Learn How to Talk CB Lingo Like a Trucker, C’Mon!

Step into the world of truckers with our introduction to CB radio slang. This guide decodes their unique lingo, keeping trucker traditions alive for beginners.

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, here’s an example:

“There was a plain brown wrapper at the 56 yd stick, a bear in the air, and a wreck at the 104. The coops were workin’ hard on your side going east.”

Can you follow this CB Lingo?

If you don’t know what this means, stick around. You’re obviously in need of some training in ‘talking like a true trucker’!

A cover image for the post, showing a CB radio with the post's title in a text overlay.

How to Talk the Talk

The CB radio, aka Citizen’s Band Radio, is one of the ways truck drivers communicate.

Some of the old great favorite trucking movies, like Smokey and the Bandit and Convoy are filled with CB lingo. It’s hard to imagine either movie without the flowery language of trucking culture. 

Knowing CB lingo is part of being a trucker. It’s trucker culture – you gotta walk the walk and talk the talk.

If you’ve ever listened in on some CB slang, you may well find yourself lost in the conversation pretty quickly.

Want to get in on the action? See this CB Radios For Truckers’ Guide, for our CB radio top picks, and the best bang for the buck radio!

CB Radio Use Today

Sadly, few professional drivers use the CB to communicate nowadays. Many say 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 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 its use dwindle.

Back in the day, the rules were quite strict. Today, we could certainly use some tougher enforcement.

There’s a lot of abusive garbage that serious truckers could do without, especially on Channel 19 – the Trucker’s Channel.

Related > Big CB Radios: An Important Part of Trucking Culture From Days Gone By

An old photo of an old R-model International Big-rig Duff truck. It is smaller than modern trucks.

CB Lingo Words and Phrases

If you are a new driver or have friends who drive 18 wheelers, here’s some popular trucker lingo translated to real English:

Affirmations and Responses

  • 10-4 Roger – Yes
  • Catch you on the flip flop – see you on your return trip
  • Hello, come in – I hear you loud and clear

Law Enforcement and Safety

  • Back door – behind your truck, somebody who’s behind you, like the police
  • Bear – cop
  • Chicken coop – weigh station
  • Clean shot – no cops around
  • Diesel Bear – D.O.T. cop specializing in truck enforcement
  • Evil Knievel – cop on a motorcycle
  • Weight Cop – D.O.T.

Truck and Equipment Descriptions

  • Chicken lights – extra lights on a rig or trailer
  • Chicken truck – owner operator rig with lots of lights, chrome, and cool accessories
  • Comic Book – driver’s log book
  • Four wheeler – cars & other vehicles
  • Large car – big tricked out fancy rig
  • Wipin’ Her Feet – Truck is slipping, sliding

Slang and Expressions

  • Bad ass – very cool
  • Driver – a trucker
  • Just a gettin’ it – running fast and hard
  • Stay loaded – wish you well, make money
A recreation of an old Route 66 truck stop sign. It has a drawing of a cup of coffee is the center.

More CB Lingo & Trucker Talk – Phrases

On the Road

  • You’re blowing my doors off – Rig going very fast.
  • Wind ‘er up and let ‘er go c’mon – Pick up the pace.
  • South bound hammer down – Traveling south driving faster than the speed limit.
  • Goin’ to the barn yard – Going to the company yard.
  • I’m headed south on the Ol’ Double Nickel – On Hwy 55.
  • 4 Wheelers’ Speeding Up – When you pull out to pass a slower car, and they speed up so you can’t get by them.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Communication and Safety

  • Break 1-9 for a radio check – Means you are looking to see how your cab is getting out and sounding.
  • I’m 10 and on the side – I’m finished talking, and I’m now listening to see who I can help or what’s ahead in traffic.
  • 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.
  • Kojak with a Kodak at the such-and-such yardstick – Police operating radar at a particular mile marker.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
An old photo of an 1980 W900A Kenworth truck. It is red with silver stripes. There's a quote in a text overlay, saying: "Well, my rig's a little old, But that don't mean she's slow".

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 on the 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, its 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. Locals with base stations will sometimes join in and increase the amount of crud on the CB.
A photo of a Top Trucker CB Radio. It is a black box with a red display and lots of dials. There's also a microphone receiver attached by flexible wire.

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.

The meanings of the codes change from time to time and also vary from region to region. There were originally 10 codes – though these aren’t used much anymore.

Here are some of the ones we 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 …
A photo of an older CB radio. It is attached to the ceiling of a truck's cabin. It is a silver box with many dials, and a small red display.


Do all truckers use CB lingo?

No, not all professional truck drivers use the lingo. It was much more common years ago. But nowadays, not so much, as most truck drivers don’t make use of their CB Radio.

Why aren’t CB radios as popular as they once were?

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.

How can a CB radio save lives in the event of a sudden accident on the highway?

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.

A photo of a truck driver leaning on big rig truck. The truck's wheel can be seen closely in the foreground.

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