A Look Back at the Trucker Hat Part One

There’s a famous saying out there that “the clothes make the man.” We’d like to narrow that phrase down just a little bit more and say that we believe that the hat makes the man. From Indiana Jones and his iconic brown fedora to Jake and Elwood Blues–the Blues Brothers–and their matching black hats to Sherlock Holmes and his deerstalker cap, hats have certainly helped to define people over the years.

But what does all of this have to do with our freight trucking company, you ask? We’re going to talk about trucker hats, of course! We mentioned in our previous post that truckers–whether intentionally or not–have been associated with fashion over the years. In many instances, truckers are simply wearing the clothes that are comfortable and help them to get the job done. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t been influential, however!

That’s why in today’s post we’d like to take a look at truckers hats, where they came from, and who is still wearing them today.

A Brief History

Originally given away for free–and who doesn’t like free clothing?–trucker hats, according to Wikipedia, are “also sometimes known as a ‘gimme [as in ‘give me’] cap’ or a ‘feed cap’ because this style of hat originated during the 1980s as a promotional give-away from U.S. feed or farming supply companies to farmers, truck drivers, or other rural workers.” In other words, many of us started wearing them because they were free. Well, that and because it’s much easier to throw a cap on in the morning than to comb your hair when you’re in the middle of a heavy equipment transport run.

Wikipedia also notes that for about forty years, from the 1930s to the 1970s, the truckers of the world were often provided with what we now consider mechanic’s caps. They go on to note that “by the early 1980s, this cap had been replaced with the modern five piece mesh trucker hats, which were given away at truck stops by companies like Mountain Dew, Budweiser, Shell oil, or John Deere to advertise their products.” These caps made the perfect gifts because they are relatively inexpensive to produce and many come with an adjustable plastic back, allowing companies to make one-size-fits-all versions instead of having to worry about having multiple products made for many different sized heads.

Viewed in the late 90s as something of a fashion trend, trucker hats became front and center nearly everywhere you looked. Unphased by whether what we were wearing was fashionable or not, we kept wearing the clothing that worked best for us. Regardless, these hats have been in the public eye pretty regularly over the years. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the people who were wearing them.

Ashton Kutcher

Most likely the face of trucker hats in the early 2000s, Ashton Kutcher was seen sporting a trucker hat regularly on his MTV show Punk’d. Known as a bit of a goofball, Kutcher is also famous for starring in That 70’s Show, Dude Where’s My Car?, and Two and a Half Men, but he has also taken more dramatic turns in films like The Butterfly Effect and Jobs, the film about the face of Apple, Steve Jobs.

Rarely seen without his trucker hat, Kutcher played practical jokes on everyone from Jason Bateman to Halle Berry to Beyonce to Jennifer Love Hewitt to Tony Hawk all while wearing his signature cap.

Stay Tuned for More!

In part two of our blog, we’ll take  a look at more people who have made it a point to wear trucker hats. Stay tuned!

 

Certificates and Affiliates

EPA’s SmartWay program helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and freight transportation efficiency.
NJMTA is the voice of New Jersey’s trucking industry before state and federal legislatures, government and regulatory agencies, the public and the media.
BROWZ ensures supply chains are safe, qualified and socially responsible by delivering comprehensive solutions to prequalify, assess, and monitor compliance based on the unique needs of your business.
NCCCO was formed in January 1995 as a non-profit organization with its mission to develop effective performance standards for safe crane operation to assist all segments of general industry and construction.
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Avetta provides SaaS based solutions for supply chain risk management that assist with the prequalification of contractors and suppliers.
ATA has been the leading advocate for the trucking industry, committed to developing and advocating innovative, research-based policies that promote highway safety, security, environmental sustainability and profitability.
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