Have you seen one and wondered why?

If you spend any time driving on any highways in the Hudson Valley, New York State Thruway, Route 17 or 84, have you ever noticed stuffed animals hanging from the front of big rigs? Just the other day I was driving east on 84 and before I got to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, there was a whole bunch of traffic, (what else is new) but as I was sitting there waiting to move I looked over and saw a big rig 18-wheeler slowly pass me on the left. As it passed, I saw a green stuffed teddy bear hanging from the front grill.


Why Do Truckers Hang Stuffed Animals from Trucks?

Being stuck in traffic with nothing better to do, I started to search around to see if I could find if a hanging stuffed animal from a big rig had any secret meaning. For example, doesn't it mean something if you drive into a neighborhood and see old sneakers hanging from telephone wires above? Do stuffed animals on 18 wheelers have a secret meaning like that?

According to a 2005 New York Times report, there really isn't a secret meaning. But the stuffed "friends" do say something about the owner/driver of the truck. Drivers use the animals as a mascot or way to show others a little about their personalities. In most cases, truckers who have anything like these on their trucks say it's a way for them to show the world that truckers aren't mean and nasty people, they are mostly playful and harmless according to Mental Floss.

Greg, a driver for one of the Hudson Valley's garage hauling companies, texted us and said that his truck always has an animal or two hanging from it. "Whenever we find a stuffed animal during a pick-up, we rescue it and hang it on the truck."

Most of us find the animals on trucks cute, but in other parts of the world hanging animals mean different things. Garbage truck drivers in England are banned from hanging animals on trucks because they fear that a child might run into the road chasing after it. In parts of Asia, some drivers hang playthings from their trucks to occupy ghosts and prevent them from getting bored and causing accidents.

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