Trucker talk is used to describe everyday trucking activities and objects. Trucker talk continues to evolve, making it a limitless language. Here is some trucker talk that every trucker should know and understand.
Let’s go over some common trucker talk terms.
ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System): A computerized system consisting of sensors, solenoid valves, and a computer that monitors the rotation speed of the wheels and applied braking force. Anti-Lock Braking Systems help drivers to maintain control on slippery roads.
AFV (Alternate Fueled Vehicle): A vehicle that runs off a fuel other than gasoline or diesel.
Axle: A supporting component that holds attached wheels, brakes, and suspension parts. There are four types of axles, including front, drive, rear, pusher, and tag subtypes.
Air Ride Suspension: A suspension system that supports the load on inflatable rubber bags instead of steel springs.
ATC (Automatic Traction Control): An optional ABS feature that prevents spinning of the drive wheels under power on slippery roads.
AVI (Automatic Vehicle Identification): An automatic vehicle identification system that combines on-board transponder and receivers to detect stolen vehicles, electronic toll collection, and more.
Air Brake: A brake which is operated by air. The air brake system on tractors consists of air lines, valves, tans, and an air compressor.
Air Spring System: The system in which the container and plunger are separated by pressurized air. When the container and plunger attempt to squeeze together, the air compresses and produces a spring affect.
Air Tank: A reservoir for storing air for use in the air brake system. Braking would be impossible without an adequate supply of air.
Bobtail: A straight truck operating without a trailer.
Blind Spot: The areas around a tractor-trailer which are not visible to the driver through the windows or mirrors.
Bill of Lading: Shipping documents or shipping papers for a shipment. The bill of lading contains an itemized list of goods included in the shipment. It also serves as a contract of shipment, and a receipt for the goods.
Back Haul: A return load. Instead of returning empty, another load will be found going back to the original location.
Bogey: The assembly of two or more axles, often a pair in tandem.
Balloon Freight: Cargo that takes up a lot of space but is very light.
Bridge Formula: A formula used by federal and state agencies to help regulate the amount of weight allowed on a vehicle’s axles.
Bulk Freight: Freight that is no tin packages or containers.
Cabover: Designed so that a cab sits over the engine on the chassis.
CDL: The commercial driver’s license that authorizes an individual to operate commercial motor vehicles over 26,001 pounds.
Cartage Company: A motor carrier that provides local pickup and delivery.
Clearance Lights: The lights on top of the front and rear of the trailer.
Common Carrier: A freight transportation company, that serves the public.
CB (Citizens Band Radio): The radio that is used by truckers to communicate with each other.
Clutch Brake: The clutch brake is engaged when you push the clutch all the way to the floor. A driver only does this when they are stopped and need to get the truck into gear.
Detention: Extra driver pay for time spent waiting at a customer facility.
Dock Lock: A safety device that hooks to your trailer’s bumper when you are backed up to a loading dock.
Drivetrain: All the mechanical components that transmits the engine’s power to the rear wheels.
Fifth Wheel: A coupling device attached to a dolly or tractor.
Freight: The cargo you are hauling.
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR): The maximum weight axle rating, including the weight of the axle itself and the distribution of the vehicle weight carried by the axle.
Gross Combination Weight (GCW): The cumulative weight of a loaded vehicle.
Grade: A significant change of elevation.
Hazmat: Hazardous materials, as classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Jackknife: Positioning a trailer at an acute angle to the tractor.
Landing Gear: A set of retractable legs that support the front-end of a semitrailer when uncoupled to a tractor.
Log Book: The book in which truck drivers record their trucking activities.
Piggyback: A semi-trailer built with reinforcements to withstand transport by a railroad flatcar.
Pigtail: The electrical line supplying electric power from the tractor to the trailer. A pigtail is coiled like a pig’s tail.
Omnitracs: A satellite tracking device and communication tool that can be used to monitor speed, braking, idling, and other barometers of the driver’s efficiency.
Receiver: The customer who accepts your delivery.
Reefer: A refrigerated trailer, where the temperature is controlled by a refrigeration unit.
Runaway Truck Ramp: An emergency escape ramp used on seep downgrades for trucks that have lost braking power.
Seal: A plastic or metal band placed on the trailer door latch. An intact seal ensures that the trailer doors have not been opened and the cargo is untouched.
Shag: A local delivery, or trailer movement.
Sleeper: A sleeping compartment situated behind the tractor’s cab.
Sliding Fifth Wheel: A fifth wheel with a sliding mechanism which allows it to be adjusted to distribute the weight of the axles.
Here are some trucker talk transportation definitions.
Motor Carrier: A company that provides truck transportation.
Private Carrier: A company that provides truck transportation of its own cargo.
For-Hire Carrier: A company that provides truck transportation of cargo belonging to others and is paid for doing so.
Freight Forwarder: A company that arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual transportation.
Broker: A company that arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. The broker dos not assume responsibility for the cargo and usually does not take possession of the cargo.
Getting to know some trucker talk is not only beneficial to you and other truckers on the road, but it will be a great way to begin your trucking career. Good luck in your trucking career.