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6 Common Trucker Superstitions


You know not to walk under ladders and to never let a black cat cross your path. But did you know that superstitions exist on the road too? For example, many commercial drivers are known to carry lucky charms in their cab, including dice, bells, four-leaf clovers, and religious objects. Whether you’re superstitious or not, Commercial Truck Trader has made a list of six common trucker superstitions and rituals to follow, just in case.

1. Never Haul Empty

When driving along roadways, you may spot a truck towing a seemingly empty flatbed. Look a little closer because there might be a children’s toy on the bed. Pictures of small toy trucks strapped onto long flatbeds pop up every now and then online. While it is an amusing and silly thing to see, many truckers believe that it’s bad luck to drive an empty truck. Drivers will place any object in their truck’s trailer or on the flatbed to avoid this superstition.

2. Hold Your Breath by Cemeteries

Trucking will transport drivers along all sorts of sights and attractions. It’s not uncommon for a driver to pass by cemeteries, especially ones that run adjacent to highways. Superstitious truckers will hold their breath the moment a headstone catches their eye. It’s believed to be bad luck to breathe when driving by a cemetery, so drivers will hold their breath until they pass the burial grounds. Just don’t hold your breath for too long; passing out while driving is guaranteed to bring you bad luck.

3. Don’t Cross a Highway

Long hours on the road can have some drivers yearning to stretch their legs and take a break. Wherever you decide to stop, make sure you don’t cross a highway to do so. Many truckers believe that bad luck can follow after crossing a highway when stopping for a break. If you do see a place to stop on the other side of the road, a safe way to beat this superstition is to get off on a nearby exit and let your GPS or phone navigation guide you there.

4. The Yellow Light Ritual

Every day, people on the roads encounter yellow lights. Drivers have to decide if they want to stop before it turns red or if they can safely make it through the intersection. Those who do go through the yellow light often touch or tap the roof of their vehicle for good luck. This is a ritual that both commercial and non-commercial drivers have picked up.

5. Check Your Wallet

While we as a society are becoming increasingly cashless, there are still people who prefer to see some green in their wallets. However, superstitious drivers avoid having $50 bills on their person. It’s nothing personal against Ulysses S. Grant, the U.S. president who is displayed on the bill. This superstition actually has roots in NASCAR. Racing champion Joe Weatherly was given two $50 bills before a race in 1964. Unfortunately, Weatherly died in a crash during that race, and in his shirt pocket were those $50 bills. Before hitting the road, if a trucker does need to get cash, they’ll typically opt for $20 bills to stay on the safe side.

6. Thank Your Truck

After a successful run, many truckers will pat the dashboard of their vehicle to thank her for a job well done. Yes, her. Much like ships, truckers will refer to their vehicles with she/her pronouns. Drivers spend long periods of time dealing with unpredictable road conditions. It’s a huge moment of relief to safely finish a run. This ritual is a great way to signify the end of a route and thank your truck for helping you make it.

Conclusion: Truck driving can be dangerous, so it’s no surprise that drivers can be superstitious. Of course, truckers always prioritize the safety of themselves and others on the road. These superstitions and rituals can add an extra level of spiritual security, which never hurts.

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Arielle Patterson
Arielle Patterson

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