Backing

Topic 1123 | Page 1

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Bucs/Clips-Nation (aka Ne's Comment
member avatar

I'm really struggling with backing into open spots without some sort of reference other than the parking spot lines. My initial setup is fine, but after my trailer is set to begin backing I lose track of the initial spot I setup with. I'm really getting discouraged, I know what I need to do, but once I get lost like that it's over from that point.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I can't tell if you mean that your losing sight of your reference points or if you are just over steering and can't seem to get it going right after that happens. But here's what helped me when I first started backing big trucks. Try to keep your main focus on your trailer tandems. Of course while backing you have to be aware of all the various spaces around you too so you don't back your tractor into something while focusing on the trailer.

For me, if I focused on the trailer tandems I could see how they were reacting to my steering efforts. If you are watching the side or the back of your trailer you can't really see the response your getting from the steering wheel. But the tandems will "talk to you" and tell you if you're over steering or under steering, plus you can see when they are starting to line up parallel with that stripe on the parking lot so that you know you need to hurry up and get your tractor lined up for a straight back, or you might need to do a short pull up to help you get things set up again for a better angle.

Backing is difficult for most newbies, and there's always some of us that have a more difficult time at it than others. But it's one of those things that just takes some time and practice. Don't let it rattle you so badly that you've got yourself thinking there's just no way your going to get this. You can do it, you just need some more exposure to it. I raised three daughters and one of them started walking about ten months later than the other two, but now that they're all grown none of them walks any better than the other. It's the same way with backing a big rig, six months from now when you're backing into a tight spot at the truck stop no one there is going to know that you could barely get the hang of it while at truck driving school. It's one of those things that usually just start falling into place once your mind starts to recognize that relationship going on between the trailer and the steering wheel. It becomes sort of an eye/hand coordination thing.

Keep at it, try visualizing some perfect back ups in your mind while your laying in bed. That may sound silly to some folks, but I'll bet it just might help you. You can do this!

Keep watching those tandems, and pretty soon you'll see them responding just the way you want.

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.
Bucs/Clips-Nation (aka Ne's Comment
member avatar

I can't tell if you mean that your losing sight of your reference points or if you are just over steering and can't seem to get it going right after that happens. But here's what helped me when I first started backing big trucks. Try to keep your main focus on your trailer tandems. Of course while backing you have to be aware of all the various spaces around you too so you don't back your tractor into something while focusing on the trailer.

For me, if I focused on the trailer tandems I could see how they were reacting to my steering efforts. If you are watching the side or the back of your trailer you can't really see the response your getting from the steering wheel. But the tandems will "talk to you" and tell you if you're over steering or under steering, plus you can see when they are starting to line up parallel with that stripe on the parking lot so that you know you need to hurry up and get your tractor lined up for a straight back, or you might need to do a short pull up to help you get things set up again for a better angle.

Backing is difficult for most newbies, and there's always some of us that have a more difficult time at it than others. But it's one of those things that just takes some time and practice. Don't let it rattle you so badly that you've got yourself thinking there's just no way your going to get this. You can do it, you just need some more exposure to it. I raised three daughters and one of them started walking about ten months later than the other two, but now that they're all grown none of them walks any better than the other. It's the same way with backing a big rig, six months from now when you're backing into a tight spot at the truck stop no one there is going to know that you could barely get the hang of it while at truck driving school. It's one of those things that usually just start falling into place once your mind starts to recognize that relationship going on between the trailer and the steering wheel. It becomes sort of an eye/hand coordination thing.

Keep at it, try visualizing some perfect back ups in your mind while your laying in bed. That may sound silly to some folks, but I'll bet it just might help you. You can do this!

Keep watching those tandems, and pretty soon you'll see them responding just the way you want.

Sorry for the confusion, yes I'm losing my reference points and getting all confused after that. Backing into docks, or a parking spot with a truck next to it doesn't give me much trouble because I'm always able to keep track of where I want to go. Not so much with a wide out in the open parking spot haha. I'm already out with my trainer on the road, I had to talk to him about allowing me to do more of the backing. Tomorrow will be the start of my third week n were just now really starting to focus on it. Maybe I'm just worrying to much because I have two weeks left before I have to test for the company solo position. Really appreciate it old school, I will try out your advice on the tandems tomorrow

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Yup...you use your trailer tandems to "tell" you where your trailer is going in comaprison to where you are steering....the main word you want to remember is .....SLOW......When I back, I seldom give it any fuel...Things jump into your backing area...people walk thru it, talking on their cell phone...other trucks may be heading into the same spot as you from the other side.....so slow is the way to go...AND its easier to maneuver your trailer, catchup and correct any over steering...and basically keeps you in calmer, in an insane situation...

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".

Bucs/Clips-Nation (aka Ne's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Starcar, ill let u guys know how it goes. Appreciate the knowledge

HeavyHauler's Comment
member avatar

My dad taught me to use my landing gears as reference points. I.E. once your outside landing gear (depending which way your turning) 1/2 is visible in your mirror, then start turning the other way. Of course this is mainly use for offset, parallel, and 90 degree alley dock parking.

Bucs/Clips-Nation (aka Ne's Comment
member avatar

My dad taught me to use my landing gears as reference points. I.E. once your outside landing gear (depending which way your turning) 1/2 is visible in your mirror, then start turning the other way. Of course this is mainly use for offset, parallel, and 90 degree alley dock parking.

Yeah that's exactly how we learned at school, I did pretty well with that. Haven't needed to use any of those on the road yet though, school was like dmv world, completely different out here on the road. I did much better today, we were able to pull into this completely empty lot and practice for a while. I was finally able to come to understand what kind of adjustments were needed for the trailer to move where I wanted it to. Thanks again everyone

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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