We’re back with another installment of our Trucking in the 70s series, where we look at how truck drivers were portrayed in TV and film from days past. This week is a little known pre-cursor to trucker TV love like BJ & The Bear, called Movin’ On.
Movin’ On was a light drama and adventure serial that followed truck drivers Sonny Pruitt and Frank Converse. It premiered on the NBC network in a prime time slot on May 1974. The pilot was a made-for-TV movie called “In Tandem” which had high ratings from the Nielsen Company, so NBC picked out a production group to create all new adventures following the two truck drivers and their gang of misfits. It ran for 48 episodes until fall 1976.
Film and TV legend Claude Aiken starred as an independent hauler who took on a young up and comer Frank, who was disillusioned by his college education and was seeking adventure. The two became a driving team that seemed to be able to handle any load, no matter how big or strange, avoiding thugs, crooked cops and more as they pounded the pavement.
The two truckers drove a 1973 Kenworth A Model sleeper cab for the majority of the series’ run and they hauled everything from circus animals to dynamite in the payload. The Kenworth was powered by a VT903 Cummins with a 13-speed transmission and 3.70 rears. Both actors drove the truck during filming, since they both earned a CDL license before filming began. Hollywood actors earning CDLs for filming are increasingly rare, but it does happen on occasion.
Due to the light nature of the adventures the two truck drivers experienced, the show was a big hit with kids. Movin’ On helped kick start the CB Radio craze among young adults and hobbyists all across the country. The show even had some merchandise tie-ins with some walkie talkies aimed at small children that really worked on CB bands.
Anyway, this show is an oldie, but a goodie and we know you’ll enjoy watching it. ‘Til next time, truck drivers!
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