Can't Get The Alley Dock, Threatening To Send Me Home

Topic 1536 | Page 1

Page 1 of 1
Britton R.'s Comment
member avatar

So after a month on the road with a trainer that didn't actually train me too much I'm back in Springfield with Prime. I hardly go any backing experience on the road. The last week we did a walmart dedicated route which was supposed to get me backing practice. They were all pretty much straight backs. I got better each time but still didn't get it fully. Sunday we got back to Springfield and have been working on the backng pad until today (wed). I got the straighline back on our first day here, and offsets day two. My offsets arent perfect but I get it.

Now, I've been getting killed on the alley dock. My trainer isn't much help. You have to start in the center lane. I cut my wheels hard to the right and roll with it around the time I see my landing gear open up and bring it around trying to curl it in the hole. At first I kept coming up short. So I went back a few feet before cutting it. That helped but no matter what I do I'm all over the boundry on the right side. By the time it starts looking good I'm either already on the line or close to it. I don't know how to fix that. Prime has a video showing the maneuver and the guy stays at least 10 ft from the line. Any advice???

Also to make things worse they are forcing me to start testing tomorrow or I'll be sent home. So I have no choice but to start testing tomorrow even though as of now I'm not at all prepared for the test. I have today to work on it but even then I have no idea if it will come together. So I feel I'm being set up for failure. I've worked my tail off for over a month and it doesn't seem to matter. Theyll send me home with a $3500+ bill. I'll have no license, no job, and no savings. My brain is dead, my knee is killing me from clutching on these backing maneuvers and the stress and pressure are driving me insane. I really don't know what to do. I'm trying everything I can but the stress of being sent home gets me so incredibly frustrated when I'm behind the wheel trying to back. I fail every time. Sometimes I get closer than the previous time but I'm so brain dead from this past month that I can't comprehend what I did differently.

Any advice, tips, or anything is needed. I'm driving myself insane. I keep trying to slow down and take a deep breath but the other side of my brain tells me to shut up and do it because I don't have time to waste.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jeff G.'s Comment
member avatar

So after a month on the road with a trainer that didn't actually train me too much I'm back in Springfield with Prime. I hardly go any backing experience on the road. The last week we did a walmart dedicated route which was supposed to get me backing practice. They were all pretty much straight backs. I got better each time but still didn't get it fully. Sunday we got back to Springfield and have been working on the backng pad until today (wed). I got the straighline back on our first day here, and offsets day two. My offsets arent perfect but I get it.

Now, I've been getting killed on the alley dock. My trainer isn't much help. You have to start in the center lane. I cut my wheels hard to the right and roll with it around the time I see my landing gear open up and bring it around trying to curl it in the hole. At first I kept coming up short. So I went back a few feet before cutting it. That helped but no matter what I do I'm all over the boundry on the right side. By the time it starts looking good I'm either already on the line or close to it. I don't know how to fix that. Prime has a video showing the maneuver and the guy stays at least 10 ft from the line. Any advice???

Also to make things worse they are forcing me to start testing tomorrow or I'll be sent home. So I have no choice but to start testing tomorrow even though as of now I'm not at all prepared for the test. I have today to work on it but even then I have no idea if it will come together. So I feel I'm being set up for failure. I've worked my tail off for over a month and it doesn't seem to matter. Theyll send me home with a $3500+ bill. I'll have no license, no job, and no savings. My brain is dead, my knee is killing me from clutching on these backing maneuvers and the stress and pressure are driving me insane. I really don't know what to do. I'm trying everything I can but the stress of being sent home gets me so incredibly frustrated when I'm behind the wheel trying to back. I fail every time. Sometimes I get closer than the previous time but I'm so brain dead from this past month that I can't comprehend what I did differently.

Any advice, tips, or anything is needed. I'm driving myself insane. I keep trying to slow down and take a deep breath but the other side of my brain tells me to shut up and do it because I don't have time to waste.

stop the truck get out and look its better to be safe

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Tricky situation and I'm sorry to hear about it. You're basically having to teach yourself because of bad trainers.

The best thing you can do is just to practice today. If you mess up, stop. Think about what you did wrong and diagnose what you could have done better.

Here's what I do.

Setup: start a few feet from the line. Go all the way to the right as soon as the second line passes your fuel cap. While you're holding it all the way to the right stare at your trailer and as soon as you're somewhat straight then make a left all the way. Stop when you feel comfortable.

When backing up hug the drivers side cone and when you get the back of the trailer about half way in then do a pull up and you should have it. Just remember to take it slow and don't oversteer.

I know you're having trouble and its hard to instruct you without actually being there. But when you're practicing today just try the above and see how you do. Maybe it'll click. Good luck to you!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I have today to work on it but even then I have no idea if it will come together. So I feel I'm being set up for failure. I've worked my tail off for over a month and it doesn't seem to matter.

No, you're certainly not being set up for failure. If they didn't want you around, you wouldn't be there right now.

What trucking companies love to do is make drivers sweat it out. They like to put pressure on drivers to see who really has what it takes to make it in trucking and to see who really wants to be there. They guys and gals they want handle it like you do - you take it seriously, you work hard, and you give it everything you have. That's what they want to see. The others cave in. They either can't stand the pressure or feels like they're not getting trained properly.

Honestly, so many drivers have such terrible attitudes that trucking companies long ago resorted to constantly making you feel as if you're job is on the line the next time you mess up. They do it to everyone from time to time. They'll call you into meetings over the stupidest things and make it sound like life or death. They love to give out notices to let people know how many different ways they can be fired. That sort of thing.

The only thing you can do is keep giving it all you have and try your best to relax. Realize that they're letting you sweat it out as part of your test. Just roll with it. Keep taking it seriously and keep working at it, but don't let toxic thoughts creep in like doubting yourself or thinking they're out to get you. If a thought isn't helping you get better then drop it. It isn't helpful.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Britton, I know I'm probably late getting in on this and I am sorry you've had a difficult training experience, but this is something we talk about a lot and it's just real hard to convey the realities of that time period to people until they experience it for themselves. Not all trainers are real good, and for the most part you'll learn all this stuff on your own when your solo in a truck.

Just one small tip on backing. You mentioned looking for the landing gear, and I'm sure someone gave you that tip because I hear people use that as a reference point all the time. But that really doesn't do anything for your real understanding of how and when the trailer reacts to the motions of the tractor. It just sort of gives you a formula that will hopefully get you by for the test.

The main thing that I am looking at when backing a big rig is (in my case the split axles on the trailer) the trailer tandems. If you learn to watch what they are doing as you maneuver the tractor they will "speak to you" and tell you what that trailer is doing and what it is about to start doing. You'll be able to tell at what angle you are heading for and if you are under steering or over steering. You can watch them and try to maneuver them in such a way so that they begin to line up parallel with a stripe on the parking lot and that tells you that your trailer is lined up also. The trailer itself and or the landing gear really don't give you much of a reference point, but the tandems when compared to a nearby stripe or cone (in the case of testing) will give you a clear picture of what's going on and what you need to do to correct it.

Hang in there!

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".

Turtle 's Comment
member avatar

Sweety, my first trainer was a looser on teaching me to back. the second one ROCKED!! he told me that to understand what the back of the trailer is doing you need to understand what YOU are doing to the front of the trailer. He also taught me to get even with the driver of the 3rd truck then start the passenger side turn. My set up is always off kilter for other drivers, but it seems to work for me. remember GOAL: get out and look. and also pull ups are free. I am still very much a rookie driver not even two months out of training yet. But once I understood how the front of the trailer could help me well when I tested out. I was the best one that day and I got the ultimate compliment for my decision making. my left knee shook for 3 days after i tested. testing truck had a spring clutch and I was use to hydrolic (sp).Watch the back of your trailer, watch your tandems. but understand the truck and trailer do what you tell it to do. I hope all goes well for you

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".

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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