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Everything You Need to Know About CB Radio Handles

CB radios have a transceiver and an antenna. You can only use the radio to communicate within a distance of 25 miles of other CB radio handles.

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ABCO Transportation
October 1, 2020
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One of the most essential tips for new and even experienced truck drivers as they set out on the road is to rely on CB radio handles. This is due to the overall daunting nature and responsibility of trucking as a whole. Indeed, it’s a career that requires some 3.5 million truckers to drive for extended periods on the road. As a trucker, you might want to find safe means to keep you entertained and in constant communication with others, as it can get lonely on the road eventually. That is where the CB radio comes in! 

A CB radio handle is the call name used to communicate on Citizen's Band radios. The average CB radio has a transceiver and an antenna. Usually, you can only use the radio to communicate within a distance of 25 miles of other CB radio handles/users. Frequency ranges from 26.695 to 27.225 megahertz have been assigned to CB radio in the United States. 

What Is A CB Radio?

The Citizen's Band (CB) radio allows people to communicate over short distances within a limited frequency. The convenient feature of this bidirectional service is that it does not require a license to use. It was one of the many personal radio services controlled by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, it was not until the late 1950s that the 'Citizen's Band' was created. This radio service was initially widely used by many small businesses, and only became popular among truckers in the 1970s. 

The reason behind its growth in usage came after the government imposed a 55mph speed limit in addition to the growing fuel shortage. Commercial truckers used the CB radio to find fuel, warn other drivers of speed traps and organized protests against the national speed limit law. Many independent truckers were paid by the mile, so the new limit lowered their efficiency and productivity. 

With recent digital technologies available today, the CB radio is not very appealing to many drivers, and in fact, there are many modern trucking apps available to truckers. However, some truckers still largely depend on CB radios to communicate because state and federal laws do not permit truckers, and all commercial drivers for that matter, to use their phones while driving. 

Do Truckers Still Use CB Radios?

CB radios and trucking have gone hand-in-hand for years. Once upon a time, these in-cab citizen’s band radio units were what kept truckers connected to the world around them. They passed the miles by laughing and joking, sharing Smokey Reports, asking about the Chicken Coop, and even getting directions when needed.

Technology has changed and man truckers rely on their cellphones for connectivity, information, and entertainment on the road. That doesn’t mean the CB radio has done the way of the Dodo Bird, though. Some truckers still have CB radios in their cabs and still use them to communicate.

What Are Some Of The Best CB Radios For Truckers?

Truckers still prefer to use CB radios because they are more convenient to use while on the road and are less distracting like other devices such as mobile phones. Plus, communicating over the radio is easier, as the rate of feedback might be higher than with other communication devices. This also means that it is a safe option and can be relied on.

Modern CB radios have new features that make it comparable to many other mobile devices. This guide will help you make your decision if you are new to trucking or you need a new CB radio:

  1. Cobra 29Lx Professional CB Radio

This device is popular among many truck drivers because of its excellently performing functions. It comes with advanced weather channels that deliver accurate weather predictions throughout the day to keep you aware of the conditions you might face. It also has a PA function so you can broadcast messages by turning up the sound. Another feature worth noting is that the device has an impressive and adjustable backlight display that makes it easier for you to read information without squinting.

  1. Uniden BEARCAT 980 SSB CB Radio

The Uniden Bearcat 980 is one of the highly-ranked single-sideband CB radios. One of its best features is that it gives you a broader range to broadcast your message. This device also has an excellent controlled backlight display that makes it easier to read in various lighting situations. There are seven display colors, so you can choose the one that works best for your vision. It also has the standard 40 channels but will instantly switch to Channel nine (9) at the touch of a button in case of emergencies.

  1. Midland 1001LWX 40 Channel Mobile CB Radio

Midland CB radio is not only great for seasoned truck drivers but also to novices who are preparing for a trucking career, due its fantastic and easy-to-use features. Aside being the best option for truckers who need highway information, it also has weather channels to keep you informed on weather conditions in the areas you might be passing through, as well as the weather conditions at your destination.

  1. Galaxy DX-959B Mobile CB Radio

The Galaxy DX-959B radio has hi-tech features that make it a versatile tool to have with you on your trips. It has an automatic SWR circuit that can adjust the antenna for you to receive better radio signals. Additionally, its filter system allows it to cancel all background noises so that you send and receive crystal clear broadcasts. 

  1. President Electronics McKinley USA Transceiver CB Radio

This radio is best suited for professionals and more experienced truck drivers. It has a squelch control feature that filters out weak signals and noise so that you receive only the strongest signals. It also has a talkback system that is switchable so you can easily communicate with other drivers. This device comes with a weather channel to keep you informed of weather changes. 

  1. Stryker SR-955hpc 10 Meter Amateur CB Radio

As its name implies, this radio is excellent for amateur drivers who are just starting. Advanced truck drivers can use it as well. It has a wide range of radio modulations such as SSB, AM, and FM, so you have access to multiple channels. Plus, like many of the other examples listed, it has an incredible backlight display, which is especially useful to new drivers who are not used to traveling during the night when it is dark. It also has a strong RF gain, which makes it possible to receive signals from a far distance, even if they are weak signals. Therefore, you may learn of emergencies or route changes ahead of time. 

There are many radio options for types of truck drivers, but before you make a purchase, ensure that you have conducted adequate research (read the pros and cons, and buyers' reviews). 

CB Radio Handles

CB handles are nicknames that are given to other CB radio users. The practice became widely popular among truckers in the 1970s and even found its way in mass media. There are many factors to consider when choosing your handle:

  1. Your Personality: Who are you? Which words best describe you and your character? What are your qualities and traits? 
  2. Your Conversation Style: Are you a fast or slow talker? 
  3. How You Want Others to See You: Do you want people to see you as tough? Then your name must reflect that. 
  4. Your Interests: Perhaps you have other interests and hobbies outside your job. You can incorporate that into your CB handle. 

The rule of thumb is to pick a handle that best helps you to express yourself. You can also use a nickname that other truckers give you; let your creativity guide you. You should also note that there are many truckers with "dirty" names out there. That might seem funny or comical to some drivers but if you can, choose a name that is more friendly and that does not raise any eyebrows.  

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What’s a CB Handle?

A CB handle is a short (but sweet) name used when broadcasting over a CB (citizen’s band) radio. It creates a unique identity that helps truckers and other CB enthusiasts get to know each other.

Here is a quick list of CB radio handles truckers are actually using today:

  • Polar Bear
  • Scrap Queen
  • Swamp Fox
  • Road Roller
  • Big Bertha
  • Sassy Kat
  • Ratchet Ralph
  • Red Knight
  • Luxury Laura

CB nicknames can be practical, funny, or even sometimes a little raunchy. It all depends on the driver behind the handle and their preferences. Keep in mind that other drivers might appreciate a more friendly CB radio handle, but in all, truckers are folks with a nice sense of humor.

What Makes a CB Handle Good?

A good CB handle is short but memorable. It says a lot about the trucker going by that name but in just a few syllables. 

A good trucker CB handle might reflect things like:

  • Your hobbies
  • Your conversation style
  • How do you want others to see you
  • What you haul
  • Your intentions for using the CB radio

What Are Some Good CB Handles?

what-are-some-good-cb-handles

The best CB radio handles should reveal something about yourself. Some people describe their physical characteristics or traits. For example, Grumpy, Methuselah, and Seat Breaker. Unless you aim to humor yourself and other drivers, strive for names that do not create double meanings. Methuselah might mean old, but the trucker could be a relatively younger person.

CB radio handles can also reflect where you are from or your ethnicity; for example, Yankee, Texan Cowboy and Cherokee. It can also reflect your hobby or your love for something, such as a music band or even animals. There are quite a few names that show people’s love for birds. You might find a truck driver called Eagle or Falcon among many others. 

Whatever the case may be, there is always a CB radio handle for any CB radio user. If you are new to trucking, you can make a list of all your traits and interests to help you get started. Bonus points if you already have a nickname!

What Are Some CB Sayings?

Over the years, truckers have developed their language and codes to help them navigate the roads. There are about 40 channels on a CB radio, and often they can get crowded. To avoid overcrowding, truck drivers developed jargons that allow them to communicate within the shortest possible time and free up space for other truckers to use the channel as well. 

CB slang was developed by truckers as far back as the 1970s and they vary between geographical areas. Initially, the FCC required that CB operators needed to apply for licenses. Approved license holders were given a call sign consisting of unique letters. However with time, a lot of changes were made, and the FCC ruled that users could use a preferred pseudonym. Many users decided not to apply for licenses and instead bought CB radios to communicate, and they used CB handles to identify themselves. 

Truckers’ lingo might leave you scratching your head while trying to figure out what they mean. Truckers use these codes to keep each other company, share important information, and arrange convoys or pickups. As a new driver, these codes might confuse you, but here are a few that you are more likely to hear when you start. 

What Does Rubber Duck Mean In CB Talk?

what-does-rubber-duck-mean-in-cb-talk

Because being a truck driver might mean making several lonely trips, truckers usually prefer to travel in convoys as it fosters a sense of community. Additionally, when trouble arises such as vehicle problems, other truckers present might be able to offer assistance. 

The rubber duck is the leader of the convoy and is perhaps the most important person. They usually set the pace and speed for other truckers to use. They also call the stops and alert the rest of the convoy when they might be approaching police officers, toll booths, or accident scenes. 

How To Use A CB Radio Handle Generator

Finding a name that best shows who you are, as well as your interests, hobbies, and skills, can become a difficult task, especially if you do not already have a nickname. You want your handle to be catchy enough, pique people’s interest, and also reveal a part of you. 

Fortunately, you do not have to rack your brains when coming up with the best handle. There are many CB radio handle generators on the Internet that can help you find a unique name. Typical name generators usually require you to input your initials and then would randomly put words together. You can generate as many names as you would prefer until you find the one you want. Other websites also ask more in-depth questions on topics ranging from your favorite color, band, animal, hobbies, and even the decade you were born. The answers you provide will help the generator find the best CB radio handle. 

If name generators are not your thing, you can take quizzes to help you find the best CB handle. Here is one to try:

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Take A CB Handle Quiz

take-a-cb-handle-quiz

As explained, when on the road, your social life is going to consist of communicating with other truckers within a given mile radius. Therefore, your CB radio handle is also a big part of your trucking career. 

  1. You are preparing for a long 30-hour drive from Wisconsin to Oregon. What does your playlist look like?
  1. Hard Metal
  2. A Comedy Podcast
  3. Pop
  4. Hits from the 70s & 80s

      2. It’s time to change your truck’s paint job. What color coat are you getting?

  1. Midnight black
  2. Bright color to catch all the attention
  3. Pink 
  4. Nothing. My truck’s paint is fine

      3. If you could choose, what would you like to transport in your rig?

  1. Explosives
  2. Exotic cars
  3. Essential items (medical supplies and food items)
  4. Oil

      4. You’re in convoy, and the rubber duck has just issued an upcoming ‘Smokey’ alert.    What’s your response?

  1. Yeah, and what about it?
  2. Honk loudly.
  3. Ask if everybody got the alert.
  4. I am THE rubber duck.

     5. If another trucker sends you their ‘3s and 8s’, what’s your response?

  1. Don’t need it.
  2. Crack a joke
  3. Extend it back at them
  4. Thank you, good neighbor

     6. What would you like to order at a Choke and Puke?

  1. Nothing. The food sucks.
  2. Probably a large order, just for you.
  3. An apple pie
  4. The usual

     7. How do people react around you?

  1. They get quiet and speak when I speak to them
  2. They tend to laugh a lot and pay attention to me
  3. They are always touched or inspired by me
  4. They feel comfortable with me because they’ve known me for long

     8. Long haul driving can be painstakingly lonely. Sometimes too, a conversation over the CB radio doesn’t just cut it. What type of companion would you prefer to have physically with you?

  1. A pack of cigarettes
  2. A funny toy or souvenir
  3. A picture of my family
  4. A trusty old dog

     9. What’s your favorite CB slang for a city?

  1. Steel City - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  2. Lost Wages - Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Disney Town - Anaheim, California
  4. Windy City - Chicago, Illinois

    10. You’re having a conversation on a channel with other truckers. Suddenly, a Radio Rambo joins in. What do you do?

  1. Silence that person. You are the only Radio Rambo
  2. Talk loudly over that person by using your wit and charm
  3. Keep quiet and let them talk tough
  4. Tune them out. You’ve had enough of these people

    11. The standard driving hours for truck drivers is 11 hours. How many hours do you spend when driving before taking a break?

  1. I drive as many hours as I want
  2. I always try to break my record or that of others
  3. I drive the standard 11 hours whether I am tired or not
  4. I aim for more of an 8-hour shift

    12. You’ve finally returned to your ‘Stack of Bricks’ after six months of traveling across the United States transporting goods. It’s time to take a vacation. Where would you love to go?

  1. I’m tired of constantly talking over the radio with people. Send me to a remote destination deep in South America.
  2. Hawaii, or anywhere surrounded by loud and roaring waves
  3. Paris, France
  4. Home is where I want to be

    13. How do you call a person when you don’t know their CB radio handle?

  1. Hey
  2. Hi! I’m...what’s your handle?
  3. Excuse me, please
  4. I know everybody’s CB radio handle

     14. When somebody cracks an offensive joke over the CB radio, how do you respond?

  1. You better shut up before I make you do.
  2. That wasn’t funny. Listen to MY joke.
  3. Oh, that wasn’t too nice.
  4. Ignore them. People are always going to do it anyway. You’re used to it.

     15. What emotion should people feel when they hear your CB radio handle?

  1. Fear
  2. Admiration
  3. Peace
  4. Safety

     16. Who is your favorite movie star?

  1. Arnold Schwarzenegger 
  2. Will Ferrell
  3. Ryan Reynolds
  4. John Wayne

     17. You’re eager to start traveling all across the United States as a newbie. Which state are you best looking forward to driving to?

  1. Texas
  2. Louisiana
  3. North Carolina
  4. Minnesota

     18. Hitchhikers were popular in the golden ages of trucking. Today though, not so much. But you never know when you might find yourself facing one however rare the occurrence might be. What would be your best response?

  1. They would be too scared of you to enter your truck. That’s better anyway 
  2. You might pick them up and make a few jokes along the way
  3. Pick them up and offer further assistance. You might even follow up on them
  4. Offer them a ride. It’s okay, experience has taught you how to protect yourself

     19. What do you think about how mainstream media portrays truck drivers?

  1. I don’t care what the mainstream media thinks about me
  2. If only I could have cameras following me then people could see the real life of a truck driver
  3. We are not all big and scary
  4. I have more truck driving experience in my pinky finger than mainstream media

    20. What is the most difficult aspect of being a truck driver?

  1. Dangerous road and weather conditions but I can handle it
  2. Sometimes, no physical company
  3. I miss my family 
  4. I worry that my lifestyle is unhealthy in the long run

Results of Your Test

  1. If You Answered Mostly 1s:

You are tough as nails. Nothing scares you, but you scare everyone and everything. It would be best if you considered tough and strong CB radio handles like Bone Crusher and Muscle. If these are relatively common names you might have heard before, then you can modify it with a color, a title or even an animal. Or since you are so tough, you could claim the name and make the others change theirs.

  1. If You Answered Mostly 2s:

You love attention! You want to be at the center of everything, and you want people to like you. Consider getting a CB radio handle that is attention-grabbing and unique, like Jammin’ Icebreaker and Smokin’ Lover. The latter will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows.

  1. If You Answered Mostly 3s:

You are generally a nice person. You care about those around you and love to be there for them. People find you to be approachable and will open up to you. If this is your personality, think about these CB radio handles: Diesel Angel, and Darling Bandit (because you might steal their hearts!)

  1. If You Answered Mostly 4s:

You have seen it all in life. Or maybe you have had some trucking experience as well. Life has taught you many lessons, and you do not have the time to concern yourself with trivial issues. You also probably have a CB radio handle. If you are looking to change it though, how about Chrome Thunderbolt or Super Motha to get you to start?

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CB Radio Code Tips

If you are a truck driver or are in the process of becoming one, a CB radio should be one of your must-have equipment. The trucking community is incredibly close, and other truck drivers tend to become your family while on the road. A CB radio will help you keep in touch with them, offer assistance, and send alerts.

But you cannot just start yammering on any channel. You do not have to be that person. Here are some CB radio tips and etiquette rules that might help you:

  1. Study Your Channels

The CB radio has 40 shared channels. One of the most important rules for CB radio has to do with ensuring safety. Some channels have been reserved by drivers to attend to pressing issues. For example, Channel 9 is solely used for emergencies and requesting assistance. As a truck driver, you must give priority to drivers with emergencies, especially in situations where the other driver in need might not have time to switch to Channel 9. It would be best if you always looked out for other drivers who might be in need. You never know when it might be you. 

  1. Know When To Talk

Older, experienced truck drivers might be more familiar with people interrupting conversations. If you are gearing up for a trucking career, expect to find such people interrupting every channel on the CB radio. They talk about everything, whether it is necessary or not. They are always cutting in. 

They can be annoying, right? Well, remember not always to be that person. If you want to partake in that conversation when many people are taking on a channel at a particular time, you must wait for your turn or wait for an appropriate time to also speak. 

Only interrupt a conversation if you have an emergency or urgent news to share with other truckers. 

  1. Brush Up on Your CB Slang

Some truckers tend to overuse or underuse CB slang. To find the right balance, you must study your CB lingo to ensure that you communicate well with other drivers. If you are not familiar with these terms, you might miss out on important updates and news. 

For example, someone might warn you of a ‘bear trap’ up ahead. That is slang for speed traps that police officers set up to catch speeding drivers. Some of the terminologies are pretty easy to figure out or are well-known. Others might need additional time adjusting.

Take your time to study the most basic and essential ones. However, ensure that you do not overuse it. 

CB Radio Lingo

cb-radio-lingo

Here are some of the terminologies truck drivers use over their CB radio:

CB Slang for Law Enforcement Officers And their Equipment:

  1. DOT - Department of Transportation enforcement auto vehicles
  2. Evel Knievel - a police officer on a motorbike
  3. Mama/Papa/Baby Bear - a female, male or rookie police officer
  4. Bear Trap - speed traps for drivers
  5. Polar Bear - a white unmarked patrol car
  6. Bear’s Den/Bear Cave - Police Station
  7. Eye in the Sky - a police aircraft
  8. Bear with Ears - identified police on a CB channel
  9. Taco Stand - border patrol officers at the Mexico-USA border
  10. Bear Bite - a ticket
  11. Chicken Coop - a scale house
  12. Local Yokel - local officers
  13. County Mountie - a local sheriff or deputy
  14. Full Grown Bear - state troopers
  15. Starsky and Hutch - police officers

Destinations:

  1. Disney Town - Anaheim, California
  2. Beantown - Boston, Massachusetts
  3. Corn Patch - the Midwest
  4. The Dime - Intestate 10
  5. Derby City - Louisville, Kentucky
  6. Nickel Road - Interstate 5
  7. Red Stick - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  8. Windy City - Chicago, Illinois (widely known by the public)
  9. Sticker Patch - Phoenix, Arizona
  10. Steel City - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  11. Silly Circle - the beltway around Washington DC that runs through Virginia and Maryland
  12. Shakeytown - Los Angeles, California
  13. Salty - Salt Lake City, Utah
  14. Motor City - Detroit, Michigan (widely known by the public)
  15. Stack of Bricks - Home

Trucks and Other Vehicles:

  1. Cash Box - a toll booth
  2. 18 Wheeler - a truck with 18 wheels or tires
  3. Meat Wagon - an ambulance
  4. Piggy Bank - an armored vehicle
  5. Skateboard - a flatbed trailer
  6. Peter Car - a Peterbilt tractor
  7. Louisville - a Ford L-series truck
  8. K-Whopper - a Kenworth tractor
  9. Rolling Refinery - a tanker truck that carries fuel
  10. Turkey Hearse - a truck loaded with turkeys for slaughter
  11. Salt Shaker - highway truck for spreading ice melt (usually salt)
  12. Fender Bender - an accident (widely known by the public)
  13. Four Wheeler - a vehicle with four wheels
  14. Dry Van - a trailer with no refrigeration
  15. Chicken Truck - a fancy truck

Popular Terms:

  1. Bear Bait - a speeding driver
  2. Choke and Puke - a truck stop restaurant
  3. Crotch Rocket - a fast motorcycle
  4. Copy That - I understand
  5. Back it Down - reduce speeding
  6. Affirmative - yes
  7. 10-100 - bathroom/restroom break
  8. 10-33 - emergency traffic
  9. 3s and 8s - sending well wishes to another truck driver
  10. Fifty Dollar Lane - the inside lane on either side of an eight-lane road
  11. Flag in Five Mile Wind - 45mph speed zone
  12. Double nickels - 55mph speed zone
  13. Front Door - the leading driver who looks out for police officers either approaching or waiting
  14. Drain the Dragon - need to use the restroom
  15. Negatory - no
  16. Lot Lizard - a prostitute who typically works at a truck stop
  17. Sandbagging - listening to a conversation over a CB radio without participating 
  18. Over one’s shoulder/donkey - the road you have just traversed
  19. Nap Trap - rest areas
  20. On one’s donkey - tailgating

Connect with ABCO Transportation Today

Away from all the talk on CB radio handles, truck drivers are essential because they are responsible for transporting or hauling goods or products that are vital to many people across the country. ABCO Transportation gives truck drivers terrific opportunities whether they are looking for a change or wish to have a career in trucking. There are several trucking jobs available for all kinds of truck drivers.

If you are strongly considering changing and moving to a new transportation company, we have a friendly support team ready to give you all the advice you need. Additionally, you will find on our website information on how to be a qualified truck driver, available trucking vacancies, jobs or positions. 

Take some time to read and fill out our available trucking application forms if you are interested in working with us and would like to know about starting a trucking career.  We offer Peterbilt cabs, nationwide free stays at company resorts and more. There are OTR, Regional, and local job opportunities for everyone interested, including CDL jobs in Florida. Get in touch with us today at 866-980-2710 and start a new career with tremendous and exciting benefits!

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