Tips, Tricks, And Techniques For Rookie Drivers

Topic 16099 | Page 1

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Rainy D.'s Comment
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What are some of the things you learned on your own or needed to know that no one told you before you went solo? I thought we could use this thread to educate newbies ;)

What to do when you jump the fifth wheel ---

If thw landing gear is too high and you back under the trailer, the kingpin then gets "stuck" between the skid plate and the cab.

Easy fix. Drop the airbags, and place a hammer under the lower end of the skid plate. This will raise one end and flatten it. Then drive out from under trailer.

ChickieMonster's Comment
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At Pilot and Flying J, you can use your loyalty point to pay for laundry at most locations.

Give me a bit, I might come up with more...

Pianoman's Comment
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When I'm backing into a spot, if I am straight, out of my driver's side mirror (the flat one) the back of my trailer will look closer to the line than the front of my trailer does. Out of my passenger side mirror (again, the flat one), if I'm straight the side of the trailer will appear parallel with the line.

Pianoman's Comment
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Thanks Rainy, this is a really good thread/idea.

When you do a really tight U-turn (technically, your tractor has to be less than 90 degrees to the trailer on the side you're turning toward) , at one point your trailer actually starts to go backward. If you're not careful, you can end up hitting something behind you or swiping something with your trailer overhang.

Phoenix's Comment
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If one of the tandem pins won't release, try turning the steering wheel and rocking the tractor. This happened once to us, where one pin wouldn't release. My husband tried and tried to no avail and we didn't have anything to hammer it with. I took a really close look at that pin and it seemed to me that it was rubbing tight at the front of the little square hole. I got in the driver's seat, turned the wheels to the left and started rocking the truck in drive ( I'd have used reverse if rubbing at the back of the hole). Maybe it was coincidence, but it worked, and pretty quickly.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Rainy D.'s Comment
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In WY in the snow and ice I poured windex over the tires to melt the ice to get better traction.

Lowering the visors will help keep the heat near the windshield in the winter to defrost n defog

Pianoman's Comment
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In WY in the snow and ice I poured windex over the tires to melt the ice to get better traction.

Lowering the visors will help keep the heat near the windshield in the winter to defrost n defog

Oooh those are good ones. Didn't know that.

Here's a couple more I learned the hard way:

--Use straps with your load locks. Load locks are stupid and don't stay up.

--COASTING IS BAD!!! hahaha

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Cory D.'s Comment
member avatar

What are some of the things you learned on your own or needed to know that no one told you before you went solo? I thought we could use this thread to educate newbies ;)

What to do when you jump the fifth wheel ---

If thw landing gear is too high and you back under the trailer, the kingpin then gets "stuck" between the skid plate and the cab.

Easy fix. Drop the airbags, and place a hammer under the lower end of the skid plate. This will raise one end and flatten it. Then drive out from under trailer.

Oh man, had this happened to me in AL, I was reckless and backed the truck into the trailer :( .

Now I get out and look every single time before I back into the kingpin.

One tip I learned on my own if you ever struggle with getting the tandems to the legal weight I always use duct tape to help mark the hole I'm backing the pin into.

It really helped me out b/c when you're on your own the trainer isn't there to signal you when to set the trailer brakes.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Errol V.'s Comment
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Chock the wheels at a dock!

If you are getting loaded, don't push the chock up against the wheel, leave about half an inch gap. As the trailer gets heavier, the tires squat, and that will pinch the chock in. The only way out is to back up the trailer a bit (but it's already backed up to the dock!!) and kick it out.

If you are being unloaded, not so much - the tires will "un-squat".

Errol V.'s Comment
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To check any leaf spring for cracks, tap it with a hammer (not a tire thump, but a tap!). A good spring will ring, a broken one will buzz or go "thunk".

This goes for brake drums, too. But the brakes cannot be applied for this to work, so use it on the front wheels.

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