CDL Slang & Trucker Lingo

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If you’re going to be a trucker or just a friend of the road, you’re going to want to know some key CDL slang. 

Here you’ll find the meaning of some common trucking lingo. 

CDL SlangDefinition
10-4OK, message received. Some drivers just say “10”.
18-wheelerAny tractor-trailer.
4-wheelerAny passenger vehicle.
85th StreetInterstate 85.
95th StreetInterstate 95.
AffirmativeYes
All locked upClosed weigh station.
AlligatorA piece of tire on the road. This can cause damage.
Anteater or AardvarkKenworth T-600 truck.
Back doorSomething behind you. 
Back it downSlow down.
Back rowThe last rows of parking in a truck stop.
Backed out of itNo longer able to maintain current speed, need to downshift. 
BambiA deer.
Base station or unitA powerful CB radio.
BearA law enforcement officer.
Bear baitA speeding vehicle.
Bear biteA speeding ticket.
Bear den, bear caveLaw enforcement station.
Bear in the airA law enforcement aircraft.
Bear in the bushesLaw enforcement is hiding somewhere.
BedbuggerA household moving company.
Big RRoadway truck.
Big roadInterstate or highway.
Big truckAn 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer. 
Big wordClosed weigh stations.
Bird dogA radar detector.
Black eyeA headlight out.
BobtailDriving the tractor without the trailer attached.
BoogieThe top gear of the transmission.
BoulevardInterstate.
Brake checkThere is a traffic tie-up ahead – accident or construction.
BreakThe way to gain access to the channel and start talking.
Breaking upYour signal is weak.
Bull dogA Mack truck.
BullfrogAn ABF truck.
Bull haulerA livestock hauler.
Bumper stickerA tailgater.
Bundled outTo maximum capacity.
Buster BrownA UPS truck or driver.
CaboverCab-Over-the Engine (COE).
Cash registerA tollbooth.
Checking ground pressureThe weigh station is open.
Chicken coopA weigh station.
Chicken lightsExtra lights on a truck and trailer.
Come backAsking for the other driver to talk.
ComedianThe median strip in between opposite lanes.
Comic bookThe log book.
Commercial companyA prostitute.
ContainerAn overseas container.
ConvoyA group of trucks traveling together.
CopyTransmission acknowledged or understood.
CornflakeA Consolidated Freightways truck.
County MountieCounty police, a sheriff’s deputy.
Covered wagonFlatbed type of trailer covered with a tarp.
Crotch rocketA motorcycle built for speed or a sport bike.
DeadheadPulling an empty trailer.
DestructionRoad construction.
Diesel copCommercial Vehicle Enforcement officer.
DonkeyBehind you.
Double nickel55 mph.
DoublesA set of double trailers.
DownstrokeDriving on a decline.
Dragon wagonA tow truck.
DragonflyA truck with no power.
Drawing linesCompleting your log book
Driving awardA speeding ticket.
Dry boxAn unrefrigerated trailer
Evil KnievelA motorcycle cop.
EyeballTo see something.
Feeding the bearsPaying a ticket.
FingerprintTo unload a trailer by yourself.
Flip-flopRefers to a u-turn, or a return trip.
Freight shakerA Freightliner truck.
Front doorIn front of you.
Full-grown bearState Trooper, or Highway Patrol.
Funny pagesLog book
Garbage haulerA produce load.
Gear JammerA driver who speeds up and slows down frequently.
Go to companyGo to the designated company CB channel.
Go to the HarleyTune CB radio to channel 1.
Go-go juiceDiesel fuel.
Got your ears on?Are you listening
Gouge on itGo fast.
Granny laneThe slow lane.
GreasyIcy, or slippery.
Greasy side upA vehicle that’s flipped over.
Green StampsMoney.
Grossed outYour gross vehicle weight is at max capacity.
Ground pressureThe weight of your truck.
Gumball machineThe lights on top of a police car.
Hammer downStep on it.
Hammer laneThe passing lane.
Handle (CB handle)CB handles are nicknames which are used to identify the speaker, in place of a real name.
Happy happyHappy new year.
Having “shutter trouble”Having trouble staying awake.
HollerCall me on the radio.
Home 20A driver’s home location.
HoodA conventional tractor.
Hot LoadCargo for immediate transport
Hundred dollar lane, high dollar laneA prohibited lane that carries a large fine for trucks.
In my back pocketBehind you.
In the big holeThe top gear of the transmission.
JackpotA patrol car’s lights.
Kojak with a KodakLaw enforcement officer using a radar gun.
K-whopperA Kenworth tractor, or just KW.
LandlineA standard telephone.
Left CoastThe West Coast.
Local-yokelA county, city, or small-town officer.
LollipopThe small reflector or markers on the sides of the highway.
Lot lizardA prostitute that solicits a truck stop or rest area.
LumperLaborer that loads or unloads your trailer.
Male buffaloA male prostitute.
Mama-bearA female law enforcement officer.
Mash your motorGo fast, step on it.
Meat wagonAn ambulance.
Merry merryMerry Christmas.
Motion lotionDiesel fuel.
Moving onHeading down the road.
Mud duckA weak radio signal.
NegatoryNegative or no.
On the sideOn standby.
Pay the water billTaking a restroom break.
Pickle parkA popular rest area for lot lizards.
PigtailThe electrical connection from the tractor to the trailer.
Plain wrapperAn unmarked law enforcement vehicle.
PumpkinA Schneider truck.
RamboSomeone who talks tough on the radio.
Ratchet jawSomeone who talks a lot on the radio.
ReeferRefers to refrigerated trailers.
Road pizzaRoadkill.
RogerYes; affirmative.
Salt shakerA maintenance vehicle that dumps salt on the highways in the winter.
SandbaggingTo listen to the radio without talking.
SandboxAn escape ramp.
Sesame StreetChannel 19 on the CB.
ShakyRefers to California in general.
Shiny side upYour vehicle hasn’t flipped over after an accident.
Shooting you in the backYou’re being shot with a radar gun.
ShutdownPut out of service by the DOT.
SkateboardA flatbed.
SkinsTires.
Sleeper creeperA prostitute.
Smokey or Smokey BearA law enforcement officer, highway patrol.
Smokin’ scooterA law enforcement officer on a motorcycle.
Smokin’ the brakesThe trailer brakes are literally smoking.
SplitA junction.
Spy in the skyA law enforcement aircraft.
StagecoachA tour bus.
Swindle SheetLog book.
Taking picturesLaw enforcement using a radar gun.
Thermos bottleA tanker trailer.
Through the woodsLeaving the Interstate to travel secondary roads.
Throwin’ ironSnow chains.
Too many eggs in the basketOverweight load.
ToothpicksLumber.
Travel agentThe dispatcher.
Triple digitsOver 100 mph.
Wiggle wagonsDouble or triple trailers.
YardA company terminal or drop lot.
YardstickA mile marker on the highway.

CB Radio CB-10 Codes

10-codes, or CB codes, are used by truckers on the CB radio to convey common information and phrases quickly. 

Here are some common 10-codes you’ll hear on the CB radio and their meanings. 

10-CodeMeaning
10-1Receiving poorly
10-2Receiving well
10-3Stop transmitting
10-4OK, message received
10-5Relay message
10-6Busy, standby
10-7Out of service, leaving air
10-8In service, subject to call
10-9Repeat message
10-11Talking too rapidly
10-12Visitors present
10-13Advise weather, road conditions
10-16Make pickup at [location]
10-17Urgent business
10-18Anything for us?
10-19Nothing for you, return to base
10-20My location is [location]
10-21Call by telephone
10-22Report in person to [location]
10-23Stand by
10-24Completed last assignment
10-25Can you contact
10-26Disregard last information
10-27I am moving to channel [channel]
10-28Identify your station
10-29Time is up for contact
10-30Does not conform to FCC rules
10-32I will give you a radio check
10-33Emergency traffic
10-34Trouble at this station
10-35Confidential information
10-36The correct time is [time]
10-37Wrecker needed at [location]
10-38Ambulance needed at [location]
10-39Your message delivered
10-41Please tune to channel [channel]
10-42Traffic accident at [location]
10-43Traffic tie up at [location]
10-44I have a message for you
10-45All units within range please report
10-50Break channel
10-60What is the next message number?
10-62Unable to copy, use phone
10-63Net directed to [location]
10-64Net clear
10-65Awaiting your next message, or assignment
10-67All units comply
10-70Fire at [location]
10-71Proceed with transmission in sequence
10-73Speed trap at [location]
10-75You are causing interference
10-77Negative contact
10-81Reserve hotel room for [number]
10-84My telephone number is [number]
10-85My address is [location]
10-91Talk closer to mike
10-93Check my frequency on this channel
10-94Please give me a long count
10-99Mission completed, all units secured
10-100Rest stop
10-200Police needed at [location]

Trucker Nicknames for U.S. Cities

Here are some common nicknames truckers use for different cities in the United States.

U.S. City, StateCity Nickname
Akron, OhioThe Rubber
Amarillo, TexasArmadillo
Atlanta, GeorgiaThe Big A or Hotlanta
Baltimore, MarylandCharm City
Boston, MassachusettsBean Town
Buffalo, New YorkThe Nickel
Charlotte, North CarolinaQueen City
Chicago, IllinoisWindy City
Cleveland, OhioThe Dirty
Council Bluffs, IowaCB Town
Dallas, TexasBig D
Denver, ColoradoMile High
Detroit, MichiganMotor City
Durham, North CarolinaBull City
Flagstaff, ArizonaThe Flag or Flagpole
Goldsboro, North CarolinaGold City
Houston, TexasThe Astrodome
Indianapolis, IndianaCircle City
Kansas City, MissouriBright Lights
Las Vegas, NevadaLost Wages
Los Angeles, CaliforniaShaky City
Miami, FloridaBikini
Milwaukee, WisconsinBeer City
Minneapolis and St. Paul, MinnesotaThe Cities
Nashville, TennesseeGuitar or Music City
New Orleans, LouisianaMardi Gras
New York City, New YorkThe Apple
Oklahoma City, OklahomaOkie City
Omaha, NebraskaBig O
Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPhilly
Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaSteel City or Town
Raleigh, North CarolinaCapital City
Sacramento, CaliforniaSack of tomatoes
San Antonio, TexasThe Alamo
South Bend, IndianaThe Irish
St. Louis, MissouriThe Gateway
Tampa, FloridaCigar City
Wichita, KansasAir Capital

Looking for a glossary of more official CDL terms? We’ve got that too!