10-4 Tips | CB Radio Etiquette

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They’re not just glorified walky-talkies. In fact, a CB radio is arguably one of the most important pieces of equipment in your cab. Essentially, this is your main line of communication with other truckers on the road. We know that the trucking industry members are a close-knit group, and they always watch out for each other. The CB radio is a great way to do just that. Whether there’s an accident on the road that you want to warn others about, or you’re a trucker who broke down and is in need of assistance, the CB radio is an important tool to have in your trucking arsenal. Now, you can’t just go about jabbering on the radio like a teenager – there have to be some rules in place. That’s why we’re going to go over some proper CB radio etiquette.

CB Radio Etiquette

A Quick History

Before we jump into some tips for wielding your CB radio properly, let’s take a look at the history and how a CB radio works. Invented in 1945 by Al Gross, the CB radio was originally designed to be an upgraded version of the walky-talky (which Gross also invented). It was a way for people across the country to connect with one another. However, in 1958 it would change the entire trucking industry. The CB radio finally gave truckers the ability to communicate with their fellow drivers while on the road. The popularity grew in the 70s and still today the CB radio can be found in the majority of trucking cabs.

CB radio etiquette

While the technology of trucks and the way we transport goods has changed over the years, the CB radio has relatively remained the same. The way we communicate via the CB has also stayed consistent, which is why it’s important that we go over some proper CB radio etiquette.

Hold the Chatter

We all know this person. You’re standing around with a few of your buddies and some guy just can’t stop interrupting each person. Whether it’s a corny joke or a story he’s told for the hundredth time, he or she has no problem cutting off whoever is talking. Don’t be this person on the CB radio. If there is a conversation already in progress, hold your tongue. Remember that there can often be multiple people on the line talking to one another. One of the most annoying breaches in CB radio etiquette is when the new guy decides to hop on his radio and blabber about the new heated seats he just bought or how terrible the coffee was at the last truck stop. If it’s an emergency, then yes, interrupt them, but when in doubt, keep quiet until the conversation is over.

Know Your Lingo

Another big mistake that truckers make when it comes to CB radio etiquette is that they use too much or not enough lingo. You’ll want to brush up on your lingo to make sure you can communicate correctly and to also know what your fellow truckers are talking about. You might have someone ask, “Got your ears on?” Which is just a different way of asking if you’ve got your CB radio on? You might even hear some animal-related terms. An “alligator” is a big piece of blown tire that’s been spotted on the road and a “lot lizard,” well, we’ll let you look that one up or ask a fellow trucker.

On the contrary, you don’t want to be spouting lingo left and right. Just like the guy that likes to use big words to let everyone know how smart he is, you also don’t want to use lingo every other word. We get it, you’re a trucker that has a CB radio.

At the end of the day, for CB radio etiquette you should be using the same type of manners as you would if you were talking with people face to face. Don’t interrupt people and don’t spout about your lingo too much. Do you have any other CB radio etiquette tips? If so, feel free to let us know below!

Author: Hit The Road Jack

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