Sliding Tandems For Docking...do You?

Topic 13256 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Eric K.'s Comment
member avatar

Do you slide your tandems once you've reached your destination to make it easier to dock in tight situations?

If so, do you go forward for quicker turning or back for less tail swing?

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".

Dutch's Comment
member avatar

When sliding your tandems all the way to the rear, you eliminate almost all tail swing, which is why it is a preferred method used by some drivers when backing into tight spots. When docking to be loaded or unloaded, it is also much safer for the forklift driver to be running in and out of a trailer with the tandems slid to the rear, as it keeps the tandems from acting as a fulcrum close to the center of the trailer.

The only disadvantage to sliding them to the rear, is that your trucks overall wheelbase will be longer. In some tight situations, you will need to be careful that you don't snag your tractors front bumper, on another parked trailer in front you on the opposite side of the parking lot, facing the docks, when you line your tractor back up and "get under" your trailer.

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".

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Do you slide your tandems once you've reached your destination to make it easier to dock in tight situations?

If so, do you go forward for quicker turning or back for less tail swing?

I'm not an experienced driver like Dutch here, but I actually usually slide them forward. Sure, you have more tail swing, but you don't need quite as much space in front of the parking spot or dock. I guess it just depends on the situation, but usually the spots I find the most difficult are the ones where you have a wall or something like 70ish ft in front of the parking space. If your tandems are all the way back, you have to get the whole semi nearly straight before getting very far back into the spot. That's pretty darn difficult in this example, considering the whole semi is around 70 ft long. If your tandems are more forward, you have a bit more maneuvering room in front of the spot or dock since you can get a little more of the trailer in the hole before getting straight.

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".

Eric K.'s Comment
member avatar

That's my thing get too Paul. Easier to move in tight spots. Of course I would slide them back for the safety of the dock workers once I got lined up.

Sunrise Driver's Comment
member avatar

Only if asked to do so.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

All depends on the customer and room you have too work with. Like has been said, if tight slide forward ti you get in the hole. Some customers make you slide them at the guard shack because they know alot of drivers wont do it otherwise. Always do as the customer asks. If they never said anything I left them where they were unless I had to move them to manuaver.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Some places require you to slide tandems to the back before you can get past the guard shack. It has to do with running loaded forklifts in & out of your trailer.

I usually slide tandems twice: move to balance (34,000 lb. max per axle set) and before getting to the dock, as above.

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".

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.

Fire Marshal Bill's Comment
member avatar

I always slide mine all the way forward unless directed at the gate. But as soon as I clear the gates line of sight I slide them back full forward.

Just makes life easier when docking.

Once in the door and lined up I slide them all the way to the rear again.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

My take on this is a bit different, purely pragmatic, plus it works for me.

First of all, if you are a student or have less than 3 months of experience (and backing is still a harrowingly "iffy" proposition), I highly suggest not backing with the tandem set at the very rear of the trailer, unless there is a substantial amount of setup space directly in front of the dock. When the tandems are set to the far rear of the trailer, it will respond/adjust much slower than you are accustom to. Typically when first learning how to back, students will over-correct and over-steer, running their arms to exhaustion. That approach, with the tandems in the rear, will only exacerbate an already difficult task. If the dock is tight requiring a 45 degree or greater, angle of approach, a 2 minute job becomes a 20 minute exercise in futility and arm twisting. Likened to putting toothpaste back in the tube.

Most of the time I run between the 9-11 hole, aka "legal" in PA, NJ, and MD. When I enter a dock, be it a Walmart or commercial vendor dock I leave the tandems where they are. I don't move it, no need to, it's a "happy medium". If the vendor requires the tandem set all the way to the rear for loading, I will move it to the rear once I am in the hole and lined up. I have never had an issue with security on this because in the 11 hole, its within a few feet of the rear.

Case in point, Kellogg's in Breinigsville, PA. requires tandems slid to the rear of the trailer when loading. When I arrive and check-in, I always let them know I will slide the tandems before bumping the dock. There are parts of Kellogg's that are tight, less than a trailer length to set-up. Attempting to back to a dock door with the tandem slid to the rear will net nothing but frustration and stress. Late one night, I watched a student driver repeatedly attempting to get in the hole. After her third unsuccessful try, I got out and suggested that she move the tandem to the 8 hole. After that adjustment, she got the trailer lined-up and in the hole after one pull-up and slid the tandems back before bumping the dock. She thanked me and we went about our business. Took all of five minutes for that entire operation.

Point being, make it easy on yourself, especially in the beginning. Unless you have over one hundred feet of setup, set the tandems at a reasonable point (8-11 hole), line it up in the hole and then slide them back before bumping the dock. Remember we are on the clock and paid for driving forward miles not reverse.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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