Trucker Lingo Decoded: The Ultimate CB Radio Codes List Explained

Like many professionals, truck drivers have their own unique way to speak. Cruising across America's expansive landscapes, they've crafted a language all their own for communication — trucker lingo. This isn't just a collection of random trucker words; it's a colorful channel to describe the common things, places, and folks they meet on highways and at rest stops. This lingo artfully combines CB codes, names, and phrases into a dynamic form of communication. Dive into this trucker slang dictionary, and you'll find about 2000 terms used to share tales, insights, and updates about the journey ahead.

Trucker Lingo


  1. What Does ‘Trucker Slang’ Mean, and How Can You Use It?
  2. Common Trucker Slang Terms
  3. CB Radio Codes List: The Secret Digital Language of Truckers
  4. Trucker Nicknames for Cities
  5. Conclusion

What Does ‘Trucker Slang’ Mean, and How Can You Use It?

Bob and Joe, using trucker slang be like…
Bob: "Joe, you still rolling on I-80?"
Joe: "Yeah, just passed yardstick 90. Why?"
Bob: "Watch out, there's a bear hiding behind the billboard up ahead. Saw him pulling over a couple of rigs."
Joe: "Ah, shoot. I was just feeding the bears last week. Don't need another ticket."
Bob: "Better back it down then. Don't want to make a donation to their donut fund."
Joe: "Thanks for the tip, Bob. I'll keep it slow and steady."

The trucker jargon isn't just funny chatter — it's sharp, engaging, and a delight to the ears. Beyond casual talk, this slang is sprinkled with amusing sayings, handles (their radio nicknames), and call signs that animate the CB radio. For those not in the know, truckers have handles, their unique names on the radio, and a myriad of sayings that might require a bit of translation. The CB radio isn't merely for casual chatter; it's the primary means for truckers to stay connected while on the road.

Bob: "Joe, I'm on the side at yardstick 150. Got a flat dog and no spare."
Joe: "Hang tight, Bob. I got a 10-36. I'll swing by and give you a hand."
Bob: "Appreciate it, good buddy."

For those who started their trucking journey in the 2020s, this truck driver language might seem a tad old-school. Many of the younger generation of truckers aren't as versed in this rich jargon. Remember the times before smartphones and social media? The CB radio was the prime communication tool, akin to today's Facebook or Instagram, connecting drivers from coast to coast and building a close-knit community.

Bob: "Joe, you've been quiet. Everything 10-20?"
Joe: "Had a bit of a close call with a suicide jockey. All good now, just catching my breath."
Bob: "Stay safe out there, good buddy."

Even as modern truckers have adopted the latest communication tools, relegating the CB radio to a nostalgic corner, the trucker slang remains timeless. Some see it as a tribute to the old days of handwritten logs and simpler engines. However, many of today's drivers, young and old, are well-acquainted with the fundamental trucker terms, as highlighted in this video with our company drivers.

Whether you're a trucker eager to delve deeper into the intricate terminology of the road or just seeking a refresher, this article offers a comprehensive exploration of trucker speak. Join us as we decode the sayings, words, and meanings that have been the backbone of the trucking community for decades.

Bob: "Joe, ever delivered to that new dock in Nashville?"
Joe: "Yeah, it's tighter than a tick. Make sure you swing wide."
Bob: "Thanks for the heads-up. I'll be on my toes."

Need a guide to navigate this terminology? Strap in and prepare to dive into the usually overlooked, yet endlessly fascinating world of trucker talk.

Trucker Slang Guide

Common Trucker Slang Terms

Truckers have their own unique jargon, peppered with hundreds of terms crafted specifically to describe fellow drivers, law enforcement officers, and various aspects of their daily lives on the road. This includes nicknames for different types of trucks, parts of the road, and amenities found along highways. If you're not well-versed in trucker lingo and how it's used, think about checking out iconic trucker movies like "Convoy", "Smokey and the Bandit" and others from this list to get a feel for it.

  • Alligator - A piece of a tire, typically from a blowout, found on the roadway.
  • Back Door - The area directly behind you or your truck.
  • Bear - Law enforcement officer on the highways.
  • Bear Cave - A term used for a police station or checkpoint.
  • Bear in the Air - Police helicopter.
  • Belly Dump - A type of trailer that dumps its load from the bottom.
  • Big Road - Interstate highway.
  • Bobtail - Driving a tractor without an attached trailer.
  • Boulevard - Multi-lane highway.
  • Brake Check - Sudden traffic slowdown.
  • Bumper Sticker - A vehicle that's tailgating.
  • Cash Box - A toll gate or toll booth where fees are collected.
  • Chicken Coop - Slang for a scale house or weigh station where trucks are weighed.
  • Chicken Lights - Refers to the additional decorative lights added to a truck for aesthetics.
  • Choke and Puke - Roadside diner.
  • Comedian - A driver who talks too much on the CB.
  • Convoy - Group of trucks traveling together.
  • County Mountie - Trucker slang referring to a county police officer or sheriff's deputy.
  • Covered Wagon - A flatbed truck that has its cargo secured and protected with a tarpaulin or tarp.
  • Crotch Rocket - Slang for a sport motorcycle, known for its speed and agility.
  • Deadhead - The act of driving a truck with an empty trailer, typically after delivering a load.
  • Diesel Car - Informal term for a semi-truck or tractor-trailer.
  • Double Nickel - Trucker lingo for driving at a speed of 55 mph.
  • Draggin' Wagon - Slang for a tow truck, used to haul disabled vehicles.
  • Dry Box - Refers to a non-refrigerated trailer, typically used for transporting non-perishable goods.
  • Ears - CB radio.
  • Eaten by the Bear - Getting a ticket.
  • Evil Knievel - A motorcycle cop.
  • Eyeball - To see something.
  • Featherfoot - A driver who's light on the gas pedal.
  • Flip-Flop - A U-turn or return trip.
  • Four-Wheeler - A car (as opposed to an 18-wheeler).
  • Freight Shaker - A Freightliner truck.
  • Full Grown Bear - State trooper.
  • Gear Jammer - A truck driver.
  • Georgia Overdrive - Coasting downhill in neutral.
  • Go-Go Juice - Slang for diesel fuel used in trucks.
  • Greasy Side Up - Trucker lingo describing a vehicle that has flipped over, revealing its underside.
  • Green Stamp - Slang for money, often used in the context of payments or fees on the road.
  • Grossed Out - Carrying the maximum legal weight.
  • Hammer Down - Trucker slang meaning to go fast, accelerate, or push the pedal to the metal.
  • Handle - A trucker's CB radio nickname.
  • Hopper - A type of trailer used to haul grain.
  • Hot Load - A shipment that needs to be delivered ASAP.
  • Jake Brake - Engine compression brake.
  • K-Whopper - A Kenworth truck.
  • Key Down - To talk on the CB.
  • Kick It Up - Speed up.
  • Kiddy Car - School bus.
  • Kingpin - The main pivot point in a tractor-trailer hitch.
  • Landline - Regular telephone.
  • Lollipop - A person who talks sweet but can't be trusted.
  • Lot Lizard - A prostitute who works truck stops.
  • Meat Wagon - Trucker slang for an ambulance, often seen responding to accidents on the road.
  • Mud Duck - Refers to a weak or distorted CB radio signal, making communication challenging.
  • Nap Trap - Motel or hotel.
  • No Doubt - Certainly or definitely.
  • On the Side - Stand by or wait.
  • Pancake - A flatbed trailer.
  • Parking Lot - A car carrier trailer.
  • Pay the Water Bill - Trucker slang meaning to take a break and use the restroom.
  • Pickle Park - Rest area known for lot lizards.
  • Piggyback - A truck carrying other trucks as cargo.
  • Pony Express - A truck carrying mail.
  • Pumpkin - Schneider truck (because of its orange color).
  • Reefer - Refrigerated trailer.
  • Rig - Truck.
  • Road Pizza - Dead animal on the road.
  • Rolling on the Floor Laughing - A way to describe something funny.
  • Salt Shaker - Snowplow.
  • Sandbagging - Listening to the CB without talking.
  • Seat Cover - Attractive woman in a car.
  • Shiny Side Up - Don't flip the truck; keep it upright.
  • Shotgun - The passenger seat.
  • Skateboard - Flatbed trailer.
  • Skinny - Information or news.
  • Slammer - Jail or prison.
  • Sleeper Leaper - A person who sneaks into a truck's sleeper cab.
  • Slider - Adjustable part of a trailer's tandem axles.
  • Smokey - Police officer.
  • Stagecoach - Bus.
  • Stake and Shake - Steak 'n Shake restaurant.
  • Stand on It - Accelerate.
  • Super Slab - Major highway or interstate.
  • Swindle Sheet - Logbook.
  • Taking Pictures - Trucker lingo for police officers using radar to monitor vehicle speeds.
  • Thermos Bottle - Slang for a tanker truck, often used to transport liquids.
  • Throwing Iron - Refers to the act of putting on tire chains, especially in snowy or icy conditions.
  • Toothpicks - A load of lumber.
  • Travel Agent - Dispatcher.
  • Twister - Tornado or high winds.
  • Ugly Stick - CB antenna.
  • Wiggle Wagon - A truck with multiple trailers.
  • Yardstick - Mile marker on the highway.
  • Yard Jockey - Person who moves trailers around in a truck yard.
  • Zipper - The centerline on the road.
  • Zonked - Very tired or exhausted.
  • Bull Hauler - A trucker who hauls livestock.
  • Dance Floor - Open or empty trailer.
  • Day Cab - A truck without a sleeper berth.

Do drivers recognize these common trucker terms? We inquired about the meanings of a few basic terms with our truckers, and here's what we found:

CB Radio Codes List: The Secret Digital Language of Truckers

Understanding CB codes is arguably the most challenging aspect of trucker lingo. Amidst the myriad of clever terms, there are hundreds of "10-something" codes. These trucker codes often sound like they belong to a secret language used by spies or law enforcement agencies. It's doubtful that any trucker knows all these CB codes by heart. The most frequently used code is "10-4," which simply means "Ok." We're excited to present to you a comprehensive list of these CB codes, each tailored for different situations.

Truckers Radio Codes List

Trucker Nicknames for Cities

Another fascinating aspect of trucker lingo is the nicknames given to American cities. There are several commonly used and widely recognized names. Familiarize yourself with them, so you'll understand when fellow truckers mention places like Beantown, Brew, or Magic City.

  • Big Apple - New York City, New York
  • Windy City - Chicago, Illinois
  • City of Angels - Los Angeles, California
  • Beantown - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Motor City - Detroit, Michigan
  • Space City - Houston, Texas
  • Emerald City - Seattle, Washington
  • Mile High City - Denver, Colorado
  • Twin Cities - Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
  • City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Hotlanta - Atlanta, Georgia
  • Sin City - Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Alamo City - San Antonio, Texas
  • Magic City - Miami, Florida
  • Naptown - Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Charm City - Baltimore, Maryland
  • Big D - Dallas, Texas
  • The 'Burgh - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Crescent City - New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Buckeye City - Columbus, Ohio
  • Queen City - Cincinnati, Ohio (Also used for Charlotte, North Carolina)
  • River City - Memphis, Tennessee (Also used for Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Brew City - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Rose City - Portland, Oregon
  • Salt City - Syracuse, New York
  • Cowtown - Fort Worth, Texas
  • Old Pueblo - Tucson, Arizona
  • Surf City USA - Huntington Beach, California
  • Gateway City - St. Louis, Missouri
  • Music City - Nashville, Tennessee

We reached out to our drivers and inquired about these city nicknames. Here are the insights we gathered:

CB Radio 10-Codes: Universal Signals Beyond Just Truckers

Grasping the 10-codes used on CB radios can be a bit daunting, especially when diving into trucker jargon. Among the various unique truck driver phrases, the "10-something" codes stand out. While they might seem like cryptic codes exclusive to secret agents or the police, they're actually universal across CB radio users. From law enforcement to everyday CB enthusiasts, these codes are a common language. It's a stretch to say every trucker has all these codes memorized, but many are familiar with the frequently used "10-4," signifying "Understood" or "Ok." For a detailed list of these 10-codes, refer to them here.

Truck Drivers Universal Signals


Trucker slang offers a fascinating glimpse into the vibrant culture of the road. With its unique lingo and intricate CB radio codes, it's a language that binds the trucking community together. As you journey on the highways, understanding this slang not only enriches the experience but also connects you to a longstanding tradition.

If you possess a CDL and are on the hunt for a trucking role with a distinguished company that treats its drivers as family members and acknowledges them personally, HMD Trucking is your destination. We sincerely place our drivers first, providing attractive pay, state-of-the-art trucks in excellent condition, and the freedom to drive as many miles as you wish. To kick off your journey with us, just complete the form below, and our recruitment specialist will contact you soon. Become part of a community that genuinely values you.

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