The big rig is found across the globe in various forms, yet they all share a common purpose: that of delivering goods. The freight carriers are a key part of the industry, and they are the primary way we get things from one place to a different place. These trucks belong on the roads, driving the highways and interstates, the motorways and carriageways, as they drive along their lengths, back and forth, racking up miles on single engines; some trucks odometers often reach into the millions.
The drivers of these trucks are real heroes, too, living their lives on the roads, sleeping in their trucks, driving tireless hours along the highways, just to get things from there to right here, wherever that may be. They sacrifice being home for weeks at a time to take a shipment across the country, or they just never really have a home. It's a lonely life, and a laudable one at that, considering that most people wouldn't want that job.
We are all used to seeing these big trucks, these tractor-trailers, these eighteen wheelers all across the country, driving the roads and highways, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to see them in disrepair, left for dead, abandoned on the side of the road. Often the setting is quite beautiful, really, plus it's always neat to look at vintage models. With that in mind, let's take a look at 23 stunning photos of abandoned semi-trucks.
23 5 Ton Army Semi
This heavy hauler comes from a time of war, a different era when trucks were built with solid steel and weighed tons. The army green color looks just about new, too, though faded and bleached by the sun. At one point this truck saw many many miles, but not so much anymore.
These days it just sits, peacefully, in a sunlit meadow, along with the gentle breezes and the birds chirping. A very relaxed and idyllic scenery, really, and one that is in quite stark contrast to this semi's very storied and tumultuous past.
22 Abandoned In A Hurry
This semi has been abandoned, left behind, but much more recently so, and in quite the hurry, too. The reason? A raging forest fire that had jumped the road. With such intense and fast destruction, the driver had no choice but to flee, and to leave his truck, load intact, behind.
According to cbssacramento.com, "An abandoned smoldering truck rests along interstate 5 after the Delta Fire tore through the region and jumped the road in Delta, south of Pollard Flat, California on September 5, 2018."
21 Blanketed Under A Layer Of Stars
This old tractor semi has been left to rest in a big open field, perhaps on a farm somewhere or in a meadow in the mountains. It doesn't look like it's been touched in quite a while, either, as it's rather rusted and dilapidated looking. The snow only adds to the desertion.
It's a beautiful photo, too, with the stars shining above and a quiet, snowy night showcased in the foreground. No doubt the rough and relentless elements of this area have only added to the decay of this semi.
20 Blending Into A Blue Sky
Once upon a time, many semis were made the same, as one big square in the front with a giant radiator grille, some lights, and a windshield. It was simple, no-nonsense, and practical. The look is appealingly retro, and the state of the tractor itself is quite worse for wear, no doubt due to the relentless elements.
Nowadays, though, green freight has become quite a big trend, with good reason, as it saves millions of gallons of fossil fuels each year, with the potential for much more, too. This is a win-win, as it saves the Earth primarily, but saves companies billions of dollars in expenses each year.
19 Cabs In Line
These two cabs of a tractor semi truck are lying against each other without any sign of their trailers around, only endless rows of something similar: shipping containers. But not quite similar enough. That and it seems they've been almost completely parted out.
Indeed, they don't have any engines, and the front one has even lost its bumper and headlights. There are some tires in the background, too, which won't do much good for the trucks without their engines. Not much left to salvage.
18 Caught In The California Delta Fire
There were many who lost almost everything in the California Delta fire and many who were lucky to get out with only their lives. It was an intense fire that also destroyed a lot of ecosystems, though many forests are designed and thrive when an occasional forest fire burns through.
But not everyone was expecting to have to be evacuated, least of all those driving near it, as the fire did jump the road in several places, and in this case forced drivers to abandon their vehicles, and in this case, an entire semi-truck. Talk about a crazy story.
17 Driving Through The Forest
While it's clear that this semi is not actually driving currently, and probably hasn't in many, many decades, it definitely looks like it's plowing its way through the foliage and underbrush of a lush forest. Talk about a good retirement, surrounded by nature and green forest.
This truck is fairly old, too, and while the pain is in good shape and even most of the truck, it's clear that it's been sitting there for a while because of the amount of rust covering the exposed metal. It's been a good long while since this truck has put any serious miles behind it.
16 Eco-Friendly Radiator
These old trucks lie in decay as an ode to the fact that progress never ceases, and neither does time, so much more so and more relentlessly. It also showcases that with a lack of human interest and interference, nature thrives and grows in a spectacular way.
This old truck is a perfect example of that, with foliage overtaking all of the truck, especially the cab, as it is covered over with vines and plants. The radiator has become exceptionally eco-friendly, as it is now hosting plants.
15 Evel Knievel's Old Big Rig
Evel Knievel found his rise to nigh immortal fame during a time when stuntmen were all the rage, and Evel Knievel was the greatest of them all, and the most daring. He is known for such crazy stunts as the Snake River Canyon Jump and the Caesar's Palace Jump.
Naturally, while touring on the road, it was necessary for him and his crew to have a big rig to take his bikes and equipment and all the gear he needed for his shows, as he toured around the country doing his stunts.
14 Funky Retro Box
The paint designs to come out of the '70s and the years around that time were some of my personal favorites. Many cars had trim levels that involved this kind of simple and pleasing design on them. It seems retro at first, but it really is just a timeless thing.
The colors balance well and are a perfect contrast to the black. The design of the truck itself is great, too, simple and straightforward, a square box of retro goodness with a long-lived engine and some seats. Hook a trailer on it and you're good to go.
13 Ghostly Magenta Glow
The possibilities for night time photography are quite vast, and there's something about the synergy between the nighttime sky and anything abandoned or vintage. This photo is a classic example, where a long exposure created a vibrant image in the seeming absence of light.
The vibrant colors come through exquisitely and contrast with the deep blue of the night sky behind it. Someone did some fancy camera work, too, by lighting up the cab with a magenta colored light. It's a nice touch.
12 Gorgeous Patina
This rainy photo of an old Kenworth beauty has plenty of vibrant contrast despite the gray setting and scenery all around it. It's awesome to see the paint beginning to dissolve and the metal starting to show through in places; it creates a pattern that's almost impossible to replicate.
The pattern of age and wear, of weathering and time. The truck at one point was not red, but a bright teal and perhaps even a deeper blue color, though that could just be the same coat. It's lived a well-used life.
11 Graffiti And Garbage
Sometimes trucks are left in fields, beside old sheds on farm properties, or even roadside in some places, and sometimes they're left in old garages or under some kind of structure. But this one looks like it's been left in quite the junky place.
The trash and dust around, plastic hanging from the ceiling, timbers crisscrossed across paths, it's clear these trucks were left as good as trash along with the rest of the building. The graffiti only adds to the desertion portrayed in the image, and so does the fact that there's more than one truck.
10 International Truck At Rest
This International Truck has found itself cast aside after no doubt a very long career of heavy use. At one point in this truck's life, it was driven every day, for the majority of the day, used and ran almost nonstop, crisscrossing the country over and over, perhaps even racking up enough miles to have gone to the moon and back multiple times.
But, these days, it's been left to rust with the rest of the junk lying around; the old palettes, the weeds, rubble piles, ladders, and other trucks. Kind of a shame, really. But, it seems more and more people are interested in restoring and even modifying old semi trucks.
9 Kenworth In A Graveyard
There's not a whole lot of life happening in the frame of this picture, even though there's a fair amount going on. The semis in this photo are abandoned, forgotten, lifeless, driven no more. The same can be said for most of the foliage around.
There must have been a forest fire, as almost all of the trees on the hillside are completely lifeless. It's a seriously deserted area, that is for sure. Or perhaps this photo was taken in the depths of winter when all the trees lost their foliage. Yet still, a tree persists, right next to the semi. The same likely is not true for the semis, unfortunately.
8 Left For Scraps
This semi has not only been abandoned and forgotten, deserted to lay in peace in a meadow somewhere, like many of its contemporaries, but also has been massacred, all parts were taken and pillaged from its frame, till there really isn't much left.
Not much at all, actually, because even the entire engine bay is missing. Seems someone parted out a semi after it broke down for a final and fateful time. Smart, really, as this helps reuse parts we already have and helps keep semis that are already made running. There can't just be an indefinite amount of semis, or cars, being made and then abandoned wherever.
7 Not So Hostile Takeover
In not so long of a time, a matter of a few seasons, this truck will be completely hidden away from the world, hidden away underneath a bramble of flowering vines. All evidence of it will just be a rather mysteriously large clump of vines, and unless more investigating is done, that's all it will look like.
Talk about a complete takeover, though not exactly the definition of a hostile takeover, as this has happened peacefully and without relent for the past few decades. The result is very pleasing and beautiful.
6 Ravaged Engine With Star Trails
The main reason that most semis run so long, while it's definitely a combined process of the entire machine, rests primarily on the durability of the engine, as many engines can reach up into the millions of miles. That's a pretty serious feat.
So, in an instance like this, perhaps a semi is in a junkyard, the most valuable part of it, unless it's specifically broken, is the engine. Which is likely why this engine is missing. Without an engine though, it's as good as a hunk of metal.
5 Repurposed Beautifully
When it comes to having an old abandoned hauler on your property, there's a lot of ways to deal with it. You could let it rot, part it out, sell it, garage it, restore it, or you could convert it into something else entirely.
Just like the example pictured, a nice decorative garden piece is a great option, as this old retro truck demonstrates. It's a great eye-catcher on the lawn, and a great way to keep a piece of history close. Though perhaps I personally would try to incorporate as many plants into the truck as I could, versus just potted plants.
4 Rusty And Missing An Eye
This old semi-truck is a bit worse for wear around the edges, in more ways than one. With the paint fading and rust starting to take over any and all exposed metal, it's clear that this semi has seen better days.
The broken, one-eyed headlight only furthers the impression, though this truck has a pretty massive engine block, as is clear by the size of the engine bay. Needed for all that heavy hauling, most assuredly so. Looks like there are lots of abandoned semis here, too.
3 They Just Don't Make Them Like They Used To
Any cars or semis from today would look so much worse for wear if they were to sit, abandoned and in decay, for as long as this one has. A Kenworth by the looks of it, from the mid-'70s perhaps, and it still has paint, and apart from the missing headlight, looks for the most part okay.
It was made well, and things these days are made to fit into the market system, to force people to buy new things every ten years, so to see a car from today aged for as long, it wouldn't be much more than a sad metal frame covered with vines.
2 Well Worn, Well Loved
These old trucks have so much style about them, with the rounded curves, rounded hood, rounded lights, inset, and angled windshield, huge wide mirrors, it all adds together to create a pretty beautiful machine.
They had ruthless practicality, too, proving that balancing form and function is not only attainable, but something every truck and car manufacturer should aspire to do. Despite having to face such terrible elements for endless years on end, it's still in alright shape, at least on the outside.
1 Wheel Barrows And Rust Buckets
Abandoned with trailer in tow, this semi has been shoved away, stored in a spot tucked back in a dense thicket of foliage. Over the years, as rust has grown and paint has faded, more and more junk has piled in front of it.
This only buries the big semi even more, behind rusty wheelbarrows, old tires, scrap wood, and rusted metal frames that had use at one point, but no more. As if the growing foliage wasn't enough, this semi once drove highways in sparkling condition, but now is being pushed from sight and lost from mind.
Sources: Flickr, Hiveminer & CBS Sacramento