Long-Haul Truckers Share The Craziest Thing They've Seen On The Road.
Ever wondered what a trucker sees in their day-to-day work? When you spend enough time on the road, you're liable to see some interesting things and meet some fascinating characters.
Here are some of the craziest things truck drivers have seen on-the-job.
Many thanks to all the Redditors who responded. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1. "...it was definitely the weirdest thing I've seen on the road."
Trucker here. A few years back, I was traveling through Ute native land in New Mexico on Highway 491. 491 used to be Route 666, but they changed it a few years back. I think people were stealing the signs. Anyways, I'm in the middle of the desert around midnight, no lights or civilization for miles, when up in the sky there's a huge, orange flash. The orange flash quickly "inflated" into a giant ball, bigger than the sun. It even had a fiery looking texture to it. Suddenly, the orange ball disappeared, and the entire desert sky, horizon to horizon, flashed a bright yellow, lighting up the everything around me like it was daytime. Then everything went back to normal. This all happened within a few seconds, but it was definitely the weirdest thing I've seen on the road.
2. So sad.
My dad was a career long-haul driver. The thing he said was the worst he's ever seen was he was driving along some interstate when a mini-van cut off the truck in front of him. It's been a few years since I heard the actual story, but I think it was like lost control due to weather or highway hypnosis somewhere out west. Killed the entire family.
My dad had to physically restrain the other driver because after the shock set in he kept trying to run into traffic and kill himself.
3. "I just rolled up the window and pulled away."
Came down a hill with a full load of grain (gross weight around 86,000 lbs.) and rounded a curve doing somewhere close to 60 mph. Dead ahead about 100 yds was a narrow bridge and sitting in my lane in the middle of the bridge were several people in lawn chairs with coolers scattered around and fishing lines tossed over the side.
I layed on the air horn and hit the tractor and trailer brakes and stopped about 15 ft. from the lawn chairs. The people had already crapped their pants and were standing next to the bridge railing. I asked if they had noticed the "No Fishing Off Bridge" signs posted on both ends of the bridge and one of them answered, "We seen 'em but we didn't know you was gonna be comin' this way." I just rolled up the window and pulled away.
Driving up to college for the first time, my mom got tired and wanted to pull over for a nap at a truck stop. While she slept, I people watched. A huge truck pulled up (one of those tricked out, well lit and super shiny trailers), and a big, tattooed driver climbed out. Then he leaned back in to pull something out.
It was a kitten! A tiny little white kitten. He played with that kitten on the truck stop benches for so long, happy as could be, giggling and smiling like I would have. It was the cutest juxtaposition I've ever seen.
5. Weirdest thing ever.
I was the passenger for this, but on a long drive I accompanied my mom on we saw a man standing on the concrete divider at about 10pm. It was fall so it was dark out, and pouring rain. He was dressed as a jester, and it was on a stretch of poorly lit highway.
She flinched and asked if I saw it; I said that I did and we watched as he walked slowly along the divider with his arms out a little to the sides. She pulled over because she was freaking out so bad and he started doing weird stuff - cartwheels and handstands and stuff. Weirdest thing ever.
6. "I turned down trucker sex."
I own a truck but just to RV around. One night in Oklahoma I stopped to take a poo. Pulled in, parked, and walked in. Settled into a stall when the door opens and closes quickly. A quiet Spanish accented man says " do you know who sings this song?" ... Uhhh no bro. " sorry so sorry" and he's gone. And that's the night I turned down trucker sex.
7. "...the 2 guys in the back died instantly."
My Dad was driving down some interstate when it started raining really bad. He couldn't see more than a few feet in front of him so he pulled off somewhere and waited for the rain to pass.
While he's waiting, he sees a sports car drive by followed not too far behind by a dump truck going way too fast for a large truck in those conditions. Finally the rain passes so he keeps going. A few miles up the road he comes upon a massive wreck.
Apparently the dump truck had slammed right into the back of the sports car. There were 4 college kids in the car coming back from Spring Break.
He goes to see if anyone's injured and the 2 guys in the back died instantly, the driver died on the way to hospital, the guy in the passenger seat survived but he had to have both his legs amputated because they had been crushed by the dashboard. The dump truck driver survived with pretty much no injuries. A state trooper shows up and sees the wreckage. He goes up to the truck driver and punches him in the face. None of the other drivers said anything.
8. I hope he's better.
My dad has been a truck driver my whole life. The one that sticks out the most to me is when he saw someone in his company accidentally kill a lady. Or rather, the lady was killed by the guy's truck. There was a notoriously bad intersection outside of Sioux City, IA and this woman just blew through it illegally and out in front of my dad's co-worker's loaded semi (with my dad behind him). A lot of people don't realize that trucks can't slow down like a car, they have to gear down because of how heavy they are. She was killed instantly and her family later tried to sue the company my dad worked for, which went nowhere.
Also, when I was a kid, he was in a grain elevator explosion. My dad's truck was like the 10th in line, and the first couple of trucks were basically vaporized. It was a pretty scary day because we saw about it on the news before he was able to get ahold of us. He had a number of post-traumatic incidents after that, unsurprisingly, but didn't realize what they were until I told him. He once had a panic attack because he saw a bunch of kids running away at the same moment a train whistle blew loudly.
9. "It was pretty creepy."
Just a couple of months ago I worked a pretty late shift one night. Left the office around 2am and have a 30 min drive home. I live pretty far out in the woodland areas of the country. Forest directly on both sides of the road. I was casually driving along through the fog, and out of no where a kids rubber ball (the basketball sized ones with cartoons on them) comes bouncing out in the middle of the road from the trees.
I slammed on my brakes and swerved to miss because I thought for sure a kid was bound to be chasing behind it. Never seen a soul step out. As I drive on by and started thinking, what would a kid be doing out playing this late? Then I remembered, there were no houses around where this happened at. Someone HAD to have thrown it in the road. The height it came onto the road at and the way it bounced the wind simply didn't blow it in front of me. It was pretty creepy.
10. "My initial thought is "that explains the no traffic!""
I worked as a trucker for a year or so, and had some weird experiences.
One of the strangest things I saw was just off the Trans-Canada in BC. It was surprisingly dead on the road I was on (Nobody going either direction) which was weird, even for a Wednesday in the wee hours of the morning. I found a corner and see a pillar of smoke. My initial thought is "that explains the no traffic!"
I start to slow down since its kind of a blind corner and see that there is only one car off the ditch, fire blazing.
I pull off the road to see if anyone is injured and can't see anyone. On the other side of the clearing is, no joke, four or five black bears standing on their back legs. As I notice them they all begin roaring just crazily, like I intruded some sort of party or something. I back away back into my truck and watch as they calm down and continue to watch the fire.
What happened that morning I'll never know. Bears are weird, I have a lot of weird bear stories.
11. I bet.
I used to work with an ex-trucker who once had a woman commit suicide by jumping in front of his truck. He hasn't driven since, and now spends him time working with troubled/suicidal people. He was never quite the same after that happened.
12. Great stories!
I've seen fist fights at the fuel islands. Over people not pulling up (a big deal for us drivers).
Had an RV crawl up alongside me once in Indiana. I have a habit of looking over when folks get up along side me to check and see if they are paying attention to the road or their phone or dozing off... Anyway, I glance over to see how old this couple in this rv may be. I was surprised to find the driver was maybe 30, tops. He looks over and smiles and as sure as God's got sandals the next second later a young naked woman is bent over the passenger side of the dash and is being, um, acted upon by another young naked woman. I clicked the cruise back a notch or two and let them go on.
I was in deep south Texas coming out of Laredo. A Mexican truck (you can spot one easy when you know what to look for) starts coming up along side me. He gets up next to me and no one is at the wheel. I see two straps on the wheel and can only assume the dude was attempting to drive from the sleeper with a set of reigns. I backed way off and let them get on up ahead of me. Saw them (three of these guys in one truck) later at the border check on 35 in cuffs.
I was running on Kansas highway 96 out of Great Bend early one morning. Dawn was just peeking over the horizon back to the east. I rounded the curve out of town heading west when I see Bambi and the gang crossing the road. Must have about 12 or more of them. I get up in the middle of the road and lay on the air horn. They stop crossing, but they all start running along on both side of the road in the direction I'm going. I get back on the throttle and just as I come up on the group, I see two of the deer on the north side deciding they now want to join the group on the south side. Reflexes kicked in and I jumped into the oncoming lane to avoid them.
I saw ones face clear as day as my fender and door went past him. He didn't hit the front corner of my trailer or my drives, luckily.
13. Big Butter Jesus?
Coming upon Big Butter Jesus at 3 am, in the fog, startled me.
Scariest was waking up getting thrown all over the sleeper. Co-driver got hit by a car going 80 MPH the wrong way down the interstate.
14. Sounds bad.
My cousin's a long haul driver and he reckons the scariest thing he's ever seen was his own rig on fire.
He was driving at night somewhere in the northwest of Australia when he saw some sparks in his passenger wing mirror. He stopped to check it out and saw that the rim of one of his rear wheels was glowing red hot because "the wheel bearing had messed itself".
Before he could even think, the tyres burst into flames.
He was unable to reach the fire extinguisher because of the flames so he had to call the fire brigade and stand back. The prime mover and semi trailer full of watermelon were engulfed by flames within a minute or two and by the time the firies showed up they were completely destroyed.
15. I wouldn't be showering in there.
My friend stopped at a truck stop in South Carolina where they had only one working shower stall and it was occupied. While waiting he heard this guy grunting furiously and he was taking a very long time to finish, so my friend being a brash person opens the shower curtain to tell the dude to hurry up.
Inside the guy is standing with his back to the water vigorously making love to a sub sandwich from the shop in the truck stop. My friend just said "what the heck" and closed the shower curtain and went and waited in his truck. When he went back later the guy had left the whole sub in pieces scattered in the shower. My friend didn't end up showering that day.
16. Why so furious?
Saw a guy with his pants around his ankles as he was passing me. I thought, that's kinda weird. Then I saw the whole sight of him stroking his flaccid wiener furiously. I learned not to look down so much into car's interiors.
17. What an image.
Driving during a rain storm and seeing a bear with matted down fur walking on his rear legs like a person. Honestly thought it was bigfoot. Had to do a few double takes in my mirror when I passed him.
18. I bet he did.
I drive a truck on a delivery route in a pretty rural part of Kentucky. Just today, I witnessed two black labs fighting in the middle of the road over something. Once I got a little closer, I could tell they were fighting tooth and nail over a severed deer foot.
A few weeks ago I was driving up to a farmers house. Dude has a driveway that's about a mile long. I top the last little hill and I see three owls sitting on his fenceposts. That was kinda creepy since it was dark and when they turned their heads in my direction, their eyes caught my headlights and lit up pretty bright.
Probably the creepiest thing I've ever witnessed was when I drove by a house that was in the midst of being set ablaze by the owners meth addled brother. It was relatively late, around 10. all I see is a spark and then flames in my side mirrors. I heard the next day that the brother who's house was being set on fire came out and beat the crap out of his brother before putting the fire out.
19. So creepy...
I was a front seat passenger on a drive from Guatemala City to the west coast of the country. In this very small town, there was a big rig pulling two trailers. All of a sudden the truck stops. The next thing I see is the driver walking to the middle of the two trailers and dragging a woman he apparently hit to the side of the road and getting back in and driving off. Only he didn't rush like he committed a crime, he walked as if it were just another day.
My brother-in-law was a trucker for many years. He took his step son (my sister's son) with him on one run. They were somewhere in the rural south and hit a power/telephone line that was too low across the road. It seems hard to believe but it actually yanked one of the telephone poles out of the ground and it crashed through the passenger window and out the windshield and stuck there. Neither of them were seriously hurt, my nephew just got a few minor scratches from flying glass.
21. This is awful.
My dad drove long haul for years. One company he worked for had a yard right in the city. One night a homeless person tried to steal material from a stack in the yard and pulled the wrong piece. Stack came down and decapitated him. They found his headless body the next morning.
22. What a treat!
I was on my fathers Boar's Head truck about 12 years ago in Brooklyn, I was about 14 years old at the time. I was working over the summer with him to make some money to build a computer and buy a hockey stick (priorities man!), anyway, we were at a deli (Mile End's I think was the name), and my dad was unloading some cheese and meet onto the handtruck while I got paperwork out of the cab.
I opened the passenger door and there is a homeless man rummaging through the milk crate my dad kept his lunch and radio in. I didn't even hesitate, I gave the man my bologna and cheese sandwich. (Fresh italian bread, fresh provolone, bologna and heaps of miracle whip, from the previous deli we delivered too, basically the best, most freshest bologna and cheese ever.) He took it and slowly closed the door and walked away...my dad didn't believe me when I told him, and thought I was just trying to get half of his lunch. My mom called my dad a jerk that night and didn't want me working on his truck anymore. Needless to say I was there the next day.
Thumnail Phor Credit: bbernard / shutterstock
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Thanks to Redditor BurningDruid13, we have some answers to the following question: "Have you ever quit a job, without another lined up, for your mental health? How did it turn out?"