Trucking Terms – A Guide to Our Industry’s Lingo

Old road dogs whose rigs have traveled more miles than most airplanes know trucking terms, inside and out. But trucking industry lingo can be confusing for those just beginning a truck driving career.

There are tons of acronyms, lots of federal regulatory agencies, and a mind-numbing array of terms describing every scrap of equipment used in the various segments of the industry.

Thankfully we’ve compiled a long list of words and phrases worth knowing. They may help add a little clarity to the trucking business in general, and a few of them are downright amusing.

Anti-lock brakes use short applications of pressure to prevent wheels from locking up during braking.


An authorized carrier is one that’s included on a list of pre-approved transportation providers for a particular shipper.

Authorized Carrier

Suspensions that use air bags to provide a much smoother ride which may be necessary for sensitive freight like household goods and electronics.

Air Ride Suspension

A tractor without a trailer attached.


Citizens Band (CB) radios allow person-to-person communication over relatively short distances. CB radios have been popular with truckers since the early ‘70s.

CB Radio

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