In the old golden days of CB radios, there used to be no better love story than truckers and these beasts.
I still love the feeling when I can talk to other truck drivers on the road through CB radios.
Although the use of CB radios has been reduced drastically, many truckers are still benefitting from these amazing devices. However, you need to get the best CB radio for truckers to enjoy a pleasant experience.
In other words, utmost care should be given while choosing a CB radio for your truck.
So, what are those features you should look for?
- Large-sized backlit display
- LED Knobs
- Top of the line noise reduction
- Driver-friendly format
- Weather channels
- Instant Emergency and Weather Channels
To be honest with you, it’s hard for a normal human being to find a CB with all these features.
But the good news is that we have done the job for you.
Without much further ado, here is an overview of our top CB radio recommendations for truckers.
Best Trucker CB Radio
Why Should Truckers buy a CB Radio in 2020?
CB radios are inevitable for truck drivers all across the globe. Although we now have advanced technologies like cell phones, you can still rely on CB radios to communicate directions, traffic congestions and other relevant information on your road ahead.
- Information on traffic conditions, adverse weather, delays on the road, police activity, etc. can be easily passed to your fellow drivers through a CB radio, even if you are out of cell phone service areas.
- CB radios are way more efficient than cell phones to pass any up to date information immediately within a locality. As soon as your fellow trucker who is a few miles away encounters a situation, the information is passed to you.
- Channel 19 is extremely useful when you want to communicate some general information, while channel 9 comes handy at times of emergencies. You can always get help using channel 9.
- CB can function great to coordinate pickups, deliveries, and other matters with your clients.
Best CB Radio for Truckers: Reviews
Below are the detailed reviews of our top picks based on their performance and features.
1. Cobra 29LX: Best Trucker CB Radio in the Market
Undoubtedly the best CB radio designed for truckers. Flawless design and uncompromised performance is what Cobra 29LX has to offer you.
If you care for aesthetics, Cobra has something great to offer you. The selectable 4-color LCD display in blue, red, green and amber enhances the interior of your cabin to another level.
This terrific CB is a high performance CB radio that is loved by most truckers out there.
The display is large and easy to read, assuring you hassle-free operation while driving in dark. You can also adjust the color and brightness of the display. This is surely going to escalate your drive!
Staying up to date with the latest weather conditions is inevitable for any trucker. This trucker CB radio comes with 24×7 instant access to 10 national weather channels, powered by NOAA. It updates you with the latest information on storms, heatwaves, etc.
Additionally, you get the weather alert scan feature that allows you to automatically tune into channels that give weather alert. It works even when your radio is off.
Noises are real headaches whenever you are on the road. The NB/ANL switch works perfectly fine to eliminate unwanted static and interferences like engine sound and ignition noise. The RF gain and delta tune also work efficiently providing clear incoming signals.
To track your on-time driving hours and to set alarms Cobra has added a clock/timer. Finally, if you want to attach a PA horn for clear broadcasts, go ahead. This unit has PA capability too.
2. Uniden Bearcat 980: The Biggest & Powerful Truck CB
The most powerful trucker CB radio in the market. Equipped with all the features required by a trucker on desolate roads and bleak landscapes.
The benchmark feature of Bearcat 980 is the large, easy to read, customizable 7 backlight color display. With this premium display, you can drive with confidence on any roads at any time of the day. The display adapts amazingly well with any light conditions. It’s one of the best SSB CB radios you can get for long-distance communication.
Bearcat 980 is designed to operate reliably in harsh conditions such as strong vibrations, extreme temperatures, and wet or dusty conditions, undoubtedly familiar to any truck driver. The powerful rugged design sets this device apart from all other truck CB radios.
Bearcat 980 assures you the clearest reception and the strongest transmission with
- Dynamic squelch control
- Hi/Lo mic Gain Control
- ANL Noise Filter to reduce background noise
- Noise Cancelling Microphone
With full 40 channels, NOAA weather channels, and instant access to emergency channel 9 and information channel 19, this CB truck radio is a complete package. You can read our Uniden Bearcat 980 review here.
3. Galaxy DX 959: For Longrange Communication
Top-notch truck CB radio Jam-packed with features. A solid performer with the classic Galaxy design, an offer hard to refuse.
DX 959 is not really a beginner-friendly CB radio. But once you are used to its various functions, this truck CB radio delivers you unparalleled user experience.
The noise cancellation feature included in DX 959 is spectacular. As a trucker, you can never omit the need for eliminating static and background noise. The big CB radio comes to your rescue with the Galaxy Noise Filter Circuit, efficiently filtering all unwanted noise.
This CB truck radio also comes with a 4 scaled Galaxy meter that indicates the loudness of your transmission. The layout of the radio functions is in a driver-friendly manner. You don’t really need to look at the display every time you need to perform some task or cycle through the menus. The large knobs and buttons do the job neatly.
Other features to look for
- Roger beep at end of a transmission
- Variable power output to control your transmission signal’s power
- Automatic SWR circuit and high-SWR alert
- Strong SSB signal reception
4. Cobra 18 WX ST II
A very handy and compact radio ideal for recreational vehicles and trucks. A great choice for those who does off-roading frequently. The sleek and compact design of Cobra 18 WX ST II is a major plus. It looks great inside your cabin!
The signal reception of this device is exemplary. It picks up distant signals nicely. The option for single DIN mounting is very convenient. It fits nicely into most vehicles.
Instead of the usual NB/ANL switch for noise reduction, Cobra 18 WX ST II has the Sound Tracker feature. It sharpens voices to a good extent and boosts reception and transmission of signals well. The front-firing speaker is ideal for recreational vehicles as it directs sound directly to the listener.
Built-in NOAA radio receiver is a must-have feature for trucker CB radios. 18 WX ST II is no different. The 10 NOAA weather channels keep you updated on storms and other emergencies. You also have access to the normal channel 9/19. The dual watch function is a great addition, allowing you to monitor two channels simultaneously.
5. Uniden Pro 520XL: Best Budget CB for Trucks
The most affordable CB truck radio. If you are looking for an easy to set up low cost CB radio ideal for beginners, Uniden Pro 520XL makes a great choice.
Despite being cheap, Pro 520XL offers you the best in class features for a basic radio. What you will love the most about this radio is the easiness to use it. All the basic features are set up in a very user-friendly manner. The knobs are large and easy to use.
The truck CB comes with 40 channels along with access to emergency channel 9. A PA switch is provided at the front of the radio. You can use your CB as a Public Address system. You can add an optional PA speaker with the built-in jack provided, to be heard outside of your vehicle.
You don’t need to worry about unwanted statics and interferences with this trucker CB. The ANL switch functions great and automatically reduces background noise. The auto-squelch also does a fantastic job of keeping the speaker quiet in the absence of signals.
With the compact rugged construction, the durability of this heavy-duty CB truck radio is unmatched. Use it on any harsh roads or in any weather conditions, you won’t face any trouble.
6. Midland 75-822: Compact Handheld Choice
The most powerful and popular handheld CB among professional truckers.
Most of the portable radios in the market do not come with the full range communication facility. But Midland makes a difference here. This device is capable of using 4 watts output power, thus matching the performance of standard mobile CB radios.
It gets better with the provision to choose the power settings you want for your device. You have the option to choose whether you want just 1 watt or the full 4 watts output power.
What you get is an outstanding long range handheld CB radio.
You can power this device with six AA batteries. Hence this truck CB is highly recommended if you don’t want to use your truck’s built-in power to power up your CB radio but prefer AA batteries for the same. With the battery life extender, the AA batteries last pretty long.
But if you still want to power this device directly from your truck’s cigarette lighter power port, a mobile adapter is also included for your convenience.
The display is pretty large and easy to read. This backlit display assures you hassle-free operations in the dark. Finally, the last channel memory feature is an excellent addition. It comes handy when you want to recall the last channel you were in before you turned off your device, that too at a single click of a button.
What else you get
- 24×7 instant access to NOAA Weather Radio
- Immediate access to emergency channel 9 and informational channel 19
- ANL and squelch control
- Keypad lock feature
- Flexible antenna
7. Uniden PC78LTX
A quality trucker’s CB from Uniden. Tough design and powerful performance combined with top notch features crafted for the roads.
An excellent clarity communication is guaranteed by PC78LTX. You can easily fine-tune the signal and sound with the advanced settings on the go. Squelch control and ANL/NB works perfectly to reduce noise.
This unit is incredibly easy to mount inside your truck’s cabin. Brackets are provided for the same. The integrated SWR meter is a bliss. This built-in SWR meter helps you by large to precisely tune your antenna for the best reception.
Reading out your current channel in day/night won’t be a headache with this CB truck radio. You can control the brightness of the channel indicator with the dim control feature.
The classic chrome front panel gives a sharp look and compliments nicely with your truck’s interior. This CB truck radio is highly durable also. It won’t bother you much even if you use it in too much dust or vibrations as in dump trucks. It can withstand heat, humidity and cold to a good extent.
Comparison of Top Trucker CB Radios
|Noise reduction||Rugged design||Backlight Display||NOAA weather channel|
|Cobra 29LX||7.2 x 9.2 x 2.2 inches||2 year||Yes||NB/ANL||No||Yes||Yes|
|Uniden Bearcat 980||15 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches||2 year extended||Yes||NB/ANL||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Galaxy DX 959||9.2 x 7.9 x 2.4 inches||2 year||Yes||Galaxy Noise Filter||No||No||No|
|Cobra 18 WX ST II||7 x 1.9 x 6.5 inches||2 year||Yes||Cobra Soundtracker||No||No||Yes|
|Uniden Pro 520XL||4.5 x 6.75 x 1.38 inches||1 year limited||Yes||NB/ANL||Yes||No||No|
|Midland 75-822||3.5 x 2.75 x 1.5 Inches||1 year||Yes||Automatic Noise Limiter||No||No||Yes|
|Uniden PC78LTX||15.3 x 3.4 x 8.1 inches||2 year||Yes||NB/ANL||Yes||No||No|
Buying a CB radio for your truck is not an uphill battle if you clearly know the needs of your truck. This buying guide should assist you with that.
Size and weight matters
Size is an important aspect to look for when you need to choose a CB radio for your truck. You need to get big CB radios for trucks. With a bigger size comes a bigger display. This ensures you can have a tap on all the updates with just a glance.
If you are someone who loves handheld CB radios, it’s okay. But we don’t recommend them much for truck drivers.
Noise cancellation for quality communication
As a truck driver, you will mostly be among engine sounds, ignition noises, and traffic interferences. Thus the very first thing you need to consider is how efficiently your CB radio can eliminate background noises.
We recommend truck CB radios with excellent ANL/NB noise filter and squelch control features. These two work together to take out any background noise and silence weak signals so that strong signals can be received at ease.
Hassle-free night drives with backlight display
CB radios with a backlight display are highly recommended for truckers. The backlight makes your life easy during night drives.
You can easily read and operate your CB radio in dark with the backlight. A display dimmer feature would be a great addition to manage the brightness of your display according to varying light conditions.
Weather Channels, Instant Channel 9 & 19
For a truck driver, these three are the most important channels.
A trucker is more prone to adverse weather conditions and emergency situations. Therefore always go for radios that have access to the NOAA weather channels, emergency channel 9 and information channel 19.
Never underestimate the design and aesthetics
This might look unimportant. But the durability of your CB depends on its design. Prefer rugged design if your radio is going to be subjected to dust, humidity and frequent vibrations like in a dump truck.
Apart from the above features do look for a good quality speaker and mic. Other features including PA capability, RF gain, dual watch, channel scan, and last channel memory should also be considered before finalizing the truck CB radio you would spend your money on.
Although the trend is declining, CB radios are still seen as an essential tool in the life of a trucker. These once very popular devices are used nowadays as well to pass traffic information, get weather updates and to communicate with fellow truck drivers at places where cell phone signals can’t reach.
With advanced features like backlight display, PA switch, noise cancellation circuits, and SSB capability, modern-day CB radios are impossible to resist for amateur as well as professional truckers.
We really hope our top trucker CB radio reviews have helped you to find a standout radio which can become your best friend during those lonely drives.