CDL School Update And Offset Backing Question

Topic 13616 | Page 1

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Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

So, this CDL school is leaps and bounds better than that atrocity I started out with. I've got the entire exterior pretrip memorized and straight backing is a cinch. Been doing offset backing for 3 days and it's not coming as easily. My instructor's advice is "identify where your problem is answered turn towards it" but with no reference to points to look for in mirrors, etc. I tried finding videos online, and there is a great one from a Swift instructor/driver (no sparky comments necessary).

My issue is that the trailers we use at school are only 32 feet long, not 53 feet, so his advice still doesn't put me where I need to be. Anyone have any advice on of fest backing (and eventually parallel parking) a 32 foot trailer?

Thanks!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

* "identify where your problem is AND turn towards it"

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Good lord. "of set" should be "offset". Sorry. Typing on my phone in bright sunshine in the truck yard = fail.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Why would any school teach students to back a trailer that is 21 feet shorter than the norm for practically every carrier. I hope you don't get some sort of a restriction on your CDL to only pull Pups.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

There is no restriction. It's still a full CDL. I already confirmed.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Just remember that extra 21 feet in traffic, truck stops and docks! I can back a 20 foot trailer behind my pick up all day. I don't think it will compare to 75 foot tractor/trailer combination though. Good luck!smile.gif

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Just remember that extra 21 feet in traffic, truck stops and docks! I can back a 20 foot trailer behind my pick up all day. I don't think it will compare to 75 foot tractor/trailer combination though. Good luck!smile.gif

I think she knows that. Remember the "school" teaches you what is necessary to pass the CDL test. Beyond that it depends on the specific carrier Miss Miyoshi hires on with and how they train entry level drivers. MM will not be with the 32' trailer long enough to develop long-term habits that cannot be quickly in-learned.

Depending on the situation backing a 53' trailer is easier than trying to straight line a 32' trailer. It responds far quicker to steering input than a 53' trailer does, thus can get out of sorts in no time requiring a pull-up to reset.

My advice on backing it, work from the bottom of the wheel with an overhand grip and try not to oversteer by giving the wheel gradual, smaller adjustments. Take your time, you'll be fine.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
DumDriver's Comment
member avatar

Problem with "reference points" is that once you pass the test they're really not very useful. You've got to learn how to move the trailer. It doesn't matter if you use the traditional method or the hand on the bottom of the wheel as mentioned above. Both are good. Pick one, and practice it.

I understand your desire for reference points, and sometimes they're helpful. But the truth is every situation is so different that you could find yourself in trouble if you focus too much on them. They're for controlled environments only. And where you're heading is definitely NOT a controlled environment. 😜

Now "aiming points"? That's another story - they're gonna be life savers for you- but "reference points"? Ehh, not so much.

I hope that made sense and didn't confuse you more. Lol. I remember trying to figure out how to back a trailer and it really was confusing. Hang in there

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Oh, maybe aiming points is the term I was looking for. I think I'm getting the hang of the concept. I needed almost no instructor prompting by the end of the day. And I keep forgetting I get 2 pull ups and not to be afraid to use them. It's coming along.

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

Practice practice practice. Also if your having a problem with which way the trailer is turning, try this. Put your hands on the bottom of the wheel. When your hands are on top you turn the wheel the opposite way the trailer goes. But when your hands are on the bottom of the steering wheel, you turn the wheel the same way you want your trailer to go. Another tip is to always go slow backing, just idle along, but keep it moving. By the time you think you should correct to straighten out again you probably are too late, so try and anticipate it. Use both mirrors, and spot mirrors. Try to imagine the trailer tires pulling you into the spot instead of you pushing them. Just some tips that helped me but its really just a matter of keeping calm and practicing. Also watch other students and learn from their mistakes.

Phil

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