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Real world alley dock

Topic 19603 | Page 1

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MC1371's Comment
member avatar

Just a general info question.

Are there two schools of thought when trainers/mentors teach in the real world?

I was taught what might be called a long 45.. Just past the hole, hard right for a tractor length, then left, run out about 20' past the hole. Cut right, and steady into the hole. Almost no adjustment needed if you get the setup right.

The other one, I don't really get. Call it a jack knife 90. Looks like it takes 3 pull ups to end up with the tractor back under trailer.

But I see both in use... Thoughts. Just wondering about pros vs cons to either approach.

Right now Im having fun with the U Turn straight back. (Costco DCs are fun to play in)

Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Most people do what you call a long 45, myself included. I think it's easier to see what you are doing this way when you don't have a lot of experience backing.

I have had to do the jackknife 90 because of stuff in the way, it can be done without pull ups, the guys you are seeing pull up like that is because they aren't getting back under it soon enough. There are some guys that do this all the time, and some of them are quite good at it.

In the "real world" there is often obstacles and you may not be able to do either one. A dock I hit today off a street I blind-sided because there was a lot more room to work with (due to a telephone pole on the corner of dock 3). Two guys after me flipped a u-turn down the street to site-side and had much more difficult backs because of the pole.

Most dc' s have plenty of room to do what you want, oftentimes you can straight back with the proper setup.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

The amount and where the space is for setting up determines how I back. If I have ample space, it's almost straight back,...less space a 45 and eventually if need be a 90 if there is limited space in front of where I need to spot the trailer.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I did otr for a year and now I spend most of my time in a Target DC as a yard hostler, driving occasionally. I almost always do a 45ish degree angle back. I'll set up for a straight back when it's easy to do so. Most places have enough room to do a 45 and they're generally pretty forgiving too.

With anything besides a straight back, if your tandems aren't all the way back, make sure you start far enough forward from the hole so that your tail swing doesn't catch the obstacles next to you as your trailer pivots.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a 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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I was thinking a little more about this..

Part of the reason I tend to shy away from 90 degree backs is that you leave yourself a huge blind spot behind your tractor and on the side of your trailer, and then move right into it. Even if you get out and look, someone could easily walk or even drive right into that blind spot while you're backing and you wouldn't have a clue until it's too late.

You're going to have blind spots no matter what type of back you do and you should always GOAL to visually inspect those areas, but it really helps to set up and back in such a way that you minimize those blind spots in the first place whenever possible.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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