January 19, 2009

A Brief Introduction to the World of Trucking

The other day my sister asked what "reefer" means. I had mentioned in a previous post that we had been moved back onto a reefer from the cow haulin'.

Well, I've been thinking for some time that I might do a post on trucking terms, but just kept putting it off. However, presented with Meagan's question, I've decided that I'll go ahead and do this because some of the terms are entertaining, plus its educational for all of you as far as getting an inside view into what we do.

Some of these are general trucking slang terms, and some of them are CB chat terms. The idea or source of the words make sense on some. Other's I don't really get, and I'll go ahead and tell you some of them probably have vulgar origins, but naive as I am, I don't get it, and those that I do, I'm not going to go into detail explaining. Just keep in mind that its mainly a man's world out here and therefor...well you can use your imagination.

So let's begin.

Sarah's Guide to Truckin' Talk:


freight shaker - a slang name for Freightliner trucks

KW - Kenworth

Pete - Peterbuilt

(notice that the Freightliner name is kind of deragatory...in the trucking world Peterbuilts and Kenworths are like your mercedes and jags, while Freightliners and Volvos are like your hondas and volkswagons. Thats the best way I can think of to make it relevant for you.)


reefer - a refridgerated trailer

stick wagon - a trailer used for hauling logs

bull rack, bulll wagon - livestock trailer

skate board - flat bed trailer

parking lot - trailer used for hauling cars (I think that one's cute.)

General Terms:

lot lizard - truck stop prostitute

pickle park - rest area (I still don't get this one)

bear, smoky bear - law enforement agent

full grown (smoky bear) - DOT law enforement agent

one with a customer - a law enforcement agent with a car pulled over on the shoulder

one with a big truck - a law enforcement agent with one of us pulled over

local; city kitty - any law enforement agent other than a DOT officer

chicken coop, coop - weigh station

your coop's open/closed - the weigh station you are approaching is open or closed; this is announced by opposing traffic for your benefit

Those are the main ones and the only ones I can think of.

The trucking world has its own hierarchy. Or perhaps it would be more appropriatly called a food chain, seeing as how those on top often feed on the bottom dwellers, at least in the joke and ridicule department.

Generally owner/operators, or those who own their own truck are at the top. Under them are other types of drivers and companies at various levels. Also, generally, at least out west and from what I can tell, cow haulers seem to be reverred, probably because they follow few rules often giving themselves the "green light" and "blowing" past scales, ignoring speed limits, and generally doing whatever the **** they want to. (or at leats a lot of them do) Beneath them are probably flat bedders, then tankers. I think these three are higher in rank because they are more specialized and because the dry vans and reefers are a dime a dozen. The majority of freight is shipped in those two type trailers. And as far as companies go, owner operators are at the top, then general companies fill in the middle. But definatly companies such as Swift, Schneider, Covenant Transport, JB Hunt and a few others are the bottom dwellers but mostly Swift who is the butt of MANY jokes. And the reason for this being that they train drivers, I use that term loosly, put them on the road with little experience and within a rediculous matter of time they allow their drivers to train, again I use that term loosly, other drivers. Seems like at least half the time there is a truck in the ditch, its a Swift truck. So steer clear of them! We do.

So there you go, a brief introduction to the world of trucking.

1 comment:

Meagan said...

I loved this post! Very informative, kind of funny, and educational all in one... can't beat that!