Every little boy has pulled alongside a ‘Big Truck,’ a ‘Covered Wagon,’ or even a ‘Billy Big Rig’ and imagined himself the driver with his canine riding shotgun as they head for the ‘Home 20’. With a pull down gesture of the bicep to acknowledge ‘Bubba,’ you sit back humming that old familiar song:
Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Son, never mind them brakes.
Let it all hang out ’cause we got a run to make.
If you really want to hit the open road though as a long-haul trucker you need more than just a Class A license. You still need to be familiar with CB radio terminology and 10-codes. And if you’re a fan of 1970s genre films – Smokey and the Bandit and Convoy, to name a couple – then you know a bit of CB lingo already. Flowery, divisive, and sometimes immature, the talk of the trade is finding its way obsolete along with the very radios that made it popular. In fact, few drivers still use the original 10 codes and with the rampant adoption of bluetooth enabled smart phones, few professional drivers even use CB. It is part of the history of the trucking industry though and is overdue for its renaissance. After all, who can resist a form of communication wherein someone can call out:
There’s a Kojak with a Kodak at the 201 yard stick
and be understood en masse? (There’s a police officer operating a radar gun at the 201 mile marker)
So if you’re a rookie operator or just have a friend who wants to sit convoy the following are a few of the more popular trucker lingo. For a more complete offering visit the CB Gazette.
- Back door – behind your truck, somebody who’s behind you, like the police
- Diesel Bear – D.O.T. cop specializing in truck enforcement
- Dragon Wagon – Tow truck
- Having Shutter Trouble – Having a hard time staying awake
- Just a gettin’ it – running fast and hard