• Did You Know These Everyday Phrases Originated from Trucker Slang?

    04/04/2017 — Jerry Spelic

    We depend on truckers to keep our freight and economy moving. Over time, they have developed a language all their own. Did you know that many words and phrases you use every day originated as trucker slang? Transportation is so important and vital to the US economy that we thought we’d put together a blog post about trucker slang and lingo.

    First, a short history lesson. In 1958, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) allocated a new block of frequencies for a citizens band (CB) service. During the 1960s, it became popular among small businesses that were frequently on the road, like electricians, plumbers, carpenters and truck drivers. As CB radios became smaller and less expensive, CB radio usage exploded and a CB slang language evolved.

    Some common, everyday phrases that started as trucker slang include calling your spouse your “better half.” Or watching the “idiot box.” If you still have a home phone, you probably call it a “landline.” So did truckers, decades ago! Ever meet someone for a “barley pop?” Or shop at “Wally World?” Yes, these slang words for beer and Walmart owe their creation to truckers.

    Truckers have also created some great nicknames for American cities. Los Angeles is commonly known as “Shaky Town.” In fact, most city slang names refer to what the city is known for. Like “Beer Town” (Milwaukee), “Guitar” (Nashville), “Derby” (Louisville), and “Gateway” (St. Louis). Others are just fun to say, like “Choo-choo” (Chattanooga), “The Big D” (Dallas) and “The Nickel” (Buffalo).

    During the 1970s oil crisis, the U.S. government imposed a 55 mph speed limit, and fuel shortages and rationing were common. CB radios were crucial for truckers to locate service stations with fuel and to warn of speed traps. Truckers paid by the mile were negatively impacted by driving slow so lots of slang was created to alert other truckers of law enforcement. If you’ve seen Smokey and the Bandit, you know an officer of the law is a “bear.” But did you know that a rookie cop is a “baby bear,” a police helicopter is a “bear in the air,” or that a speed trap is known as a “bear trap?” A sheriff is known as a “county mounty” and “city kitties” are the local police.

    Finally, you’ve probably used “10-4” to acknowledge that you heard or understood something that someone said. Same with “what’s your 20?” which is short for 10-20, meaning location. These everyday terms originated from CB radio slang.

    Next time you have a load you need to keep between the ditches, whether it is "Badger Bound" or headed to "Mile High," contact PartnerShip. You can reach us at 800-599-2902 or get a quote now! Until then, keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.

    Click to
  • The Early History of Semi-Trucks

    06/15/2016 — Jerry Spelic

    We see hundreds of trucks on the road every single day. They not only help us live our modern life, but have contributed to the economic prosperity of the country, so we wanted to take a short look back at the very important history of trucks.

    People have used truck-like vehicles to transport goods and move materials for centuries, but before the invention of the mechanical engine, they were often drawn by pack animals. In fact, the definition of the word “truck” has evolved from “a cart for carrying heavy loads” to the more modern “motor vehicle for carrying heavy loads.”

    Before motor trucks, most goods were transported by railroads, with local transportation needs met by “trucks” drawn by pack animals, which had no rival until self-propelled steam-powered vehicles began emerging in the late eighteenth century. The motor truck concept languished until the invention of the internal combustion engine in the middle of the nineteenth century boosted its potential.

    Cleveland horseless carriage maker Alexander Winton is widely credited with inventing the semi-truck in 1898, and sold his first manufactured semi-truck in 1899. When Winton sold its first cars in 1898, it created the need for the cars to be delivered to their buyers, which led to the concept of the semi-truck to deliver his manufactured vehicles.

    In 1904, only about 700 large trucks rumbled on the roads in the United States but that number skyrocketed to nearly 25,000 in 1914. Motor trucks at the time were not built for comfort but for utility. They rode on solid rubber wheels with mechanical brake systems, and could only travel short distances at low speeds, often over rough and bumpy unpaved roads. The invention of pneumatic tires and hydraulic brakes helped make early trucks a more useful vehicle.

    The semi-truck population exploded in 1917 thanks to improved roads and the Federal Highway Act, which created a 3.2-million-mile national road system. In 1924, the number of trucks on the road would be 416,569; a 1,560% increase from just ten years earlier.

    The 1940s and 1950s saw the rise of the automobile and America’s population shift from the city to the suburb. The “Federal-Aid Highway Act” of 1956 authorized the construction of a 41,000-mile network of interstate highways. These two changes cemented the semi-truck as a part of daily life because more goods had to be shipped longer distances, which was made easy by the new system of interstate highways.

    Some key dates in the evolution of the semi-truck:

    1898 - Alexander Winton invents the semi-truck

    1914 - A semi-trailer used to transport boats created; used for other cargo as well

    1916 – Mack introduces the AC, signaling the end of open cab trucks

    1934 - Navistar builds the first tandem axle, six-wheel truck

    1942 - Freightliner introduces the first all-aluminum cab

    1953 - Freightliner creates the first overhead sleeper cab

    1959 – The first cab-over-engine truck is introduced

    As the truck has evolved, so has its engine. The first trucks (carts, really) were powered by horses or human. Then came steam-powered trucks. Electric trucks were popular in the late-19th and early 20th century, until the internal combustion engine and cheap gasoline led to a decline in their use. Direct-injection turbo-charged diesel engines became standard during the 1950s as trucks began the conversion from standard gasoline engines.

    What will the semi-truck of the future be like? Check out this post!

    PartnerShip is proud to be based in the birthplace of the semi-truck, Cleveland, OH! Next time you need a semi-truck to move your finished goods or inbound raw materials, give us a call at 800-599-2902 or request a quote. The freight shipping experts at PartnerShip are here to lend a helping hand!

    Click to
  • A Brief History of the Interstate Highway System

    04/21/2016 — Jerry Spelic

    Did you know that the interstate highway system our trucking industry depends on began its life as the “Interstate and Defense Highway System?” We’ll explain the “defense” aspect soon, but first, a bit of history.

    In the 1920s, automobiles became more affordable, more families were traveling and moving, and motor truck traffic was increasing as the economy grew and the country expanded. Before the federal government passed “The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1925,” many of the country’s 250 or so highways carried names such as “The Lincoln Highway” or “The Dixie Highway.” The new system would use the now-familiar shield and uniform numbers for interstate highways.

    But more drivers needed more roads. Who would pay for them? Other transportation systems (streetcars, subways, elevated trains) were usually built and operated by private companies that made infrastructural investments in exchange for long-term profits. Transportation interests, such as car manufacturers, tire makers, gasoline refiners and service station owners, suburban developers, and trucking companies, began to convince state and local governments that roads were an important public concern.

    Now, back to the “defense” part of the highway system. The man who would become president in 1953, former Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was stationed in Germany during World War II and had been impressed by its network of high-speed roads known as the Reichsautobahnen. After he became president, Eisenhower made it a priority to build a highway system that would help connect the nation and provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion. When the highway system was introduced, it was simply known as "the National Defense Highway System."

    The “Federal-Aid Highway Act” passed in June 1956 authorized the construction of a 41,000-mile network of interstate highways and allocated $26 billion to pay for them. The federal government would pay 90 percent of the cost of construction with the states picking up the remaining 10 percent.

    A promotional piece from 1961 claims the new highway system will: “Build up depressed areas. Strengthen our National Defense. Bring in industry. Provide jobs. Improve land values.”

    So next time you’re on I-10 on the west coast, I-95 on the east coast, or traveling through the heartland on I-80, remember that the Interstate Highway System we depend on for commerce and travel was created with national defense in mind.

    Click to
  • The History of Semi Trucks

    07/21/2015 — Matt Nagel

    Semi trucks didn't take over our highways overnight. Like everything else, semis have a long and detailed history all starting with their invention in 1898 (more on that later in the post). We recently came across a video that goes through the entire history of semi trucks step-by-step to show you how we got to where we're at today. The video, put together by TruckertoTrucker.com, also goes into some interesting stats as well as top selling brands in the trucking industry. All-in-all the video does a great job of walking you through the history and pointing out the innovations and inventions that make freight shipping by truck one of the most popular and efficient ways to transport your goods from point A to point B.

    Now that you've seen the history of the semi, it's our duty, as Clevelanders, to provide you with Cleveland's contribution to trucking. As you saw in the video above, Alexander Winton is credited with the invention of the semi truck in 1898, and Winton Motor Company was located in.....you guessed it - Cleveland, Ohio! Which means that PartnerShip calls the oldest, and most experienced, trucking city in the world it's home. We came across a slightly older video than the one above that highlights the Winton Motor Company's innovations in yet another trucking staple - the diesel engine.

    Click to
  • PartnerShip Employees Reflect on 25th Anniversary

    07/14/2014 — Scott Frederick

    PartnerShip 25th Anniversary EmblemIn case you missed it, PartnerShip is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. In March of this year we produced a thank you video for our customers. For this video, we recorded a message from PartnerShip president and COO, John Finucane, as well as some short video clips of our office and employees. I think the video turned out very nice, and we actively showcase it on 25th Anniversary Thank You Page, and on the PartnerShip YouTube Channel

    Although we didn't include it in our final customer thank you video, during our March video shoot we also interviewed a few PartnerShip employees and asked them to reflect on the company, our culture, and our 25th anniversary. We received some great, heartfelt comments from the brave employees that stepped in front of the camera and microphone; so I'd like to share them in this special video presentation. This is a true testament that PartnerShip is a great place work - with a genuine focus on customer service, teamwork, family values ... and having fun while doing it.

    If you're interested in joining the PartnerShip team, please visit the Careers page on PartnerShip.com to see what opportunities may be open within our organization.

    By Scott Frederick

    Click to
  • Happy Columbus Day!

    10/14/2013 — Scott Frederick

    Columbus Day 2013Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century but did not become a federal holiday until the 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus' achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. Throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have appeared in recent years.

    Here are a few links with more information on this U.S. holiday ...




    Click to
  • In Remembrance...

    09/11/2013 — Scott Frederick

    Found this emblem online. For today, it pretty much says it all.

    911Memorial 300x297 resized 600

    Click to

Click one of the Blog Posts by Date links to the left to see additional blog posts.

Awards & Affiliations

Partner Name
Northcoast 99
Northeast Ohio Top Workplaces
Ohio Best Employer