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Truck driver lingo: Slang and terminology you should know

Two truck drivers talking outside of a semi-truck at night.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute 

If you’re new to the trucking industry, it can be hard to make sense of all the truck driver slang you’ve likely never heard before. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 40 pieces of truck driving lingo you can use to decode trucking industry chatter. 

Truck driver lingo examples 

Alligator A piece of blown tire on the road. 

Backslide – Return trip. 

Big slab/road - Interstate or large highway. 

Black eye A truck with a headlight out. 

Bobtail Driving a tractor only. 

Bumper sticker A tailgating vehicle. 

Cash box/register Toll booth. 

Chicken coop A weigh station. 

Comedian – Median strip. 

Double nickel Going 55 miles per hour. 

Go-go juice/Motion lotion Diesel. 

Greasy Icy or slippery. 

Grossed out At the maximum GVWR

Hammer down Speed up. 

Hammer laneThe left lane. 

Schneider egg An orange traffic barrel. 

Skins Tires. 

Toothpicks A lumber load. 

Yardstick A mile marker. 

Zipper – Dashed lane divider. 

Trucker terminology for types of vehicles 

Covered wagon – A flatbed trailer with sidewalls and a soft top, also called a Conestoga, or curtainside, trailer. 

Draggin wagon – A tow truck.  

Four-wheeler Any passenger vehicle.  

Meat wagon An ambulance. 

Parking lot A car hauler. 

Pumpkin A Schneider tractor-trailer. 

Reefer – A refrigerated trailer 

Salt shaker A snowplow that dumps salt. 

Skateboard A flatbed, or flatbed trailer.

Wiggle wagon Double or triple trailers.

Common trucker “10 codes” 

10-1 Receiving poorly. 

10-2Receiving well. 

10-4 Acknowledgement or "OK". 

10-7 Out of service (going on break). 

10-8 In service. 

10-9 Repeat message. 

10-20 Location (e.g., "What's your 20?" means "Where are you?"). 

10-33 Emergency traffic (used when there's an urgent situation). 

10-36 – “The correct time is...” 

10-42 – “Traffic accident at...” 

Looking for more new driver resources?

Whether you want to learn more about obtaining your CDL or read about different driving styles, we have the content for you. Learn all about the topics that matter the most to you by checking out more new driver blogs. 
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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