Truckers are known for speaking in somewhat of a secret language, which can be jarring to newcomers and those not as familiar with the terms. If you’re new to the trucking scene, or maybe want to brush up on your knowledge of trucker slang, this compiled list of the most common terms used by truckers will help you navigate the job and communicate more effectively.
Slang Used Regarding Law Enforcement
Boy Scout, Nightcrawler, Bear, County Mounty, Smokey - These terms are all used to describe “a policeman” or a law enforcement official. There are even more specified names for these: “Mama Bear” refers to a female police officer, and “Local-yokel” refers to a small-town officer.
Evil Knievel, Smokin’ scooter – A law enforcement officer on a motorcycle.
Kojak with a Kodak, taking pictures – This means there is a law enforcer with a radar gun coming up on the road.
Got a clean shot – There are no policemen or law enforcers ahead on the road.
Bit on the seat of the britches – Someone who was tagged by the police for a speeding ticket.
Feeding the Bears – Refers to getting pulled over.
Slang Used for Speed
Power up, hammer down, mash your motor, stand on it – These terms mean “speed up”.
Back it down, back em’ up, back off the hammer – These terms say “slow down”,
Granny Lane – Describes the slow lane on the road. This is the lane used most often by truckers.
Hammer Lane, fifty-dollar lane – The fastest lane on the road, usually the left lane. Driving in this lane often requires you to speed 5 miles faster than the designated speed limit so you do not slow other vehicles.
Slang Used for Communication
42, Roger, 10-4 - Phrases meaning “yes” or “I understand”.
Got your ears on? - This is a way to ask if another driver is listening. “Driver ____, you got your ears on?”
Sesame Street – Refers to Channel 19, or the radio channel most commonly used by truck drivers to communicate.
Reading the mail, sandbagging – Drivers who aren’t talking on the radio, just listening, are “reading the mail” or “sandbagging”.
10-9 – “Repeat message”.
10-20 or “my 20” – “My location is ___”.
Slang Used for Location
Donkey, back door – Behind you; "There's a bear at your back door" means a policeman is behind you.
Front door – In front of you.
Home 20 – A driver’s home location or home city.
Left coast – The term used for the West Coast.
Bikini State – What some drivers call the state of Florida.
Shaky – Refers to California.
Slang Used for Other Vehicles
Lane Lover – A vehicle that won’t leave a particular lane is a lane lover.
Harvey Wallbumper – A vehicle/driver that is driving recklessly,
Cheese Wagon – This term refers to a school bus.
Draggin’ wagon – Means a tow truck.
Meat wagon, bone box – Two terms used to describe an ambulance.
Suicide jockey – A truck carrying dangerous cargo is a suicide jockey.
Bear bait – Refers to a speeding vehicle.
Bumper sticker – A vehicle, often a four-wheeler, that is tailgating. Can also be referred to as a “hitchhiker”.
If we missed any important terms or if there is a term used more frequently than one listed above, let us know in the comments below! And for any trucking parts and gadgets you may need, contact us today or visit our home page for the full list of our products and prices!