CB Radios are The Best Way To Communicate on The Road

BY Alie McArdle
5 years ago


Hello? Anyone out there? Can you hear me? What’s your 20?

For the better part of trucking history, CB radios were utilized to transmit messages and communicate with other drivers on the road. The adult version of “walkie talkies” has been labeled a dying accessory in the industry because of the cell phone. Now, I don’t know about you, but to be brutally honest, I think that’s BS. It’s silly to suggest that cell phones can really outperform the CB radio. CB’s are an excellent means to communicate on the road – and I definitely think they’re the most effective.

In the case of cell phones – yes, you have access to gps, internet, music etc – however, you have to take your eyes off the road to interact with it. And in almost every case, you are not going to know the phone numbers of other truckers around you. CBs can be used to have conversations with others on the road, immediately warn others of upcomings and have a conversation in real time with the people around you.

Here are a few reasons why CB radios are still #1 for Truckers:
They’re accessible in areas without cell signal
They can transmit for miles – giving leverage to inform others what’s to come ahead
The 411 about cops, weigh stations, traffic, and 4-wheelers being nuisances
Exchange stories between each other when things get boring – can be pretty entertaining
Make friends – have the possibility of meeting up at a truck stop and having company for dinner
Easy to grab & use at a moments notice
Can get in touch directly with emergency personnel in the event you need it
Speaking in a Coded Language is pretty rad – check out the following list of creative phrases and their definitions truckers have traditionally used out on the road

Disclaimer: This following list was originally published on this blog (hyper link “this

Driver: A trucker. Only truckers are drivers.
Four-wheeler: You/non-truckers
Seat cover: Passengers in your car. Usually, this refers to an attractive female passenger, in a sort of “check out the seat cover in the four-wheeler about to pass you” sense.
Semipro: A big pickup-driving bro that thinks he’s a “trucker”
Bumper sticker: A car that tailgates egregiously
Thumber: Hitchhiker
Suicide jockey: A driver hauling a dangerous substance, like fuel, explosives, etc.
Go to Sesame Street: Turn your CB radio to Channel 19 (the most commonly used channel)
Reading the mail: Just lurking on the radio, usually on Sesame Street
Keying up: Talking all the time on the channel, cutting other truckers off in the process
Got a clean shot: There are no law-enforcement officers on the road ahead
Paying the water bill: Stopping to pee

Smokey Bear: State trooper, so-called because of the big hat. Often shortened to bear.
Full-grown bear: Also a state trooper, usually used to denote one taking the formality of his job (uniform, hat, car, mustache) way too seriously
Feeding the bears: Getting pulled over. Also called getting an invitation.
Bear bait: A speeding four-wheeler that drivers hope bears latch onto come feeding time
Bear trap: Speed trap or inspection zone
County mounty: Sheriff deputy​
Evel Knievel: Motorcycle cop
Kojak with a Kodak: An officer (Kojak) with his radar gun out and pointed at traffic, like a camera (Kodak)
Diesel bear: Officer specializing in commercial-vehicles enforcement, i.e. trucks
Care Bear: Cop or patrolman at a construction site directing traffic
Mama bear: A female officer
Bear in the air: Aircraft enforcement of the speed limit is in the area
Bear den: Police HQ

Local yokel: City cop
Brush your teeth and comb your hair: Get ready, there’s an officer shooting his radar gun up ahead

Big road: The interstate
Fifty-dollar lane: Fast lane
Double nickel: 55mph, which used to be the speed limit on interstates
Fog line: The white line on the side of the highway, used as a guide when you can’t see anything else
Gators: Busted tires on the side of every highway. Run them over, and they’ll bite you.
Wiggle wagon: A truck with multiple trailers connected to each other
Toothpicks: Lumber, because those huge trees look like tiny toothpicks when stacked on a truck
Chicken lights: All those extra lights on the side and top of a trailer
Georgia overdrive: Coasting down a hill to save gas
Riding a cradle: Tucking in between two trucks on the highway
Motion lotion: Diesel, i.e. fuel needed to keep on trucking
Lot lizard: A girlfriend, of the professional variety, available to, um, rent for a few minutes at a truck stop parking lot or rest area. Also called commercial company.
Pickle park: A rest area or truck stop. I’ll leave the reason why to your own imagination.
Back door: Behind you, but not quite so close as to be on your donkey
Over your shoulder: Also coming up behind you, but in your past, as in asking if you’ve passed any cops lately
Through the woods: Taking the backroads
Credit-card machine: A very narrow bridge that makes it feel like you’re a small card getting rung up at a cashier
Having shutter trouble: Having difficulty staying awake
West Coast turnarounds: Speed (pills), taken to help with shutter trouble
Out of town: On the way out of a city, back on the road
Hammer down: Putting the pedal to the metal
Stack them eights: So long, and good luck

Why has usage gone down? Perhaps it’s due to the commercial attitude towards the technology – its old, there are advancements beyond it, people tend to glorify cell phones… At the end of the day, they’re still as beneficial as they were when they were introduced in 1945.

Do you use a CB radio? Why or why not? Do you have any stories to share about your encounters? At any rate, hop on over to MAXTALKS to connect with your fellow truckers since.. y’know, the CB radio is far and few in between.