Comments By 18 Wheels of Steel

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Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Backing fun!

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Wait...does having the tandems all the way to the rear help when there is very little room out front? I had mine all the way to the front...

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Definitely not, especially for an inexperienced driver. Having the tandems all the way back lengthens the pivot point and will also cause the trailer to respond much slower to steering adjustments.

The inverse, having the tandems in the one hole although at times might be necessary, beware of trailer overhang in the opposite direction. Easy to side-swipe another trailer, wall or worst case, a tractor.

The majority of my backing is done in holes 6-11.

OK, that's what I thought. I've been keeping mine all the way to the front whenever possible. I know about the overhang, and do lots of GOALS, especially as I enter the space, to the possible frustration of my fellow truck drivers. Oh well, their frustration is better than my having to report to safety again...

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Backing fun!

Wait...does having the tandems all the way to the rear help when there is very little room out front? I had mine all the way to the front...

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Backing fun!

Nice. always good to have someone give kind words rather than be rude. :)

True.

I forgot to point out to be careful of advice from a spotter though. The first guy who came along, sad to say it, didn't really know what he was doing and nearly backed me right into the driver next to my spot's headlight.

Be sure to still get out and look and don't be afraid to ignore the guys instructions if you think he is putting you in a bad spot. I did so, and the first guy walked off no doubt upset, but i'd rather hurt someones feelings than pick up another preventable. I got out and looked for the second guy as well until I was confident he wasn't going to put me in a bad spot. At that point, it was just a matter of straightening back out so I just needed to be sure I wasn't going to hit the side of the trailer on my drivers side. But I still got out and verified his spotting.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Backing fun!

Well, I didn't notice that my appointment time for delivery had changed, and wound up stuck in Atlanta a day early. With maybe an hour left on the clock, it was off to find a spot. I finally got to the petro off 285 and found that there was a spot left. An easy, sight side 45 degree back...or so I thought. Unfortunately, a couple people parked in an unauthorized zone, leaving me very little room to get back in front of the trailer. I basically had to pull forward where the back of the entire trailer was past the spot, and just slightly bend it into the spot.

It took many resets and many GOAL's but I finally got it at the right angle to walk it in the spot. It turned into a slight blindside at the end since it was so hard to get the front end back around. Fortunately, I got a spotter at the end to help with that part, mostly by saving me a bunch more get out and looks.

After finally getting in the spot, I was feeling a little down about struggling so hard with the spot. I talked to the guy in the spot next to mine and got some confidence building words. He basically said that he had seen several guys try for this spot tonight and none of them got it. He then said I was a pretty good backer to have pulled it off. He also had some choice words about the drivers who had parked inappropriately and had made this spot so difficult, but those words cannot be repeated here. After a rough day, that was exactly what I needed to hear.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Two preventables in three weeks

Small world! That's normally where I park my truck when on home time. Right there off I-75, Mt Morris Rd exit. Seems that's about all that truck stop is used for, judging by the fact that there is generally as many dropped trailers there as trucks. Of course, I must keep truck and trailer connected and bum a ride home, but it's a small price to pay to not have to drive back from Gary, IN!

Just noticed you hail from Flint. I lived for several months in Mt. Morris.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Two preventables in three weeks

Chances are you're OK. For Now.

I've had two scrapes myself, though more than two weeks apart. My first I punched a hole in a warehouse wall with a trailer door. Second, right under my nose I backed my front fender into a yellow post. I was looking in the mirrors at the time. Post got tilted, my truck got a new hood/fender piece.

You have gone over the incidents in your mind a hundred times already. I bet you'll nev-ver do those things again, right? And you can recognize the situations that caused those accidents.

Read that last paragraph again. Think about what happened. This is what you should bring up in your talk with the safety person.

The waiting between calling Safety for the first time and that face-to-face can be agonizing.

I hope you're right. You can bet I'll never forget those trailer tails, provided I get that chance. It was the easiest back of my life too. 3 or 4 open docks on either side. I'm normally religious about getting out and looking, and had i done that this time, I'd have noticed the tails and closed them. But I got overconfident and paid the price. It's probably a good sign that they at least gave me another load after this screw-up. But I'll be a wreck until the safety meeting, regardless. I guess we will see what happens.

Posted:  7 years, 11 months ago

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Two preventables in three weeks

I've picked up what will no doubt be my second preventable today. The first was three weeks ago when I put a scrape on the side of my trailer while backing. Today, like a total bonehead, I backed into the dock with the trailer tails open, knocking the dock door off its track. The tails were not damaged.

I'm under a new load now, and have to report to safety when I get to the next terminal, probably after delivering this load. I'm a nervous wreck. I started out so well, but now two bonehead mistakes, and I fear my time as a driver is finished. This is for May Trucking if anyone has first hand experience.

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

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New driver less trucks- will it be a real job killer?

I was kinda worried about this until I actually started driving. I could see the technology used as a sort of auto-pilot where when a driver hits a nice relatively straight stretch of interstate with light traffic, he or she could activate the auto-pilot. But in heavy traffic even on the interstate near big cities, or in bad weather, or in some of these very curvy stretches of freeway, I doubt it. And forget city driving. I'd think from a safety standpoint, you'd need all the 4-wheelers to be automated before you could trust a big semi being driven wholly by computer.

Another angle to consider is the liability aspect. If your driver-less truck malfunctions and plows into the back of a traffic jam, killing many people, who is liable? Assume the carrier can prove the truck has been properly maintained. I'd think the blame, and potential lawsuits would fall directly onto the manufacturer. I'd think manufacturers would be kind of leery about such a thing.

And even if (and that's kind of a big if) these trucks were actually safer than human drivers, it wouldn't take but a few of the aforementioned incidents to leave a bad public perception of this technology, in my estimation.

A final thought, such a truck would be susceptible to being hacked, either by thieves who would get it to pull over, then steal the cargo. Or worse, terrorists who hack the truck and turn it into a 40 ton battering ram.

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

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Brake Squeal. How to stop it...

The only thing that would really fix it is to take off the brake shoes and sand the "glaze" off of them. (Glaze being a thin layer on top of the shoe material that overheated and became very smooth). That being said, unless you're a trained mechanic, messing with your brakes would be a big no-no. Although annoying, glazed brakes are not a big deal.

Posted:  8 years, 1 month ago

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1st Time Run with May Trucking!

Congrats! I just went solo with May about 2 weeks ago. For a company that hires Rookies, they are pretty good. Good luck out there!

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