Trucker and CB Radio Slang 101: Everything You Need to Know

Strong Tie Insurance January 11, 2021 Our Blog

While it may not be applicable to the commercial insurance industry, like many other job markets, the commercial trucking industry has its own vocabulary, terminology, lingo, and slang.

Knowing trucker and CB slang can give you a true understanding of what’s happening on the road. In this article, we’ll break down what CB slang is, why it’s used, and some of the most common CB slang you might hear over the radio.

Continue reading below to learn more about CB slang and how Strong Tie Insurance can help you with trucking insurance for commercial trucks.

What is CB Slang and Why do Truckers Use It?

CB lingo has been around for quite some time.

Used primarily by commercial truck drivers, trucker lingo is a distinctive language that uses abbreviations and nicknames to promote quick and simple communication between commercial truck drivers while on the road.

With CB lingo, truck drivers can quickly communicate without any misunderstanding between other drivers.

Here are a few examples of how CB lingo is helpful to commercial truck drivers.

Decrease Time Spent on Airtime

In the early days of commercial trucking, CB channels were overcrowded with truckers and other hobbyists. As early CB radio channels were limited to 40 users, if a driver spent a lot of time on the network, other drivers would not be able to use it effectively.

Therefore, CB lingo is one of the best ways to prevent clogged CB channels.

Simplifies Conversations

As previously mentioned, CB channels are often overcrowded. When a driver is forced to use long sentences to explain a situation to a fellow driver, it may be difficult for the other driver to understand what they are trying to say.

With the use of CB slang, it becomes much easier for a driver to explain a situation and for the other driver to understand them.

Common CB Radio Lingo

If it’s your first time tuning into a CB channel, we understand that you may be confused by all the trucker slang you hear.

If your trucker slang isn’t up to date, we’ve put together a brief list of the most common CB radio slang you’re most likely to hear.

Alligator

Alligator refers to a piece of tire on the road—generally, pieces of a blown tire that often look like an alligator is lying down on the road. Alligators are threats that should be avoided if possible as they can cause damage to a commercial truck, such as damage to hoses or belts, fuel crossover lines, or to the vehicle’s frame.

If it’s a small piece of tire on the road, it might also be referred to as a gator.

Backed Out of It

Backed out of it refers to a commercial truck not able to sustain pace anymore, requiring the driver to downshift. For example, if a truck is climbing a steep hill, and the driver has to let go of the accelerator, he is going to lose momentum, thus forcing the driver to shift down.

Big Word

Big word refers to a driver who is locked out of a weigh station.

When on the road, there is often a large sign accompanying a nearby weigh station that displays whether the station is open or closed. While drivers can’t tell what the word means from a distance, they can usually tell if it’s a big word or a small word.

Go to Company

Go to company refers to a driver telling another driver from the same commercial trucking company to go to a specified CB channel of the company.

Drivers do this so that they can speak about company business or personal matters without jeopardizing a commonly used CB channel.

Handle

A CB handle is a nickname that is used in place of the actual name to describe the driver who is speaking on the radio. A driver often chooses their own handle and often reflects what he or she thinks represents their character or defines their particular driving style.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supports the use of handles to protect driver anonymity.

Hundred Dollar Lane or High Dollar Lane

Trucks are often banned from driving in the far left lane in most densely populated areas, with violators of this offense receiving a heavy fine. Commercial truck drivers refer to this lane as such to prevent themselves from accidentally traveling in it.

10-4

10-4 means okay, affirmative, or copy. There are a variety of similar CB 10 codes ranging from 10-1 to 10-100 and higher, with each code having a unique meaning. Not all of the codes are commonly used today, but some are still very popular, including 10-4.

Front / Back Door

Front or back door is commonly used to assign driving positions. The former refers to the first truck in line, while the latter refers to the last truck.

Uppers / Lowers

To get more channels for drivers to communicate on, additional channels were added to the CB channels. Though this was more popular during the 70s and 80s, it is still somewhat used by drivers today.

Plenty of Protection

Plenty of protection refers to having a law enforcement presence in the area. This phrase is commonly used to warn drivers of their speed or if there is a law enforcement presence that may prevent or slow down their trip.

Contact Strong Tie Insurance Today if You Need Insurance for Commercial Trucks

If you’re a new commercial truck driver, staying up to speed on common CB radio lingo can help you perform your job duties more effectively. We hope this article has provided you with everything you need to jump on your CB channel for the first time.

We understand that choosing the right commercial truck insurance provider for your commercial trucking company is can be a complicated process.

Whether you have a small fleet or several commercial vehicles, it’s critical that your business has adequate commercial insurance to protect your business. With our range of commercial insurance options—when you work with Strong Tie Insurance, you can be sure that you are choosing the best commercial insurance for your commercial fleet at an affordable price.

To speak with a commercial insurance agent and receive a free quote, and learn more about how we can help you with your commercial truck insurance needs, contact us at Strong Tie Insurance today.