Have you ever watched the 1975 movie “Convoy“? If you did, you would have seen the heavy use of CB in that movie. Well, the film was set during the heyday of the CB usage sometime in the 70s. Although CB has already lost much of its original appeal, it is still popular among truckers. So, if you are one of those truckers who are spending time trying to figure out which CB antenna for your 18-wheelers/trucks is the best, you better read on through this article.
The CB is useful for short-distance person-to-person communication between two persons. It usually operates on 40 channels in the shortwave band and is very useful.
Even if you have an expensive CB radio, your CB’s efficiency is determined by your CB’s antenna. But with myriads of antennas in the market today, you may end up confused about which antenna to purchase for your truck. So, it will help if you know the different types of CB antennas and the most recommended models and brands in the market today.
As mentioned above, selecting the right CB antenna for your semi-truck/18-wheelers may prove to be difficult if you are new to buying this thing. The reason behind this is evident—they come in different types and brands. Hence, to help you in buying the best CB for your need, I have listed here the five popular types of antennas in the market today:
1) Fiberglass CB Antenna
If you want a durable CB antenna, you should check the fiberglass CB antenna. Fiberglass CB antenna, of course, stays intact for a very long time. Moreover, it is made of a fiberglass rod and is a perfect choice for larger vehicles. You can also mount the fiberglass antenna almost anywhere, even on hood channels, stake-holes, and mirror arms. Its range, however, is not top-notch as compared to other types of antenna.
These antennas are quite flexible and come with a universal thread to connect to any CB antenna mount quickly. If you intend to install this on the fender or bumper, you should choose a top-loaded antenna for excellent transmission. Besides, a three-foot antenna mounted on the fender will work perfectly well with most semi-trucks.
2) Magnet Mount CB Antenna
If you want an excellent CB antenna when it comes to ease of mounting, you should consider the magnetic CB antenna. It grabs firmly on the surface. It gets its ground from the magnet that attaches to the car body. This type of antennas comes with a straightforward installation process, which makes it very popular among many. This may not be the best ground connection to the car’s body, and the magnet’s size usually determines the firmness of the antenna’s grounding. It’s normally installed with the magnet mount, coax and whip in a set.
3) 102" Whip CB Antenna
The 102″ Whip CB Antenna separates itself from other antennas because it does away with the use of a coil. It does away with the usual coil because it can transition to a perfect 1/4 CB wavelength. A whip antenna consists of a rod or a straight flexible wire, and its bottom end connects to the radio transmitter or receiver.
The antenna is flexible and doesn’t break easily. Moreover, its name came from its whip-like motion when agitated or disturbed. It also has an omnidirectional radiation pattern.
4) Center-load CB Antenna
If you are a trucker, you might as well consider the Center-load CB antenna because it is called a trucker antenna. The usual center-load antenna comes with a stainless-steel shaft about a third of the antenna’s length. On the other hand, the coil sits above this shaft and is encased in a plastic housing.
This Center-load CB antenna sports a thin whip feature made of steel. This type of antenna, of course, performs excellently, compared to similar mounted types of antenna. Yet, this type of antenna is more pricey than the other types of antennas.
5) No-ground Plan (NGP) CB Antenna
If your vehicle is mostly made of fiberglass, plastic, or wood, you should consider the NGP CB antenna. The No-ground Plan (NGP) CB Antenna is engineered explicitly for solving problems that come with the lack of counterpoise or ground plane.
Problems associated with ground plane include low performance and high standing wave ratio (SWR). Thus, the NGP CB antenna came to remedy these problems. It eliminates problems due to a lack of sufficient ground plane for the right operation. You can use the NGP antenna on any vehicle that does not come with metallic chassis.
Recommended CB Antennas For Semi-Trucks & 18-Wheelers
Now that you are cognizant of the different types of CB antennas, you can now proceed to familiarize yourself with the most recommended CB antennas for semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. Here is a list of the most recommended CB antennas by experts:
COBRA High Gear (HG) Trucker CB Radio Antenna
As the new antenna of High Gear, this CB radio antenna is engineered for professional drivers who need a robust and reliable CB antenna. It is perfect for commercial equipment and semi-trucks. Yet, you can also use this if you have a smaller vehicle like a pickup truck.
It is a center-loaded CB antenna and it works well with co-phased or single antenna systems. It has a rating of 6000W, which qualifies it for handling powerful 10-meter radio signals.
Furthermore, It comes with a smart design that lets you mount it on different locations on your vehicle. Its construction is also of top-notch quality. Besides, it features a non-corrosive stainless steel whip that lasts long. Its frequency range is between 26-30 MHz. It is also designed to receive NOAA Weather Channel signals.
Nagoya CB-72 28" CB Antenna
As the latest addition to Nagoya’s mobile antennas, this new antenna comes with dual connectivity. It provides smooth results on both GMRS and Ham bands. Moreover, its power rating is around 75W.
The Nagoya CB-72 28″ CB Antenna package comes with a heavy-duty magnetic base with 4.3m RG58A/A. It also features a coil spring base that comes with a lock nut. It also comes with a 10″ RG-316 cable to its handheld jumper (SO-239 to SMA-F).
As you open the package, you will see the heavy 3-3/8″ magnet at its base along with a rubberized pad on its bottom for scratch prevention. This antenna is pretty stable and won’t move. Its total length is 21.2″ long, and its active element is around 19″ long and 1/16 thick. Its cable is about 14′ long and ends with a PL-259 connector.
The Nagoya CB-72’s cable doesn’t exhibit high loss and is quite resistant to crimping, pinching, and weather effects. It also comes with a 10″ RG-16 jumper with SMA-F and So-239 connector. Its cable will connect to any mobile transceivers, while its 10″ adapter jumper with its SMA-F allows for greater flexibility and connection to any handheld device.
Wilson 2000 Trucker CB Antenna
The Wilson 2000 Trucker CB Antenna is highly touted as the best CB antenna for commercial equipment and semi-trucks. Yet, you can also use it for pickup trucks. It is cheaper than its pricier brother Wilson 5000. Nevertheless, it offers the same performance likewise.
With its excellent design and capability, it will waylay other comparative central-load models. The Wilson 2000 Trucker CB Antenna is a hell of a warrior. It comes with a 5″ shaft along with a 49″ stainless steel whip. Besides, it features a standard 3/8″ x 24″ chromed brass ferrule.
Moreover, the Wilson 2000 is rated at 3,500 watts. Its frequency range is from 26MHz to 30MHz. It also comes with a larger coil housing that increases its power handling.
TRAM 703-HC Center Load CB Antenna
The TRAM 703-HC Center Load CB Antenna TRAM 703-HC Center Load CB Antenna is another excellent option for semi-trucks. The TRAM brand, of course, is a legendary antenna brand. The TRAM 703-HC covers all the CB frequencies, and hence, it is pretty much handy to have in your vehicle. It also features a 3.5-inches magnet mount that offers incredible performance. Moreover, it is easy to tune in.
It features a stainless-steel CB whip antenna, made from the best materials. With this CB antenna, you can stay connected. Its magnet, of course, comes with a firmer grip as compared to other brands’ magnets.
The TRAM 703-HC is around 2 feet tall. It features a 17-feet RG58 cable, which is enough for cabling it anywhere you ground it. This coaxial cable provides a low-power signal for a more enhanced radio frequency connection. Moreover, you will find this antenna highly performing, and it tightly holds even if you are revving your vehicle at high speed. Hence, it is a perfect choice for semi-trucks.
The PRO TRUCKER Fiberglass CB Radio Antenna
The PRO TRUCKER Fiberglass CB Radio Antenna comes with an adjustable tuning rings for easy SWR adjustments. Moreover, it is a perfect choice if you have a low-profile CB radio setup. It is 15″ high. It also packs a punch and would surely exceed your expectation. Since this antenna is flexible, it doesn’t snap off if it hits a branch or encounters any interference.
This model comes with heavy-duty fiberglass construction. Hence, it can withstand abuses and inclement weather, giving it longevity. It also incorporates a super-flex technology that makes it durable and flexible. You can further make it more break-resistant by adding a medium spring to it.
You can easily mount the PRO TRUCKER on your vehicle with its four feet length antenna, and you can expect it to intercept strong signals. Moreover, it comes factory pre-tuned for easy setup. It is also easy to mount with its straightforward installment design. This antenna is best suited for SUV, jeep, van semi-trucks, RV, jeep, and trucks.
One apparent reason for buying a CB antenna is the ease of communication it affords, especially when you get weak signals or you’ve lost your mobile phone signals while driving. In such a situation, you need to boost your signal range, and thus, you will need a more powerful CB antenna. A reliable trucker CB antenna will surely help in such an unfortunate situation. Yet, it is not easy to select the best CB antenna, given the myriads of brands and models at hand. Nevertheless, it will help if you know the different types of CB antennas mentioned above and the most recommended CB antennas in the market today.