Superstitions and Stories of the Road

by Pride Transport | Jun 08, 2018

Superstitions. A lot of people have them and most don’t even know why. They’re just something they believe, have been told is true or have developed a trust in over the years. Actors, very superstitious creatures, don’t say the name of the Shakespeare play MacBeth backstage, it’s supposed to be a curst play and uttering the title is said to call upon the devil and bring evil into the theater. In reality, Macbeth was a very popular play with lots of blood, gore and nasty magic, usually guaranteed to fill the seats. If a theater was doing poorly, they often put the play on to attempt to recoup some losses and, usually the theater folded afterward. So, for actors, seeing MacBeth on the list meant they would be unemployed soon. So, the superstition makes some sense on some level.

Athletes are notoriously superstitious people and if you asked them why they did certain things, they would either shrug or just say; “it’s what works.” Wade Boggs, third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, ate chicken before every game, took exactly 150 ground balls during infield practice, ran wind sprints at exactly 7:17 p.m. and before each at bat, he would draw a chai- the Hebrew symbol for life- into the dirt of the batter's box. How he came up with these rituals is anybody's guess but, they worked for him.

Pitchers don’t shave on game day. Players don’t step on foul lines when taking or coming off the field. If a player has a great day at the plate, he’ll use the same bat til he cools off. No one talks to pitcher once he gets close to a no hitter. Why? Who knows but it works so why mess with it.

We all have some little thing that we do, some ritual some superstition we follow, it may be unconscious or conscious but, it’s what works for us and truckers are no different.


Truckers will …

There are rituals, stories, superstitions that truckers abide by to keep them safe, on time and coming home at the end of a run. Here are a few to ponder.

-When driving by a cemetary truckers believe it’s unlucky to breath so they will hold their breath until they pass.

- They always refer to their trucks as ‘she’ or ‘her” very much like sailors refer to ships as being female.

- Truckers believe it is unlucky to drive with a 50 dollar bill on their person. This one actually has its roots in NASCAR. The great driver and two-time NASCAR champion, Joe Weatherly, had two $50 dollar bills in his shirt pocket during his last race in 1964. His car crashed and he died, the 50’s were found later and from then on, drivers have found the Grants to be unlucky.

- Truckers believe it’s bad luck to cross a highway when stopping for a break. Bad things can happen.

- Truckers believe that you; “Never piss on a truck or it will piss on you.”

- When done with a run, truckers pat the dashboard and thank her for a job well done.

- Truck drivers, like motorcyclists, have a Gremlin bell an Angel bell that they hang on their trailers for safety. They believe that you should hang your bell 4 inches off the ground and always, always, I mean always, have it hanging in the middle of the trailer or you’ll turn over.

- Stay clear of bright colored cars, red or yellow, they attract too much attention from cops and often get pulled over, cited and watched.

- When going through a yellow light, touching or tapping the roof of the cab is supposed to bring good luck.

-Holding your breath while going through a tunnel or across state lines is rumored to bring good luck.


Did You Hear the One About ...

Along with superstitions, truckers have some of the best stories of the road. These stories get passed around, added to and backed up with a lot “No, seriously this is true.” Here are three that are quite exciting.

Route 666

Starting in Gallup New Mexico running north for 85 miles to Shiprock then cutting across the southwest corner of Colorado on into Utah is a stretch of highway named route 666. The highway is also known as The Devil’s Highway or Satan’s Highway. This number is significant because in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelations, 666 is the number of “the Beast” foretelling the coming of the antiChrist. Many truckers feel uneasy driving this stretch of highway and claim that a lot of weird things happen there. Stories of happenings on Route 666 range from Mad truckers, to packs of wild dogs, UFO’s and unexplained deaths. Native Americans tell stories of skinwalkers, evil medicine men, who appear and disappear from the back seats of passing cars and trucks. The route does pass through Native American lands and, the harsh reality of the area is that many drunk driving or drunk wandering accidents do happen along this highway, adding to the fear and mystery of the route.

Secret Underground Tunnels

There is a story about a secret tunnel system that runs under the United States extending from Cheyenne all the way to Washington DC, Manine and back to colorado. Those who speak of this tunnel system claim that there is a “ton of military equipment” being run through these tunnels and that they are a function of, wait for it, the Illuminati. They even claim there is access to this tunnel system under the White House.

And finally …

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

This story is interesting because it’s told here in the United States as well as across the pond in England. The story is pretty much the same when it’s told. A trucker, on a dark, lonely stretch of highway, sees a hitchhiker in their headlight The driver pulls over and the man, it's always a man, the age varies, young or old but, it’s always a man, gets into the cab. Once in the passenger is in the cab they are usually silent, pointing in the direction of where they want to go when asked.

At some point during the journey, the driver of the truck looks away, to get a pack of cigarettes or whatnot and when they look back, the passenger is gone. This is one of the most popular of trucker stories and when it’s told right, not only does the listener believe it, they get chills and feel weird about driving down empty stretches of highway at night.

Superstitions and stories of the road, anything to pass the time and the miles. At the very least they are fun distractions, at the very most, they may be actual good luck charms and ways to keep yourself safe on the road. If you have a particular superstition or great spooky story of the road, share and and maybe it will change someone’s life.

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