When Backing...

Topic 1372 | Page 1

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Mark .'s Comment
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In a car, if you are backing, you can see in your rear view mirror if a car/person is in the area you are backing. If you are backing a truck, how to you deal with this blind spot?

Will J.'s Comment
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Old School's Comment
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Mark, Will's response is right on target. G.O.A.L. is something that every truck driver understands. Get Out And Look. Any responsible driver who walks up to his truck after being out of it for a few minutes will instinctively take a quick walk around to make sure there is nothing hindering his moving of the truck. I once saw a photo where a driver found a small child hiding up in the wheel well of his front tire. One can only imagine what may have happened had he started moving that truck.

One of the things a professional driver does is communicate his intentions to the other drivers on the road. When a big rig is in a truck stop with his flashers on it's understood he is trying to back up. Therefore you'll want to stop and give him room to do his work, and if he's new you'll probably need to give him lots of room!rofl-3.gif

Seriously though, when you can't see you need to get out and look. I watched a driver recently just plow right into another truck while backing. The victim in the incident was blowing his horn too, trying to warn the guy that he was about to hit him. It turns out the driver had his music blaring so loudly that he never heard the horn.

That brings up another tip while backing. I like to roll my windows down so that I will hear any unusual sounds like sheet metal crunching or tearing. Most trucking accidents take place in reverse, you can never be too careful when making sure you've got a clear shot into that parking spot.


Operating While Intoxicated

James925's Comment
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One of the most important things any driver worth their salt will tell you is to G.O.A.L (Get Out and Look) like Will said, and TAKE. YOUR. TIME. This isn't a race to back up. People will honk their horns in impatience, yell at you on the cb, let it go. When you're backing one of these up, this isn't the time to be a hero. Would you rather take an extra five minutes to back up and not hit anything or two hours filling out paperwork and dealing with an angry driver who's truck you just hit?

Don't be afraid to get out and look as MANY times as you have to. You're license is on the line, not theirs. And don't get too reliant on the mirrors when backing up, if you have to stick you're head out the window when backing up, do it. One of my biggest difficulties when I first started backing was I was relying only on my mirrors. Well, a Gordon driver definitely informed me of my mistake when I got a little too close to his truck. Turn off EVERYTHING when you back up,and roll down the drivers window so you can hear everything. Even towards the end of my career in trucking, I always had the radio off and the cb off when backing up. You never know when something can happen at any moment when backing, and you need to be prepared for it. There's a reason we're called "professional drivers."

Old School, I had to laugh at new drivers needing plenty of room, I certainly used every inch I could when backing up! Still do it now...you know you've still got trucking in you when you back up a car and throw the flashers on. I was wondering why people were looking at me crazy! rofl-1.gif

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