Need Newbie Advice

Topic 16636 | Page 1

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Retro Candy Lady's Comment
member avatar

So I'm currently with my first company. I've been on the truck with a trainer for 5000 miles. I'm actually headed back to the terminal today as I've completed my 5000 miles. I have to take an upgrade test which consists of 7 timed backing maneuvers before I can go forward to the second phase of training. My biggest issue is I still don't know how to back. My trainer and I was supposed to complete at least 5 hours of backing practice but since they run us as a team we haven't had the time to do that. My trainer is a kind individual but talks more of training bonuses than helping me succeed as a truck driver. My trainer goes so far as to tell me that the director of training tells all trainer to do it for the money and not because they want to help people. I want to give them a full year but the more I get into it I'm thinking I chose the wrong company. I originally came here because I had a personal connection with the trainer I originally chose and I knew he could help with my backing because we went to the same school. What I was taught in school I've never seen completed in the real world. My trainer tells me constantly that she doesn't know how to teach backing. Her last two trainees quit after they got off the truck with her. I'm just lost and confused at the point. I'm really considering averitt. I think I'm in desperate need of their backing school. I don't see any other companies offering such. Any insight or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
My biggest issue is I still don't know how to back.

Well, I think we could almost all have made that same statement when we got our first set of keys. I've been out here for years, and I'm still learning how to back, in fact some days I make myself look like a fool when backing into a spot. Other days I look like an old pro. I can't say for sure, but I think you are stressing yourself out over something that all rookies struggle with.

When you go to test out, try to relax and do your best. If you can't get it done, I think they will work with you some more in some way or fashion. I don't know that much about Paschall (I think that is where you ended up), but most of these companies will work with you on your backing if you are showing some competency in the other areas. Let us know how things go will you?

And by the way almost all these companies that hire newbies will have something they call "backing school." Basically it is just some extra time on the yard with a different trainer who is there just to help those who are struggling with backing.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Isaac H.'s Comment
member avatar

I would go and take those backing tests and pay attention to what kind of maneuvers they want you to perform.

At the very least you'll know what you're up against.

Also, i may be a little green, but 5000 miles does not sound like alot to me. What it's that 2 weeks? I trained for 6 weeks and i know i did 3000+per week.

So going out with another trainer, hopefully one that knows what they are doing, isn't the end of theworld.

Good luck and you may pleasantly surprise yourself.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

Can you tell them that you didn't get the backing training you should have gotten?

I've been solo for less than a year so I'm not an expert, and I still struggle sometimes. But I can only think of one tip: you are steering the tandems. You have to (or at least what i do is) imagine the path you want them to take, then try to steer them there. And of course it's complicated by the fact that you do it by changing the angle between the tractor and trailer, so there's a delay. Sometimes you have to pull forward just to change the angle faster than you have room for.

But probably i was told that when i sfarted out and it didn't help much because it takes practice. And I guess you weren't really asking specifically for tips on backing.

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".

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

You are in excellent company lol. I had NEVER been taught to alley dock as that wasnt required for testing in my state (Kentucky) but I made sure West Side knew that. For my initial backing and road test, the lady from Safety gladly walked me through the backing and told me not to worry because its not a contest and they simply "look for improvement" when we came back from our 30 days OTR with a trainer and did our final test out to go solo. My trainer worked with me extensively on backing during that 30 days. I did improve, but I promise you I still sucked at backing.

It took going out solo with nobody to rely on but myself to get more confident in my backing skills. The big thing is to not rush, take your time, GOAL, and dont hit anything. Youll be just fine.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Phillip B.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't stress, just try to relay. If you don't get through the test the first time, just get a little more time in the truck and try it again. NONE of were born knowing how to back. We ALL had to lean. Do not rush, move slow and remember GOAL "GET OUT AND LOOK." Best wishes.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Retro Candy Lady's Comment
member avatar

Thank you all so much for your input and motivation it really helped to boost my confidence. I'm getting better at backing. Although I didn't pass my upgrade test today I won't let it stop me. I didn't hit anything I just ran out of time. On to the next opportunity. Be safe in your travels.

Thanks

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.

Jason T.'s Comment
member avatar

Your over thinking calm down relax just do it don't think about it too much

Sam the Wrestler's Comment
member avatar

I'm 20k paid miles solo, and I still suck at backing. I do a boogie dance those few times I get it backed without looking like I've never seen a big truck before. Just keep working at it as best you can.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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