The better the tunes, the more geared up you’ll be to ride it all night long. With rest stops of course.
Life on the road can be hard and lonely for truckers as well as slow when you have just had enough. Driving an 18-wheeler ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. Hauling loads through bad weather conditions, coming on to night shift and sitting down for hours are just some of the challenges you face behind the wheel. These moments make you think twice about your career choice, adding more frustration on what’s now perceived as a difficult road ahead. Literally.
Enter the magic that is melody. In other words, don’t ever underestimate the power of music! If you’re not listening to trucking songs, you are missing out on some really good music and the ultimate driver experience. Good tunes are totally underrated and underused in the areas they are needed most. Lucky for truckers, some of the world’s best artists have got your back.
Why do y’all think Willie wrote On The Road Again? And our friend Tom Petty, knows all too well how Life Is A Highway with rough roads and heavy loads.
When you’re a truck driver, life really is a highway. Are we right?
Truck driving is more than a job. Truck drivers become truck drivers because that’s what they want to do. It’s a chosen lifestyle, a born passion and a lived culture. So, when it comes to your music, there’s nothing better than being on the open road with a rockin’ tune peakin’ at max volume.
Capture this feeling while hauling, with our list of classic songs about being on the road, big trucks, rocking anthems, country hits and just really good beats. You will be truly thankful for these trucking songs, as your spirit to push on is reignited with the urge to have a bit of fun with a mini-rave inside your cab.
Please dance with caution if you are driving. Neck upwards only.
Here Are The Best Truck Driving Songs in 2021:
1. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash (1957)
A little bit of country is guaranteed to make anyone smile, and there’s no better than this classic hit from The Man in Black. Cash’s iconic themes of sorrow, moral tribulation and redemption tell a heartfelt story in this track. The live version was actually recorded at Folsom State Prison in 1968.
2. Born to Be Wild, Steppenwolf (1969)
Get your motor runnin. Head out on the highway. And turn the volume up with this track which debuted on the road with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in the 1969 movie Easy Rider. Don’t let the song’s motorcycle association throw you off. More than anyone you’ll know truckies were born to be wild too.
3. Truck Driver’s Prayer, Red Sovine (1969)
Well thank you Red, who publicly declared he had nothing but the highest respect for the truck driver. You’ll nod in agreement when the musician announces you are the most safety minded, the most courteous and the first to stop and help when there’s trouble. This tune serves as a creed to all truck drivers and will make you feel appreciated and valued as the artist proudly recognises life behind the big wheels.
4. Truckin’, Grateful Dead (1970)
This one’s for the home stretch as Grateful Dead criss-cross through Chicago, New York, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Buffalo before finally making it home. The easy listening tune uses the band’s troubles on tour as a metaphor for life and might make you appreciate your job behind the wheel, even more than you do already.
5. Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver (1971)
An American country great, John Denver’s definitely spent a lot of time on the road. Honour the icon’s memory with this song which will always remain in our hearts. The tune also serves as a tribute to the roads, reminding you how every single path will lead someone to their home.
6. Highway Star, Deep Purple (1972)
Literately written on the highway, this rock song was intended to make anyone want to speed. It’s about a man and his love for his high-powered car and even sparked a new music sub-genre of “speed metal.” Listen to it, rock with it, and keep one eye on the odometer until that very last note.
7. Ramblin Man, The Allman Brothers Band (1973)
If ever there was a good story to tell, it’s the one behind this successful track which became the saving grace for The Allman Brothers Band after they lost leader Duane Allman in a motorcycle accident in 1971. The hit proved the musicians could survive the loss and tells the story of a man whose travels lure him to many places while taking life as it comes.
8. Take It to the Limit, Eagles (1975)
It’s slow, but encouraging and makes for a classic feel good track no matter how close or far you are from your destination. This mix of country, folk and rock was written to make you keep trying. No matter what, the Eagles know you’ve got what it takes to take it to the limit one more time.
9. Black Betty, Ram Jam (1977)
Thank you, Ram Jam, for remaking this rock version from the African-American work song from 1939. Woah Black Betty, a hard one to resist screaming along with. And if you’re not rocking your head up and down to the raging beat, turn it up.
10. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen (1975)
Warning: This won’t be our only Boss listing. Springsteen is an American music icon with all his tracks written to get a rise out of anyone. Born to Run is about searching for a place and whether it’s your final destination or your spot in the world, it will drive you to do more.
11. The Gambler, Kenny Rogers (1978)
Life lesson anyone? You’ll learn a thing or two from this track written about a poker table on a train car traveling across the country. The Gambler’s lyrics becomes valuable life advice when realised through the poker metaphors. And if you can’t be bothered searching for the hidden meanings, the song has an unbeatable tune you’ll struggle not to sing too.
12. Blame it on the Boogie, The Jacksons (1978)
An old school classic, this song is no doubt one which comes with memories whether it’s having a boogie in your childhood or the good times at family weddings. You may not be able to be the dancing machine The Jacksons were in the video (you can blame that on the boogie,) but don’t let it stop you from getting into the groove, and tilting your head to the beat.
13. Highway to Hell, AC/DC (1979)
While no highway leads to hell for a truckie, we’ve all been on a road that seems to go on forever. Aussie rock band AC/DC’s first song to chart in the US was written about being on a bus on a road which just saw no end. Literally, when your looking out the window and there is nothing but bitumen and sky. It’s a rocking tune which will make you scream and bring feelings of gratitude when you know your road has an end. And it certainly ain’t hell.
14. On the Road Again, Willie Nelson (1980)
You’re always on the road again, and Willie’s got your back with this track which will ease you in to the day’s long haul ahead. The tune’s slow and steady rhythm will bring peace and calm to your shift and inspire you to be grateful for the little things. And the big trucks.
15. Little Red Corvette, Prince (1982)
We all know this Prince classic has nothing to do with cars, but the catchy tune makes a good beat for the road with the synthetic drums being heard in the distance. The superstar’s prolific output of material is enough to make you want to know exactly what he’s singing about. We’ll give you a hint. It’s not G-rated.
16. All Night Long, Lionel Richie (1983)
Just because you’re driving all night long, doesn’t mean you can’t party in your truck. This tune’s all about having a good time from any location. The song’s combination of soulful Commodores style music and Caribbean influence will have you feeling light and airy all the way to your destination. Until the real party begins.
17. Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen (1984)
He certainly was born in the USA and no doubt about it, Springsteen’s traumatized, unemployed protagonist wants to believe that being American means something in this ripper of a song. Regardless of where you were born, this patriotic track is going to make you proud to be who you are and of what you’ve achieved. And loving life with a rockstar beat.
18. Free Fallin’, Tom Petty (1989)
Imagine the roads are quiet, you got the highway to yourself and there’s a sense of freedom lingering in the air waiting to be unleashed. Free fallin’ into this fitting tune will make you feel like you own the world. Have a Jerry Maguire moment with this one, clutching the wheel, belting out the chorus and pumping your chest to the sky as far as your belt will let you.
19. Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane (1991)
Not many people can literally relate to this track like a truckie does. It’s quick but you’ll have the lyrics down pat in no time as the addictive rhythm will make you repeat the song over and over and over again. Save this positive tune for when you need that second wind to keep on driving. It will remind you why you do what you do – for the love of it.
20. Boom! Shake the Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince 1993
Times like these, you’ll be grateful to work alone as you practice your rap skills with this classic tune. Save this one for the last stretch to get you geared up for those final moments on the road and a much-deserved break. Shake the cab through the banging chorus and watch the miles tick, tick, tick, tick home.
21. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and the Blowfish (1994)
A rock classic, this track was worth the dispute which followed when Bob Dylan sued the band for unauthorized use of his lyrics. The result was a large out-of-court settlement, but hey..tunes still around and one of the best for the road.
22. California Love, 2Pac (1996)
There’s no better tune to celebrate California, hip-hop style. Forget about the gang violence, crime and social mischiefs raised in this track, and focus on the innovative beats which set the scene for gansta rap. A true tribute to 2Pac as the lifestyle he raps about caught up with the artist when he was gunned down the following year.
23. Just Cruisin’, Will Smith (1997)
We can’t leave this music icon out, with his perfectly titled track best saved for the middle of your shift. It’s smooth and catchy, as Smith says all the right things to put you at ease and relax behind the wheel. Guaranteed to make you appreciate the truck driver’s life.
24. Yeah! Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris 2004
Here’s a change of pace, and an RnB classic of one of the genre’s greatest artists. If you’re looking for a mindless distraction to keep you alert, it’s the perfect tune. You’ll feel nothing at all aside from the urge to get to a dance floor as the club classic’s crunk sound and heavy beats blast through the speakers.
25. Lost Highway, Bon Jovi 2007
You’ll feel the inspiration behind the lyrics with this track, written for the open road you’re traveling on. And we know you won’t get lost. The miles will pass by with this killer tune, and when Bon Jovi say’s “Let’s go,” you’ll be ready to shout out the remainder of the song as loud as possible. Just remember in the real world that speeding kills and you’ve got a load, so don’t hit the gas when he says so!
26. How Far We’ve Come, Matchbox 20 (2007)
This rock song is a cracker to sing along too and as the title suggest, will make you think about how far you’ve come not on your shift, but in life. Despite the narrator suggesting the world is ending, you know it isn’t and you’ll feel grateful to have your whole life ahead with more motivation to focus on what matters most to you.
27. Truck Driver’s Queen, Moore and Napier (2009)
All drivers can relate to this country tune, as the road gets longer and longer in anticipation to return home for love. Nevertheless, wheels keep rolling with an end in sight. This track is best saved for the drive home and will make sure you know who and what are waiting for you once the miles are done.
Create your playlist
Time to live the truckin dream on the highway y’all! We’ve done our bit with this list of tunes, in anticipation you’ll be inspired to do yours.
Create a playlist today, and make sure every single tune is one you’d hit repeat on without hesitation. The songs which are so good you find yourself in desolate when you know it’s the last chorus and the fade out begins.
That’s when you know you’ve chosen the right songs to live your best life – on the highway at least.