Need Help With Backing

Topic 20259 | Page 1

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Heidi K.'s Comment
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Im currently learning to drive a truck but the offset and parallel parking have halted me from going to take my test. I get 1 or 2 tries a day to practice. Some who have come after me have already gone and I'm not sure what the problem could be. Many of those who left did have experience working in trailer yards, oil fields and moving big machinery. I have waited so long to have the opportunity to do this and I'm at a loss. Are there any suggestions for me?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Heidi, welcome to Trucking Truth. May I ask what path are you using to learn to drive? Private School? Company Sponsored? Or are you using a contacts truck trying to learn on your own? Understand that without formal training the major carriers won't touch you.

Here is our welcome package to get you started:

Feel free to ask us any questions that you have.

Drive Safe and God Speed.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Heidi K.'s Comment
member avatar

It's a private school that truthfully are not doing what their website said. I'm so frustrated because I can't get this, thank u for your response. I just don't think 1 time per 10 hr day is enough.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

Demand more time. I hate to say it, but if they fail to provide you with sufficient training, you may be forced to seek recompense and try elsewhere.

I imagine a few phone calls may help. Is the 'Private School' a technical college or a truly independent trucking "school"? Depending on what it is, will point you towards what phone calls to make.

First though, go directly to the instructor. Tell them you NEED more practice. If that fails, go speak with the program director. If that fails, then start looking to light a fire under their back sides.

If it is a technical college, I would call the Board of Education for that state as well as call the director of the college. (Not the program director)

If it a third party Trucking "school", are they accredited by PTDI? If so I would make a phone call there. Also contact the BBB.

Understand that once you start making phone calls to agencies outside of the school, the best possible scenario will most likely be release from the program with a refund of all monies.

Good Luck

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Heidi, you don't say exactly what's messing you up. Here's some of the common problems, in my point of view.

It takes the tandems about 10' of travel before you see them react to your steering wheel. So plan where you imagine the wheels will be 10' behind the trailer.

With that in mind, an inch makes for a foot. You change the direction of your steering one inch in the cab, the results will be worth a foot by the time the tandems "get the message"

I remember as a student it was so tough to get the back of the trailer to do what I wanted. But after a few months solo, and all those slots I had to back into, I learned to read how the trailer moves, and it's a bit easier now.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Here is a long list of other conversations we've had that provide tips for backing. You'll get some great information from these:

Forum Conversations Tagged "Tips For Backing"

Heidi K.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Errol and Brett for your suggestions! I'm concerned now that I'm so frustrated that I've caused a mental block that prevents me from moving forward! It seems like I'm getting very anxious to get it right now that I've become over anxious. The school has to know there is a problem when they recruit more and more people with 1 instructor and at minimum 12 students. Some days there are 16 on the pad. I'm not making excuses but a lot of the guys out there have prior experience and are several years younger. I'm starting late in the game as I've finished my prior career and starting something really different that I've wanted to do for years. I can't help but think, knowing that they asked 2 students to leave because they exceeded hours and for the most part not having a clue about things or just coming on days they felt up to it, has me worried, because I too have exceeded my hours, not for lack of trying! I now just wait hourly for my walking papers, due to them attempting to thin out the crowd they created. I have it in my head but applying it fails me every time. I will take and listen well to the advice you gave me and hopefully on Monday, it will be my day!!! Thank you soooo much!

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Everyone has trouble backing. You have to stay positive and don't give up.

What specifically are you having trouble with?

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Heidi's playing with blocks now:

I'm concerned now that I'm so frustrated that I've caused a mental block that prevents me from moving forward!

This is the hard part. You're desire for a great performance, and perfection has taken over. Here's an idea: when you're all set up, before you push the lever into Reverse, forget all that stuff, take a deep breath and focus only on the task at hand. Look at the next thing you need to do, and do only that.

Here's a handy trick that might help. I call it the "one inch back up". If you're unsure which way to turn the wheel, make a guess left or right, and watch the front corner of the trailer, right behind you. Allow the truck to back up only one inch. Which way did the corner move?

Nomad77 T.'s Comment
member avatar

1 or 2 attempts a day at offsets or parallels? I just went through school in May and I was getting about 10 or more a day of at least 2 or 3 different exercises plus road time. 1 or 2 a day is not enough. Where are you located?

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