For Sale by Owner

Have you ever thought about how some terms or phrases are either outdated or do not make any sense? For example, when was the last time you actually “dialed” a phone? Except for your great Aunt Edna, rotary dial phones are no longer in existence. We don’t dial anything; we just tap it or touch it.

What about taping a video? We don’t use tape anymore. We’re not using VCRs to record anything, we record it with bytes, not footage. Footage implies the film is measured in feet, but there aren’t any length measurements when it comes to recording a video.

A friend of mine goes crazy when he sees a sign on a motorcycle or a car that states, “FOR SALE BY OWNER.” Seriously? Who else would be selling it? A neighbor? A house, sure, but anything else should be assumed that the owner is selling it, right?

I am going to list several terms that you should know if you are in the trucking industry. Do you know what an ICC bumper is? ICC stands for Interstate Commerce Commission which was created in 1887 to regulate railroads. Wait, what does that have to do with the piece of metal on the back of your trailer? It is because of the four wheelers who wanted to drive under your trailer. In 1953, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration required trailer manufacturers to retrofit a bumper to stop cars from driving under the trailer in an underride accident. Yes, the trucking industry had to add a bumper because cars kept driving under their trailers. Go figure.

What about all the animals we hear professional drivers mention. How about a doghouse? What about an alligator or a Bulldog? A doghouse is the space between the seats in a cabover truck which covers the engine. Seriously, if you’ve ever driven a cabover, you will know that this great expanse is a wonderful spot to drop your head and take a quick nap.

An alligator is the strip of tire on the side of the road resulting from a blown tire. A Bulldog is just the name of a Mack Truck. While I am on the subject, don’t you get wild when you hear someone talk about getting sick or having a sleepless night and they claim that they were “hit by a Mack truck?” Sheesh, can we just say it was a train?

Have you seen a chicken coop or a bear? A chicken coop is just a weigh station, or scale, or as we call them in Wisconsin, a SWES (Size and Weight Enforcement Station.)

And speaking of bears, there are a lot of variations of this such as feeding the bears, bear bait, mama bear or bear in the air. A bear is a police officer – perhaps a variation of Smokey the Bear. Feeding the bears is paying a ticket, bear bait is just a four-wheeler speeding and soon to get a ticket. A mama bear is a female police officer and a bear in the air is a cop in a helicopter or airplane which is monitoring your speed.

If you’ve been a driver for more than a decade, you know these terms. If not, maybe they aren’t relevant anymore. Ask any older driver.

What are some names that you shouldn’t use any more? How about fireman, mailman, stewardess or policeman? In these days of gender neutrality, it’s fire fighter, mail carrier, flight attendant and police officer.

For those of us old enough to remember some words that weren’t offensive in the past, how do you feel about the words gay, dope, girl or even whoopee? It only makes me wonder what terms we use today that may become offensive in the future? Think about the words we use daily that are no longer relevant. And, by the way, please don’t use a sign stating: “For Sale by Owner”, unless you’re selling a house.

Ellen Voie

President/CEO/Founder of
Women In Trucking, Inc.

Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder System, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit

About Ellen Voie, President/CEO

Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association in March of 2007, and currently serves as the nonprofit organization’s President/CEO.