Remember how we wanted to sound like the guys from Smokey and the Bandit or Convoy?
We still do, don’t we?
If you work in the trucking industry, you are probably already familiar with the basic trucker slang. If not, maybe it’s time for you to learn a thing or two.
Decades ago, truck drivers used CB radios to talk. Being a trucker means you need to get to know the CB jargon. It's all part of the trucker culture. You must talk the talk and walk the walk.
Do you want to join in the fun? Let’s go!
On the open road, truckers talk with one another using CB radio. If you are a newbie in this industry, you might be confused by all the trucker jargon you hear if you turn one on and tune in. The following is a glossary of terms used by truckers on the road. You might learn something new even if you’ve been on the road for a while now.
Affirmative - Yes
All locked up - The weigh station is shut down.
Back door - When something is behind you.
Back it down - Slow down.
Back row - The last rows of a truck stop's parking lot.
Bambi - A deer.
Base station or unit - A CB radio installed in a fixed place.
Bear - An officer of any rank.
Bear bait - A fast vehicle that can protect other fast vehicles following it.
Bear bite - A speeding ticket.
Boogie - The highest gear.
Breaking up - Weak or fading signal.
Bubba - Nickname for another driver.
Comedian - The stretch of land between opposing traffic lanes.
Come back - A phrase used when you couldn't hear the other person's words.
Comic book - The log.
Convoy - A group of trucks traveling together.
Copy - Agreed with.
Crackerhead - An insult.
Do what? - When it’s unclear what the other person was saying.
Dragon wagon - A tow truck.
18-wheeler - Any tractor-trailer.
Eyeball - To see something.
Flip-flop - U-turn.
42 - OK.
Four-letter word - Open weigh stations.
4-wheeler - Any passenger vehicle.
Front door - Right in front of you.
Georgia overdrive - Putting the transmission into neutral to drive really fast.
Good neighbor - Show appreciation to another driver.
Go to a company - When you instruct another driver in your company to use the company's CB channel.
Granny lane - The slower lane on a multi-lane highway.
Greasy - Icy.
Ground pressure - The weight of the truck.
Hammer lane - The passing lane of traffic.
Hand, Han - What a driver sometimes calls another driver.
Having “shutter trouble” - Having a hard time staying up.
Home 20 - The home of the driver.
Jackpot - Patrol car’s lights.
Left Coast - The West Coast.
Lollipop - Marker poles on the sides of the highway.
Mama-bear - A female law enforcement officer.
Moving on - Going down the road.
Pay the water bill - A restroom break.
Power up - Speed up.
Rambo - Someone who talks really tough on the radio.
Rockin’ chair - A truck that is sandwiched between two other trucks.
Roger - Affirmative.
Roller skate - A small car.
Sesame Street - Channel 19 on the CB.
Shaky - Refers to California in general.
Skins - Tires.
Smokin’ scooter - An officer on a scooter.
Split - A junction.
Taking pictures - An officer using a radar gun.
10-4 - Message received.
Too many eggs in the basket - Overweight load.
Travel agent - The dispatcher.
Triple digits - Over 100 mph.
Wagon - Trailer.
Yardstick - A mile marker.
So, do all truckers use CB terminology?
No, not all professional truckers do. Today, there are many alternative ways for a driver to communicate with the trucking company, such as cell phones or satellite devices. However, there are locations where cell phones are out of service, so the radio might come in handy.
It's worth remembering that, in the event of an unexpected catastrophe, such as a car accident, a driver can use the radio to quickly notify other vehicles in the area, far faster than they could by using a cell phone. It has the potential to prevent a vehicle pileup from being worsened.
So, do you know any other trucking jargon? Let us know if any of your favorite trucking terms are missing.
Also, check out our blog on the trucking terms we use in our everyday work.
Make good use of both glossaries and happy driving!
Road Legends Team
Post created: July 28 ,2022
Post updated: February 15 ,2023