90 Degree Alley Dock... Help!

Topic 14662 | Page 1

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Robert M. (Opey)'s Comment
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Worked on skills again today tomorrow is our first eval. this week straight line no problems, and offset I can do every time sometimes have to do a pull up but I got it.

This dang 90 degree ally dock is kicking my ARSE!!! For the life of me I can not figure out what I am doing wrong. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Open bangs head against wall:

This dang 90 degree ally dock is kicking my ARSE!!! For the life of me I can not figure out what I am doing wrong. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Your doing nothing wrong, Opey. This is the move that kicks almost everyone in the butt.

The mantra is that it takes ten feet of truck move for the tandems to react to how you turned the steering wheel.

Watch the tandems. Imagine where they will be after the truck moves those ten feet, including that little twist you have the steering wheel.

Hint: on that sight-side back, remember when you turn the steering wheel left (less bend), the tandems will slowly begin going more straight back. Turn the wheel right, (more bend) the tandems will go more towards the left/ closer-to-you cones.

I scribbled this for you: 2016-05-31%2017.58.24_zpslrzexmca.jpg

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.
Robert M. (Opey)'s Comment
member avatar

You are exactly right Errol banging my head against the wall.

Thanks for the info and the pic. Errol I don't know if I'm turning to far to the right or not enough when I start out. I pull up to the line and turn about 1-11/2 to the right then start backing. Then as I move I start coming back to the left. And it goes all to heck from there... Lol

Kurt G.'s Comment
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I had a big problem with alley docking in school. They tried to teach me some "formula" way of setting up then turning the wheel this much, then turn it back, etc, but for me it would work sometimes, but other times it would fail miserably. I think what clicked for me is when a different instructor got in the truck and executed it perfectly the first time. After the initial turn to get about a 45 degree angle between the tractor and trailer, he barely moved the wheel as he steered it in. He was just imagining the path he wanted the tandems to go and steered them there (like Errol said above). Of course it's easier said than done. One thing that was frustrating is that they made us do a new setup, including getting out and looking, each try (and in first at idle only), so that limited the tries you got. Maybe they need something like a circular course where you back around, steering the tandems along a line. Or maybe an app would help, like a game where you just back a trailer in over and over.

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".

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

You are exactly right Errol banging my head against the wall.

Thanks for the info and the pic. Errol I don't know if I'm turning to far to the right or not enough when I start out. I pull up to the line and turn about 1-11/2 to the right then start backing. Then as I move I start coming back to the left. And it goes all to heck from there... Lol

Yep. Uh-huh. That's right!

It's mostly experience, which you don't have yet. But I've found the 90 & 45 are the most common backing maneuvers you'll do.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Kurt suggests:

Or maybe an app would help, like a game where you just back a trailer in over and over.

Then you would get very good at solving the app course.

There's only one way: sit in a truck, look out the window or open the door to see, then begin backing. The thing that's irreplaceable, and the most value, is the deadly fear that you might pull the fender off the Kenworth parked on the far side of your parking slot. So you Get Out And Look!

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

Kurt suggests:

double-quotes-start.png

Or maybe an app would help, like a game where you just back a trailer in over and over.

double-quotes-end.png

Then you would get very good at solving the app course.

There's only one way: sit in a truck, look out the window or open the door to see, then begin backing. The thing that's irreplaceable, and the most value, is the deadly fear that you might pull the fender off the Kenworth parked on the far side of your parking slot. So you Get Out And Look!

Yeah, I've gotten that response in the past, people saying you can't learn to drive a truck on a computer. And of course you can't, but I feel like there's a hand-eye coordination thing about steering the tandems that could be improved using a simulation. Or maybe not, I don't know, but it would be interesting to try.

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".

Robert M. (Opey)'s Comment
member avatar

So you Get Out And Look! Bet I walked 10 miles around my truck today...

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

So you Get Out And Look! Bet I walked 10 miles around my truck today...

Don't forget to submit that for your company's Healthy Driver program! smile.gif

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I saw this post and keep debating on whether to respond. I don't know how helpful my insights will be, but I'll give it a shot.

I've been out 4 months and still most of the time end up having to do some pullups when I do a 90. The concept is really simple, actually, but it's really hard to set up and execute everything perfectly the first time. That said, I'm not bad at 90s at all. I'm pretty comfortable with them and do one just about every day, sometimes in some pretty tight spots.

So, I think the key to the 90 is learning how to set up and how to correct if/when you don't do it perfectly the first time. I have tried typing this response several times and can't think of a way to explain it thats not too confusing. You just have to get it yourself through practice. But remember a few points.

- Try to keep your driver side tandems pretty close to that left line (or cones) all the time, especially when you're just barely starting to get in the hole.

- It's all about the angles. Instead of trying to do the whole maneuver the exact same way every time (trust me, that will not work), learn how much of an angle your tractor needs to be to your trailer, and how much of an angle your trailer needs to be to the hole. Figure out what angles work the best for you and what you are most comfortable with.

- Avoid over-steering. You've heard this a million times, but it bears repeating. Something that helps me avoid it is rocking the steering wheel back and forth a tad as I back. Don't know why it works, it just does.

-Understand that the pivot point at the rear of the trailer is actually the space in between the front and rear tandem. So in a 90 degree sight side back, get that space in between your driver side front and rear tandems to go along the imaginary course you've drawn in your head. I didn't know this for quite a while, but I figured it out as I was backing into some tight spots on the job. Maybe it's common sense, but I didn't know.

I don't know if that makes any sense. This is really hard to describe without showing you, and even then it defies words.

However you end up doing it or thinking of it, don't over-complicate it. It may be difficult, but it's still a simple concept. Just walk it in. Get those tandems to take the simplest, most direct path into the hole and you'll have it down.

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

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