Backing Practice - Walmart/SAM'S #2

Topic 21951 | Page 1

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G-Town's Comment
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As promised a second backing exercise, definitely easier than the 1st example, however this one has a subtle twist that causes new drivers fits. Located off PA Rt. 422, just east of Reading PA, this location is very busy, typically several trucks waiting to unload. Best to enter from the left because entering from the longer access road to the right can prove treacherous because of all the containers and empties parked willy-nilly. Even so...the best way is to enter is from the left. The lower edge of the dock area (lighter color, concrete), there is a long cinder block wall with a yellow-pole protecting the exposed corner. Otherwise no other "fixed" obstructions in the dock area.

There are several ways to skin this cat, however there is only one "best" answer consistently providing an expedited path to backing to the dock. Keep in mind, as a Walmart Driver typically dispatched with multiple store stops, it's important to get-in, dock, unload and get-out as quickly as possible; thus the backing process needs to be completed efficiently, with the least amount of pull-ups, G.O.A.L.s and adjustments.

Hint: It's all in how you setup for this particular store. If the setup is done correctly, backing is far less difficult.

Experienced drivers please allow 24 hours before offering your input allowing the newer folks a chance. Again...this is a learning experience designed for everyone's participation, in this case emphasizing "The Art of the Setup". Have fun!

0378416001519145884.jpg

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ronald M.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm still a student so please forgive me if I'm wrong. I'd approach it by turning my wheel left as soon as I touched the concrete pad making sure I cleared the building then using up all the space I could and cutting it hard right to straighten everything out and use up all the space I could setting my truck up as best as I could to almost straight line back it in. Then I'd GOAL then come back to my truck and stick my head out the window and driver's side alley dock it into place. So I'm basically using up all the space I could to make a 'U' pattern. Hope that makes sense.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Ronald thanks for the reply, and no apology necessary. It's clear you thought it through.

I know there are a whole lot more of you about to start school, in school, on a trainer's truck or first few months of solo op.

What do you think of Ronald's approach? Thoughts, comments,...etc.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Regardless if what Ronald suggested as his solution would work, GREAT THINKING TO G.O.A.L.!!

G-Town's Comment
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So Ronald,... the "Super Student" (considering your tour bus driving experience), totally nailed the setup approach for this example, and yes props on the G.O.A.L.

Well done! dancing.gif

The grocery docks are the three nearest the bottom of the image, and where we typically dock. During the setup I nose into the dock, slightly beyond the crest of the incline, hugging the line close to the parked trailers and pull back to the right as I approach the block wall and complete what is basically a u-turn, slightly angling the trailer at the end of the maneuver. The backing maneuver is a sight-side 45' alley back, easy-peasie with everything in full view.

One thing I want to point out to Ronald, when in school and then taking the CDL backing test, DO NOT stick your head out of the open window while backing, might be a fail, or at least unnecessary points added. Open your window 2/3 to prevent this temptation.

IMO the biggest take-away from this example, is use of the satellite image to become familiar with the entry, set-up and exit from the dock area. Without the benefit of this, the probability of botching the setup is increased. I have observed many drivers take a different, opposite line than suggested by Ronald, positioning the truck at the wrong angle for a sight-side back, requiring numerous pull-ups. Not a bad thing necessarily, but just requires a lot of extra time that on the Walmart account can become precious.

Here is the line I take:

0781476001519228053.jpg

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Here are two additional images of my truck parked at the dock area of the Oerkiomen Ave. store, waiting for a door to free-up.

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Unholychaos's Comment
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DO NOT stick your head out of the open window while backing, might be a fail, or at least unnecessary points added. Open your window 2/3 to prevent this temptation.

Really? Could be a regional thing, but when I tested in Iowa, I never heard of anything like that. Plus, real world, I'd rather stick my head out the window to look rather than open my door. Never understood that...

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Old School's Comment
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Drive a few Peterbilts or Kenworths and you'll know why they do that.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

DO NOT stick your head out of the open window while backing, might be a fail, or at least unnecessary points added. Open your window 2/3 to prevent this temptation.

double-quotes-end.png

Really? Could be a regional thing, but when I tested in Iowa, I never heard of anything like that. Plus, real world, I'd rather stick my head out the window to look rather than open my door. Never understood that...

This is mainly for the academy students. They want you to learn how to properly use the mirrors. Once you are training, and eventually solo, go ahead and stick your head where it need to be, to safely back the truck in the hole.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Danielsahn replied correctly. My warning to Ronald was specific to school and the test (at least for PA)

Real world is obviously different.

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