Trucker Lingo #TruckerTuesday
I’m sure you’ve seen movies with truck drivers and heard such phrases as “breaker breaker 1-9” and “that’s a 10-4”. Some of them you may recognize or can figure out easily. It’s CB lingo. When I was driving the semi truck I always had my “ears on” (meaning I had my CB radio on so I could hear other drivers talking).
I didn’t really talk a lot on the radio because I wasn’t a fan of the flirting it brought about. When only about 10% of the truckers are female you tend to get more attention. I could hear them trying to talk to me but just pretended like my radio was off 😉
Here’s a list of some of the more common terminology used:
- 10-4 – okay, got it
- 10-20 – location
- Back Door – behind you
- Back off the Hammer – slow it down
- Bear – police officer
- Big Truck – semi truck
- Bird Dog – radar detector
- Cash Register – toll booth
- Chicken Coop – weigh station
- County Mounty – sheriff
- Four Wheeler – car
- Gator – tire treads in the middle of the road
- Granny Lane – slow lane
- Hammer Down – move faster
- Hammer Lane – fast lane
- Handle – CB nickname (mine is Sunshine)
- Radio Check – does my radio work?
- Salt Shaker – snow plow
- Sesame Street – channel 19 (where most all drivers talk)
- Yard Stick – mile marker
There are hundreds more. There is also different terminology in different parts of the country.
One of the main reasons I would keep my radio on was because you can get a lot of useful information. Other truckers warn each other of back ups. If traffic is backed up and all the truckers are getting off, there’s a good chance they know something you don’t (like how many more miles are left to the back up).
Are there any phrases you were curious about that I left out?
Kim Miller (@KimAtLiah) says
I miss the trucker lingo!!! My dads (biological and stepdad) were both truckers. We even belonged to a CB Club called “The Lollipoppers” for several years. We had a CB in both vehicles and one in the house. I loved getting on the CB after school and talking with the truckers … my handle was “Blue Eyes” that my stepdad gave to me. Truckers are some of the best people in the world you will ever have the pleasure of meeting and I miss those days of chatting with them. Thanks for the walk down memory lane Donna!
Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids says
Love it! So what does Breaker Breaker 1-9 mean? Does that mean “can you hear me?” Also, what is the lingo for “repeat”? When I notice traffic slowing down and all semis merging left or right, I go in the same direction. I know they know what is up ahead thanks to CBs.
Channel 19 is the channel everyone talks on. You can go to other channels if you want a private conversation. If other truckers are talking on channel 19 you can say “Breaker Breaker 1-9” kind of like excuse me so you can say something 🙂
Repeat = Come again