Trucks (short story)

Trucks (short story)

Infobox short story |
name = Trucks
author = Stephen King
country = United States
language = English
genre = Horror fiction short story
published_in = "Cavalier" (1st release),
"Night Shift",
"Death on Wheels"
publication_type = Magazine
publisher = DuGent publishing
media_type = Print
pub_date = 1973
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Trucks is a short story by Stephen King, published in 1978 in the compilation "Night Shift".

It was first published in "Cavalier" magazine in 1973. It also appeared in the compilation "Death on Wheels" in 1999.


Trucks takes place in a truck-stop in America.

Plot summary

The story's nameless narrator and a handful of strangers find themselves trapped together in a freeway truck stop diner after semi-trailers and other large trucks are suddenly brought to independent life by an unknown force and proceed to gruesomely kill every human in sight. As the story begins, a salesman named Snodgrass cracks under the strain, attempts to flee across the stop's parking lot and is knocked into a drainage ditch, taking hours to die. The situation worsens when the diner's power goes out, and the narrator's attempt to collect any available drinking water ends in near-disaster, but then a note of hope appears when the trucks begin to run out of gas. An enormous semi-truck noses up to the diner and demands, via morse code blasts from its horn, that the humans start pumping fuel. The narrator is out-voted when he suggests they comply with this, and a bulldozer arrives and proceeds to attack the diner. The narrator and a teenager named Jerry destroy the dozer with improvised Molotov cocktails, but the diner is half-destroyed and Jerry is killed. The remaining three humans surrender and, taking turns, start pumping the gas into the mile-long string of waiting trucks. As he toils, the narrator thinks that perhaps this will last only until the trucks rust and fall apart, but he then has a grim vision of forced assembly lines churning out new generations of trucks, and the entire world flattened out and remade in its new masters' image. The story ends as a pair of planes fly overhead, and the author laments that they probably are unmanned.

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

The story has been adapted twice for the cinema. In 1986 it was adapted for cinema with the tongue-in-cheek King-directed "Maximum Overdrive". In 1997 it was adapted again as the TV movie "Trucks", starring Timothy Busfield, which is a somewhat more faithful adaptationOr|date=September 2008 although made on a considerably smaller budget than "Maximum Overdrive".

External links

* [ The story at]
* [ King's official site]

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