Some truckers use a lot of jargon, which makes them sound more professional and impressive. You might not be able to tell what a trucker means if they say something like “spoke” or “truckie” or “coast-to-coast”. So we’ve come up with a list of the most common trucker jargon you should learn, along with definitions and examples.
1. On the road
The expression “on the road” generally describes when a trucker is conducting his duties, whether that’s loading or unloading freight, driving to a destination, etc. You’ll often hear truckers say something like: “I’m on the road right now”.
2. Truck Stop
The expression “truck stop” describes a place where trucks can park, refuel and rest while they’re on the road. A lot of truckers describe their home as a “truck stop”.
3. Hot Shot Loads
The expression hot shot loads refers to shipping work that is picked up and delivered quickly, which is often a requirement for companies that need urgent deliveries. For example: “I’m on hot shot loads this week because of a product recall”.
4. Door to Door
The expression “door to door” describes freight delivery from one location to another without being handled by third parties. For example: “This company does door-to-door deliveries so the product won’t get damaged”.
The expression “deadheading” describes when a trucker drives without a load. For example: “I had to deadhead to get back home”. Ideally, truckers want to reduce the number of miles they travel with an empty vehicle. Not only is it a waste of fuel, but deadheading can also be more dangerous for inexperienced drivers as the trailer reacts differently when it’s empty.
6. Double Drop
The expression “double drop” is when the driver of a truck has two deliveries or pickups at each destination. For example: “I have a double drop today; I have to deliver these three loads and then pick up four loads”.
7. Lead Driver
A “lead driver” is a trucker who acts as a supervisor for other drivers. They can also be referred to as an out-driver or even called boss by some drivers. For example: “I’m working my first lead driver position this weekend”.
8. Load Board
A “load board” is when a trucker receives information about loads through a computer system. Truckers can see what loads are available and where, so they can decide which to take. For example: “I found a load on the load board for $2000”.
9. Got my nightgown on
The expression “got my nightgown on” describes the time when a trucker goes to bed after they’ve finished their duties. For example: “I’m off work again, so I’ll be getting my nightgown on soon”.
Trucker jargon can be very confusing for people who aren’t deeply involved in the trucking industry. So if you’re unsure what a trucker means, simply ask them. If you know someone who’s learning to drive big trucks, then make a point of learning these trucker terms so you can have conversations with them more easily.
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