Backing

Topic 22285 | Page 1

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Villain's Comment
member avatar

So I've had 3 opportunities to back; 1st one was a straight line for about 100'. Pure luck I wound up where I was supposed to be. The other 2 times, not so good. I know this is one of those things that I just have to figure out. My problem is chasing/getting under the trailer. I'm always to late. Generally speaking, should the counter-steer be greater than the steer. Say I turn wheel 1/2 turn to the left, waitbfor tandems to react. Should the counter steering be more than 1/2 turn past wheel center to the right or am I just waiting too long to start counter-steering?

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.
Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

There isn't really a set answer to that question, Villain. The tandems could be in many different positions and your setup will vary, etc. I usually find that when it is time to follow the trailer, doing it quickly with maximum steering input then quickly back the other way when you're close to straight is what does the trick for me...then very small steering input back and forth until the trailer rear is a little past where you want it to be, then pull forward to straighten out, then back 'er in.

If you miss and find that you have to do too much jerking around to try and fix it, don't sweat it. Instead, pull out, go 'round, and try it again.

Have patience with yourself. Don't worry about the supertruckers glaring at you. You'll likley be working on this for many months until it clicks and comes easily. We are not born with this ability....it is a strange thing to do.

I learned something new from a 40 year veteran driver recently and it is pretty cool. If the space it real tight and the headspace won't allow you to do a pretty 45/45, then an option is to pull up to the space and stop when the center of the tandems is lined up with the far (your driver side) of the space, and you're about a door's width away. Set the trailer brakes and pull the pin to release the tandems. Turn right and pull forward so that as the tandems slide fully to the rear and you're at about a 45 degree angle to the space. Lock the tandems. Back up and curl right around the hood of the truck on the left and back in. It is amazing how well this works and how easy it is, once you learn how to adjust steering back and forth to curl around the truck. A wonderful part of it is that you don't have to worry (much) about hitting the truck on the other side....so long as you get the trailer turned straight as you are entering the space, and stay close to the truck on the left, there is no way for the trailer to hit the truck on the right. A few days ago I had to do this blind side in Chicago at a place that literaly had zero headspace. In this case, there was no way to do the 45 degree angle part....so instead, I made a 90 right into the street, and then backed straight in. Worked like a charm. Usually though, the 45 will be the ticket.

The best way to learn how to control the trailer when backing is as has been suggested in this forum previously. Go to a large truck stop that has painted lines in the middle of the day when you can find some empty space. Find something to use to mark the spot you choose, and ideally something to mark imaginery truck hoods on either side of your choice. Then, practice getting into your space from various positions....start with the pretty and simple 45/45, once you can nail that, simulate reduced headspace. If you want to go crazy, practice these things blind side too. I used to say that I would just never do a blind side, but subsequently found some situations where there simply was no other choice. I wish that I had practiced it before I got to one of those places :-)

So I've had 3 opportunities to back; 1st one was a straight line for about 100'. Pure luck I wound up where I was supposed to be. The other 2 times, not so good. I know this is one of those things that I just have to figure out. My problem is chasing/getting under the trailer. I'm always to late. Generally speaking, should the counter-steer be greater than the steer. Say I turn wheel 1/2 turn to the left, waitbfor tandems to react. Should the counter steering be more than 1/2 turn past wheel center to the right or am I just waiting too long to start counter-steering?

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.

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.

Voyager's Comment
member avatar

So I've had 3 opportunities to back; 1st one was a straight line for about 100'. Pure luck I wound up where I was supposed to be. The other 2 times, not so good. I know this is one of those things that I just have to figure out. My problem is chasing/getting under the trailer. I'm always to late. Generally speaking, should the counter-steer be greater than the steer. Say I turn wheel 1/2 turn to the left, waitbfor tandems to react. Should the counter steering be more than 1/2 turn past wheel center to the right or am I just waiting too long to start counter-steering?

HI Villain, Generally if you turn the wheel 1/2 to the left and you want to straighten out(like in a parallel park situation) you would normally turn the opposite direction the same amount, depending if you caught it in time. but if the issue you are having is chasing the trailer, you might be reacting to slow or to fast. by any chance are you referring to parallel parking?

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

When you setup for any sight-side, angle back, don't straighten out the tractor with the trailer, leave the tractor angled a bit to the left of the trailer, already set for the arcing, semi-circular path to the hole. Roughly 15'-20'.

Make sure your steers are straight. When you roll back, the trailer will already be arcing in the direction you want it to, towards the hole. That said you are actually "under" the trailer, pushing it in the right direction without making any wheel adjustments. At this point, go slow, watch where the tandems are going before making any corrections. And the corrections you make, they need to be minor, no need for a half turn of the wheel. Think 1/4 circles here, not flat angles.

All this sounds tougher than it is. Try it and see the difference.

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".

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

I like G-Town's explanation (below). Very helpful. Another point in conjunction - and this is something many of us struggle with at first. When backing, do not stop unless you are concerned about getting too close to something on the blind side and need to GOAL. Just go very slowly making your arc, inputting small steering adjustments as needed to make the tandems go where you want them to go. If you stop/start/stop/start/stop/start/etc., you cannot see how the trailer is turning, and you create a tough situation for yourself. As one of my trainers once said to me "stop stopping".

If you possibly can (if there is room), get the trailer pretty square in front of the space, before you get far into it. If the end of the trailer is square with the space and you are close to the site-side truck, you will not need to worry that you are close to the blind side truck. If you get into the space at an angle, then you will need to GOAL and check your space on the blind side. Of course we always need to GOAL before backing in so we can see where we are and know what we are backing into.

When you setup for any sight-side, angle back, don't straighten out the tractor with the trailer, leave the tractor angled a bit to the left of the trailer, already set for the arcing, semi-circular path to the hole. Roughly 15'-20'.

Make sure your steers are straight. When you roll back, the trailer will already be arcing in the direction you want it to, towards the hole. That said you are actually "under" the trailer, pushing it in the right direction without making any wheel adjustments. At this point, go slow, watch where the tandems are going before making any corrections. And the corrections you make, they need to be minor, no need for a half turn of the wheel. Think 1/4 circles here, not flat angles.

All this sounds tougher than it is. Try it and see the difference.

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".

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