Home Articles CB Radio Terminology and Codes Used By Truckers you Should Learn

CB Radio Terminology and Codes Used By Truckers you Should Learn


Updated March 18, 2024 

CB RadiosThink about the last time you were stuck in traffic, and you have no idea what was going on ahead. You’re stuck moving at 5 mph without knowing the reason why, or how long you should expect to wait. CB radios give you access and availability to a local network of people, people who you couldn’t call on your phone because you don’t know them, but people who for miles and miles would have been telling everyone with CB radios to take the previous exit because of the accident ahead. You cannot get this on a cellular phone.

Back in the day, all the truckers had to rely on CB Radios to communicate with each other. They would chat and share information. Now that cellphones are commonplace, the numbers of CB Radio users have gone down dramatically.

But, CBs are still used by truckers. They have also become popular with people who live in rural areas that have poor coverage from cell phone carriers. CB Radios offer crystal-clear voice communication and can travel miles. Of course, being able to talk in code is always a plus in any situation where discretion is important. Learning CB radio codes and lingo is a crucial first step to ensuring you can communicate effectively on CB radio channels. 

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For starters, the most critical rule when using CB radio is to never take up more airtime than necessary on crowded channels. Luckily, CB 10-codes and trucker lingo give you the chance to convey a lot within the limited time available. And using them wisely will not only ensure you communicate effectively, but you also get to gain the respect of your peers.

So, learning a couple of simple rules will help you to figure out the appropriate codes to use in a particular situation so you’ll be making friends rather than enemies on the airwaves. 

If you’re wondering what a CB radio or code is, here’s a simple guide on common CB-10 codes and trucker lingo to help you get started.

  • All locked up – this means the weigh station is closed
  • Alligator – it means there’s a piece of a blown tire on the road. Truckers usually alert fellow drivers about the presence of “alligators” on the highway because they pose a hazard that should be avoided. If you run over them, they can bounce back up and cause damage to belts, fuel lines, hoses, or the undercarriage of your vehicle.
  • Back it down – means slow down
  • Backed out of it – it means the trucker is no longer able to maintain speed and needs to slow down to change to the slow lane
  • Bambi – it means a deer
  • Bear – it means there’s a law enforcement officer, mostly a state trooper or highway patrol officer
  • Bedbugger – this often refers to a household moving company
  • Black eye – it means the driver has a headlight out
  • Brake check – this code is used to inform other truckers on the channel that the traffic ahead is tied up and they need to slow down or stop immediately 
  • Break – this code is used when the radio channel is busy and you want to gain access to the channel and start talking
  • Breaking up – it means your signal is fading or weak

Now the next time you’re on CB talk, you can be sure you’ll be able to understand some of the basic terminologies.