Slip Seaters: The Forgotten Truck Drivers

Once or twice a day I get a calls or emails from truck drivers who must change trucks every day. They most often complain that their radio is getting damaged moving from truck to truck every day--scrapes and dings, and burned-up radios from hooking the wires up backward. What they want to know is how to move from truck to truck with minimal damage to their radios.

Hooking the wires up backward is easy to do. You get in a hurry and the black wire ends up on the red post. Smoke comes out of the radio. Don't throw the radio away. Inside the radio is a small part called a protection diode. If you hook the radio up backward, the inside of this device clicks and the power is shunted before it can do serious damage to the radio.

Take the radio to a shop and get it fixed. Cost should run from $10 to $20 depending on the shop's fee scale. In most cases no other damage is done. The best way to prevent costly damage is to always remember to turn the radio off before removing it. That way if you hook it up backward it should not do more than burn the protection diode.

Now for protecting the cosmetics of the radio. There are several options. Overdrive Communications has the largest selection of products and they are available from most CB shops. The simplest radio bag looks like an overnight bag. It holds the radio and a logbook as well as radio parts, like the microphone and cord. You can leave it in the bag when operating the radio and strap it down. You can throw the bag's shoulder strap over the passenger seat and it will hang there. When done using the radio, close the flap and carry it off just like a lady would carry her purse. They are made to hold the radio snugly and use up a minimum amount of space when not in use.

Then come the radio boxes. Side-by-side plastic boxes are the most popular. Simple and inexpensive with two 6.5-inch speakers, they usually retail for about $50. The boxes hold both a stereo and a CB radio up to a standard export chasis. A handle built between the two top speakers makes for an easily transported radio box.

Now we come to the metal boxes. A number of people make these boxes in a number of styles. I will only mention the two most popular. One is called the dog house box and the other is the free standing box. The dog house box is small and fits in most company lockers. It stacks the stereo over the CB radio in a briefcase-sized box. It has two 4-inch stereo speakers and external speakers on the top. One power plug powers both the stereo and the CB radio. One antenna connector supplies both the CB and stereo with signal from the CB antenna.

The free standing box is the most popular. It is larger and sits on the floor facing the driver with the stereo over the CB on the angled face of the box. This box is most popular because you can do more with the available inside space. The two most popular packages added on are XM or SIRIUS satellite radio, and CD changers.

I hope that this article has helped you explore the options for slip seaters. Next month we will look at antenna system options for slip seaters.