Fun With Trucker’s Leapfrog

Truck Driver in Semi Truck

Many people think that driving a truck sounds like a boring job.  While some truckers travel to exciting locations, many merely go back and forth down the same, monotonous stretch of highway. Snooze-fest, right? That’s what they want us to think.

I recently discovered the existence of a secret game that car drivers are not supposed to know about; a game they call, Trucker’s Leapfrog.

In children’s Leapfrog, one child bends over, scrunches down and the next child pushes off the first child’s back, going up and over.   In the trucker’s version, car drivers have to bend over and take it as one rig passes or “leaps” another truck on the highway.

You’ve probably witnessed a game if you’ve ever been on a highway. The object is for the leaping truck, the Top Frog, to maximize the time it takes to pass another truck, the Under Frog, without going over the maximum allowable hang time of ½ hour. This limit lessens the risk that car drivers (called Bugs,) will give in to road-rage.

Victory requires more than long leap times, though. The complicated scoring system factors in:

  • time of day (more points for rush hour)
  • speed of the lead car driver (Bug) when the Top Frog pulls out and cuts him off
  • amount of rubber left by the lead Bug when he slams on his brakes to avoid hitting the Top Frog
  • number of Bugs stuck behind the Top Frog during his leap (his Tail)

It is possible to play Trucker’s Leapfrog on a multi-lane, super highway, but advanced players prefer only 2 lanes going each direction. That’s the secret to snagging a truly impressive Tail of frustrated Bugs.

The current grand champion is Jackson “Bubba” Johnson. His prize-winning leap was on I-75 outside of Atlanta at 7:30 on a Monday morning. His Consolidated Freight rig was going 60.25 mph when he pulled out to leap past a Con-Way rig going 60.243 mph.   Bubba cut off an Audi coming up in the left lane at 82 mph and that car laid 50 feet of rubber down on the road as it squealed to a stop to avoid a collision.   Bubba’s leap clocked in at 29 minutes and 45 seconds, nail-bitingly close to disqualification. He was pulling an impressive 57-Bug Tail by the time he edged smoothly back into the right lane ahead of the Con-Way rig.

You may be wondering how I found out about Trucker’s Leapfrog since it’s such a closely guarded secret. I got in the middle of a game on I-80 last week.

It was 4:30 pm on a Friday and traffic was heavy with commuters getting out of Chicago for the weekend. I was zooming along in the left lane, and was about to pass a couple of tractor-trailers when one of them, an Old Dominion rig, cut in front of me with mere inches to spare. He was going slower than Great Aunt Fanny out for a Sunday drive. It seems I was the lead Bug in his leap past a U.S. Mail double trailer. Judging by how long I was stuck behind Old Dominion, it was clear I was dealing with a master Leapfrog player.

Now that you know about Trucker’s Leapfrog, I’m sure you’ll be delighted the next time you have to play. If you ever have to travel on a US highway, I can practically guarantee that will be soon.   And if you’re reading this, Bubba, here’s a word of warning; watch out for a guy driving for Old Dominion.  He’s gunning for your title.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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47 Responses to Fun With Trucker’s Leapfrog

  1. This really made me laugh! Let me tell you, this is clearly an international game as I have been lucky enough to witness this many times in the UK too. It sure is fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gh0stpupp3t says:

    Driving a truck sounds exciting. 🙂


  3. Elyse says:

    It’s always nicer to know the name of the plague you’re going through! I think we’ve all inadvertently played this game…


  4. Sounds like fun! I bet my Prius (aka clown car) could just slide underneath the truck and glide on down the highway. Or course, I run the risk of my little plastic car blowing away like a leaf in the wind but I like to live on the edge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Al says:

    Once these guys have mastered LeapFrog, they’re ready for the pros. They’re the ones that take up both lanes going up a 4-mile long grade, inches apart, at exactly the same speed (generally 15 mph). I refer to them as the “Blue Angels” of the highway.


  6. susielindau says:

    It’s illegal in Colorado to block the passing lane. I can’t imagine driving up I-70 to the mountains while two duffusses block traffic. I don’t think they could get away with it, thank God!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Margie says:

    There is an interesting website called ‘truckingtruth’ that explains why leapfrog happens. The situation is as frustrating for most truck drivers as it is for those caught behind them, it seems!


  8. I have been an unwitting bug many, MANY times. Now I know the reason why.

    I’ll have to start driving the back-roads of life.


  9. jlwilson80 says:

    That must be why there’s so many accidents involving semi – trucks in my area.Then you see lots of notices for job openings for truck driving. It’s all because of trucker leapfrog, and people rabidly apply and seek training because they see the joy of the truckers when they see them at a gas station or some such place and think “I want to go to there”. Love the title, by the way, I often use that format (“Fun with…) on my blog, so it suck to me right in


  10. Carrie Rubin says:

    This is wonderful. You’ve taken a very frustrating situation and made it fun. Now, let’s hope I can maintain this smile the next time I’m caught up in the highway game…


  11. I’m not going to tell you how long it took me, or how deep into this post I was until I realized you were just kidding. I don’t want to embarrass myself. I thought it was a serious expose of the secret habits of the long-haul freight industry. You caught me, you devil!


  12. lexiemom says:

    I-75 in Atlanta? I KNEW IT!!


  13. List of X says:

    Here in the Northeast, there is a version of this game played by the Prius drivers – that’s in addition to Truck Leapfrog played by the truck drivers.


  14. Dana says:

    So, that must be why my dad used to say “It will take you 2 hours more to get there, if you take the expressway / tollway. ”



  15. Barb says:

    When I was in England I discovered the truck drivers also called regular cars ‘bugs. ‘And there was a lot of disdain for the sedans and suv’s. I suppose this is an international game.


  16. Ugh! Who hasn’t been the victim of this fun game! I wonder what the “winner” gets.


  17. Recently was part of this game, however I am a better bug then they are leapers! I gunned my car and kept him in his lane. Really? Never mess with a Texas girl on the fastest highway in Texas!

    Thank you for the heads up though, now I know I will be on the lookout.


  18. Tread carefully, Peg. The powerful trucker lobby won’t sit idly by as their secrets are exposed.


  19. hiro812 says:

    It’s always nicer to know the name of the plague you’re going through!


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