Driver Lingo


The roles of a tow truck driver vary depending on the type of towing job that is performed or with the equipment a technician uses in the process. For instance, for heavy duty towing, the driver has to be adept in towing large vehicles while for light towing, the driver only has to have mastery about towing light vehicles. Whenever you need a tow truck service, being able to communicate clearly about your issues is just necessary to make sure your needs are addressed with appropriate solutions.

Just like other professions, the world of towing also has its slang terms that you will often hear. Some of these “towing” slangs is also standard truck driver lingo.  Our tow truck drivers often use these to communicate with our dispatch team or their coworkers; letting them know about their location, their ETA, or just to describe the scene they have responded to. Might as well understand what they mean. Here is some of the slang terms you might come across with if you tuned in:

10-4 – OK, message received. Some drivers just say “10”.

Alligator – Large piece of a tire on the road.

Bambi – Deer (dead or alive).

Boardwalk – A bumpy road.

Brake Check – Jamming on your brakes.

Black eye – Broken headlight.

Cash register –  Toll booth.

Clean Shot – No highway patrol around.

Crack ‘em Up – Semi truck accident.

Customer – A pulled over vehicle surrounded by police. (Often used when describing traffic conditions).

Destruction Zone – A construction zone.

Double nickel –  Traveling at 55 MPH.

Draggin’ Wagon – A tow truck or a wrecker.

Flip-flop – A return trip or a U-turn.

Free Truck Wash – Rain.

Four Wheeler – Any vehicle on the road that is not a truck but has four wheels.

Four Wheel Phone Booth – Someone who is talking on their cell phone while driving.

Full Bore – A truck travelling at full speed.

Gator Guts – Small pieces of shredded tire on the road. These usually appear before a larger piece, called a “gator” or “alligator.”

Go-go juice – Diesel fuel.

Granny Lane – The right-side lane on a multi-lane highway or interstate, where traffic will be going slower.

Greasy – A slippery or icy road.

Greasy Side Up – A vehicle that has flipped over.

Ground Clouds – Fog.

Hairpin – A sharp curve in the road. Trucks can tip over on these if they are travelling too fast for conditions.

Hammer Down – Going fast, stepping on the accelerator.

Hammer Lane – The left-side lane on a multi-lane highway or interstate, where cars will be going faster.

Home 20 – A driver’s home location.

Jet Pilot – A speeding vehicle.

Jumper – A jumpstart job.

Lockout Victim – Vehicle owner/passengers that got accidentally locked out from their vehicle.

Motion Lotion – Fuel for a truck.

On the side – Pulled over on the shoulder.

Parking Lot – A traffic jam.

Plenty of protection – Usually means there’s plenty of police in the area, but I’ve heard it used to tell drivers to go ahead and step on it because there’s speeding four-wheelers ahead blocking or covering for them.

Popcorn – Hail.

Roger – Yes; affirmative.

Roller Skate –  A small car.

Rollover – A wreck in which the rig or the truck and rig turn over.

Rubbernecker – Careless drivers who cause slowdowns at accident scenes by turning their heads to look at the accident rather than watching the road.

Running on Rags – Driving a truck with little or no tread on the tires.

Salt shaker – The road maintenance vehicles that dumps salt or sand on the highways in the winter.

Skate Board  – A flatbed trailer.

Smoking the Brakes – The brakes of the trailer are smoking from overuse. This can happen while going downhill on a steep grade.

Through the woods – Leaving the Interstate to travel secondary roads.

Too many eggs in the basket – A
load that is over the gross allowed weight.

Turtle Race – A zone with a speed limit under 45 miles per hour.

Two Wheeler – A motorcycle.

Wally world – Wal-Mart (the store or the distribution center), or a Wal-Mart truck.

White Stuff – Snow. Can cause dangerous trucking conditions if low temperatures result in ice in the road or poor visibility.

Window washA rainstorm.

YardstickMile markers on the road side.

Hopefully now you’ll understand what your driver is talking about! Remember, for all your Newark towing needs, don’t hesitate to call us! 

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