Sonny and Will pick up a load from a Baltimore furniture factory whose owner has refused to pay a local thug "protection" money. The bomb intended for the factory ticks hidden in the trailer while Will tries to get Sonny to a dentist to fix his aching tooth.
Sonny's comment published in a trucker's magazine about truckers being "the toughest men in America" draws the ire of the US Marines, and results in a challenge to complete one week of Marine basic training at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Sonny and Will pick up a carnival elephant in North Carolina to deliver in Sarasota, Florida. First, she gets loose on a country road, then Sonny finds a drunken stowaway in the trailer, then the rig is stolen . . . and Sonny's day goes downhill from there.
Sonny's impounded truck is bought by competing trucker team Moose and Benjy, leaving Will and Sonny with their ramshackle rig. A bet is struck that whichever truck can reach Raleigh and claim a letter mailed to general delivery wins both trucks. And the race is on . . .
Sonny and Will are hauling a load of apples out of Hendersonville when they come upon a bus that has a flat tire as a result of a gunshot. They and the passengers end up at an abandoned farmhouse, surrounded by gunmen who are after money that was stolen from a bank.
While Will goes to the bank in Asheville to cash a check, Sonny delivers a load to a North Carolina minimum security prison farm, and an inmate stowaway forces Sonny to take him to his girlfriend so they can get married.
Will and Sonny almost have a collision with Laura on a North Carolina mountain road after her farm truck has a brake failure. As Will finds himself attracted to her, Sonny finds himself suspicious of her motives, and of her hauling business.
Will and Sonny get stuck in Gainesville, Georgia, with a load of chicken feed when the Chicken Growers Co-op is threatened with a quarantine by the government. Will is bitten by a snake while he is working on the rig.
Against Will's objections, Sonny rents the rig to a broker and almost loses it, and more, to a crew that broke in to an armory. To keep them in the dark and out of his way, the broker treats Will and Sonny to a few days at an exclusive resort.
While in New Orleans for the funeral of Sonny's Navy pal, Sonny and Will use the Kenworth as the hearse, and a local numbers runner puts a "package" in the truck. They take the deceased buddy's little girl to Pensacola, Florida, unaware that hoods are chasing them to get the package back.
Will and Sonny go to Bayou la Batre, Alabama to visit Jack, a shrimper buddy of Sonny's. But Jack isn't shrimping; he thinks he has found a sunken ship (from 1864) in Mobile Bay with a $1,000,000 fleet payroll on it.