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What Does ‘Horn OK Please’ on Trucks Mean? 

Have you ever wondered why most trucks in India bear the slogan ‘Horn OK Please’? In spite of being grammatically incorrect, it is a prevalent fixture on customised trucks, where the manufacturer rolls them out from the plant with only the cabin built on the chassis. Auto-owners get the body designed and constructed according to their preferences and necessity. The presence of this ‘Horn OK Please’ in numerous variants like ‘Blow Horn’, ‘Horn Please’, or ‘O Horn Please K’ can even make your curious soul think that it is a unique code of the Indian Transport Department. Well, the fact is far from the illusion, and there is no concrete theory behind its origin. Have a look at some of the prevalent ideas which might have made the ‘Horn OK Please’ logo popular. 

Safety Measures

In earlier times, most highways in India had single lanes, where it was difficult for vehicles to overtake large cargo carriers. The presence of ‘Horn OK Please’ slogan made rear automobiles alert about other vehicles on the road. It also made them realise that it was fine to sound their horn before overtaking. In some cases, there was a bulb above this slogan. When the rear driver honked, the truck driver used to check if there were oncoming traffic. Then he switched on the lamp as a signal to overtake.

However, things have changed now. The city roads and highways of India now have four to six lanes, so it is unnecessary to use the ‘Horn OK Please’ slogan. On April 30, 2015, the Government of Maharashtra outlawed the use of this symbol at the rear end of vehicles to diminish the noise pollution considerably. Bal Malkit Singh, the former president of the All India Motor Transport Congress, welcomed the move keeping in mind the wider and multi-lane highways of modern India. 

OK stands for ‘On Kerosene’

During World War II, trucks were the primary mode of conveyance for troops. In many cases, they used to transport flammable liquids like kerosene through these cargo carriers. The presence of ‘OK’ sign in these vehicles meant ‘On Kerosene’. It warned rear vehicles to maintain sufficient braking distance, as even a minor collision would lead to a massive explosion of automobiles. 

Advertisement of a Popular Detergent

In the first half of the 20th century, Tata Oil Mills Ltd. Co or TOMCO launched a detergent soap by the name ‘OK’. It was hugely popular amongst consumers and bore a lotus logo. The manufacturer thought of advertising their product at the rear end of trucks along with the lotus symbol for maximum visibility. At that time, Tata was also the undisputed leader of the commercial vehicle industry. The trend continued for a long time, and creating the lotus flower with the ‘OK’ symbol became an instant hit among paint artists.

These were some of the theories propelling the use of ‘Horn OK Please’ on the trucks of India.

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