Do you know what CB Radio stands for? We've all seen movies where truckers use their handy CB radios to relate urgent and nearly incomprehensible shorthand messages to other truckers across the country. What are they saying and in fact, what is CB?
Citizen band radio, or as we know it, CB is a short distance communication radio. CB radios operate on 40 shared AM channels or Single Side Band mode. CB radios are commonly known for their use in emergency situations but can be used for both business and personal reasons by just about anyone, as you can read on the FCC website.
You are authorized to operate a CB station unless:
(a) You are a foreign government, a representative of a foreign government, or a federal government agency; OR
(b) The FCC has issued a cease and desist order to you, and the order is still in effect.
Good to know, right? But wait, there's more! While the rules for CB radio use are mostly relaxed, there are a few other restrictions:
You can only use CB on the 40 channels available.
Channel 9 is to be used for emergencies and travel information.
Priority is to be given to emergency communications.
While channel 9 is reserved for emergency communication, any channel can be used for emergencies.
Citizen Band radio was invented by Al Gross in 1945. Mr. Gross is also the inventor of the walkie-talkie and is the founder of Citizens Radio Corp. The popularity of CB radio increased in 1973 when the oil crisis caused oil prices to rise significantly. That, along with nationwide fuel shortages and a federally imposed 55 MPH speed limit gave rise to the popularity of CB among truckers. Truckers would use radio to inform others of speed traps and locations with low gas prices.
So do truckers still use CB? And what about that silly lingo? Yes and because it's brilliant. Honestly, the use of CB radio can be life-saving. In this mobile age we live in now, a CB radio is a still relevant backup. When cell phones lose coverage, having a CB radio on hand could be a saving grace.
That familiar jargon is more than fun with words. Since CB is shared radio, it is beholden to users to spend as little time on the air and share information as clearly as possible. Plus, CB handles are just plain cool.
For people who were not there to witness the early years of the CB radio craze of the 1970s, you may not understand why still a relevant hot-shot in the communication technology world. James Sweeney of Trucker News Online eloquently explains why CB radio is much more than just a fad for veteran truckers.
Are you ready to learn a few CB terms for yourself? The list below is courtesy of TruckerCountry.com:
Alligator- a piece of shredded tire on the road
Bear bite- a speeding ticket
County Mountie- a county police officer or sheriff
Donkey- behind you, as in something behind you
Evil Knievel- a law enforcement office on a bike
Fingerprint- to unload a trailer by yourself
Go go juice- diesel fuel
We've create a buyer's guide that will tell you everything you need to know to buy the best CB radio.