Trucker as a Second Language
Northbound 18-wheeler: How bout ya southbound freightshaker with the skateboard. You got it on?
Southbound 18-wheeler: Yeah, c’mon.
Northbound 18-wheeler: What’s that northbound chicken house doin?
Southbound 18-wheeler: Open for business. Check’n your down pressure and references. Better make sure your comic book is legal.
Northbound 18-wheeler: 10-4 appreciate that. You’ve got a diesel bear rollin’ in your front door about two miles and a full grown with a customer at the 78. Be careful around the 66 ½. You’ve got an alligator layin on the zipper. Better get in the hammer lane.
Southbound 18-wheeler: Yeah 10. Appreciate that. You’ve got a brake check at the 92 yardstick. Four-wheeler on its lid in the middle. Meat wagon just showed up. There was a local taking your picture right before the split. That’s all I can help you. I just came on the big road at the 109.
Northbound 18-wheeler: 10-4. I appreciate that. Have a safe ride.
Southbound 18-wheeler: You too driver.
If you read that and understand what it says, you speak fluent trucker. If you have no idea what the heck you just read, this blog is for you. This is a fairly typical conversation that may take place over the CB on any given day. I’ll be the first to admit I did not learn this overnight. There is not a glossary in the back of the owner’s manual of your new CB that tells you any of this. Knowing the lingo does not mean you can use it correctly. No, that comes with experience and hearing others chatter back and forth.
So…what does this conversation mean? Let’s dissect it.
Freightshaker = Freightliner truck
Skateboard = Flatbed trailer
You got it on? = Is your CB on?
Chicken House = Weigh station
Check’n your down pressure = Weighing your truck and trailer
References = Paperwork (Log book, bill of ladings, receipts…)
Comic book = Log book
10-4 = OK
Diesel bear = DOT officer
Full grown/full grown bear = State trooper
Rollin’ in your front door = Driving in the same direction ahead of you
Customer = Someone pulled over by law enforcement
At the 78 = Short for mile marker 78
Brake check = Accident or something that would cause you to hit your brakes quickly
Yardstick = Mile marker
Alligator = Tread from a blown tire
Zipper = Dashed center line of a 4-lane road
Hammer = Left/passing lane on 4-lane road
Four-wheeler = Car/pickup or passenger vehicle with four wheels
In the middle = median
Meat wagon = Ambulance
Local = City police officer
Taking your picture = Using radar
Split = Place where two roads/interstates divide
Big road = Interstate highway
So let’s do this again and not speak in trucker.
Northbound semi truck: Is the weigh station on the north traveling side of the interstate open?
Southbound semi truck: Yes it is. They are checking the weight of your truck and trailer and verifying all of your paperwork. It would behoove you to ensure log book compliance.
Northbound semi truck: Ok, thank you. A Department of Transportation officer is driving ahead of you nearly two miles. A state trooper has a car pulled over at mile marker 78. Just past mile marker 67 is a blown tire with its tread laying on the center line. It’s safest to drive in the left hand lane.
Southbound semi truck: Ok, thank you. Be very careful at mile marker 92. If you’re not ready, you will have to quickly apply your brakes because a car has become involved in a rollover accident and has landed in the median. The ambulance has recently arrived. Also, prior to the interstate division, a city police officer is operating radar to determine if you are speeding. I wish I could be of more assistance, but I just recently began driving south on the interstate.
Northbound semi truck: Ok, thank you. Please drive safely.
Southbound semi truck: Please drive safely also.
Yeah, that’s boring. No thanks. I’ll stick to my foreign language. Why do we talk like this? I don’t know. We just do. A quick internet search is sure to yield you an entire dictionary of trucker slang but this is a language you will not learn from a book.
Thanks for reading! Remember…keep the rubber down and the antennas pointed up.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org