These days, several trucking companies and drivers alike still prefer the best CB radio for truckers despite the fact that mobile technology has already replaced traditional forms of mobile communication.
After all, these devices still provide the fastest way to communicate messages and relay information such as accidents on certain roads, traffic, weather conditions, and pretty much anything.
Comparison Table of CB Radio For Truckers
|Cobra 29LX Professional|
|President Mckinley USA|
|Pro Trucker CB|
|Anytone AT 5555N|
Of course, communication needs are getting higher, so it’s very important for trucking companies to invest in quality radio to ensure smooth and efficient and communication. If you’re a truck operator, then here’s a list of the best CB radios you can check out, for getting the best CB antenna you can check our previous review.
Top 10 Best CB Radio For Truckers Reviews
01. Uniden Pro505XL CB Radio – Compact and Very Easy-to-Use
If you’re looking for a compact CB radio that can fit pretty much anywhere, then this one for you. It is so small and so light that you can install it in any part of your car without it cramping your space. Unlike the bulkier ones, this one isn’t heavy at all.
In fact, it weighs less than the typical CB Radio. It weighs around a bit more than a pound but won’t reach 2 pounds. It’s also really easy to use as the controls have easy to read indicators.
Also, the digital display is in really big font to allow you to see the channel and radio signal bar even if you have eyesight issues. Just to give you an idea, the signal bar on the digital display is the RF power indicator which checks the strength of incoming signals. This is really useful if you need someone to talk to during those long trips.
Overall, it’s one of the most user-friendly CB radios on the list. If you want something easy to handle and easy to operate, we highly recommend this model.
02. Galaxy DX959B CB Radio – Enhanced Technology CB Radio Type
The Galaxy DX959B CB Radio has a plethora of cool functions that you can take advantage of if you’re tech-savvy. Let’s first talk about its noise-filtering feature. If you are very particular with static and background noise, the Galaxy Noise Filter Circuit might be something that will satisfy you.
As the name implies, it is a pretty efficient noise filter that completely blasts away unwanted outside noise that would affect the reception of broadcasts. It might even be able to take in very weak SSB signals.
Other pretty interesting features that you’ll find in this CB radio include a variable talkback switch and a roger beep switch button. It also has an automatic SWR circuit, as well as an SWR alert, LED light which lights up your antenna picks up strong signals.
Finally, it has a Galaxy meter with 4 scales indicating the loudness (dB) of the broadcast. The S signal signals a 60 dB broadcast that is over S9.
03. Cobra 29LX Professional CB Radio – Most Useful Professional Trucker CB Radio
This is a pretty popular model among professional truckers since it has all the functions that a trucker needs when going down desolate roads at any time of the day. First of all, it has PA capability just in case you want to attach a PA horn for clear broadcasts.
To add to that, there is a Dynamic feature that gives your mic a voice boost, allowing your signals to have a clearer message. The RF gain is also pretty efficient in taking in supposedly weak signals. Combine those three features, and you can get a clear message even if it comes from far away.
Aside from just broadcasting and message strength, you’ll find that this model has a great weather system. First, it has a complete set of NOAA weather channels. That way, you can stay updated with the latest storm broadcasts or heat waves.
Aside from that, there is also a weather alert scan that allows you to automatically tune into channels that have weather alerts. This tells you in advance which area has storms, snowstorms, or hurricanes, hence allowing you to take alternate routes or detours.
04. Midland 1001LWX CB Radio – Realtime Built-In Weather Tracker
If there is one thing that you will really appreciate with this CB Radio, it would be the built-in weather tracker its features. The weather tracker would automatically connect to the NOAA weather radio so that you’re updated real-time on the weather conditions near your area.
Along with this, you also have Weather Spotters by NOAA. These weather spotters would give you a heads up if ever there is an area near you that has hazardous weather. It is similar to what the Cobra CB radio has to offer, although this one can connect to NOAA channels more efficiently.
This CB radio is built to hook on to the local weather channels of the places that you go to quickly. That way, you’ll also be updated. Other features include an adjustable RF gain so that you can pick up even the faintest radio signals and also clear up the closer ones.
You’ll most likely also love the automatic noise filter wherein the CB radio automatically filters out any background noise or static, especially from messages that are coming from a weak signal. That’s very useful even for emergency situations wherein you need to get reception quickly.
05. Cobra C75WXST Handheld CB Radio – Best Handheld Control System
This is the second Cobra model to appear on this list, and with pretty good reason at that. If you check out this model, you’ll see that there’s no control box because all of the functions can be found on the handheld device already.
This feature in itself makes this CB radio extremely easy to use and install. Since there’s no radio box necessary, you don’t need to break a sweat looking for the best place on your dashboard to put it. It’s targeted for those who want more space in their truck driver seat and for more convenience.
Aside from that, it also has the functions and features of a typically good CB radio. First, there is a sound tracker system that has the capability to reduce background noise to up to 90%. Aside from that, it can also scan weather channels by the NOAA so you’re always updated on the weather while on the road. Finally, it has a very bright display allowing you to see the display even at night.
06. Midland 75-822 CB Radio – Long Lasting Battery Powered CB Radio
Of the many portable CB radios in the market, this is probably one of the most powerful ones that you can ever find. If you want your CB radio powered by AA batteries instead of your truck’s built-in power, we recommend you get this one.
The device can be powered with six AA batteries and can last pretty long. The reason for this is because it has a battery life extender that allows you to really maximize the juice of the battery.
You can also choose the power settings you want for your device (either 4 watts or 1 watt) depending on how much power you want to use for your portable CB radio.
While most portable CB radios don’t have that wide of a communication range, this one is quite the exception as it can use 4 watts of output power. With that, it can almost match the range of the typical mobile CB radios.
Aside from that, this CB radio has a last channel memory feature. This handy little feature allows you to go back to the last channel you were in before you turned off the device. It’s handy if you were stuck on a certain channel that all your trucker friends are in.
07. President Mckinley USA SSB 12/24 Volt CB Radio – Heavy Duty Hi-Tech CB Radio for Professionals
This is one of the heavy-duty CB radios that professionals often use for their work. Not only truck drivers use it, even local authorities actually use this model when they are monitoring the emergency channel 9 as well.
That’s because it comes complete with all the functions you need to get the right reception for your broadcasts and receiving broadcasts. One of the very interesting features of this CB radio is its automatic squelch control.
With the automatic squelch control, it can automatically drown out background noise and determine at what level. This intelligent feature allows you to get the best sound for the broadcasts that you receive.
It also comes with a full noise blanker so that you can further eliminate noise even from the side of the broadcaster. Other features that you can enjoy from this CB radio include a switchable talkback function, RF gains control system, powerful ANL, and a weather band alert system – all of which are essential when you’re on the road with no one around.
08. Stryker SR-955hpc CB Radio – Most Reliable CB Radio for Everyday Use
We think that the great thing about the Stryker radio is that it comes with a plethora of cool features, making it more of a jack-of-all-trades kind of thing. It isn’t really targeted to particular truck drivers or overall CB radio users since the features are great for anyone who needs a CB radio.
To start, let’s talk about compatibility. It is a good model that can take both amplitude modulation and single sideband modulation as well. Aside from AM and SSB, it can also make use of frequency modulation (FM) radio quite well.
It also passes in the aesthetic department since it has seven colors to choose from for the LED backlit. With that, you can choose the color that you like the most (or the one that’s least glaring to your eyes).
It also has a very good built-in mic which makes the sound quality very sharp. Finally, it’s built for long term use with its robust structure. It has a pretty long shelf life as compared to many other products.
09. Pro Trucker CB Radio Full Kit – The Complete CB Radio Package
The reason why we love this kit is that it already includes everything you need for a complete CB radio to work. Since it is a package, it can also help you save a lot of money as opposed to buying all these pieces separately.
Included in the package is a Uniden PRO 505XL CB radio unit, a 12 inch Belden coax cable that has a 95% jacket for overall durability, a 4-inch Pro Trucker fiberglass antenna with an adjustable tip, Pro Trucker antenna stud, medium-duty spring, and a 3-way mirror antenna mount which is made of top-grade aluminum.
As you can see, the package is made of various products from different brands. This is to ensure that the best products are included in the package. With such an amazing combination, you can get a powerful CB radio for your truck that is extremely easy to install.
10. Anytone AT 5555N Amateur Radio – A Reliable HAM Receiver
The thing with the Anytone AT 5555N radio is that it is a little different than your average CB radio. It’s actually a HAM receiver that is pretty easy to use. The best part is, they don’t require any FCC standards.
With that, it’s possible to add even more features due to lesser restrictions. This also explains why it’s more powerful than most CB radios. Specifically, the Anytone AT 5555N radio is compatible with SSB, FM, AM, and PA.
It also has a frequency range of 28 up to 29 Mhz, making it able to reach out to very far broadcasts compared to CB radios. Other than that, this handy little device includes a variety of features such as frequency control phase lock, push talk mic, LCD light dimmer, menu function, programmable RB, ANL, SWR protection, and a six group memory channel.
It also has a 1.5KHz clarifier that is highly adjustable. As you can see, most of these functions can be found in your average CB radio, making this device as good as CB radios. However, other added features make it more useful and arguably more powerful.
Buying Consideration of Trucker CB Radio
If you’re a truck operator or an owner of a trucking company, you have to consider getting one of these 10 CB radio brands. But before you do, you have to keep in mind that each truck has different needs with regard to CB radios.
Due to this, you can’t just buy any CB radio you can find on the market. You need to buy the one that can perfectly suit the needs of your trucks. Even if we have reviewed the 10 best products on the market, we can’t guarantee that they will fit your specifications.
To help you out, we’ve created this buying guide which details the important factors you have to consider when shopping. They’re as follows:
The first thing you need to take into consideration is how well the CB radio can silence the background noise – a feat made possible with its squelch control. Basically, the squelch control is the one responsible for silencing the receiver. It will also automatically “un-silence” the receiver once a powerful signal comes in.
In fact, it would even silence very weak signals as well so that the stronger ones can push through with minimal difficulty. Therefore, when choosing your CB radio, you have to take into account how well the squelch works.
Another thing you may want to look out for is a CB radio’s PA Feature. This feature enables you to make your voice louder and clearer. This is especially useful for emergency situations or rush jobs wherein you’re calling for something right away. This PA feature goes together with a PA horn which will be the device to broadcast your message.
You must also make sure that a CB radio has a good automatic noise limiter or ANL. Basically, this feature takes out the background noise that comes from honking, revving up, or other unnecessary sounds. It works alongside the squelch control to further reduce background noise to make sure that the quality of the radio reception is good.
While the squelch blocks off far signal, the RF gain does the opposite. Specifically, it captures these far signals and tries to decipher them. While most truckers don’t really need this feature, it is useful to have in the event one wants to pick up emergency signals that are significantly far away.
It’s a good feature for paramedics and rescuers. Truckers can have it too if they need to pick up distant signals. However, it’s more of an optional attachment.
To make it easier to read or control, it’s always recommended that you go for a CB radio with a backlight display. With this handy little feature, you’ll be able to see your CB radio and read it even at night.
Also, some CB radios have dimming features wherein they can reduce the intensity of the backlight. This is pretty convenient if you think that the backlit display hurts your eyes.
Another thing that you must look out for is the multi-channel function. CB radios would have various channels that you can tune into. These include weather channels wherein you can have an update on the weather and the emergency channel where you can call for an emergency.
On average, a typical CB radio has around 40 channels to choose from. If you’re a trucker though, you may need to have access to other trucker groups which you’re a part of. That said, you’ll need more than just 40 channels.
Therefore, if you’re a trucker, you have to get a CB radio with more than just 40 channels. Meanwhile, if you feel like you don’t need the extra channels, then a 40-channel radio is enough.
Aside from the functions, you may also want to take into consideration the size of the CB radio you’re buying. Generally, we recommend more compact ones because you don’t want it to take up too much space in the driver’s area.
What we recommend is that you get a thin and small one that is easy to install. Typical portable CB radios are around 4 inches in height, so that should give you an idea on what to look for.
Like size, you also have to consider the weight of the CB radio. We recommend a lightweight CB radio for ease of installation and portability. The heavier and bulkier ones are a little bit more difficult to install. At best, 2 pounds is a good standard to follow when taking into consideration the weight of the CB radio.
Appearance isn’t really a crucial factor to consider, although it does make your truck look nicer if your CB radio looks cool. If you review our top choices above, you’ll notice that all the choices we picked have racked up tons of points in the aesthetics department.
Of course, there are extra features that some models have to make them unique. Some extra features that you may want to look out for is the dual channel function which allows you to monitor two channels at the same time, a built-in memory feature which brings the radio back to the last channel it was in after you’ve turned the radio off, or a heavy-duty speaker for better quality sound.
You can check out other features from various models and see which ones fit your needs.
Price and Brand
Lastly, you need to take into consideration the price and the brand of the CB radio you’re buying. In our list, we recommended products from well-known brands such as Uniden, Midland, President Mckinley, Stryker, and more.
All of these are pretty known brands which gained popularity due to their high-quality products. Moreover, the prices of their products are reasonably priced at the same time. With our list, you don’t need to do too much research on the best or cheapest brands as we’ve already done that for you.
These are some of the things that you need to look out for when choosing the best CB radio for truckers. By referring to our reviews and buying guide, you’ll be able to find the right product for your trucking needs.
FAQs About CB Radio For Truckers
Q: How far can the reception of the CB radio reach?
A: Generally, the CB radio has a radio signal that can reach out to contacts within a 50-mile radius. However, enhancements such as antennas may allow you to span contacts up to a 100-mile radius, sometimes even further depending on the strength of those enhancements.
Q: Can I contact another trucker even on desolate roads?
A: Yes, you can. However, this will depend on the distance you two are from each other. The further you are from each other, the harder it will be to interpret a message unless you have built-in advancements that allow you to have clearer reception or a wider reach of the radio signal.
Q: What part of my truck can I install my CB radio?
A: We recommend that you just install it on the dashboard. We also recommend that you get the smaller, compact ones so that the installation won’t be so difficult.
Q: How do I install an antenna on my truck?
A: First, you have to choose a place where you will mount your antenna. It is recommended that you put the antenna in a place that is near your CB radio such as the roof of your truck.
While there are some truckers who would drill their antennas on to the roofs of their trucks, we prefer a more non-invasive method of installation by using a magnetic mount.
Although magnetic mounts aren’t as sturdy as drilling the antennas on the roof, they actually do their job pretty well. Just make sure that the magnetic mounts you buy are very strong so that they won’t fly off when you go speeding down the highway.
After that, you just have to use your coax cable to connect your antenna to the CB radio.
In some cases, antennas would already come with a coax cable that you can connect easily. However, some antennas don’t. In those cases, you need to buy a separate coax cable so you can connect the antenna to the CB radio.
Q: How do I install my PA horn?
A: First of all, you must check if your CB radio is PA-compatible. If it is, you simply have to plug in the PA jack into your PA horn and turn on the PA function or your CB radio. With that, you will be sending messages from the PA.
Q: Are there any popular channels aside from channel 19?
A: Yes. Aside from channel 19, there is also channel 17. The channel you choose would really depend on what direction you’re going. If you’re going west or east, then you’d most likely find more people in channel 19.
If you’re going north or south, you’ll find more people in channel 17.
Q: Is the emergency channel (channel 9) connected directly to authorities?
A: Channel 9 is strictly monitored by the local enforcement of the area that you are currently in. As long as it is within the radius of the respective local authorities, they will receive the message.
They also usually have enhancements to widen their radius so that they can pick up emergencies at further distances.
Q: What are some of the important buttons that I need to know?
A: As a first time user of a CB radio, here are a few of the important buttons that you should know by heart:
- Volume – this is the volume button that will control the sound of you talking. Take note that it only controls the volume of your voice and not the voice of the person you’re talking to.
- Squelch dial – if you want to have an easier time interpreting the message, the squelch comes in handy. This dial allows you to reduce the background noise of the received message so you can hear it better.
- Mic Gain – this is pretty much like a volume button but a more enhanced one. It makes your voice extremely loud and pretty clear. Some of the older CB radios don’t have this feature but most do.
- RF Gain – the RF gain is used for amplifying signals close to you and pick up signals that are far. If you think the signal is too bad, then the RF gain tries to clear it up so you can pick it efficiently.
- WX Switch – with this switch, you can switch back and forth from the CB radio to the weather channels. You’ll only really need this if you’re experiencing extreme weather conditions and you need to know which location has it worse or better.
- PA Switch – lastly, there is the PA switch. This one simply allows you to switch back and forth from the PA to the CB radio. If your CB radio is PA-compatible and you have a PA horn, you can simply attach the PA horn to your radio and flip the PA switch to get it running. With that, your message will be on the PA instead of the radio.
Q: Do I need a permit to use a CB radio?
A: You don’t need a permit to operate one. However, you are not allowed to use one if you work in a foreign government or a federal government. That is the only time when you will need a permit to use a CB radio. Local truckers won’t have any problem regarding this.
Q: Will my radio alert me if there is a storm or harsh weather up ahead?
A: Some of them do if they have that feature. There are even some CB radios that can alert the driver of a storm or tornado even if the CB radio is turned off.
How to Operate a CB Radio
Even if you have already bought your CB radio and studied some of the common things that you need to know about it, it won’t matter if you don’t know how to use your CB radio, to begin with. With that said, we took the liberty to also include a short step-by-step guide on how to operate a CB radio just in case you’re a newbie trucker.
We’ll also deal with some CB radio etiquette and codes you need to know when you operate your CB radio. This will make things easier for you when you get into your truck and try the radio for the first time.
The steps are as follows:
Play with the Channels
Before anything else, we highly recommend that you play with the channels first. As mentioned above, there are typically 40 stations that you’ll find on the CB radio.
In each station, you’ll find someone to talk to. When you talk, you must also take note of the codes that CB radio users use. These include the following:
- 10-1 for Poor Reception
- 10-4 for Receipt of Message
- 10-7 for No Signal
- 10-9 for Repeat the Message
- 10-20 for Location Identification
Talk into the Speaker
Once you have chosen a radio channel (usually channel 19), try speaking into it and see if you have a response. If ever you hear someone speaking, let them finish their message first. Once there is an obvious break, have a radio check and wait for a response.
Always make sure that you and whoever you’re speaking to takes turns talking so that you two won’t crowd up the reception.
Try it with Co-workers
If ever you need to communicate with other truckers because phone signal may not work in desolate roads, then you can use the CB radio. This is also useful if you own a trucking fleet as this allows you to communicate with your truckers.
To do this, simply choose a channel that doesn’t have many people talking in it. Ask your co-workers to tune into that channel and assign a code phrase. It could be something as simple as, “the cow jumped over the moon” or stuff like that.
Once someone says the code phrase, you’ll know that it’s someone you know. From there, issue a radio check and reply back. If the signal is too bad, you may use an RF gain to amplify the signal so you can pick it up.
Take Note of the Emergency Channel
As mentioned above, there is an emergency channel used for sending out emergency messages. Typically, CB radios would assign it to channel 9. Therefore, if you ever encounter an emergency situation along the way like a car accident, tune into channel 9.
After that, issue a radio check and wait for a response. If there is a response, briefly state the situation. From there, give a 10-20 or a location. Once that is done, wait for a 10-4 or receipt of the message and wait.
And that concludes our comprehensive product review and buying guide. With this guide in your hands, you are now ready to choose the most suitable CB radios for your trucks and truckers.
Not only will you have the buying guide to help you narrow your choices, but you also have other valuable information at your helm just in case you want to know more.
All of these things are essential in choosing the best CB radio for truckers based on your own needs and wants. Just always keep in mind that when choosing a CB radio, you have to make sure that it can meet your trucking needs perfectly.
While there are plenty of products to choose from, not all of them can give you the functionality and features you might be looking for. As such, we recommend you conduct additional research and do a comparison of the products we reviewed so you can gauge the right one for you.