truck driver slang

Truck Driver Slang : Let’s Learn It!

Have you ever sat at a gas station or diner and overheard a truck driver and wondered, what the heck are they talking about?

Well, as you all loved the trucking industry abbreviations and terminology we covered in recent blog posts (if you haven’t yet, you can read those here). We thought it would be fun to cover some truck drivers’ slang. Because trust us, some of their lingo is super funny and creative, so let’s have a look together!πŸ˜„

How Did Truck Driver Slang Become So Popular?

Truck drivers began communicating amongst themselves back in the 70’s using a communication aid called the citizen’s band radio. These radios were a HUGE hit as they allowed truckers to reach people up to 30 miles away, on a one-to-many communication device, which was PERFECT for the use of truckers who needed to communicate with other drivers in a close by area.

Truckers began using them for all sorts of reasons, to keep them company on the roads during long haul trips, live road updates of road closures, etc, to warn other truckers of accidents or potential hazards, weather conditions and to ask for or offer help in sticky situations. Although a radio might seem quite old-fashioned now, these radios are still very much present in today’s trucking landscape.Β  This is because they’re a great way to communicate with others outside of their network, which a cellphone simply cannot compete with. Making CB radios a fantastic addition in the truck cab still to this day!πŸ“»

Let’s Get Stuck Into Truck Driver Slang

You’ll see as you read further that truck drivers have gotten super creative over the years with some of these following phrases πŸ˜‚. Although they’re super popular amongst drivers, different truckers might have different meanings for each one or might use an entirely different phrase altogether, just like any other language! But, here’s some of the more widely used slang terms:

Bunny Hopper πŸ‡

A vehicle that’s constantly switching up driving lanes.

Bumper Sticker πŸššπŸš—

This is where another vehicle is tailgating behind a truck. It’s thought this came about because the vehicle tailgating is close enough that it could be stuck on the bumper like a ‘bumper sticker’.

This is super dangerous though, the truck driver may struggle to see a tailgater in their rearview mirror and stopping in time in an emergency could be near impossible. βœ‹ Remember folks, always keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front.

Alligator 🐊

A blown-out tire or part of the tire in the road that creates a potential hazard.

Pay the Water Bill πŸ’§

You guessed it…this term is used when referring to a bathroom break 🚽.

Black Eye πŸ‘

Drivers use this term when talking about a headlight being out and broken.

What’s Your 20? πŸ“

“What’s your 20?” is what truckers ask other truckers to get their location. Another way of asking for a location update is saying, what’s your 10-20? 10-20 is the CB code for location.

Hammer DownπŸ”¨

This phrase means pedal to the metal, driving fast and stepping on the accelerator.

Hammer Lane πŸ›£

Like the above, a hammer lane is an overtaking / passing or fast lane. Essentially the left hand lanes.

Salt Shaker ❄️

A vehicle that disperses salt and grit to melt and reduce ice and snow, therefore minimizing weather related traffic accidents.

Bear 🐻

Truckers often refer to law enforcement officers as bears.

Chicken Coop πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ

This is a name given to a weight station by truckers, which are used to make sure trucks are not over the maximum weight while transporting goods.

Cash Box πŸ’΅

Often refers to a toll booth.

Fender Bender 🚘

The general public has even caught onto this one. A fender bender is a minor collison between vehicles.

Watering Hole πŸ₯€

Usually refers to a truck stop.

Turtle Race 🐒

A turtle race is when there are two trucks side by side with one trying to overtake the other. However, they can’t because of their speed limiter device.

Rubbernecking πŸ‘€

Again, this one seems to have been picked up by the general public and it’s when drivers are looking at something that’s happened at the side of the road and therefore slow down, causing a backup of traffic.

Common Radio Codes

CB radios have their own range of codes and acronyms called CB10 language. These are mainly used for efficiency and to keep the radio station as free as possible for emergency / important information. CB4 is probably the most commonly used, and you may have even heard it before. The others are less common, let’s see what they mean:


Is used when the driver is having trouble hearing clearly – Receiving poorly.


Signal is coming through loud and clear – Receiving well.


End your transmission please, this could be for a number of reasons. Perhaps the driver is concentrating super hard and can’t listen to information at the same time, or maybe they just need a break – Stop transmitting.


Message received, I understand – Roger that.


Pass on the message please – Relay message.


Currently unavailable – Busy / On hold.


I’m off duty or I’m taking a break – Out of service.


I’m back and available again – In service.


Please say that last message again – Repeat message.


I’m signing off – Done transmitting.

What Do Truckers Call The Cities That PEI Operate Out Of?

We have operations out of 7 different cities. Although, that doesn’t stop us from transporting your freight anywhere in the USA! Just for the fun of it, let’s see what some truckers refer to them as on their CB’s (spoiler: not all of them had nicknames ☹️):

  1. Atlanta =Β Hotlanta
  2. Cincinnati =Β Queen City
  3. Virginia Beach = Virginia Beach
  4. Las Vegas =Β Sin City
  5. Savannah =Β Savannah
  6. Chattanooga = Choo Choo TownΒ 
  7. Lebanon =Β Lebanon


Truck drivers have a way of making the most ordinary sayings extraordinary, like turning needing a bathroom break into a coded phrase πŸ˜…. We hope you’ve had a couple of laughs and have learned a little more about how a day to day might sound for a truck driver.

This is our homage to all truck drivers near and far. Thank you for your service and for keeping those logistics wheels turning, it does not go unrecognized!

P.S. Watch out for those pesky Gators on the roads! πŸŠπŸ›ž


Need help with any of your specialized shipments?

At PEI we’re experts in dealing with specialized freight and can handle yours with any custom requirements.

Copyright © 2024 Premier Expediters Inc. All Rights Reserved.