Are CB Radios Still Important in the Trucking Industry?

Are CB Radios Still Important in the Trucking Industry?

radioradio-1-63729-mMaking the typical short commute between your Saint Petersburg home and your job, many times located just a few miles away, certainly differs substantially from the people who take to the road each and every day with the intention of covering hundreds of miles.  Because of the challenges that await them on the various highways, the trucking industry has long relied on the CB radio system for communication with other drivers.

The CB radio originated in the United States in 1945.  It was a radio service for public use.  The overlying concept was rather simple – to provide a system of short-distance communication for those interested in broadcasting over radio waves.  It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that CBs grew in popularity.  During the time of the oil crisis, speed limits were reduced in St. Petersburg and throughout the country.  It was also more difficult for truckers to get the fuel they needed to complete their duties.  This was due to rationing that occurred at the time.

As a result, truckers started taking to the CB radio frequencies to get tips from other drivers on the best places to locate fuel in a given vicinity.  Additionally, the radios proved very useful for warning other drivers of upcoming speed traps.  A trend was born.  Since then, truckers have been putting CB radios to good use.

For many years, this was the primary form of communication for truckers.  The CB radio has helped drivers avoid bad road conditions, has been used to alert truckers to potential problems with their vehicles, and has even saved lives in serious accidents. The radios are still used for these purposes today and also as a sort of chat room for truckers trying to kill some time while driving.  They can be used to give directions, ask advice, and even seek directions from the other truckers.

Some were disappointed when changes in technology reduced the usage of the CB radio.  While it was once taken for granted that every tractor trailer would be equipped with one of the short-distance broadcast devices, today not nearly as many truckers partake.  Radios, cellphones, GPS devices, and other such advancements have reduced the need for CB radios.  Additionally, cell phone apps, like Co-Pilot Live Truck, can actually customize travel directions based on the vehicle size and weight.  Furthermore, it didn’t help that the CB channels were so popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s that they were overwhelmed with meaningless chatter all too frequently.

Nevertheless, listening to the CB can actually save lives.  Truckers are wise to listen to the advice of those who have already traveled the roads ahead and they may just learn about a mechanical problem (such as a bad tire or loose cargo latch) before it becomes a tragic disaster. Fortunately, many drivers have come to discover that they can adjust the squelch and continue listening to the local chatter without giving up more modern conveniences, such as Pandora or Satellite Radio.  In this way, they can assure that they have the additional form of communication should an upcoming obstacle pose a risk for a truck accident.  The CB can ultimately prevent the need for ambulances and personal injury attorneys, making it well worth the investment.