New Driver Troubles

Topic 17730 | Page 2

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Vendingdude's Comment
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Here's something you can start now: while driving you naturally look where you're going. On a road, spend 95% of your time looking forward. The other 5% of your time looking in all six mirrors, so you know what's going on around you. You should be able to know if there's a car in your right-side blind spot this way.

On turns, flip that. In turning you're going slowly, look out the front 5-10%, and watch the inside tandem and trailer side 90%. You'll be able to see things, and have time to steer and avoid any bumps/ scrapes.

In backing, your front windshield is useless, and watch mirrors on both sides. This is how I backed into a warehouse: all my attention was on the right mirror, while the left side went right into the warehouse wall!

Thumbs up to Errol here. Does an average trainer put this wisdom down so succinctly? Probably not.

Funny thing about "check all six mirrors". The company I drive for has mostly Cascadias with the six mirror setup. Every now and then, though, I get assigned to one of the three Western Stars in the fleet for a given run. They were not spec'ed with the passenger front fender mirror. I catch myself all the time instinctively checking all mirrors before a lane change and then when I scan the spot for that sixth mirror I am looking at nothing. Then I have that moment of "crap, can't really see the blind spot. Am I absolutely sure nobody is there?" Even double checking everything else again doesn't help, there's that doubt that I just might have missed something. So I speed up or slow down and hold off moving until I know it's clear. Lots of blinker time too lol.

This makes me realize how much I AM using all the mirrors without even really realizing it.


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".

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