Truck Drivers Still Need the CB

by TJ on July 28, 2008

Radio Communication

In this world of cell phones, unlimited internet access, and text messaging, the old fashioned two-way radio might seem a bit out of date. But according to, truckers still use the CB radio communication for a variety of reasons, and electronics companies are still manufacturing CB’s and other electronic communication devices just for truckers.

According to, most truck drivers find the CB at an advantage over the cell phone for a variety of reasons. CB’s allow truckers to communicate with other trucks that are driving along the same road or passing. This way, truckers can get important information about what lies ahead in their drive. Drivers can also signal truck stops that they are intending to pull into a fuel bay or a weigh station. Drivers also often need CB’s to communicate their official trucking business, like picking up or receiving loads. For emergency purposes, channel 9, the emergency channel, reaches law enforcement.

But entering the world of CB radio is not easy. Learning signals, channels, installation, and everyday use is often easy for the seasoned professional trucker, but for new drivers on the road, it can be quite daunting. That’s why Mar Long, Bonnie Crystal, and Jeffrey Keating, experienced technology writers, wrote The World of CB Radio, a handbook about everything CB, from installation to using the radio. The book can be purchased from for as little as $5.75 for a used copy. Pertinent information about CB use can also be found on multiple websites for truck drivers using the communication, such as and

But just having a box with a microphone isn’t enough for most CB users. According to, getting an exceptional antenna is important for those who want to communicate effectively using a CB radio; the antennas allow for better reception and transmission. Having a quality antenna also allows communication in areas where other signals, like cell phone signals, are not present. In addition, a powerful antenna leads to longer and further communication.

The web site recommends William I. Orr and Stuart D. Cowan’s The Truth About CB Antenna’s, a book that describes how CB antennas work with a CB to increase maximum communication, what to look for when buying a CB antenna, and even how to make a CB antenna.

Another type of communication device that many truckers utilize is a one-way device, the police scanner. Mobile police scanners allow truckers to listen into emergency frequencies—police, weather, fire, etc. These transmissions are helpful in trying to detect a possible problem along the road. Truckers who hear the problems far enough in advance can take another route to avoid potential problems.

Truckers used to find a second type of one-way device, the radar detector, helpful in their daily drives. Radar detectors pick up signals from police officers’ speed guns. The signals are then transmitted to vehicles, warning them that a police officer is near by. Though legal in non-commercial vehicles in all U.S. areas but Virginia and Washington D.C., the devices are illegal for commercial vehicle use. Though advises those wishing to use radar detectors to be aware that laws are always changing, the devices have been banned since 1995.

In the trucking industry, knowing what lies ahead and what emergencies might arise is important, and through CB radio technology, staying informed is easy.

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{ 1 comment }

Two Way Radio Joe November 25, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I saw two-way radios in your piece and thought this might be able to help you and your readers.

There is a tool to help select the proper walkie talkie for various needs like travel, business etc. The two-way radio tool is here:

There is also an area to help with two way radio selection by communication purposes like travel, fishing, business, indoor or outdoor use, etc.

Hope this helps.


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