I took a quiz on Facebook the other day. The Ultimate Trucker Lingo Quiz, I think is what it was called. As you may know, truck drivers rarely refer to things by the same name that everyone else uses. Must be the long hours behind the wheel that makes them come up with alternative names for things, I guess.
Anyway, I wanted to see how I’d do, having been a driver for twenty-two years. Turns out, I qualified as an expert. “I would hope so,” I said to myself. Two decades should be time enough to learn an entire language, not just a little industry jargon.
Thing is, I’m not sure I needed my experience as a truck driver to pass the test. I think most people could pass the test without much problem. Common sense should be all that is needed. Plus, the test was multiple choice, so...
I guess that it helps that I’m old. I’ve had a lot of exposure to these sayings and expressions nearly all of my life; particularly back in the 70’s when CB’s were at their height of popularity. Being a truck driver may have helped establish some of the lingo firmly into my lexicon but it wasn’t like trucker talk was something new to me.
But all that aside, virtually nobody, (truckers anyway) talks like that anymore. Sure, there are a few who keep it up, mostly the older drivers. And of course, some expressions have managed to hang on, such as, 10-4, meat wagon (ambulance), smokey bear, or something like, alligator in the hammer lane (blown tire tread in the left lane). But the “art” of trucker lingo is pretty much a by-gone thing. Many drivers these days do not even use the CB; don’t even turn it on, unless there’s an emergency.
Even then, the good ol’ days, when there was always someone to come back with helpful information, are over. These days, if you get anything other than silence in response, it’s likely to be some smart remark that’s not at all helpful. The camaraderie of the “White Knights of the Road,” is long gone. In some ways that may be good but I sort of miss it. And, I’ll admit that every so often, I slip back into my trucker lingo—even when I’m not driving. ’Cause, like I said, I’m old. With that in mind:
Looks like I got this blog post in my back pocket. I’m gonna back on out now and head for the barn—if I can dodge all them 4-Wheelers. Keep the dirty side down and I’ll catch you on the flip. We gone, 10-10. ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.