Windupradio is supported by its audience. When you purchase via our links, we may get a commission. Learn more

A Guide to CB Radio Frequencies & Channels

Writen by Edwin Jones

Fact checked by Andrew Wright

cb radio frequencies & channels

You’re stuck in traffic and tuned in to your CB Radio but wondered, what CB channel should I use? It’s a good thing that CB radios have 40 available CB radio frequencies & channels with 15 miles of CB channel frequency reach.

For most common emergencies within the frequency, tuning in to channel 9 will give you real-time updates but if you’re avoiding traffic and roadblocks, the popular CB channels are 17 and 19. Here’s a quick rundown of the different CB Channels.

What CB Channels Should I Use?

Most of the CB channels from 1-40 are open to everyone which means you can listen and communicate within these channels. However, there are channels with established purposes that new users should know about.

CB Channel Chart

CH Purpose CH Purpose CH Purpose CH Purpose
1 Anyone can use 11 Anyone can use 21 Mostly used on regional roads 31 Anyone can use
2 Anyone can use 12 Anyone can use 22 Anyone can use 32 Anyone can use
3 Anyone can use 13 Mostly used by marine/RVers 23 Anyone can use 33 Anyone can use
4 Mostly used by 4×4/off-roading 14 Communication on walkie-talkies 24 Anyone can use 34 Anyone can use
5 Anyone can use 15 Anyone can use 25 Anyone can use 35 Anyone can use
6 Anyone can use 16 Anyone can use 26 Anyone can use 36 Anyone can use (and SSB)
7 Anyone can use 17 Used on north/south road 27 Anyone can use 37 Anyone can use (and SSB)
8 Anyone can use 18 Anyone can use 28 Anyone can use 38 Anyone can use (and SSB, LSB)
9 Emergency Communications 19 Used on: East/West Highway road 29 Anyone can use 39 Anyone can use (and SSB)
10 Mostly used on regional roads 20 Anyone can use 30 Anyone can use 40 Anyone can use (and SSB)

What is CB Frequency Range?


Citizen band frequencies range from 26.965-27.405 MHz, which are legal for the public to use. Within the range are 40 channels which are called “open channels” because they can be used even without a license.

Above this frequency range, are channels for the Business Radio Service and illegal CB Frequencies that the Federal Government Controls. Below these frequencies belong to the US military.

For beginners, it’s best to stay within the 40 channels that are open for everyone to communicate in. These channels let users communicate on the road, share information about road conditions ahead or make conversations without violating any regulations.

CB Frequency Chart

Channel Frequency (MHz)
Channel 1 26.965
Channel 2 26.975
Channel 3 26.985
Channel 4 27.005
Channel 5 27.015

CB Radio frequencies are spaced out by 10 KHz in the frequency list. There are 40 frequencies that can be used with corresponding channels. It is important to note that hiigher frequencies are not allowed for just anyone to use.

1. Channel 17 & 19: CB Trucker Channel


Most truckers use channel 17 and channel 19 for communicating on the road. Listening to these channels will give you insights from other truckers and drivers on the highway. These channels use trucker jargon and codes that beginners might not understand. Beginners should tune in listening only.

In many areas of the country, Channel 19 is commonly used by truckers. However, some are traveling along east-west roads that rely on Channel 17 while those who are traveling along north-south routes favor Channel 19.

Here is a guide on some of the common CB 10 codes used

Code Meaning
10-1 I can’t hear you
10-2 I can hear you
10-3 Stop transmitting
10-4 I Agree
10-5 Relay Message
10-6 Hold on a second
10-7 Going out of range or no longer using the radio
10-8 Just came into range
10-9 Repeat Message
10-10 Transmission Completed
10-200 Police needed at

There are more than 100 codes used by CB radio users that beginners can learn so they can effectively communicate, understand and gain the respect of other truckers. However, it is important to note that some codes may be slightly different among groups and regions.

2. Channel 9: Emergency Channel


Other CB Radio Stations or channels don’t have any assigned purpose or organization, so they remain open to all for communication. However, Channel 9 is reserved exclusively for emergencies.

This channel is legally designated to be used for emergencies by truckers, off-roaders, and survivalists. Police and emergency responders may monitor this channel during emergencies that require real-time reports and relevant updates.

3. Illegal CB Radio Channels and FCC Regulations and Frequency Limits

Frequencies 28.000MHz and above are channels that are not open to the public as they are in the domain of licensed Amateur operators who only use Morse code for communication on ham radio.

In some CB radios, they can reach as high as 28.085 MHz which is considered as forbidden territory. If you don’t know Morse code, you will be reported to the FCC. Truckers get fired by doing that so it’s best to stay within the 40 channels that are open to everyone.

4. FM for CB Radio


FM mode is available on CB Radios by a petition done in 2016 and was approved in 2021. FM frequencies are from 88.00-108.0 MHz. FM modes give better-quality audio. They have special hardware equipment which can be fitted to CB radio setups.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a weather channel radio channel on CB Radio?

CB Radios don’t have a channel specifically for weather broadasts. However, updates for emergency weather can be broadcasted on channel 9. In other cases, CB radios can also receive weather radio broadcasts when equipped with a weather radio receiver.

What will happen if you broadcasted on illegal channels on CB Radio?

If you broadcast on frequencies 28.000 MHz and above, you will be recognized by observers on ham radio. If unauthorized broadcasting is detected, these operators will not hesitate to report truckers which can lead to termination, penalties, or license revocation.


CB radios remain a reliable companion for truckers and road travelers as a reliable means of communication. With 40 available CB radio channel, real-time information can be received by truckers and emergency responders within the range.

While most channels are open to everyone, it is important to know which channels are used for specific purposes. By adhering to the appropriate channels, frequencies and regulations, users can effectively communicate and connect with others on the road.

5/5 - (1 vote)