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Tips, Tricks, And Techniques For Rookie Drivers

Topic 16099 | Page 3

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JakeBreak's Comment
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Winter time tip. When you are dealing with light snow don't use your defrosters. Put the heat straight to the floor and crack a window open. Then when you use your wipers the snow doesn't stick to them and they do a better job of helping you see. If it's a really wet or heavy snow it doesn't work tho

Errol V.'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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

I bought the largest bolt I could at Lowe's ($1.18). I wanted to put it in a "target" hole, then slide away. But I need two washers larger than 2" diameter to keep the bolt in the hole. Oh well!

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".

ChickieMonster's Comment
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We actually have a painted hole on our tandems which we call the meat hole. About 80% of the time, if you put it in that hole under a meat load it will be balanced. Although lately, it's not been so accurate. My trainer never once scaled a load. She would put it in the meat hole and run. Not me. I scale everything over 26k just to be safe.

Anyways, I always start with the meat hole on every load, scale it and go from there. Just today I had a load of Powerade, put it in the meat hole and these were my weights.

Steer: 12700

Drives: 33020

Tandems: 33040

Can't ask for better than that!

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".

Tractor Man's Comment
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Errol, I saw somewhere online to get a piece of galvanized or black steel pipe. A 10 or 12 inch long nipple threaded on both ends. I'm guessing 1 1/4 inch and buy a cap to put on 1 end. Slide it in the hole and the cap keeps it from sliding through. I'm gonna pick one up myself next time I'm home!

Bravo Zulu's Comment
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Errol, I saw somewhere online to get a piece of galvanized or black steel pipe. A 10 or 12 inch long nipple threaded on both ends. I'm guessing 1 1/4 inch and buy a cap to put on 1 end. Slide it in the hole and the cap keeps it from sliding through. I'm gonna pick one up myself next time I'm home!

Black pipe is less expensive. I've seen people buy an elbow rather than a cap because it sort of gives you a handle, if that makes sense?

Errol V.'s Comment
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Errol, I saw somewhere online to get a piece of galvanized or black steel pipe. A 10 or 12 inch long nipple threaded on both ends. I'm guessing 1 1/4 inch and buy a cap to put on 1 end. Slide it in the hole and the cap keeps it from sliding through. I'm gonna pick one up myself next time I'm home!

Yes! smile.gif
Galvanized pipe will probably hold up to the trailer banging on it. Thanks for the inspiration!

The pin hole is 2". (that's why I mentioned a 2" washer above.) So 1-1/4 or 1-1/2, whichever is available. The length makes it easy to slide in and it'll stay in. Going to Lowes tomorrow!

Rob S.'s Comment
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Before winter sets in be sure to have cold weather washer fluid in the tank. This might mean doing a lot of washing with your wipers to purge the summer formula.

Rob S.'s Comment
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I made a "flag" from a paper clip and some reflective tape. I hang it above the steering wheel so that I can't drive while it's there. I do this when I'm docked and they make me do something that has to be changed before I can roll. Chock the wheels, disconnect the air lines, lower the landing gear, etc. When I see the flag I know there is something that I have to do before I even turn the key.

Pianoman's Comment
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I made a "flag" from a paper clip and some reflective tape. I hang it above the steering wheel so that I can't drive while it's there. I do this when I'm docked and they make me do something that has to be changed before I can roll. Chock the wheels, disconnect the air lines, lower the landing gear, etc. When I see the flag I know there is something that I have to do before I even turn the key.

Man that is ingenious! That's the kind of thing that helps get you to a million miles without incident.

Rob S.'s Comment
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Man that is ingenious! That's the kind of thing that helps get you to a million miles without incident.

If I'd known that I would have done it before I hit the customers building with the wrong end of my trailer. By the way, during a right turn the trailer sticks out the the left about a foot beyond the tires. Can you guess how I learned that?

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