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Tips, Tricks, And Techniques For Rookie Drivers

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miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

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".

I did that once early on and had to drive over the chock. It was a heavy load and I had wedged it in pretty good before getting loaded. Never did that again! Lol

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

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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.

double-quotes-end.png

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.

Foe the tandems I bought this metal bolt looking thing for $30 at TA. I put it in front of the hole I want to slide into and bam... in the correct hole everytime. It's just a matter of learning what weight needs which hole. But so much easier.

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".

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

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".

double-quotes-end.png

I did that once early on and had to drive over the chock. It was a heavy load and I had wedged it in pretty good before getting loaded. Never did that again! Lol

I left "too much room" and the lumpers came out and moved it. Mistake. I couldn't back up. . Had to run over that sucker.

Cory D.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

Foe the tandems I bought this metal bolt looking thing for $30 at TA. I put it in front of the hole I want to slide into and bam... in the correct hole everytime. It's just a matter of learning what weight needs which hole. But so much easier.

Hmm, I may look into this when I stop by one, I recall the guy who was over the temp division talking about this. It just literally hit me now as why I haven't gotten one earlier.

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".

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Foe the tandems I bought this metal bolt looking thing for $30 at TA. I put it in front of the hole I want to slide into and bam... in the correct hole everytime. It's just a matter of learning what weight needs which hole. But so much easier.

double-quotes-end.png

Hmm, I may look into this when I stop by one, I recall the guy who was over the temp division talking about this. It just literally hit me now as why I haven't gotten one earlier.

I bought it after a beer run where a drop n hook turned into hours of sliding. It sucked. And every driver was doing it.

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".

Cory D.'s Comment
member avatar

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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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Foe the tandems I bought this metal bolt looking thing for $30 at TA. I put it in front of the hole I want to slide into and bam... in the correct hole everytime. It's just a matter of learning what weight needs which hole. But so much easier.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Hmm, I may look into this when I stop by one, I recall the guy who was over the temp division talking about this. It just literally hit me now as why I haven't gotten one earlier.

double-quotes-end.png

I bought it after a beer run where a drop n hook turned into hours of sliding. It sucked. And every driver was doing it.

When I first went solo I had a load that was too heavy on the driver axle, so I slide my tandems up and the next thing you know I had too much on my trailer.

I think I had like 4 or 5 catscale tickets before I had the correct weight lol.

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".

Joseph D.'s Comment
member avatar

When backing into a dock that is angeled downward. Don't hit the breaks hard. I did this once on a steep dock. Shifted 26 pallets of milk, thankfully my load bars held strong so I didn't have 5,000 gallons of milk busted on the trailer floor. If you do shift a load like this pull it out of the dock, get on level ground, get some speed up and hit your brakes nice and hard to shift the load back to normal.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Foe the tandems I bought this metal bolt looking thing for $30 at TA. I put it in front of the hole I want to slide into and bam... in the correct hole everytime. It's just a matter of learning what weight needs which hole. But so much easier.

double-quotes-end.png

Hmm, I may look into this when I stop by one, I recall the guy who was over the temp division talking about this. It just literally hit me now as why I haven't gotten one earlier.

It's a Sta-rat tool. I bought one at GATS for $10. As soon as I saw it I said "sold! Take my money!"

Even with two people that thing is a serious time saver. Hit the right hole every time.

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".

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

It's a Sta-rat tool. I bought one at GATS for $10. As soon as I saw it I said "sold! Take my money!"

Even with two people that thing is a serious time saver. Hit the right hole every time.

Interesting. I don't usually go for a specific hole before I scale--just eyeball it. I'm typically either right on or just a couple holes off and it's an easy fix.

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

I learned the chock thing the hard way. But I also found that even though I was already against the dock, putting it in reverse and letting the clutch out a little then pulling the brakes and waiting a sec before pushing the clutch in again seemed to work to loosen it a little. I've also driving over a chock because I forgot it was there...

I'm going to look at those tandem sliding tools too. I kept meaning to start a thread about that, asking how people got to the right hole. What I do is look at how far I have to slide, then when I'm in the driver's seat I look past the mirror bracket to the ground and try to imagine that much distance going by. But on bad days it can range from half as far as I need to twice as far.

Anyway, these days if it's at all heavy I usually just go to 43' until I can scale it, and if it's not heavy I put it somewhere from 41 to 43 if it's not there already.

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".

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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