Right Turns Without Hitting Curbs

Topic 20691 | Page 1

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Travis H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, I went to test for my cdl today and I passed the pretrip and the backing without any issues, but it all fell apart on the road test. I failed the road test due to hitting curbs on my right turns, I was not happy about it. I'm really having trouble making right turns without hitting the curb with my trailer wheels, but I'm also having trouble not hitting the median with my steer tires. I know to hold it out to avoid hitting the curb but I can only go out so far because I'll hit the median on the other side. Any advice or tricks on how to get these turns down. It's really the only thing holding me back from passing my CDL test. I retest on Wednesday. Thanks

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
miracleofmagick's Comment
member avatar

It depends on the turn. Sometimes you just have to buttonhook it, turning out to the left a little to get your trailer heading in that direction before swinging out.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Travis, are you going through a truck driving school?

If so, ask your instructor to let you practice driving through the course that you are being tested on. When I first got started doing this we would practic driving the course that we would be tested on. They had a tricky right hand turn, as well as a tight left hand turn in that thing. By being prepared ahead of the surprises, we were quite able to execute the maneuvers properly.

Travis H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah I'm going through a school but they aren't going to do that I already asked, I just need to make sure my timing is perfect so I don't hit the curb or median on either side.

Pianoman's Comment
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Travis, the only advice I can really give you is to use slightly smaller corrections in your steering. Usually we give this advice to people for backing, but I suspect you might benefit from it in this situation as well. My guess is that you're keeping your steers pointed straight ahead for the first part of the turn and then turning them all the way to the right for the second part of the turn. While this is pretty much what you have to do on a tight right-hand turn, you could make it a tad easier on yourself by not turning the wheel all the the way to the right immediately, but doing it a bit more gradually. The idea is that you want to get as close as possible to the median without actually hitting it, at least for a really tight turn like this one. Since you aren't very comfortable with the truck yet, you might have to give yourself a little wiggle room by being a little more flexible with the steering like I'm suggesting.

Hopefully that helps you. Besides that, you really just need a little more practice. If you're limited on how much behind-the-wheel time you can get, you can try free online simulators--not nearly as good as the real thing, but they can help.

Best of luck to you Travis.

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Try keeping to your left more, but not so much that someone would try to pass on the right.

When I took my drive test I took my turns extra wide just to be safe.

Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

You also have to watch your front and trailer wheels.

Try asking the school instructors to take you to area's and work with you on that. Do they have a PUP trailer they can let you test with?

Good luck. You can do it.

Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

Ask them if you can move tandems forward that will buy you much better cornering

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".

ironmike's Comment
member avatar

Travis, Congrats on passing your pre trip and your backing skills. I think since you passed the backing skills, you can certainly learn to make a tight right turn without hitting the curb. First of all, do the right turn exactly as your instructor has shown you how to do.

Here are a few tips: Approach the right turn SLOWLY. Stop if you need to stop in order to look at things and figure it out. Look at the situation. Look at the forward space available to you. BE CALM. DON'T BE NERVOUS. DON'T ALLOW THE SURROUNDING TRAFFIC MAKE YOU NERVOUS. Look at the space to your left on your approach to the turn. Can you use some of the space or lane to your left as you approach? If there are vehicles in the lane next to the right turn lane, and you need to use that lane, just wait for the vehicles to go and then hog up part of that lane too if needed. Use all the space you need... Now a word about Ca cdl examiners. The examiner may or may not allow you to hog another lane. It could be points against you for striking lines or improper lane usage. You may need to say to the examiner that you need to use this lane or hit this line to miss the curb. In the real world though, this is how we do it. Have ya all seen that commercial, "I'm not a real security guard, I'm just a security guard monitor" ? rofl-2.gif Look forward in front of your truck. Can you go forward into another lane safely or cross an opposing lane safely? Will you have to wait for opposing traffic to pass to do so? Look at the entire scenario and plan it out. While stopped at the intersection, Look at the curb next to the right of your truck and trailer and look at the curb forward going around to the right where you will be going. You don't want the trailer tandems to come closer than a foot or 2 or 3 or maybe 4 feet to the curb as you make your turn. And you sure as heck don't want to hit it or it's game over. embarrassed.gif Also, you don't want to go too wide so as to leave 8 or 10 feet or so where a little car may want to turn and pass you on the right in your blind spot. 4 wheelers will do this. This could result in an accident. The cars will always blame the truck driver for this accident if it happens. So you want to minimize your space so as to block a 4 wheeler from getting in there. Use first gear and go slow. Ride the clutch if need be. Don't shift gears in the turn. Look at your trailer tandems in the passenger side mirror and look at the distance the trailer tandems are from the curb as well as the distance the tractor tires are from the curb. Estimate as you move forward, keeping the front wheels straight and moving forward long and wide before beginning to turn the wheel while watching and estimating so as you begin turning, your trailer tandems do not hit the curb.TO REPEAT You want to move straight forward and as you move forward estimate when to turn right so that the trailer tandems do not hit the curb. Begin to turn the wheel to the right while watching the tandems in the right mirror and also watching in front of your tractor so you don't hit anything there. In the backing skills, you learned to watch your trailer tail begin to move and you made the quick minor correction to keep it straight. You want to use the same skill here and watch the tandems as you begin your turn and if you see your tandems moving too close toward the curb, you need to turn the wheel back left or delay your right wheel turn so the tandems won't hit the curb. If your trailer tandems move in too close to hit something, STOP. Don't panic. You can always wait for traffic to clear to fix it. A HINT : With an average sleeper tractor and a 53 foot trailer, the point in time to begin turning your wheel right while moving forward is roughly about or close to when your passenger window area is close to crossing the curb line of the street you are turning right on to. Three things to definitely watch while turning are your front steers, your tandems, and the front of the trailer which will swing wide on a turn. Oh and yeah, tail swing too. You will have tail swing. Remember to always slow down for turns. This ain't nascar.

Good luckgood-luck.gif and let us know if this helped and how it worked out for you.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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".

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