Carrol Jo Hummer (Vincent) returns back to America after serving time in Vietnam, marries Jerri (Lenz), and buys a big rig truck to enter the local long-haul trucking business to earn some money. But he ends up fighting corruption in the business where the place he's working at is run by racketeers, who threaten his life.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Carrol is a loving family man who wishes for him and his fellow truckers to work for an honest dollar. Although when he gets pushed far enough, he will get violent. After refusing to haul an illegal load from Red River, he gets blackballed by the other trucking companies. He then returns to Red River with a shotgun and holds everyone at gun point to get the load he wants.
- And later on, after his old friend Doc gets murdered by Buck and his men, Carrol chases him down and gets him one hell of a beating.
- Big Badass Rig: Carrol's truck, the Blue Mule.
- Bittersweet Ending: All the local truckers go on strike to fight the corruption of the Glass House in honor of Carrol, who gets rolled out of the hospital to find the townspeople, with a good number of them being truck drivers, who look at him in admiration and support. However, Carrol has his truck destroyed after driving it into the Glass House HQ and his wife Jerri had a miscarriage and is unable to have any children, plus when she looks outside the window at him, she has an unhappy look on her face, implying she's not thrilled with having a husband who put everything at risk to be a whistle-blower.
- Convenient Miscarriage: Jerri gets pregnant, with both her and Carrol hoping to start a family. But after getting severely injured by the thug when he burns down their house, Carrol gets informed while they're both in the hospital that not only has she lost the baby, she also is unable to have children.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Red River trucking company used to be an honest business before being taken over by Buck and has them run loads of un-taxed cigarettes, slot machines and other contraband. And it goes further on up the ladder, with the company Glass House, a front for organized crime, actually owns Red River and ran by a bunch of shady executives.
- Downplayed with Duane. He is someone who looks at Carrol like a son, back when Red River was more decent and worked with his father, but in the present, he's an Unwitting Pawn in the Glass House era and while he sends Carrol out on a fraudulent job, he does at least warn him earlier in the film of the enforcers wanting to go after him and he's appalled when he learns Buck ordered for Carrol to get beaten up early in the film.
- Cool Old Guy: Carrol's old friend Doc, who is one of few friendly faces still at Red River, who aids him in his first long-haul job as Glass House enforcers attempt to go after them.
- Dirty Cop: Deputy Bob is in cahoots with the now corrupted Red River trucking company. He pulls over Carrol after he refuses to take illegal loads and acts like a friendly officer who examines his truck before he handcuffs him to his truck and leaves Carrol to get beaten by the Red River enforcers. Bob later on attempts to do the same to a couple more truckers, only to be saved by Carrol, his brother and Doc.
- Frame-Up: The Glass House people kill Duane by drugging him and putting him onto a path of a semi, where he gets ran over. They attempt to frame Carrol for his murder and probably would have sent him off to prison had it not been for Jerri's testimony that manages to free him.
- Hard Truckin': The movie showcases Carrol and his fight against the Glass House taking control over his job.
- House Fire: Both Carrol and Jerri get knocked unconscious by a Glass House thug and left to die when he sets their house on fire. Fortunately, Carrol recovers and brings them both outside to safety.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Doc's son, Carnell, who's initially cold to Carrol and dismissive to his father when he tries to have a conversation with him. Nevertheless, he's wants blood after Buck is shown to be responsible for Doc's death and has to be held back by Carrol's brother.
- Nice Guy: Carrol is a loving husband to Jerri and wants to find good work to afford them a good life for a family he's hoping to start. And he also wants to expose the corruption of the Glass House business and tries to encourage his fellow truckers to voice their displeasure. Although, when he gets pushed far enough, he's not afraid to get violent.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After the house fire costs Carrol's and his wife's baby (and her ability to have children), he takes his truck and drives it right into the Glass House HQ, right through the gate, while being shot at by the security guards (and even takes a non-fatal bullet to the face) and drives into the sign, destroying it and getting him badly injured. But in the end, it brought awareness to the corruption of the company and has the truckers protesting.
- Title Drop: As Carrol makes his trip to Utah, he starts swerving on the road, with one of his fellow truckers radioing him and saying he has "white line fever" and suggests he goes to a truck stop. White Line Fever, also known as highway hypnosis, where drivers make turns and stops while their conscious minds drift elsewhere, which can be dangerous if there are moments where a driver needs to use his quick reflexes and is especially a common danger for truck drivers.