Sure, CB radios may have been kicking around since 1945, but that doesn’t mean that the technology is dead. It isn’t being used anywhere near as much as it was a couple of decades ago, but CB radios do have a few major benefits over more modern technology. On this page, not only do we want to answer the question ‘does anyone use CB radios anymore’, but we also want to look at some of the benefits of using a CB radio.
The Benefits of CB Radios
We aren’t going to go into the negatives here. We are sure that you know the negatives of CB radios e.g. the limited range. We just want to talk about the positives. We will be expanding upon some of these positives as we dive into the groups that actually still use CB radios on a daily basis.
- Can communicate with anybody in the local area with a CB radio
- Not impacted by infrastructure problems
- Works anywhere
- Affordable technology
- Easy to use
Perhaps the biggest group for still using CB radios will be truckers. Many truckers are quite ‘old school’ and haven’t really upgraded the technology in their vehicles. If you’re searching for the best 2-way radio for a truck you’re not alone! Almost all new folks in the trucking business are picking up CB radios. Nowadays, you will barely find a truck in the United States which hasn’t been equipped with a CB radio.
The main reason this technology is used is so that truckers on the road can keep in touch with one another. Obviously, you never have any idea about who else is in the local area. This means you can’t really pick up your cell phone and give them a call. With a CB radio, that doesn’t matter. You can just chat on the CB radio and other truckers will hear you. You don’t even have to have met them before.
A ton of information is shared via CB radio by truckers. Perhaps the most prominent will be traffic reports, speed trap reports, and just general discussion. You will most likely find that the majority of CB radio chatter by truckers happens on Channel 19.
It isn’t just cell phones that CB radio is better at here. It is also those apps on your phone. Sure, there are a ton of apps which will tell you about traffic conditions in the local area. However, to be honest, the bulk of them are slow to update. If you want the most up-to-date information about the roads in your local area, then you need to be hooked up to your CB radio. That information is going to come through instantly.
Other Long-distance Road Users
The same benefits for truckers can be seen by other long-distance road users. For example; you will find that RV users and motorcyclists will often be tuned into the same stations that truckers use. It is less likely that they will actually talk on one of these channels, but they will certainly listen to the chatter so that they can plan their route a little bit better.
Remember; CB radios are incredibly affordable. If you are planning a long-distance road trip in the near future, then you will probably want to pick up a CB radio. If you have an RV, it is going to take up barely any space in your vehicle. It is going to come in incredibly useful throughout your trip, though.
Using a CB radio on a boat isn’t as common as it was in the past. This is (mostly) because boats tend to be a bit more separated than road users, which means that the technology isn’t going to be as beneficial. However, if you are taking a couple of boats out on the water with people, then CB radio is going to be a great way to stay in touch. If you’re hitting the slopes then a two way radio for skiing would be your better option.
Many of the more recent CB radios designed for boats actually have a few useful features built-in. For example; some of the ones we have reviewed on this website have a built-in emergency call button or weather reports, both of which could be useful when you are out on the water.
You may also find that the local harbormaster uses CB radio (among other technologies), and it can be useful to get in touch with them over your CB radio, particularly if other forms of technology are not working.
Head to a rural area in the United States and you will likely find that there is no cell phone coverage. This means that if you are out and about with your friends, perhaps on a hunting trip, you don’t really have an opportunity to keep in touch with them.
This is where CB radios come in. Even in the thick wilderness, you will find that your CB radio will work. It is instant communication too. As long as you have power to your CB radio, it is always going to work.
Taking a CB radio outdoors (in some locations) may also make it easier to get in touch with emergency services. In most rural areas, Channel 9 is still monitored, and sending a message out on that when you are in a perilous situation could mean the difference between life and death.
As we mentioned before; Channel 9 is the dedicated channel for emergency chatter. While it isn’t used as much as it was in the past, it is still monitored in some places. Sending a message out on channel 9 can ensure that you get the help that you need in certain situations. It will also inform you of any emergency situations in the local area that you may be able to assist with, or that you may wish to avoid.
You may find that CB radio is used often during emergency situations such as natural disasters. This is because the radio will not be impacted by infrastructure damage, and it will always provide a reliable way in which people and the emergency services can keep in touch with one another. This is perhaps the reason why many survivalists will have a CB radio in their ‘survival kit’.