The Trucker Brief: The Flip Flop
By: Jake Isreal
A man named Al Gross, who invented the walkie-talkie somewhere between 1938 and 1941, was a radio engineer who is credited with the invention of the Citizen’s Band Radio (also known as CB Radio) in 1945. He was also the founder and owner of a company called Citizens Radio Corporation. In the 1970’s when the government instituted a 55-mph speed limit to help reduce fuel usage during the oil crisis, truck drivers began to use Gross’ CB Radios. Truckers realized that they could not only inform each other about which stations had fuel, but also where Smokey (the police) was running radar traps.
Movies like Smokey And The Bandit, and Convoy helped to spread CB fever across the land. The days of cell phones were still long in the future, and even normal everyday Joe’s were putting them in their personal vehicles as a means of communication with friends in their area. Eventually, clubs began to pop up and the CB Radio was everywhere in our culture.
These days, though, cell phones are here and the CB is dying. In this I find a lot of problems in my industry. The CB was good for finding Smokey, but it was much more than that. It became a major tool for safety’s sake. If there was a wreck, or an obstacle in the road, a driver could report that and warn other approaching motorists of the issue. This no doubt saved many lives.
Now, with many drivers not even having a CB or even turning it on when they do, I’m seeing a lot of accidents that could have been prevented, and certainly so in the winter months when road conditions can change very quickly. In the last few years I’ve seen pileup after bloody pileup caused by many factors. These include driving too fast for conditions, tailgating, and just not paying attention in general. It’s very unprofessional. Turn your radios on, drivers. It may save your life.
I will leave you today — and in the following issues of The Trucker Brief appearing every Thursday — with a list of CB trucker lingo. Also, notice the meaning of “Good Buddy.” Stop saying that. It doesn’t mean what you think it does.
Catch ya on the flip-flop!
▪ ACE – Important or well-known CB radio operator
▪ Baby Bear – Rookie police officer
▪ Camera- Police radar
▪ Daddy-O – Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
▪ Eager Beaver – Anxious young woman
▪ Flip-Flop – Return trip
▪ Good Buddy – Friend (modern day means a homosexual)
▪ Hack – Taxi cab
▪ Ice Box – Refrigerated trailer
▪ Jack – Good friend
▪ Keep ‘Em Between The Ditches – Have a safe trip
▪ Lady Bear – Female police officer
▪ M20 – Place to meet
▪ Nap Trap – Hotel or another place to sleep
▪ Oil Burner – Diesel truck
▪ Pack It In – Ending transmission
▪ QSL Card – Personalized postcard sent to confirm a conversation
▪ Radio Runt – Child breaking in on a channel.
▪ San Quentin Jailbait – Under age female hitch hiker
▪ Three’s & Eights – Signing off, best wishes
▪ Uncle Charlie – FCC
▪ Walking On You – Someone talking over you
▪ Z’s – Sleep
Author: Jake Isreal