CB Terminology and Trucker Slang

CB Terminology and Trucker SlangAll truckers should at least be familiar with CB radio terminology and 10-codes. If you’ve seen Smokey and the Bandit, you probably already know what 10-4 means. If another trucker on the CB radio says “There’s a bear at your back door”, should you be scared? See below for CB radio 10-codes and CB radio terminology, trucker slang, cb lingo…whatever you wanna call it! Essential knowledge for truckers, but even non-truckers should get a kick out of it. Also, if you’re brand new to the CB world, get up to speed on CB basics here.

CB Terminology (Trucker Slang)

CB Terminology

Meaning or Translation



All locked up

The weigh station is closed.
Anteater Kenworth T-600; this truck was so-named because of its sloped hood, and was one of the first trucks with an aerodynamic design. Also known as an aardvark.
Alligator A piece of tire on the road, usually a recap from a blown tire, which can look like an alligator lying on the road. These alligators are hazards which are to be avoided, if possible. If you run over them, they can “bite you” — bounce back up and do damage to hoses or belts, fuel crossover lines, or to the body of your tractor. They can also bounce up and go towards another vehicle, possibly causing an accident. A baby alligator is a small piece of tire, and alligator bait is several small tire pieces. Sometimes called just a “gator”.
Back door Something behind you. “There’s a bear at your back door”.
Back it down

Slow down.

Backed out of it No longer able to maintain speed, necessitating a need to downshift. When a truck’s climbing a steep incline, and for whatever reason, the driver has to let up off of the accelerator, he’ll lose whatever momentum he had and have to downshift. “I’m backed out of it now, I’ll have to get over into the slow lane.”
Back row The last rows of parking in a truck stop, often a hangout for prostitutes (see “lot lizards”).

A deer, dead or alive

Base station or unit

A powerful CB radio set in a stationary location.
Bear A law enforcement officer at any level, but usually a State Trooper, Highway Patrol.
Bear bait A speeding vehicle, usually a four-wheeler, which can be used to protect the other speeding vehicles behind it.
Bear bite A speeding ticket.
Bear den or bear cave

Law enforcement headquarters,station.

Bear in the air A law enforcement aircraft which can be monitoring the traffic and speeds below.
Bear in the bushes Law enforcement (at any level) is hiding somewhere, probably with a radar gun aimed at traffic.
Billy Big Rigger

Another term for “supertrucker”; one who brags about himself, or his big, fast, shiny truck.

Bingo cards

These cards held stamps from each state a motor carrier would operate in; these cards are no longer used, and have been replaced by the Single State Registration System (SSRS).
Bedbugger Can refer to a household moving company or to the household mover himself.
Big R A Roadway truck.
Big road Usually refers to the Interstate, sometimes any big highway.
Big truck

Refers to an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer. “Come on over, big truck”.

Bird dog A radar detector.
Big word Closed, when referring to weigh stations. There is often a big sign preceding the weigh station indicating whether the station is open or closed, in bright lights. From a distance, you can’t tell what the word says, but you can usually tell whether it’s a big word or small word. So, when you hear “the big word is out”, you’ll know that the weigh station is closed.
Black eye

A headlight out. “Driver going eastbound, you’ve got a black eye”.


Driving the tractor only, without the trailer attached.
Boogie The top gear (the highest gear) of the transmission.
Boulevard The Interstate.
Brake check There is a traffic tie-up ahead, which will require immediate slowing down or stopping. “You’ve gotta brake check ahead of you, eastbound”.

If the radio’s busy, saying “break-19” is the proper way to gain access to the channel, and begin talking.

Breaking up Your signal is weak, or fading.
Brush your teeth and comb your hair Shooting vehicles with a radar gun.

What you call another driver, often in a kidding way.

Bull dog

A Mack truck.
Bull frog An ABF truck.
Bull hauler A livestock hauler.
Bumper sticker A vehicle that’s tailgating. Sometimes called a “hitchhiker “.
Bundled out

Loaded heavy, or to maximum capacity.

Buster Brown A UPS truck or driver.
Cabbage A steep mountain grade in Oregon.

Abbreviated term for Cab-Over-the Engine (COE) type of tractor.

Cash register

A tollbooth.
Checking ground pressure The weigh station is open, and they’re running trucks across the scales (see “running you across”).
Chicken coop A weigh station, often called just a “coop”.
Chicken lights Extra lights a trucker has on his truck and trailer.
Chicken hauler or truck

A big, fancy truck; a large, conventional tractor with a lot of lights and chrome. Also, one who hauls live chickens.

Comedian The median strip in between opposite lanes of traffic.
Container Refers to an overseas container; intermodal transportation.
Come-a-part engine

Cummins engine.

Come back

An invitation for the other driver to talk. Sometimes used when you couldn’t hear the last transmission, “comeback, I didn’t hear you”.
Come on Telling another driver that you hear him calling you, and to go ahead and talk. “Yeah driver, come on”.
Comic book The log book.
Commercial company A prostitute.

A group of trucks traveling together.

Copy Transmission acknowledged, agreed with, or understood, as in “that’s a copy, driver”.
Cornflake Refers to a Consolidated Freightways truck.
County Mountie

County police, often a sheriff’s deputy.

Covered wagon

Flatbed type of trailer, with sidewalls, and a tarp.
Crackerhead A derogatory term; insult.
Crotch rocket A motorcycle built for speed; not a Harley-Davidson.
Deadhead Pulling an empty trailer.

Road construction.

Diesel car A semi- tractor.
Diesel cop A DOT, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer.

Behind you. “A bear is on your donkey”.

Do what?

I didn’t hear or understand you.
Double nickel 55 mph.
Doubles Refers to a set of double trailers.
Drawing lines Completing your log book

What drivers call other drivers on the CB, especially if their CB handle is not known.

Driving award A speeding ticket.
Downstroke Driving downwards, downhill, on a decline.
Dragon wagon

A tow truck.


A truck with no power, especially going uphill.
Dry box An unrefrigerated, freight trailer. Also considered a dry van
18-wheeler Any tractor-trailer.
85th Street Interstate 85.
Evil Knievel

A law enforcement officer on a motorcycle.

Eyeball To see something.
Feeding the bears Paying a ticket or citation.

To unload a trailer by yourself.


Refers to a u-turn, or a return trip.
FM An AM-FM radio.
42 Yes, or OK.
Four-letter word Open; referring to weigh stations being open or closed.

Any passenger vehicle; cars or pickups.

Freight shaker A Freightliner truck.
Front door In front of you.
Full-grown bear

State Trooper, or Highway Patrol.

Garbage hauler

A produce load, or produce haulers.
Gear Jammer A driver who speeds up and slows down with great frequency.
General mess of crap A GMC truck
Georgia overdrive Putting the transmission into neutral on a downgrade, to go extremely fast. Definitely not recommended!
Go-go juice

Diesel fuel.

Good buddy This used to be the thing to say: “10-4, good buddy”. Not anymore, as this calling someone a homosexual.
Good neighbor Usually used when you’re showing appreciation to another driver, as in “thank you, good neighbor”.
Got my nightgown on

I’m in the sleeper, and ready to go to sleep.

Go to company

When you tell another driver from your company to go to the designated company CB channel. Drivers do this so that they can talk about company business or personal matters without monopolizing channel 19.
Go to the Harley Turn your CB to channel 1.
Got your ears on? Are you listening
Gouge on it Go fast, put the throttle to the floor, step on it, etc.
Granny lane

The right, slower lane on a multi-lane highway, or on the Interstate.

Greasy Icy, or slippery.
Greasy side up A vehicle that’s flipped over.
Green Stamps


Grossed out

Your gross vehicle weight is at maximum capacity; commonly 80,000 pounds.
Ground pressure The weight of your truck, as in “the scale’s testing your ground pressure”.
Gumball machine The lights on top of a patrol car.
Hammer down Go fast, step on it.
Hammer lane

The left, passing lane of traffic.

Hand, Han What a driver sometimes calls another driver. Stems from the term farmhand, and means helper, or fellow worker.
Handle (CB handle) The FCC encourages the use of CB handles. CB handles are nicknames which are used to identify the speaker, in place of on actual name. A driver often selects his own handle, one that he feels reflects his personality, or describes his way of driving.
Happy happy

Happy new year; “Have a happy happy, driver”.

Having “shutter trouble”

Having trouble keeping awake.
Ho Chi Minh Trail Refers to California Highway 152, known for it’s abundance of accidents.
Holler Call me on the radio, as in “give me a holler when you get back”.
Home 20 A driver’s home location.
How ’bout

When you’re trying to contact other drivers, you can say “how ’bout you, eastbound?”.

Hood A conventional tractor, as opposed to a cab-over.
Hundred dollar lane, high dollar lane In certain heavily populated areas, trucks will be prohibited from driving in the far left lane, with a heavy fine for violators. This term refers to that prohibited lane.

Same as gumball machine, refers to a patrol car’s lights.

Key down

When you talk over somebody who’s trying to transmit. A bigger, more powerful radio can easily drown out a lesser one.
Key up Pushing the transmit button on the CB Mike. “Key up for about 20 minutes, and tell me how bad you are”.
In my back pocket Behind you; a place you’ve passed.
In the big hole The top gear of the transmission.

A Kenworth tractor, or just KW.

Kojak with a Kodak Law enforcement using a radar gun.
Land line A stationary telephone; not a cellular-phone.
Large car

A conventional tractor, often with a big sleeper, lots of chrome and lights, etc.

Left Coast

The West Coast.
Local information A driver asks for local information when he needs directions in area he’s unfamiliar with.
Local-yokel A county, city, or small-town officer.
Lollipop The small reflector or marker poles on the sides of the highway.
Lot lizard

A prostitute that solicits truck-to-truck in a truck stop or rest area.

Lumper Casual labor that loads or unloads your trailer, often requiring payment in cash.
Male buffalo A male prostitute.

Refers to a female law enforcement officer.

Mash your motor

Go fast, step on it. Same as gouge on it and hammer down.
Meat wagon

An ambulance.

Merry merry Merry Christmas.
Motion lotion Diesel fuel.
Moving on

Heading down the road.

Mud duck

A weak radio signal.
Negatory Negative or no.
95th Street Interstate 95.
On the side On standby.
Parking lot

An auto transporter, often used when the trailer is empty.

Pay the water bill Taking a rest room break.
Pickle park A rest area frequented by lot lizards (prostitutes).

The electrical connection from the tractor to the trailer.

Plain wrapper

An unmarked law enforcement vehicle, usually said with color added as a description: “you’ve got a plain brown wrapper on your back door”.
Plenty of protection Usually means there’s plenty of police in the area, but I’ve heard it used to tell drivers to go ahead and step on it because there’s speeding four-wheelers ahead blocking or covering for them.
Pogo stick Usually a metal, flexible support located on the tractor catwalk, that holds up the connections to the trailer.
Power up Go faster, speed up.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

Pumpkin A Schneider truck, because of it’s orange color.
Radio A CB radio.
Radio check

How’s my radio working, transmitting, getting out there.


Someone who talks really tough on the radio, especially when no one else knows where they are.
Ratchet jaw Someone who talks a lot on the radio, while keying-up the whole time and not letting anyone else get a chance to talk.
Reading the mail Not talking; just listening to the radio.
Reefer Usually refers to refrigerated van trailer, but sometimes just to the reefer unit itself.

Another way to say rest area.

Road pizza Roadkill on the side of the road.
Rockin’ chair A truck that’s in the middle of two other trucks.

Yes; affirmative.

Roger beep

An audible beep that sounds when a person has un-keyed the mike, and finished his transmission. Used on only a small percentage of radios, and not recommended.
Roller skate Any small car.
Rooster cruiser A big, fancy truck; a large, conventional tractor with a lot of lights and chrome.
Runnin’you across The weigh station is open, and they’re weighing trucks, probably in a quick fashion.
Salt shaker

The road maintenance vehicles that dumps salt or sand on the highways in the winter.

Sandbagging To listen to the radio without talking; also “readin’ the mail”.
Sandbox An escape ramp, which sometimes uses sand to stop vehicles.
Schneider eggs

The orange cones in construction areas.

Seat cover

Sometimes used to describe drivers or passengers of four-wheelers.
Sesame Street Channel 19 on the CB.
Shaky Refers to California in general, sometimes Los Angeles, and, occasionally, San Francisco.
Shiny side up Your vehicle hasn’t flipped over after a rollover or accident. “Keep the shiny side up” means to have a safe trip.
Shooting you in the back

You’re being shot with a radar gun as your vehicle passes a law enforcement vehicle.

Short short A short amount of time.
Shutdown Put out of service by the DOT because of some violation.
Sleeper creeper

A prostitute; same as a lot lizard.


A flatbed, or flatbed trailer.
Skins Tires.
Smokin’ scooter A law enforcement officer on a motorcycle.
Smokin’ the brakes The trailer brakes are literally smoking from overuse down a mountain grade.
Smokey or Smokey Bear

A law enforcement officer, usually highway patrol.

Split A junction, where the road goes in separate directions.
Spy in the sky A law enforcement aircraft, same as a “bear in the air”.

A tour bus.

Stand on it

Step on it, go faster.
Swinging Carrying a load of swinging meat.
Taking pictures Law enforcement using a radar gun.
10-4 OK, message received. Some drivers just say “10”.
Thermos bottle

A tanker trailer.

Through the woods Leaving the Interstate to travel secondary roads.
Throwin’ iron To put on snow tire chains.
Too many eggs in the basket

Overweight load or gross weight.


A load of lumber.
Travel agent The dispatcher, or sometimes a broker.
Triple digits Over 100 mph.
VW A Volvo-White tractor.

Some drivers refer to their trailer as a wagon.

Walked on you Drowned out your transmission by keying up at the same time.
Wally world Wal-Mart (the store or the distribution center), or a Wal-Mart truck.
West Coast turnarounds

Uppers; speed or benzedrine pills; the idea is that a driver can drive from the East Coast to the West Coast, and back again without having to sleep. Obviously illegal!!

Wiggle wagons

A set of double or triple trailers.
Yard A company terminal, drop lot, etc.
Yardstick A mile marker on the highway.


CB “10-Codes”



10-1 Receiving poorly
10-2 Receiving well
10-3 Stop transmitting

OK, message received

10-5 Relay message
10-6 Busy, standby

Out of service, leaving air


In service, subject to call
10-9 Repeat message
10-11 Talking too rapidly
10-12 Visitors present

Advise weather, road conditions

10-16 Make pickup at…
10-17 Urgent business

Anything for us?


Nothing for you, return to base
10-20 My location is…
10-21 Call by telephone
10-22 Report in person to…

Stand by

10-24 Completed last assignment
10-25 Can you contact

Disregard last information


I am moving to channel…
10-28 Identify your station
10-29 Time is up for contact
10-30 Does not conform to FCC rules

I will give you a radio check

10-33 Emergency traffic
10-34 Trouble at this station

Confidential information


The correct time is…
10-37 Wrecker needed at…
10-38 Ambulance needed at…
10-39 Your message delivered

Please tune to channel…

10-42 Traffic accident at…
10-43 Traffic tie up at…

I have a message for you


All units within range please report
10-50 Break channel
10-60 What is next message number?
10-62 Unable to copy, use phone

Net directed to…

10-64 Net clear
10-65 Awaiting your next message, or assignment

All units comply


Fire at…
10-71 Proceed with transmission in sequence
10-73 Speed trap at…
10-75 You are causing interference

Negative contact

10-81 Reserve hotel room for…
10-84 My telephone number is…

My address is…


Talk closer to mike
10-93 Check my frequency on this channel
10-94 Please give me a long count
10-99 Mission completed, all units secured

Rest stop

10-200 Police needed at…


CB Slang for Popular Cities


U.S. City

The Big A Atlanta, Georgia
Air Capital Wichita, Kansas

Amarillo, Texas

The Alamo

San Antonio, Texas
The Astrodome Houston, Texas
The Apple New York City
Bean Town Boston, Mass.
Beer City

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Big D Dallas, Texas
Big O Omaha, Nebraska
Bull City

Durham, North Carolina


Miami, Florida
Bright Lights Kansas City, Missouri
Capital City Raleigh, North Carolina
CB Town Council Bluffs, Iowa
Charm City

Baltimore, Maryland

Cigar City

Tampa, Florida

Circle City Indianapolis, Indiana
The Cities Minneapolis and St. Paul, Mn
Cow Town

Calgary, Alberta

The Dirty

Cleveland, Ohio
The Flag or Flagpole Flagstaff, Arizona
Philly Philadelphia, Pa
The Gateway St. Louis, Missouri
Gold City

Goldsboro, North Carolina

Guitar Nashville, Tennessee
Hog Town Toronto, Ontario

Atlanta, Georgia

The Irish

South Bend, Indiana
Lost Wages Las Vegas, Nevada
Mardi Gras New Orleans, Louisiana
Mile High Denver, Colorado
Motor City

Detroit, Michigan

Music City Nashville, Tennessee
The Nickel Buffalo, New York
Okie City

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The Peg

Winnipeg, Manitoba
Queen City Charlotte, North Carolina
The Rubber Akron, Ohio
Sack of tomatoes Sacramento, California
Shaky City

Los Angeles, California

Steel City or Town Pittsburgh, Pa
The Swamp Montreal, Quebec
Windy City

Chicago, Illinois