My Biggest Anxiety

Topic 1961 | Page 1

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Troubador222's Comment
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.....going from team to solo is going into shippers and backing. With the team situation, we always had other eyes. My co driver and I would always get out and help to back, through our entire 8 months. Now....... I have experience backing with no help, and so does he. The easy spots when the other guy was asleep and we just did not require the help. Bottom line is. I will GOAL. To date i have not hit anything and I want to keep that record.

Backing is funny. Some days, I can do the most difficult shots like the best pro, but there are also those days when i am in late and am exhausted and it takes me 20 minutes. 3 or more pull ups. Now as an accomplishment, I dont care. I just care that I do it without hitting something. I will miss my co driver when I do this on my own! Folks that wonder about team driving, well those other eyes and ears will help you

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, you're certainly not going to have any problems getting backed into places. Even without a helper. You'll just get out and look a lot more often than you did, as you mentioned, but that's about it.

The most difficult part about backing is understanding the various angles involved and knowing how to approach a situation you've never encountered before. But you've done it long enough that you know all of that already. Imagine how it feels for solo drivers that only went through a few weeks on the road with a trainer who really wouldn't let them do much backing at all. They've gotta figure it out without a partner. Now that gets stressful!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Running Bear K.'s Comment
member avatar

35 years run local. I always hear what you are saying and the biggest fear for a trucker is backing up. Use that fear, it will help prevent you from hitting anything. When I use to train it was always the driver who was not the I know it all that stayed out of trouble. Like Brett said just GOAL get out and look. From experience your fear is really not the backing, it who watching you. As men with out ego's we all want to hit the hole the first time. After 35 years I have days that I ask myself where is my head and still today. There are days no problem and others that even the best of use have a hard time. I tell drivers pick an angle that you can be comfortable with. I use 90 degree back 99 per cent of the time because I can see my trailer wheels move and it uses the shortest amount of space. Only problem with the 90 is your tail spin. But I am sure with the nervousness it will make you even more aware of your surroundings. And as for those guys watching, remember they had to learn just as you did and don't let them make you think they are the king of backing up. Trust me the have there days too. Just do your best and believe me when I tell you, you will look back in a year or so and all this will be a natural thing.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I think you're over thinking it to be honest. It'll feel weird to not have someone there when you need them but you're coming in with some experience. I been driving slightly longer than you have been and I hardly have trouble backing. Sure some spots take a little longer than others but you're much better off than a rookie who just got his first truck. Just like you I'm accident-free so far. But I'm far from being accident-proof. Take your time with everything and never get in a hurry. I think you'll do fine. Good luck bud.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Troubador, I know you're accustomed to the team driving where you always have a spotter along with you, but I think you'll quickly discover that this is a non-issue. You are accustomed to not GOALing, and now you will just have to GOAL. The only team driving I've ever done was with the "Nutty Professor" and he only spotted for me once. After that he said I needed to GOAL, because there sure wasn't going to be anyone out there helping me when I was solo.

It's really not a big deal, you just have to take it slow and easy, and take a peek every now and then to make sure you're not sheering off the side of someones trailer! I find the most difficult backing scenarios that I encounter in flat-bed work are usually at the truck stops after dark. Some of them are not well lit and the turning radius can be very tight sometimes. You just have to go about two feet and stop and look again until you've eased her in where you wanted. Not allowing for the the tail swing on these 53' trailers is where I've seen some rookies get themselves in a bind.

One thing you can't do, and I'm saying this not so much for your benefit as I am for other new folks that might be reading this, is don't let the anxiety of knowing that someone is not so patiently waiting for you to get it done pressure you into not taking your time and doing it right. It's your job and your license - protect it. I always take the attitude that if they are that impatient they should have gotten themselves there before I did. I'm taking this parking spot, and I'm gonna take it the best way I know how.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
don't let the anxiety of knowing that someone is not so patiently waiting for you to get it done pressure you into not taking your time and doing it right. It's your job and your license - protect it

Amen to that! I don't have verifiable statistics but I would bet anything that a huge number of backing accidents are caused by people rushing. They're concerned with what others around them might think. Well what the others should be thinking is, "Well, I guess I'll have to wait a minute or two to let this person get backed in just like dozens of people have done for me."

Simple as that.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies folks. I plan to GOAL. When we came home, my co driver lived about 150 miles north of me, so I would usually drop him off then deliver and often pick up a load before I picked him up. So I have done it. It's funny, the ones that concern me the most are the easy ones, because it is easy to be over confident. I resolve not to do that.

Yeah truck stops are tough because when ever I end up parking at a truck stop, it usually the end of a long shift and I am tired. I have also parked in a few that had poor lighting, and early on, one that way in Wy with almost no lighting in the middle of a pretty bad snow storm.

I've done a few 90s, and only when the situation required it. It was always at a shipper with a small yard and limited space.

Believe me, when I can, if I can turn pull up and then back straight in, I will. We pulled a lot of loads for Conway, and a lot of their yards are huge, and that was often an option. I'm too old to be a showoff. That straight back in works!

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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