Backing-up Anxiety

Topic 10305 | Page 1

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CT Trucker 's Comment
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Hey everyone,

I've been driving for 7 months now idk if this is a rookie thing but when i'm going to a unfamiliar stop or have a really tight backs i get really bad anxiety i'm not sure if its because i'm not confident in my backing ability or what, my straight back is good and my 45 is so so and 90 is horrible, I have asked for help and was sorta brushed off, Any type of advice would be helpful !!! thanks for letting me get this off my chest feel sorta embarrassed writing this but i wanna improve myself


Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
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Experience should make backing easier,and smoother,as you do more of it. The secret is to set up correctly,and straighten your tractor tires and pivot trailer,while leaving room in the front of tractor,to make final adjustments.If you use the same basic setup,each time you back,and just need to make adjustments,to the special curcumstances,of the particular space. I like the challenge of a difficult back..but it took a while to get here.

CT Trucker 's Comment
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I think that's where i have my issue is in the set up, some days i'm proud of myself and other days i get extremely aggravated

Errol V.'s Comment
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Hack, Backing is the big bugaboo for rookies. I've been driving for about 6 months now. It does get better. Setting up your trailer is the key. Sometime when you pull out of a trailer slot going to the left, STOP right when your tractor is parallel with the row. (If you backed up at that point, the trailer would slip right back in!)

Now look at the actual positions. Where is the tractor? Look at the tandems. Where are they in relation with the trailer slot? Use your mind to draw an imaginary line from the wheels to where they should go if you backed up. After these six months, I find I nearly always draw that imaginary line and work with that.


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 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".

Carl S.'s Comment
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Just about all the vets on this site will tell you that backing takes time. My trainer has been driving for 30 years and he still has bad days here and there.

The best advice I've been given is take your time and be patient it's not a race. Regardless of how many times you have to pull up and start over as long as you don't hit anything or anyone you did it right.

Medicine Man 's Comment
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I'm not a trucker yet but I have something that might help.

I would say with time you will get better. I used to dumpster dive at this tool store and the dumpster was right next to the dock so I would see trucks park sometimes. So the first guy I watched was super slow and G.O.A.L several times. He took his time and finally got it in there. It was a tight spot to get in.

The next guy however comes FLYING right past me, pulled right to back into the 90 degree dock on his left and stops. Then he instantly hammered down in reverse and stopped EXACTLY at the dock. Didn't G.O.A.L. This all took Mabey 3 seconds. He hopped out of the truck and I said " Wow dude you are good." He just laughed and said thanks.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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It will certainly get better with time. I think everyone gets a little tense when they're facing a challenging spot. You obviously don't want to hit anything and you don't want to hold anyone up either. So there's cause for concern. The most important thing is to block out everything else and focus on the task at hand. Every driver in America holds people up once in a while. That's life, ya know? Don't sweat it.

Take all the time you need and don't worry about anything other than getting the job done safely. Sometimes you'll get it in there first shot, other times it will take ten tries. Who cares? In the end it makes no difference.

Scott O.'s Comment
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Like everyone says it takes time and even then still have off days... Few weeks ago I did a blind side 90 at a loves just outside of Atlanta with no pull ups and no goals I was shocked but just yesterday took me ten minutes to straight back (don't ask) not really sure what happen lol and the lot was damn near empty... Just block everything out except for what your doing and don't hit anything....

Logan M.'s Comment
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As a rookie with similar feelings as you I'm going to throw my .02 worth in here.

Trucking is stressful once you get used to setting something else happens being nervous is natural and you just have to work past it. Heck if you get to comfortable accidents happen .

I've been on my own for a week and a half and haven't had much in the way of comfort lol.

I used to ask for help and get brushed off as well the best thing to remember is you can't be told how to do it. You have to try it, and fail a lot and eventually it comes, it's coming for me and it will for you too, stop before you hit anything, use room if you got it, and as long as you don't hit anything its perfect.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Just to pile on what everyone here has mentioned, it's all practice. You'll get it down the more you do it and until then, take your time, do what you know you're supposed to do and you'll be fine. Don't ever worry about some jerk on the radio at the truck stop talking smack, he used to be a rookie once and probably isn't any better than you.

Perfect example, I was in Franklin Kentucky the other night, it had just gotten dark and was pouring down rain. Seeing in the mirrors was a pain so I took it slow and easy. I got out to double check my blind side 3 times, I knew I was clear but it didn't matter. Some radio Rambo yells at me, damn Knight, you gonna get that in there and I ignored him. The driver who was on my blind side (O/O flatbedder) jumped on and told me to stay in the seat, he had my right. I got the truck in and the guy told me to roll down my window, he told me nice job and always stay cool. The jerk was diagonal across from me and started mouthing off again (I knew it was him because there was enough light to see him grab his mic. I asked him, did I hit your truck? He said nope, so I told him off.

As a caveat, when I left in the morning, I could see he didn't have curtains so I left the high beams on as I did my pre trip lol.

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Advice For New Truck Drivers Backing Challenges Becoming A Truck Driver Tips For Backing
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