When I was a lad in the ‘70s I had a CB in my bedroom. Back then you needed a licence – mine was QAN263. Licenses are no longer required.
These were the days of songs like ‘Convoy’ and ‘Teddy Bear’.
My dad was a wireless operator in the Camel Corp in WWII and my uncle was a radio operator in the Canadian Air Force as well as a ham radio operator – so radio comms was in my blood.
In some way, newcomers to CBs need to put the images of the old days behind them when considering any need for a CB.
Yes, truckers have CBs but so do many off-roaders and caravaners.
You can hear others on the road, get road updates, hear advice on oncoming wide loads, let others know what you’re doing (ie slowing down to turn left off a highway) or even have a second so others can guide you into a park.
When you feel confident, you can even invite the ‘big red truck following the Jayco’ to let you know when they want overtake you.
What is the trick to using UHF channels?
The trick is knowing how and when to use what UHF channels.
To be (very) short:
- 5 & 35 – are for emergencies ONLY
- 10 – generally used by groups and convoys; and in national parks.
- 18 – generally used by caravaners and other travelling road users
- 29 – can be used when on the Pacific Hwy and Bruce Highways
- 40 – typically used by truckers and highway travellers
If you want a channel where you can chat with someone, head to 9, 12-17, 19-21, 24-28, 30, 39, 49-60, 64-70, 79 or 80. Out of courtesy, if there’s someone else on that channel, you or others will find an empty channel from this list and you switch to that.
My preference is to sit on 40 and get all the good intel on the road ahead and jump to another channel when I need to.
Always keep it polite and courteous.
Also, if there’s kids in the car, just watch for the language used by some users – on any channel. Often, others will call it out.
Remember too that CBs work on line of sight (generally). So, if you’re travelling in hills or bush, your range will be reduced. If you’re on a hill your range will be extended.
Finally, if you’re in an emergency situation your CB (using channel 5 or 35) may have reach where your mobile phone may not.
Oh yeah, my call sign is ‘Hermit’.
Keep safe and stay in touch.
Refer also: https://www.withoutahitch.com.au