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18 June 2018

Aussie Slang and Truckie Talk Explained


You think we speak English in Australia? Wrong. Since many of us arrived here a couple of hundred years ago and many thousands of years before that, we Aussies have been shortening words that are just too long to bother with. Like utility – why not just say ute? We like to add o’s to our shortened words too – registration is just rego, a service station is a servo. And y’s come in handy too – a barbeque is a barby!

Then there are a bunch of terms that need some explaining! Any fair dinkum Aussie will know that if Stevo chucks a wobbly out the back of Bourke because his smoko was a write-off when he had to haul on the anchors to avoid skip, he (Steve) was angry that his morning tea was ruined when he had to brake heavily to avoid hitting a kangaroo in a remote area.

A-Z of Aussie driving slang

Aussies have their own terms for just about everything you come across on the road. When a hairdryer clocks a hairdresser’s car doing 10k over, it’s more than a bad hair day. But since Google won’t translate Aussie slang, here’s a guide to what Aussie drivers are talking about.

  • Anchors: Brakes

  • Bingle: A (small) road accident

  • Bog Standard: Basic standard equipment or specification, without upgrades or modifications

  • Booze Bus: Random breath test unit

  • Carby: Carburettor

  • Clocked: Caught speeding

  • Cow Satcher: Bull-bars

  • Hairdryer: Stationery police radar gun

  • Hairdresser's car: Small, often convertible car that is more about looks than performance

  • Hoon: Dangerous driver

  • Juice: Fuel

  • K: Kilometer(s)

  • Loud Pedal: Accelerator

  • Mods: Modifications

  • Rego: Vehicle registration

  • Roo catcher: Bull-bars

  • Rubber: Tyres

  • Servo: service station

  • Shopping Trolley: Small hatchback car

  • Slush Box: Automatic transmission

  • Spanner monkey: Mechanic

  • Stack: Car crash

  • Speedo: Speedometer

  • Tar: Asphalt road surface

  • Temporary Australian: Motorcycle rider

  • Tiller: Steering wheel

  • Ute: Utility vehicle, pickup style vehicle


How to understand an Aussie truck driver

As well as a good grasp of the basic Aussie driving slang, a true blue truck driver needs to know a few Australian truckie terms because the anteater with the live load is not what you think:

  • Anteater: Kenworth T604 because of the aerodynamic design

  • Bobtail: A prime mover without a trailer

  • Bog Cog: A very low gear

  • Bogie Drive: A truck with two or more drive axles at the back with differentials coupled by a jack

  • Camera Car: Highway Patrol Police Car in reference to the onboard video camera set up

  • Candy Car: Highway Patrol Police Car usually with high-visibility Police decals

  • Diff: The differential that couples the drive shaft to half-shafts connected to the rear driving wheels

  • Disco Tin: High-visibility police car

  • Disco Whistle: Police car siren

  • Dolly: A unit made up of a turntable, draw bar and axle group that enables a dog trailer to be attached to a semi-trailer or the weight over an oversize load to be spread over more wheels

  • Dog Box: A sleeper box behind the cab or a Police Paddy Wagon

  • Dog Trailer: A trailer that can be attached to a semi-trailer

  • Double Bubble: Old style highway patrol cars still used in some country areas that had a pair of blue rotating lights on the roof before strobe bars were introduced

  • Double One: Marked highway patrol Car

  • Evil Kinevil: Highway patrol motorcycle

  • Flash for Cash: Speed or red light camera

  • Hauling Unit: A prime mover

  • Jinker: A trailer to transport long logs

  • Kingpin: A pin that locks a semi-trailer into a prime mover’s turntable

  • Landing Gear: The retractable legs used to support a semi-trailer when not coupled to a truck

  • Live Load: A load that cannot be secured completely such as liquids, livestock, hanging meat or earthmoving equipment with pneumatic tyres

  • Locker: Locked differential

  • Pig Trailer: A trailer with a non-steerable axle group near the middle

  • Pogo Stick: A pole behind the cab that holds trailer brake hoses and electrical connections

  • Reefer: An insulated, refrigerated dry freight container

  • Tarp: Short for tarpaulin, a cover to protect loads from rain or dust

  • Tug: A truck, particularly one used for shunting


Forget about playing 'I Spy' next time you’re on a long trip - try some Aussie truckie slang instead.

The National Heavy Haulage fleet has covered a lot of Australia moving heavy equipment and oversize loads anywhere throughout the country. If you have mining or other heavy equipment to move anywhere in Australia, you can rely on National Heavy Haulage to take care of everything and get your gear where it needs to go in one piece, on time and on budget. Call us on 1300 792 249 or send us a message to find out more.

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