Can you follow this CB Lingo?
- “Break 1-9 for that westbound bull rack. Come on. How’s it lookin’ over your shoulder? What’d you leave behind you?”
- “There was a plain brown wrapper at the 56 yd stick, a bear in the air, and a wreck @ the 104. The coops were workin’ hard on your side going east.”
- “You’re clean back to the 12 yd stick, where I got on”
If you don’t have any idea what this conversation means, stick around.
You are obviously in need of some training in ‘talking like a true trucker’.
The CB radio aka Citizen’s Band Radio is the way truck drivers used technology to communicate decades ago (before the cell phone!)
Back in the day, the rules were quite strict, more so than today.
We could certainly use some tough enforcement on the radio today.
There’s a lot of abusive garbage that serious truckers could do without, especially on Channel 19, typically known as the Trucker’s Channel.
But knowing the CB lingo is part of being a trucker.
It’s trucker culture.
You gotta walk the walk and talk the talk.
CB codes and trucker talk came into being back in the ’60’s and ’70’s, when the CB radio was popular.
Truckers developed a language of their own, which they used when talking to each other on their CB radios.
CB Radio Use
Some of the old great favorite trucking movies, like Smokey and the Bandit and Convoy are filled with CB lingo.
I can’t imagine either movie without the flowery language of the trucking culture.
The meanings of the terms change from time to time and also vary from region to region. Not many use the original 10 codes any more.
Use of the radio has sadly changed too. Few professional drivers use the CB to communicate nowadays.
Many say that the radio is no longer used the way it was originally intended.
Some drivers tell us they still use it from time to time, to keep check on traffic and stay posted to any accidents blocking the highways.
The CB radio is really a part of the history of the trucking industry. It’s sad to see it’s use dwindle.
If you’ve ever listened in on some CB slang, you may well find yourself lost in the conversation pretty quickly.
If you are a new driver or have friends who drive 18 wheelers, who you’re trying to keep up with, here’s some of the popular trucker lingo translated to real English.
Want to get in on the action?
See our CB Radios For Truckers’ Guide, for our Top Pick of CB Radio and the Best Bang for the Buck Radio!
CB Lingo Words and Phrases
10-4 Roger – Yes
Back door – behind your truck, somebody who’s behind you, like the police
Bad ass – very cool
Bear – cop
Catch you on the flip flop see you on your return trip
Chicken coop – weigh station
Chicken lights – extra lights on a rig or trailer
Chicken truck – owner operator rig with lots of lights, chrome, and cool accessories
Clean shot – no cops around
Comic Book – driver’s log book
Diesel Bear – D.O.T. cop specializing in truck enforcement
Driver – a trucker
Evil Knevil – cop on a motor cycle
Four wheeler – cars & other vehicles
Hello, come in – I hear you load and clear
Just a gettin’ it – running fast and hard
Large car – big tricked out fancy rig
Stay loaded – well wishes, make money
Weight Cop – D.O.T.
Wipin’ Her Feet – Truck is slipping, sliding
More CB Lingo & Trucker Talk – Phrases
Roger mate – Means ‘ok’.(Karen, Australia)
4 Wheelers’ Speeding Up – When you pull out to pass a slower car usually, and they speed up so you can’t get by them. After you look foolish trying to pass, you pull back in right lane and the car starts slowing down again.
My heater’s a glowin’ and my manners are showin’ – My CB amp is working exceptionally well and I”m doing everything I can to agitate the ‘out of town’ truckers rolling through the area. (This particular CB was pushing over 1500 watts.) (Sent in by David Farnham, Logan, UT – Only heard this a few times, from a dump truck driver on 495 around Washington, D.C.)
Wind ‘er up and let ‘er go c’mon – Pick up the pace.
Westbound, you’re good to bring it on back to the Granny lane – You missed me, you can pull back in the slow lane in front of me.
I’m 10 and on the side – I’m finished talking & now listening to see who I can help or what’s ahead in traffic.
Kojak with a Kodak at the such-and-such yard stick – Police operating radar at a particular mile marker.
You’re blowing my doors off – Rig going very fast.
42 driver, keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down – Don’t roll it over, driver.
Keep the rubber side down and the bugs off your glass. I’ll see y’all on the flip side. I’m gone. Don’t roll over and I’ll see you on the way back.
Ya got the one Kansas drifter wall to wall and tree top tall. I’m 10 and listening in settin the side. We gone. – Kansas Drifter has a big CB radio with lots of power and range and I’m just listening.
Goin’ to the barn yard – Going to the company yard.
I’m headed south on the Ol’ Double Nickel – On Hwy 55.
South bound hammer down – Traveling south driving faster than the speed limit.
We got a northbound bear bait going past the 52 – There’s a car/four wheeler traveling at an excessive speed(10 + speed limit).
Being cool on the stool – Everything going smooth right now. I’m enjoying the ride.
Barnie Fife sitting on the get on, shot you in the gas hole – County cop on the highway entrance ramp with radar gun pointed at you as you go by.
Break 1-9 for a radio check – Means you are looking to see how your cab is getting out and sounding. More than likely you hear this more than anything else throughout the day.
Courtesy and Respect on the CB
- Watch the language. There will be a lot of people listening to you, so watch the potty mouth. The public in cars will hear you. Don’t paint a disgusting picture of the truck driver. Public opinion of professional drivers is already low. Don’t contribute to making it worse. (Kids in cars will hear what is being said on the CB)
- Beware of Friendly Ladies. Careful of ‘ladies’ you hear who are particularly friendly on the radio. Usually they aren’t truck drivers, but are in another line of work. 10-4?
- Scams. There are loads of scams on the CB. Careful of anyone saying they need help, or asking you to stop road side. What sounds like a need for help, may not be like it sounds.
- Don’t Broadcast Certain Info. Don’t tell what you have on board for freight, it’s value and your destination. This is an old trick to get information to sabotage and steal the truck, trailer and load when you’re parked, or worse. Be careful.
- More Trash Talk Around Big Cities. Sometimes the garbage talk is more frequent around the larger cities and the bigger chain truck stops. The locals with base stations sometimes will join in and increase the amount of crud on the CB.
CB 10 Codes
CB codes are still used by some of the old school truckers but most of the old CB codes have fallen by the wayside.
Here are some of the ones I remember.
- 10-1 Receiving poorly
- 10-2 Good reception
- 10-4 Message received. All ok.
- 10-5 Relay message
- 10-6 Stand by
- 10-7 Out of service
- 10-9 Repeat message
- 10-11 Talking too fast
- 10-12 Visitors present
- 10-13 Advise on weather and road conditions
- 10-16 Make a pickup at
- 10-23 Stand by
- 10-26 Ignore last message
- 10-27 Moving to your channel
- 10-33 Emergency traffic
- 10-35 Confidential information
- 10-37 Wrecker needed at
- 10-38 Ambulance needed at
- 10-41 Turn to channel (turn to another channel)
- 10-42 Accident at (location of accident)
- 10-43 Traffic jam at (traffic lock up)
- 10-62 Unable to copy, use phone
- 10-65 Awaiting your next message
- 10-70 Fire at ….
- 10-91 Talk closer to the mic
- 10-100 Got to go potty
- 10-200 Police needed at …
No, not all professional truck drivers use the lingo. It was much more common years ago. But nowadays, not so much so, as most truck drivers don’t make use of the CB Radio.
CB radios aren’t so popular now as there are so many other ways for the professional driver to communicate, such as a cell phone and a satellite device to be in touch with the trucking company. Some truckers still use the radio as it can be still used where there’s no cell phone service.
When there’s an accident on the highway, a driver can immediately notify other vehicles in the immediate area much more quickly than they could by means of a cell phone (If of course the other vehicles have CB radios). It can prevent an accident from causing a further pileup of vehicles.