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Trucker's Journal

I've been a trucker since November, 2004. Before that I was an accountant for many years. I'm having fun and actually making more than I did before. Go figure....

Location: Midwest, United States

Thursday, August 03, 2006

CB Radio

I had an email from a reader asking if truckers still use CB radios. Yes, indeed, they do. But I don't. I have one and used it for a while, but it raised my blood pressure more than it helped me, so I just didn't re-install it in my new (well, different) truck when I changed companies last year.

Most of what you hear is one liners like "Come on back in, you're clear of my front bumper now," or "Look at the seat covers in that VW!" For those who don't know, seat covers are females seated in a four-wheeler. When you see that VW go by, you don't know until you look if that enticement from another driver was an invitation to feast your eyes or prepare to vomit.

Most of the truckers or companies where I pick-up/deliver who use CBs are amazed when I tell them that I don't have one. They all wonder how I get along without one. I will admit that there are times when I do wish I had it installed, such as when you see a "brake check" ahead (all lanes stopped and red brake lights showing on everything) and wish you knew which lane to get in to avoid having to merge into another lane later, or whether or not you need to be in the right lane because there's a weigh station ahead and you can keep cruising in the left if it's closed. But, I've found that all in all, the plusses for having it don't outweigh the minuses.

If you really want to know how most truckers think and act, get yourself a CB and sit near a truck stop for any length of time and just listen to channel 19. You will hear literally everything you can imagine, from sexual propositions to items for sale to invitations to fight. The first is usually called "commercial company" and is scorned by most. The derogatory name is "lot lizard". They are almost always old and ugly. I hate judging people by sight alone, but let me tell you that I've seen none in truck stop parking lots that would even get in the back door of a beauty contest, let alone be a contestant. As for items for sale, many truckers live from paycheck to paycheck and will sometimes come up short and wish to sell their road atlas, their refrigerator, their CB amplifier, etc. I've heard that you can buy some good items for next to nothing that way, but I always wondered when I heard them selling if they weren't just ripping off some of their cargo and I'd be discovered in the possession of stolen merchandise if I bought. Sometimes you hear strange things like "I have 6 cases of frozen lemonade concentrate at $5 a case. Come see me at the reefer (refrigerated truck) next to the back fence." What has probably happened in that instance is that the BOL (bill of lading) said there were 300 cases and when they unloaded, there were 306 cases. You're stuck with the extra 6 cases to dispose of as you wish some of the time when that happens. Third item: fights. "Your momma......" "Don't you talk about my momma like that." "Yeah, I'll talk about your momma any time and any way I want." "Come to the red Pete (Peterbilt) behind the garage and say that to my face." And it goes on and on.

Yeah, it's entertainment more than it's worth having, but that's just my opinion. Who knows? I may yet decide to dig it out and install it one more time. But until then, I'll listen to my CDs and my Sirius radio when the commercial radio isn't worth listening to.

Hope that answers the question to your satisfaction. If not, then remember: you got what you paid for :)

The email address is longhaul48statetrucker@yahoo.com if anyone out there wants to email me. I don't check it every day, but if you write, I'll eventually see it.


Blogger jcobbers said...

Thanks for the answer! We got an old cb and didn't hear any truckers on it. How dissapointed we were.

However, it looks like all we need to do is get on channel 19 and hang out near a truckstop.


8:44 PM  
Anonymous Blondie And Dagwood said...

Hello Trucker Dude I just found your blog and see you posted this way back in 06.Heck you be out of trucking by now. my wife and I were truckers back in the late 80,s through the early 90,s back then we drove COE,s a lot Funny we don,t see any CEO anymore. I understand why you don,t like a CB, I too got burned out on the B.S. too,but my dad had a saying it was( Better to have something and not need it, than to need it and not have it!) I am not being a smart ass ,but I justed turned it off when the B.S. strated it has a on/off button. I had to run 50 miles in fog I was in the rocking chair if it was not for our C.B to hear from our front door a parked car half on the road. I would not be here today! Same as our back door would have hit us then too. Also over black Mt. We could not have helped Smokey bear the night a prev kiddnaped a little girl or would I have heard this sweet woman in S.E. ohio singing over the C.B. songs we would ask her to sing. She had a voice like Dolly P. No joke. But I do understand your views,but remember you could always turn it off. Take care and God bless

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Blondie And Dagwood said...

On I almost forgot the time I was running Rt 10 coming out of California. A old pickup truck loaded with people in the bed. The truck flipped. people were laying any dieing every where. Truckers were all trying to help the people,but if it was not for the C.B. Well you get the idea. Yes we all have cell phone today to call for help,but we didn,t in the old days.

6:12 AM  
Blogger vance said...

The Mobile CB Radio has been around since the FCC created the classification in 1945, but really began to gain ground when solid-state technology was developed in the early 1960's. Operating on a selection of 40 channels within the 27-MHz (11 m) band, a license by the FCC isn't required, and CB radios are fairly inexpensive to buy.
cb radio

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been out of trucking for about 15 years after trucking coast to coast for about 20 years. CB started big time in the early 70s due to the Feds imposed the 55 MPH speed limit nationwide during oil embargo. Back then you couldn't make a living driving 55 and with a stack of log books. Hopefully the log book part of it has changed. Trucking is a rough life and not for everybody. Cost me a marriage. I realized too late what being gone all the time did to relationships. Happy trails and be safe out there. Rick Booker (Rickoshay)

2:58 PM  

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