The Trucker Jargon Quiz


By: Lauren Lubas

6 Min Quiz

Image: Fuse / Corbis / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you think you can HANDLE a quiz that is so focused on one industry? Well, if you're a part of the trucking industry, the first thing you have to know is how to talk to other truckers over the radio. Truckers use CBs to communicate with each other to warn each other about hazards on the road, learn about alternative routes and to simply pass the time in their big rigs. However, CB speak can be confusing to those who haven't experienced it before and those who are just beginning, but the success of each driver depends on it. This jargon has been evolving for years, and it helps truckers communicate effectively, whether they're over-the-road truckers or they are simply delivering. 

If you think you have what it takes to communicate with other truckers, this quiz will show you what you might need to work on. It doesn't matter if you're from Watermelon 500 or Shaky-Town, any seasoned trucker should be able to pass this quiz with flying colors. Take a look at some of these questions and see if you can hold up your end of a CB conversation or if you're just a CB Rambo on the road. 

"She just flew passed me at triple digits" means what in trucker jargon?

When someone is going triple digits, they are driving over 100 miles per hour. While anyone without a radar gun doesn't necessarily know how fast another car is going, truckers spend enough time on the road to give accurate estimations.


When a trucker says a load of toothpicks is coming, what are they saying?

Truckers have a lot of time to think and get creative. They are on the road for several hours, and it is no surprise that they come up with interesting ways to describe what they see. Toothpicks, in this case is considered lumber from a lumber truck.


Do you know what a wiggle wagon is?

In certain states, you will see trucks that have two and sometimes three trailers. These trailers connected together are called wiggle wagons, because when they make a motion that looks like wiggling.


The term "Wally world" has several meanings in trucker jargon, but they all revolve around the same place. What place is it?

Wally world refers to either a Wal-Mart store, distribution center or truck. A trucker might say "Wally world over here is at triple digits," referring to a Wal-Mart truck driving over 100 miles per hour.


If a trucker says there are too many eggs in their basket, what are they really trying to say?

The majority of states have different weight limits for trucks. Additionally, truckers must always be aware of their weight, to ensure that they can pass bridges on their route. If they're overweight, they have too many eggs in their basket and they have to find alternate routes.


Truckers in the mountains or areas with bad weather will often start "throwin' iron" as the seasons change. What does this mean?

Snow tire chains give trucks and large vehicles more traction. While they are illegal in some states (because they tear up the roads), they are necessary in others. If a trucker is adding them to his tires, he is throwin' iron.


Do you know what a convoy is?

There are several different situations that would require trucks to travel together. For the most part, trucks that are delivering equipment for large traveling events will drive in a convoy, so they all arrive on time.


Can you guess what a Smokey Bear is in trucker jargon?

A smokey or smokey bear is any law enforcement officer, but for the most part, highway patrol officers are described with this term. Truckers usually tell each other what is on the road ahead, and they need codes for law enforcement.


Truck drivers who are delivering meat are doing what?

The term swinging comes from the fact that meat used to be delivered in freezer trucks, hanging from hooks. There are some companies that continue to ship meat in this manner, most of them butcher on premises.


Do you know what it means if a trucker gets a bear bite?

Over the road truckers often call police officers bears, and getting a speeding ticket is generally referred to as getting a bear bite. While no one wants a bear bite, sometimes they are inevitable.


Do you know what a road pizza is?

There are a lot of different names from roadkill for truckers. Ultimately, roadkill doesn't bother truckers, but there are larger animals that can cause problems on the road, so it's important for them to warn each other about the pizzas.


"There's traffic at your front door," means what?

The front door in trucker speak is whatever is ahead of you. This term generally refers to something that you can see or you will be able to see soon. It is a great way for truckers to communicate direction.


If you want to know if a trucker is listening to you, what do you have to ask them?

"Got your ears on? There's a smokey ahead. Don't get a bear bite!" might be something you hear on the radio. This phrase is used when someone replies that they are not receiving transmission well or their radio isn't working.


Can you tell us what a plain wrapper is?

While police officers are called bears, if they are spotted in an unmarked car by a trucker, that trucker will let his fellow drivers know that there is a plain wrapper just ahead.


Because of their orange color, what are Schneider trucks called?

Schneider trucks can be seen in nearly every state. These trucks got their name from their bright orange color. While it helps other vehicles see the truck, most truckers like to poke fun.


What do truckers call tour buses?

Before vehicles, passenger cars were horse drawn stage coaches. The trucking industry uses this term to identify tour buses on the road. As truckers communicate with each other, they can let others know what is on the road ahead.


Which lane is the hammer lane?

The hammer lane more often than not refers to either the far left lane or the passing lane on a highway. If it is a two-lane highway, these two lanes are the same. It's considered the lane where people slam on the gas.


If a trucker is pulling an empty trailer, what is he called?

When a load is dumped or a delivery is completed, truckers are generally left with an empty trailer. This lighter trailer may be better on gas, but it drives different from a full trailer.


When a trucker leaves the highway, where is he going?

In general, if a trucker has to take secondary roads, they describe it as going through the woods. These secondary roads can be a little more difficult to maneuver through for truckers, but they are professionals.


What is a diesel cop?

Truck drivers have to follow a different set of rules than most other drivers. The Department of Transportation has enforcement officers on the roads to ensure that truckers are following these rules at all times.


Can you tell us what a double nickel is?

Over the road truckers may be used to going a certain speed limit. However, as they get closer to populated areas, that speed limit usually changes, and they will tell each other that the double nickel is coming up.


When there is a piece of tire in the road, what will a trucker call it?

The term alligator used as a warning about a blown tire derived from the fact that blown tires in the road look very much like alligators. If the piece of tire is small, it is referred to as a baby alligator.


"Eastbound, you got a brake check ahead" means what?

While the average driver considers a brake check someone slamming on their brakes in front of you, truckers use the term to warn other drivers that they will need to slow down immediately.


"Bambi" refers to what in trucker jargon?

When it comes down to it, a trucker will notify others when there are animals on or near the road. This is mainly for safety reasons. Even if the deer is dead, it can still be a hazard to large trucks and other drivers as well.


If a trucker responds to you with "10-4," what are they saying?

10-4 is a common CB code that is used to basically say "I heard you." This tells other truckers that they don't have to repeat themselves. CB radios don't necessarily have great audio, and this 10-code is necessary.


A 10-23 means what in CB speak?

"Stand by" is the "please hold" of 10-codes. It is a way for dispatch or whoever the trucker is talking to to say they are going to find a response for you. If you are looking for directions or need additionally delivery information, you might hear this over the radio.


Can you tell us what a hundred dollar lane is?

There are several areas around the country that do not allow trucks to drive in the far left lanes. If the drivers decide to drive in these lanes, they are heavily fined. These lanes are also referred to as high dollar lanes.


What are truckers doing when they're drawing lines?

Truckers (whether they work for large corporations or are self-employed) have to complete detailed log books every day. There is a lot of paperwork in trucking, and at the end of the day, they have to draw lines.


Do you know what go-go juice is?

In order for the truck to go, it needs some go-go juice. When a trucker is low on fuel, they will let the rest of their convoy know that they need to get some go-go juice to make the truck go a little further.


What is another way for a trucker to say he's going to use the bathroom?

If a trucker says that they really need to pay the water bill, it means that they need to stop at the nearest rest area, as soon as possible. In general, this term is used over the radio when multiple vehicles are traveling together.


What channel should a trucker turn their CB to if they are told "Go to the Harley" over the radio?

If you are told to change channels on the radio, it could be based on the fact that you aren't hearing properly on another channel. This could clarify things for you and help you communicate with dispatch and other truckers better.


When a trucker is on the downstroke, where are they?

A downstroke is when a trucker drives on a decline or downhill. With the weight of the vehicle, they may have to hit the brakes to slow down a little bit, because they usually gain a lot of momentum.


If a trucker sees a patrol car's lights on, what does he usually say?

When a trucker sees someone speeding, they usually see that person pulled over up the road a ways. They will usually say jackpot, as a reference to the lights on top of a police car looking similar to lights on a slot machine.


Drivers in Oregon have a special name for a steep mountain grade. What is it?

This term began based on cabbage hill, which is an incredibly steep grade near a cabbage farm in Oregon. If a driver isn't paying attention, they may just end up in a cabbage patch. This term evolved into nearly every grade in Oregon being called that.


Do you know what "happy happy" means?

Though most companies don't work on the first of the year, the proper way to greet a trucker in the new year is to tell them "happy happy!" It's a fun way to express acknowledgement of a holiday.


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