Feeling To Unaccomplished

Topic 10886 | Page 1

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Nicole N.'s Comment
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I just can't get backing down to save my life.. I feel like giving up.. Why is this such a difficult task for me. Feeling so frustrated

Tyler Durden's Comment
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I just can't get backing down to save my life.. I feel like giving up.. Why is this such a difficult task for me. Feeling so frustrated

Deep breaths. For some it comes easy for others it takes some time. For straight line backing: First don't oversteer. Watch your trailer in your mirrors. As soon as you see the trailer drifting turn the wheel in the direction the trailer is drifting. But only turn the wheel slightly. If you are watching your trailer properly you can correct it quickly with only minor turns of the wheel. If you need to turn the wheel more than half a turn you're not correcting it fast enough. By that I mean not watching your mirrors. Hope it helps

Old School's Comment
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Hey Nicole, backing is tough for most people. Have you ever read Brett's comical article about the clowns at the backing range? If not, you should. It will help you realize that you are not the only one having this struggle, and it just might help you laugh at yourself and relax a little. Probably at this point in the game you are getting yourself all nervous and worked up when you are about to have to try it again. I remember a student at the truck driving school I attended who would literally start breaking out in a sweat every time he was required to back the truck. He was agonizing over it each and every time. It's something that is not natural because you're doing everything backwards, and well, backward just is not natural for us.

I had to do a blindside back recently at a shipper where I was picking up some steel coils. I couldn't get it where I needed to be for the world. There was all these truck drivers there waiting for their turn, and it should have been nerve racking, but if you could have been in the cab with me you would have seen me just laughing at myself hilariously. It really did tickle me - I can normally do this stuff, I mean I do it everyday, but for whatever reason it just wasn't happening that day.

Try to relax, and realize that probably your biggest problem is over steering - that is typically where the rookies mess up when backing. Keep your eyes on those tandem trailer wheels and try to make them roll where you want them too. You just need to practice it over and over. It is one of those things, like I said, that is not natural, but you can teach yourself how to do it. Repetition is the key to getting the whole eye hand coordination thing worked out in your mind as to how your motions at the wheel are affecting what is happening back there at those trailer tandems. Try to think of it as steering the trailer instead of steering the tractor. Remember that the tractor is really pushing the trailer around when you are backing - this may help you conceive the idea of how your movements at the wheel make things happen back there at the trailer.

Some people find that purchasing a small toy tractor trailer rig and then pushing it around in reverse helps them to visualize how it all workd together when backing.

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.

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".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
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Nicole, "Getting" backing is the King of all frustrations in Trucking school.

Follow Old School's and Tyler's (he's already a school student) advice about staying calm, taking a breath of two.

My suggestion is to focus on the task at hand, meaning don't worry about what you just did, but work to do it right this time.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Some people find that purchasing a small toy tractor trailer rig and then pushing it around in reverse helps them to visualize how it all worked together when backing.

That's what we did when I was in school and it helped a lot. We had a little $5 plastic truck from Walmart that bent at the 5th wheel just like a regular truck and we'd push that around on the table. It really helped us understand how the trailer reacted to movements by the tractor and helped us understand strategies to use when setting up or pulling up also.

Usually when people are struggling with backing there's something small but important that just hasn't clicked yet. One of these days you're gonna get in the truck, you're going to discover something you hadn't noticed before, and you're instantly going to be much better than you were. Once things begin to click for you you'll do fine. Don't sweat it.

And by the way, whether or not you pick up on backing as quickly as others is ultimately no indicator of how good you'll be as a driver. There are a million factors that go into being a great professional out there and more of it revolves around your decision making than it does your skillset. So don't let this concern you at all. Keep at it. You'll get it soon enough, just like everyone does.

smile.gif

Rolling Thunder's Comment
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Some people find that purchasing a small toy tractor trailer rig and then pushing it around in reverse helps them to visualize how it all worked together when backing.

double-quotes-end.png

That's what we did when I was in school and it helped a lot. We had a little $5 plastic truck from Walmart that bent at the 5th wheel just like a regular truck and we'd push that around on the table. It really helped us understand how the trailer reacted to movements by the tractor and helped us understand strategies to use when setting up or pulling up also.

Usually when people are struggling with backing there's something small but important that just hasn't clicked yet. One of these days you're gonna get in the truck, you're going to discover something you hadn't noticed before, and you're instantly going to be much better than you were. Once things begin to click for you you'll do fine. Don't sweat it.

And by the way, whether or not you pick up on backing as quickly as others is ultimately no indicator of how good you'll be as a driver. There are a million factors that go into being a great professional out there and more of it revolves around your decision making than it does your skillset. So don't let this concern you at all. Keep at it. You'll get it soon enough, just like everyone does.

smile.gif

This⬆️⬆️

Tyler Durden's Comment
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Nicole, "Getting" backing is the King of all frustrations in Trucking school.

Follow Old School's and Tyler's (he's already a school student) advice about staying calm, taking a breath of two.

My suggestion is to focus on the task at hand, meaning don't worry about what you just did, but work to do it right this time.

As of last Wednesday now a school graduate. dancing-banana.gif

Shirley K.'s Comment
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For straight backing, the magic trick that helped me was "never let go of the wheel." I held the wheel at 3 and 9, turned a quarter turn toward the trouble the moment I got the slightest whiff of trailer drift, then back to straight as soon as it started correcting. By never letting go of the wheel, I quit "losing my place" as to where was straight on the wheel. For the guys who'd been doing it a while, having the steering wheel "straight" seemed to come without thinking, but I was really struggling with it.

I also found that talking out loud and telling the trailer what I wanted it to do helped. I'm not sure why but saying aloud "Ok, now you're drifting to the right. I am turning to the right and you're going to drift back left" seems to help me.

And definitely laugh at yourself and the situations. Sometimes the alleys in the alley dock backing exercises JUMP ALL OVER the place or have a force field around them :) You'll get it.

Bud A.'s Comment
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I constantly oversteered for the first six months. I knew it was a problem, I would conciously work to steer less, but for some reason I couldn't convince myself that the trailer was going to turn fast enough, or that it would keep turning while I was getting the tractor back straight in front of it.

Another thing I've noticed is that I'm a lot better at backing since I had to teach a new driver how to do it. Standing in back of a trailer and watching it move as someone else backs made me realize that it's all about the angle between the tractor and the trailer. Of course I knew that already, but watching it from outside made it click. I don't oversteer now except on my bad days, which are fewer and further between than ever.

Keep practicing, and try watching what happens when someone else backs as they turn the steering wheel. It might help you too.

Serah D.'s Comment
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I just can't get backing down to save my life.. I feel like giving up.. Why is this such a difficult task for me. Feeling so frustrated

Hi Nicole, like everyone says you are not the only one, and they are correct. I failed the straight backing 3 times before I got it.

Now, in school we had different instructors all with their own different ways of teaching. Most of the time there were soooo many students that in 8 hours you only go 2 shots at getting into the truck, so most of the time the instructor was like, left, right, right, left, left, left, right, I was not able to get it right. My AHAH moment came when I heard this from a weekend instructor - look at your trailer tires, if they move away from the line turn the wheel in the same direction the tires are veering to, to correct it then straighten the wheel.

He also said do not turn the wheel till the tires start veering off......believe me there were times when it was not necessary to turn the wheel, that is if your setting was right. My alley dock just came with a lot of practice.

You feel horrible now but you will make it. Just keep practicing. Good luck!!

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