Advice For Rookies?

Topic 12394 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I asked my trainer what the biggest mistakes students seem to make. She said:

1.) Not swinging wide enough 2.) Not reading signs 3.) Passing Weigh Stations

I learned the hard way to swing.... and I have always read signs... i pay attention to the weigh stations. but i make stupid mistakes... Being from NJ I never pumped gas (stop laughing please lol). Three times I shut off the pump at the wrong amount of fuel cause i was looking at the price line instead of the gallons line. SMH.

I also hear drivers say "new drivers over steer" which i still can't wrap my head around. I was told "hard right" then was told I over steered it. hahhaha somehow that just sounds like an oxymoron or something.

I thought if we made a list of screw ups here, it might help us newbies be more observant and learn from each other.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Basically, all the things you listed will correct themselves with experience and as you become more comfortable with the truck and how it reacts. Oversteer isn't just a rookie problem either. It's also something that comes with time as you get used to how the trailer reacts to input when backing and how much angle you're putting in the truck during backing maneuvers. The trailer takes time to react, when it doesn't react right away, some tend to crank the heck out of the wheel causing you to over shoot your mark. Or, too much right at the beginning which can cause the same thing. You see it all the time, the truck is snaking all over the place when subtle inputs would have gotten it there just fine and wouldn't jeopardize everything on both sides of the truck lol. Just take your time and get comfortable with how she's reacting and in no time at all, it will just click.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I'm a now it all perfectionist. I know it (pun intended). I hate how uncomfortable I am with the backing. I know I'll get it eventually and if it takes me 30 min to back it so be it. Lol

After readi ng the old posts on this site it looks like a lot of drivers take 6 months to feel comfortable. I can't wait lol

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rainy wrote:

I'm a now it all perfectionist. I know it (pun intended). I hate how uncomfortable I am with the backing. I know I'll get it eventually and if it takes me 30 min to back it so be it. Lol

After readi ng the old posts on this site it looks like a lot of drivers take 6 months to feel comfortable. I can't wait lol

I would have to agree with that...6 months is about right. The way you approach and think about it will likely change as well. In the beginning the focus is always on the "backing". You will begin to realize that the setup is the true "devil" in the details of backing efficiently and if done correctly for each different scenario, will significantly reduce the time needed to get it done.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Absoutely the setup makes all the difference on the world

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Absoutely the setup makes all the difference on the world

Yeah I watched a ton of videos .. but watching and doing are 2 different things. Someone said to grab cones and put them out. I intend to do this. Twice at Walmart at 3am I backed into the wrong door cause there was nothing there to guide me lol but it was dark.. and rainy. I think I'm tougher on myself than I should be too

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

A good flashlight will help out in the dark and crappy weather. Place it on the ground aiming it as a guide similar to a painted line on the ground. All you have to do is aim for it at that point and it makes all the difference in the world.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

A good flashlight will help out in the dark and crappy weather. Place it on the ground aiming it as a guide similar to a painted line on the ground. All you have to do is aim for it at that point and it makes all the difference in the world.

That's an awesome tip thanks. I threw my yellow shirt down one night just to know which door lol

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

A good flashlight will help out in the dark and crappy weather. Place it on the ground aiming it as a guide similar to a painted line on the ground. All you have to do is aim for it at that point and it makes all the difference in the world.

Rainy, I think you said you have some cones. Set your flashlight on the ground shining up to the sky. Put the orange cone right over it. You can see it from anywhere!

Skar Hed's Comment
member avatar

I was terrible at backing when I started out and got no help from my trainers...they hardly even let me try. I was sent out solo completely unready. I dreaded every pickup and delivery and rest stop. Here's what helped me.

Small as possible movements on the wheel. Everyone will tell you that. Don't get any more bent up than you have to be.

If you're absolutely sure you are not up to backing at an extremely tight or crowded or irrationally laid out location (like the tractor supply in east wareham, mass. to name one) without busting up your truck or something else, simply don't do it. If it's a truck stop, go somewhere else. if it's a customer.... Call dispatch and just say no. A starter company won't fire you...they will send another driver to back it for you, four days later no one will remember or care, and you won't have the preventable accident on your record.

Whenever you have time, get into the far corner of a huge petro or TA where you can't possibly hit anything and just roll around backwards. Make some half assed backs with no eyes or pressure on you. get a feel for what your input on the wheel does to the truck.

Have your tandems all the way back whenever possible when backing while you figure out what you're doing...or at least have them in the same consistent location when you back. It takes one variable out of the equation. I liked all the way back because then you didn't have that big trailer overhang on your blind side to worry about and you can just watch the wheels, get them in the right place.

And keep in mind that however bad you are, within two or three months of doing it every day in a sink or swim type situation, you will be more or less as good as the rest of us. It will eventually just click in.

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".

Page 1 of 1

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More