pine trees in northern Arizona. When she finally got to the ‘leaves’ she realized that they were migrating tarantulas, thousands of them. There were so many of them that her truck was sliding on their guts so she had to slow down. She stopped at the first truck stop and told her co-driver to fuel up (he was sleeping at the time) because she wasn’t going to step foot outside after what she just saw. Her co-driver was ticked off since it was technically his time off, and he thought she was crazy, until he saw the tarantula guts and legs caked in the inside wheel well of the truck.
She also outran a tornado in the midwest. She was about to pull over and take cover until she saw another big rig that was parked on the side of the road get tossed a couple hundred yards like a toy. She called me and told me that she thought she was going to die and wanted her last words to be ‘I love you’ to me. She pulled off the freeway and got to a Wal-Mart, where she ran into the basement where all the staff and customers were taking shelter. After the tornado passed, they stepped out of the basement and into daylight, since the Wal Mart was destroyed.
She has many many stories like this. Trucking is 90% boredom, 10% insane stuff like this.”
Some Poor Idiot Picked The Wrong Truck!
“My uncle was a long haul trucker back in the 90s (mainly did international runs from Canada down into the US and back to Canada) with a pretty nice new Kenworth that had one of those maximum size sleepers on it. It had a built in toilet and the works. He decided that the small tank that came with the toilet was a pain in the butt to have to empty so frequently so he converted half of his passenger side diesel tank into a septic tank.
A few weeks after converting his tank he happened to pull in at a truck stop somewhere in the States and parked for the night after driving longer then he should have. When he woke up at 5 am with the dawn just starting to get bright he climbed out to see beside his truck something that makes him laugh every time he tells the story.
On the ground on the right side of his truck was a 5 gallon jerry can, a siphon hose with one end in his tank and the other laying on the ground; puddle of puke and some puke foot prints; another few feet away, puddle of puke; another few feet away another puddle of puke.
Some dumb SOB tried to siphon his septic tank in the middle of the night.”
“His Eyes Were Crazy And He Was Frothing At The Mouth.”
“Many years ago I was on what is called a ‘meet and turn.’ This is where a driver that is domiciled out of one city will drive a load halfway to its destination, while a driver domiciled out of that destination will drive halfway with a load that is destined for my city. We meet in a parking lot, switch trailers and drive back home. I had been on this run for a few months and found that I always got to the meet point about an hour before the other driver. It was a dark and empty dirt lot at about 3 am, so I would stretch out across the seat and take a short nap.
One night, about 10 minutes into my nap I was awoken by a barking dog. I tried to ignore it, but it carried on for several minutes and got louder as the dog got closer. Soon, it became apparent that the dog was right outside of my truck barking at me. OK, either this dog is Lassie and is trying to alert me to something, or else he is just a pain in the butt and I will need to throw something at him to scare him off. It is important to note that the barking had been going on for a good 10 minutes at this point.
So, I sat up and looked out my window. Standing there, mere inches on the other side of the glass was a man of about 35. He was a large fellow. And was barking at me. his eyes were crazy and he was frothing at the mouth a little — the scene really held my full attention for a moment. The sheer creepiness of this struck me. Gently, and making an absolute minimum of sudden movements, I reach down and started my truck and slowly pulled away. He chased me, much like you might expect an angry dog to do, barking all the while.
Needless to say, it mess up power naps from then on.”
Just Another Crazy Story From The Road
“Former trucker here–
Was driving north through the mountains of Colorado towards Pueblo, and it was my first time dealing with anything like the Rocky Mountains so I was taking it nice and slow with my hazards on and in the right lane. This was in the spring, and there wasn’t much snow on the ground aside from a light dusting.
I remember passing another truck pulled to the shoulder on my way up, nothing out of the ordinary. However, as I was heading down the mountain (which can be scary as heck in an 18-wheeler, trust me) I saw the same truck I passed earlier FLY by me in the left hand lane. Now being passed on the left going DOWNHILL in the ROCKY MOUNTAINS by another TRACTOR TRAILER is crazy enough, but what really makes this story is this guy’s trailer brakes were on fire. He was pulling a load (could tell because the trailer was sealed) and if you know anything about trucks you know there’s only so much braking you’re supposed to do before they overheat and, worst-case, catch fire.
This guy’s truck looked like a comet as he sped down the mountain at what I thought was a surely to be deadly pace.
I grabbed the mic to the radio and called out to him, ‘Hey driver! Your brakes are on fire! I mean literally on fire!’
This rough and weathered sounding voice comes back over the speaker of my radio and says, cool as a cucumber, ‘I know.’
And he disappeared around a curve.
I never saw any wrecked truck, emergency crews, or even mention of an accident over the radio.
I did see a discarded fire extinguisher on the ground at the base of the mountain though.
Just one of many awesome stories.”
Something Went Bump In The Night
“Pulled over for a break on the way to Melbourne from Sydney at a truck stop. No street lights or anything, pitch black. No other trucks or cars at the stop. I turn off my lights. I switch the truck off. Do the curtains. Lock the truck from both sides. Jump into bed. set my alarm and set my phone above me in the compartment. I was rolling over from side to side for around 5-10 mins, I couldn’t get to sleep due to it being prime summer temperatures; reaching around 90 degrees at night. I’m looking up at the ceiling mentally planning out the day ahead, suddenly the passenger side door opens up slightly, cabin light turns on. I can hear the door slowly creaking in the night.
What the heck.
My blood went cold.
Now, the truck is fairly a late model and in pristine condition so theres no question about door being faulty or anything. I just sat there for what felt like eternity expecting someone to come up and see me sitting there with the tire rod in my hand ready to smash some skulls. It was hot in that cabin but I was also sweating bullets out of fear.
No one came up, nor was there any noise at all. Just quiet, eerie silence.
I took a deep breath, grabbed my torch, and jumped down to walk around the truck. No other trucks were around. Nor were there any cars. It was just me and my fully loaded rig. After around 5-10 minutes of getting messed around with, I locked up and went to bed again.
Woke up next morning, yawned, fixed myself up along with the bed. Opened the curtains, and there’s a cemetery next to the stop where I parked. Hunger and laziness all escaped upon realization, grabbed keys, forget putting shoes on, forget putting pants on, switched truck on and the just got the heck outta there, ASAP.”
Truck Stops Are Lawless Places Alright
“As a man that has reached the ripe old age of 48 I can promise you I have seen some stuff go down. This one totally takes the cake for me though.
I was waiting out front of a truck stop back in the mid 80’s. Sitting on a park bench with a guy that had a big Rottweiler kinda dog on a leash with him. I tried to make small talk but he was quite a sourpuss. So we sat in silence for a few minutes until the most unexpected thing I have ever seen, happened right before my very eyes.
While we were sitting there a big 18 wheeler pulls in without a trailer (bobtail) so he parks right up front like a normal car would. Inside the cab of the truck with the driver is a little monkey. The dance for the organ grinder kind. I think they are called Rhesus monkeys perhaps. Well the dog spots this lil monkey and proceeds to go crazy over it. Lunging at the end of his leash and barking at the top of his lungs. Generally making a real spectacle of himself to say the least.
The driver is obviously upset, but not nearly as much as the monkey is. Actually upset may be the wrong adjective to use for the monkey though. In retrospect I think eagerly aggressive may be a more appropriate description for his disposition. He was pacing the dashboard back and forth. Never taking his eyes off of this very aggravating dog.
The driver opens his little triangle window that they don’t make on cars anymore. The ones made for smokers back in the day. He yells out to this d-bag to call his dog off because it is upsetting his monkey. The guy laughs and says no way (I told you he was a prick didn’t I?). Says that his dog ain’t bothering nobody. The dog hasn’t shut up since he laid eyes on the monkey. I promise you he is bothering everybody for several blocks around.
Now here’s where things start to get interesting. The driver says that if he doesn’t call his dog off he’s gonna let his monkey loose on that dog. Moron laughs and says that his dog would eat that monkey alive. Upon hearing this the driver leans over and reaches into his glove box I guess. Pulls out one of those tiny baseball bats like you used to get at Astroworld or carnivals, and places it in the monkeys hand.
The monkey obviously knows what’s about to go down because he is now trying to squeeze out of that little triangular window I mentioned earlier. This monkey has murder in his eyes if I have ever seen it. Driver hollers ‘Last chance to save your dog, man.’
In response the prick lets his dog off of the leash. Now we have a situation that has escalated to the point where we have a dog jumping up at the window and a monkey screaming profanities right back at him. Well, the driver finally rolls down the regular window and out leaps all kinds of miniature primate chaos. The dog never knew what hit him. Quick as a flash this monkey is riding on the back of this dog’s neck. His two back feet all wrapped up in his neck fur with one hand hanging onto an ear. The other hand as you may have guessed by now is steadily and mercilessly raining down blows about this dog’s head and face. I mean hard blows. You can hear them whap whap whap.
Well it only took a moment for the dog to realize he was in way over his head. He bolts yelping bloody murder as he runs away at full speed. I mean this dog is running so hard he’s throwing up tufts of grass and dirt as soon as he leaves pavement. The monkey still riding him and beating on him the whole time. The prick acts like he wants to fight now but several people including myself stepped in to stop that nonsense. In a couple of minutes or so the little monkey comes loping back with his little bat still in hand, and leaps up into the still open window of the truck to await his master who has gone on into the store.
That wanker ran off to try to go find his dog, but I don’t know if he ever did. My ride showed up and I had to go. Never again in this lifetime will I see something so totally crazy and unexpected like that. I am both fortunate and humble to have been so privileged to be present for such an event.”
He’ll Never Know The Truth
“Ex long haul trucker here. I wasn’t on the road for very long collectively, I don’t have any ghost Route 66 stories or anything like that…but I do recall one night in particular. Basically, I was driving through Montana headed east, and my company had miscalculated my mileage, so I requested an emergency fuel up. I got a response with the nearest gas station that I could get approved at. It wasn’t exactly close.
So I turn off the main highway and head toward my stop. It’s pitch black, theres no moon, no city light, and I haven’t seen any headlights for about an hour. I’m cruising down the highway and I see something in the middle of the road at the furthest extent of my headlights. I try to get a closer look so I slow down. When I come to pass it, I get one good glance at it and slam on my breaks instantly right in the middle of the highway. All I could think was what the heck did I just see…so I back up looking in my mirror until I see it’s red silhouette in my brake lights.
I pull my brakes, put on my jacket, grab my flashlight and hop out. I walk to the back of my trailer and put my light on it, and there it was. My blood went cold.
A headless, skinless, mangled corpse. I froze and my jaw dropped. I didn’t know what I was looking at. I just stood there, in the middle of the highway, in the cold, stagnant air, the only sound is the hum of my truck 50 feet back, watching the steam rise from this pile of meat.
There was no fur, there was no clothing, just a fully intact ribcage with a mess of other miscellaneous bones attached by ligaments. Whatever killed it had went to town on the carcass. Its splattered outline was splayed out in the shape of a human alright though. That much was true. The sheer thought put a chill up my spine.
I debated calling the police, as the ribcage looked big enough for someone my size, but I looked at my phone and had zero cell service, the nearest town was about 50 miles out. When I put my phone away I flashed my light around and standing at the end of the road we’re a handful of coyotes staring at me. Then they started coming through the fence and trotting my direction.
I figured this is the part where I get back in the truck before I get into a situation, so I did, and continued on my way. I still to this day do not know if it was human or not, whatever it was, and whatever had happened, I was almost a witness of. I convinced myself that it was more than likely a deer, and was hit by another truck like my own at highway speeds, that would definitely do significant damage. But in retrospect, I’ve never seen roadkill missing it’s flesh before.”
So Many Questions
“I used to drive I-80 between San Francisco and Cheyenne, Wyoming a lot. It’s about 16-20 hours of driving depending on weather and traffic and whatever.
Anyway, one time I got out at a rest stop to stretch my legs and take use the john, maybe buy a coke. I go into the bathroom and there are three beefy, bearded guys all bare from the waist down just lying on the ground blowing each other in a daisy chain. I looked at them, and two of them looked up at me, dongs in respective mouths, and one of them kept going and the other one’s eyes went wide as heck. I just said ‘Er, sorry.’ and walked right back outside. Oddly, all I could think of was ‘Wow, that floor is probably filthy.’
A second time I was driving at night and the car starts making this odd grinding noise. Like I ran over something that got stuck. It’s about 2 am. I pull into a rest stop (well-lit) and wake up my buddy who was sleeping. I explain it to him, as we get out of the car we both hear what sounds like a kid crying. There are no other cars at the rest stop, but we frequently heard stories about child trafficking and kidnapping nearby, so we decided to check it out. We grab our flashlights and head towards the noise, which is coming from the bathrooms.
As we get closer we realize it’s coming from the women’s bathroom, and it’s a low, dull sobbing. We are prepared for the worst. We walk in expecting to see some brutally beaten child or something, and we see – nothing. The sound is still there, and it’s still clearly coming from the room, but the room is empty. We turn on the lights – still nothing. Check each stall, the trash can. Nothing. Even start looking for WHERE in the room it’s coming from – nothing. Is it a hidden speaker? Are we on candid camera? What the heck?
My buddy climbs up one of the stalls to get to the top window in the rest stop which is vented out, and open. He closes it, and the noise stops. Completely. Opens it, and there’s no more noise. We sit there for a few seconds, staring at each other. He shrugs. Then the window slams shut again without him touching it.
We were out of that bathroom in seconds. The noise starts up about 10 seconds later as we get to the car, and we’re tearing out of the parking lot within 10 more seconds. The grinding noise is still there. So this time I pull over a few miles later at a Flying J Truck Stop, well-lit, sometimes occupied. Couple of truckers there, no other ‘civilians’ like us. We check under the car. There’s a red and silver piece of metal wedged between part of the car and the road, about 1/2″ or so off the ground, so with us in the car it would definitely have been grinding against the ground. Can’t remove it by hand, it’s really wedged in there, so we kick at it to bend it and figure we’ll remove it when we get back.
A week later I had my mechanic take it out when he was doing a service – it was part of a kid’s tricycle. I’m not sure what exactly happened back there but it definitely gave me some bad vibes.”
Driving Down Route 666
“Oh I got a ton of stories (almost going off a cliff, meeting Vinnie Paul from Pantera, countless encounters with weirdos), but here’s probably the weirdest.
It was around midnight and I was traveling north on route 491 through New Mexico. You should know that until 2003, this road had actually been Route 666. Believe they changed it because people thought that it was cursed, and the signs kept getting stolen. I’ll also say that this highway goes through the Ute Indian reservation. I only mention this because ‘midnight, Route 666 and Indian reservation’ sorta sets the tone.
Anyways, I’m headed up this road and it’s a clear night, stars everywhere, no towns or other vehicles for miles. Suddenly, in the western part of the sky, I see this incredibly bright ball of orange light which very rapidly grows to a size VASTLY larger than the sun. The texture of it even sorta looked like those close up pictures of the sun. Suddenly, this giant sun disappears and the entire sky, horizon to horizon, flashes bright yellow and you can see everything in the desert for miles, as if it was daytime. Then, all the weirdness ended and it was the regular night sky again. This entire event happened in a matter of a couple seconds.
Needless to say, the whole thing left me a bit shaken. I asked a few other people at a truck stop the next morning if they had seen anything, but just got crazy looks. Later on though, I was listening to the radio and heard about a meteorite that had burned up in the atmosphere the previous night and had been seen by people from as far south as I was, all the way up to Idaho. Now, what I saw was much weirder than a meteorite, so all I can figure is I saw some sort of reflection of the rock burning up that had bounced off of some layer of the atmosphere and caused this strange display. Not sure, but it makes the most sense to be. Or, ya know…aliens.”