Question About Backing.

Topic 21052 | Page 1

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NeeklODN's Comment
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I have about five years experience driving these trucks

used-2016-ford-super_duty_f~550_drw-f55012landscapedump-11015-15662447-1-1024.jpg

With these type trailers. And I'm just as good backing as I am driving forward.

BE-6LS.jpg

Is a tractor trailer the same idea when backing? What are the major differences? I would like to think that I at least have a head start. But who knows maybe it's completely different. Thanks

Linden R.'s Comment
member avatar

Same idea, but some differences:

- Less visibility. These trucks are BIG, you can't really see much. G.O.A.L (Get Out And Look) is your best friend.

- Longer trailer. Some find it easier, some find it harder. Most say it's easier because it doesn't turn as abruptly, but you also have more real estate to worry about.

- I assume in that truck you weren't really backing in between any other trucks (out in fields, etc.). In a semi, you will be backing in between 2 other trailers sometimes, with about 4 feet tops on either side.

- Docks. I don't know if you loaded that thing at a loading dock of some sort, but you have to line these docks up as well as you can.

I personally have never driven a truck (read my bio, lol), but this is stuff I've learned in my nearly year and a half at this forum.

NeeklODN's Comment
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Yeah actually I have had to back through some pretty tight spots on construction sites over the years. And I back in between trucks everyday when I get back to the yard. Yeah I figured people would say visibility and size are major differences. Thanks bro.

G-Town's Comment
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I am going to clarify what Linden said a bit...the pivot points are different, the trailer will respond to steering adjustments far slower. So,... it will require some getting used to. What you'll have in your favor is that you already understand and have muscle memory with the "right is left" and left is right" concept, plus you will find that it's far easier to back a long trailer in a straight line than a small tag-along. What I would urge you to exercise care and take your time, especially until you "un-do" the feel of what you are familiar with vs. the larger size of a semi-truck.

The space between trailers and obstructions can vary greatly, 4' between parked trailers is the most you will typically see...

Below is the "4' of space" I have to deal with on a regular basis...the distance between the center yellow lines is roughly 18", on the curbside of the truck it's inches (as you can see). Like Linden suggested; G.O.A.L. !!! Vitally important in the beginning of your career and/or if in an unfamiliar shipper/receiver's dock area.

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Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Something you'll need to get used to is the additional overhang behind the trailer tandems when they're slid forward. Several feet of overhang is enough to do quite a bit of damage when backing if you don't account for 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".

NeeklODN's Comment
member avatar

Ah yes the pivot points are different. That is something to think about. Great stuff. I'm sure you can reverse at more extreme angles. But also probably different in other ways. Well I feel pretty confident. Dont get me wrong. I'm sure it will take some getting used too. But I already do the get out and look thing now sometimes. Hopefully I will be a rockstar in CDL school and company training!

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.
Bill F.'s Comment
member avatar

Pivot point also changes as you move the tandems. Quite a bit of difference backing depending on tandem's location...

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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