There seems to be an obsession with poultry in the trucking industry. No, I’m not talking about chicken fried steak, I’m talking about Chicken Trucks and Chicken Coops and all kinds of other chicken-related terms in the truckers’ vocabulary.
The general public may not know about it, but truckers talk turkey a lot.
Anyone who has ever listened to the CB radio knows that truckers have a language all their own. If a rookie driver or a vacationer dares to tread on the truckers’ territory, he’ll find out quickly that he isn’t one of the flock yet. It’s what you say and how you say it that gives you away.
Truckers have their own way of talking. It’s not diesel fuel, it’s go-go juice. It’s not a logbook, it’s a comic book. It’s not a rest area, it’s a pickle park.
But the trucking terms that revolve around poultry will blow your feathers off.
A good-looking big rig with a lot of lights is called a chicken truck or a rooster cruiser. The yellow lights on the side of the truck are called chicken lights if there are a lot of them. A convoy of trucks moving fast in the left lane of the freeway is called a left lane chicken train. A truck weigh station is called a chicken coop (when it is closed, they’ll say Chicken Loose On Scale, Entry Denied).
It doesn’t stop there.
Orange barrels in a construction zone are called Schneider eggs (Schneider Trucking is a similar orange color to the barrels). If drivers are warning others on the cb about a DOT inspection ahead, they will tell them to get all their ducks in a row. If something is good, it’s chicken lickin’ good. And, of course, there ain’t no feeling like chicken-mobiling.
The Colonel would be proud.
All this chicken chatter goes back to the early days of trucking when the chicken haulers had to… well… haul beak to get the chickens from point A to point B before they died. These guys had top notch equipment and got their loads there fast. They had a reputation back in the day and their legend still influences trucking today, though many don’t know that they are the source.
The chicken trucks of today generally aren’t hauling chickens. They haul beef, produce, furniture, cars and other freight, but they harken back to a day when the trucking was fast, the freight was feathery and the trucking jobs were the stuff of fantasy.