The Most Famous Big Rigs of the Silver Screen

February 8, 2024   |   Posted by: Truline News Reporter

In Film

Remember the first time you laid eyes on a tractor-trailer and thought “man, I want to drive one of those?” Based on how many famous trucks have graced Hollywood movies, millions of people feel the same. Big rigs have been driven by heroes and by villains, and sometimes they’ve BEEN the heroes and villains. We’ve rounded up a few big rigs that are movie stars in their own right. Maybe your favorite made the list.


Easily the most famous silver screen big rig of the 21st century is Optimus Prime. The brave leader of the good-guy Autobots, Optimus made his live-action debut in 2007’s Transformers. Who didn’t want to be Optimus Prime when they were a kid? And let’s be honest: who doesn’t kind of wish their rig could transform into a noble warrior robot? Anyway, Optimus has been portrayed by both a Peterbilt 379 and a Western Star 5700 X (when he’s a robot in disguise, that is).  Truck drivers of a certain age, though, remember that in the original 1980s cartoon, Optimus was a classic cabover model.

Smokey and the Bandit

45 years later, this is probably still the most famous truck driver movie of all time. The legendary film about a couple of bootleggers racing to Atlanta before the clock runs out is part of the cultural zeitgeist. It also makes life as a truck driver seem like the best thing ever. The famous bootlegger truck is “played by” a Kenworth W900a, and has the iconic Wild West mural painted on its trailer. Plus, the soundtrack is perfect for trucking down the open road.

Maximum Overdrive

Evil trucks? Sure, why not. In the 1986 Stephen King classic, a group of people are trapped at a remote truck stop and terrorized by a gang of tractor-trailers come to life. The truck gang is lead by a White Western Star 4800 with a Green Goblin mask on its hood, and it’s particularly bent on destruction. Think of it as the anti-Optimus. If you see anyone looking at your rig with concern, they’ve probably just watched this movie. Try not to take it personally.

Mad Max: Fury Road

It’s nice to know that even in a dystopian future, our trucks will still be there for us. They don’t get any tougher than the truck that’s simply known as “The War Rig” in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. All the vehicles in the Mad Max franchise are pretty sick, but there’s something about The War Rig that makes it stand out. It’s a (very) heavily modified Tatra T815, rigged out with a cattle catcher, lots of weaponry and military-grade tires. Would it be overkill to use this thing for standard deliveries? Maybe, but we still like to daydream about getting behind its wheel.

We all love our trucks.  Why not feel like the star of your own trucking movie, and become a regional truck driver for Truline? Click here to see our current opportunities and start your application today.

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