Having Trouble Learning How To Backup

Topic 10140 | Page 1

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Nicole N.'s Comment
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I am going crazy. I can't seem to get the hang of backing up a truck. Can you guys help me??
Errol V.'s Comment
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Yes, you can't get backing down. No, you're not crazy. It's the most frustrating thing you will have to learn in truck school. But you will get the hang of it.

Being late, I won't answer right now. But please add in some of your frustration here so others can help you out.

Stephanie D.'s Comment
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Nicole, keep trying. You'll get it. Don't focus on the trifecta, it is pretty much a myth even for a good amount of the guys. Hang in there!

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Everyone struggles with backing at school. At some point it's suddenly going to click. Normally there's one or two key things that you don't pick up on right away and it throws everything off. Once you stumble upon what it is you'll suddenly be three times better than you were and things will begin to fall into place.

In fact I wrote an article about this very subject and how funny it is to watch the newbies learning to back at school. It's called The Backing Range At Trucking Driving School - It's Like Clown Soup For The Soul and you'll enjoy it.

Listen, don't get worked up over it or you're just going to make it worse. Just relax, clear your mind, and allow yourself time to get the hang of it. You'll be just fine.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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I describe my backing as an expedition for the entertainment of all of those around me.

Don't let it get you all worked up, it takes time and practice practice practice. We spend the least amount of our time backing up, yet is one of the most important and difficult things we do. Some people pick up on it really quickly and for others, it takes a bit before it finally clicks. About the best tip of advice I can give is to not over think it and don't over steer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
6 string rhythm's Comment
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Lots of tips and tricks out there to help you get the job done. One quick tip: use your tandems as your "anchor point." When doing a driver's side (the side you should always try to use) maneuver, set your tandems up as a pivot point where you can start making your turn to put 'er in the hole.

You can practice this whenever you have the convenience of lines marked on the pavement, e.g. a parking spot. During your set up, you position the trailer so that your tandems are on top of the line, then you pivot the trailer. This might sound like I'm oversimplifying, but it's only a tool. The tricky part is learning the feel of the trailer, to get it to do what you want, depending on the angle you need.

The purpose of this tip is simply to give you a point of reference. If you place your tandems on the line, or an imagined line that lines up with the dock, then you just need to concern yourself with how much you need to cut it, depending on the angle you need. To use this tip, you're really not trying to back up while positioning the trailer, you're just cranking the wheel while letting the clutch out, basically at almost an idle. You'll have to then counter steer as needed since you're initially doing a hard steer without trying to move as much. You're trying to pivot here, and then counter steer as you straighten it out while backing into the desired spot.

You can break it down in three steps.

1. Position your trailer so that you can see your tandems on the line (or imagined line).

2. Start cranking the wheel so your trailer pivots, you're trying to straighten the trailer out here.

3. Counter steer while backing in order to keep the trailer in a straight line, and to line your tractor up with the trailer.

Take it slow and in chunks.

Of course this only works for a driver's side backing maneuver. If it all possible, you wanna stay away from a blind side.

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".

Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
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Basically most backs start with a hard right,so you can see where your trailer is heading.At some point,you will need to straighten the steer tires(two turns from lock),and pivot the front of trailer.From then on,when you pull up steer right,and backing,steer left. You always want to back towards the side you can see.It gets much easier with practice.

Rachel G.'s Comment
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It took me forever to get backing down. I totally lucked out on the backing portion of my test. In New Mexico you have to do a straight back (i had that down), lane change (also not a problem, but the last maneuver was one of three: drivers side alley dock (50/50 chance of failure), parallel (for some reason this clicked) or the dreaded blind side alley dock which, naturally, i ended up having to do for my test. Either out of shear luck or simple determination I put the truck where it needed to go. Even once I got on the road with a trainer I struggled for a long time. My eureka moment came when I realized when I'm backing I'm just doing the opposite of what I would do pulling out of the spot. This may seem common sense to most but this idea really helped me. Ask yourself "if i had pulled out of this spot and the truck was in this position, which way would my wheel be cut at this point and to what degree?"

Also, the old rule turn right to make the trailer go left doesn't work for me at all it still hurts my head to think about . I turn toward the problem to make it smaller. Ex: If the trailer favors the drivers side too much turn toward it.

Hope this helps. Good luck! Be patient with yourself. You will get it.

Paul C., Rubber Duckey's Comment
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Put your left hand on top center of steering wheel extend your thumb.... Now think if I turn the wheel in the direction of my thumb the trailer will head in that direction

Now place your right hand on top of steering wheel and extend your thumb... If I turn the wheel in the direction of my thumb the trailer will head that way...now this only works if your backing up

And last but most important get out and look I don't care what anybody says tha 5-10 sec can safe you from a wreck don't be embarrassed take a look at anchormans recent upload about a driver baking into a wall while reversing to turn around to line up too back into a dock.... All they had to do was hop off and look and they wouldn't have been on t.v.

confused.gifwtf.gif

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
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Best piece of advice I can give you, when you are backing, put your hand on the bottom of steering wheel. Move your hand in the direction you want to trailer to go (from the bottom, turning left move your hand left (driver side back)). After a while you will just automatically just move your hand in the proper direction without thinking about it.

Ernie

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