Here we go with our first installment of "Ask A Trucker," in which my cousin Chris (a truck driver) answers your questions. Feel free to write in with anything you'd like to ask an actual truck driver, the address being nogate at gmail.
Longtime reader Kelly asks:
Do truckers still use CB radios? I spent a fair amount of time on the Interstate highways in the late 70s and early 80s, during the heyday of CBs. As a young woman traveling alone, I had a CB more for safety reasons than anything else, but it also provided a great deal of entertainment.
That is a much better question than you might think. A CB (citizen band) radio is a simple and easy way to communicate. It is nothing more than a mobile transmitter/receiver used by truckers to quickly pass information to one another. It has three basic parts: the antenna which sends and receives a radio signal, the transmitter/receiver which houses all the control functions such as channel selection and volume, and the microphone. The way they work is, one driver will speak into his microphone and all other drivers in close proximity will be able to hear and respond. When tuned to the same channel, we can use them to warn other drivers of road hazards and weather conditions. And yes, we tell each other where the police are monitoring, so next time you're driving and you see a truck slow down it might be a good idea to do the same (it just might save you from getting a speeding ticket).
So the answer to this question is quite honestly: not enough of us still use the CB. Most owner operators (drivers who own their own truck) and "old school" company drivers use them but with the popularity of cell phones most newer drivers don't utilize this important tool, or they simply don't bother to install it.
I hope I have sufficiently answered your question and look forward to more.
Thanks, cousin! By the way, this is Chris:
"I would like to assure everyone that I will respond to all of your questions as quickly and as thoroughly as I can, and that the opinions given are solely mine based on my beliefs and experiences."