Help! I’m The Worst In My Class At The Reverse Lane Change!

Topic 22603 | Page 2

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Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

Them telling you how, isn't going to help you. Honestly, you just need to figure it out.

^ ^ ^ THIS ^ ^ ^

Brother, I know exactly what you're going through. Been going through it all week and finally just passed my backing exam (on Thursday?) So believe me I know!

It's a really frustrating *****, but you can get past it. Break each part of the maneuver down to the smallest parts possible... Your set up, your push to angle the trailer, your pivot to straighten out and see your trailer sides again, etc. Break it all down and just focus on one part at a time.

Start doing the whole thing based on those small parts. Measuring things by inches and seconds is what is going to get you through the backing exam.

If you have read my other thread on here about "when is it too soon to look for another school," then you will know the troubles I've had with this recently (last week) and that I was finally able to conquer this beast.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Congratulations! You are in trucking school and are in a very special club. I too was the worst in my class at getting that manuver. It took a fellow student to say something to me that made it click. Now I have a year of driving behind me and that frustration is a distant memory. You will get it.

Annee's Comment
member avatar

I feel your pain, I've had my CDL about 2 years and just in the last few months has it started to click. (Didn't help that I teamed with my boyfriend for the 1st year and he did most of the backing.) Like everyone said it WILL come to you. I did what Susan suggested, practicing with serpentines and backing at truck stops (during the day) to get the feel of how the trailer moves, this is so important. Once I got that, everything else just started falling into place. Understood you can't go to truck stops right now but you can practice.

I've been told the one mistake most newbies make is turning too hard making the trailer move too far. This was one of my issues so when backing I practiced by turning the wheel a quarter way watching where the trailer tires hit, turn another quarter way again watching the trailer tires. When the trailer tires hit the point in the lane I needed to be I turned the wheel the other way following the same slow and easy process always watching the trailer tires. Slow and easy.......you will start to see how much turn you need to get the trailer where you want it.

Please don't stress out, it will click. I promise!

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Don's Comment
member avatar

Uring practices, my offsets were pretty good, but uring my offset testing (which was a right to left change), I found I held my initial back too long going past the middle of the trailers landing gear cross member. I was in quite a predicament. I did not panic (well maybe a little) and took a minute to relax, figure out what I needed to do to get out of it.

Knowing I had 2 free pullups, I first corrected the jacknifing I found myself in amap before getting to the start of the left lane. I GOAL'ed to see where my trailer was relative to the left lane. I then did a hard left pull up and straightened out the trailer as much as possible using all of the pull up area in front. I found I was almost right in front of that left lane. I then backed up until the trailers tandem were within the lines and did a simple straight back. The key was figuring out the best way to get to the left as much as possible on the pull up and then making minor steering wheel adjustments to line the trailer up. Use as much of the time allowed to study where you are and figuring what to do next.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kevin K.'s Comment
member avatar

As Susan said, the offset is basically two steps with minor adjustments. It may help to GOAL a couple times to see where your trailer is pointing in relation to the lane you are backing into. If the angle of the trailer looks too extreme you are oversteering.

If your tractor has power mirrors, back slowly and adjust the mirror so you can keep an eye on your trailer tandems. This might help you get a better perspective on where that trailer is pointing and heading.

If you've only been at it two days that's nothing. Don't lose confidence in yourself.

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".

Robsteeler's Comment
member avatar

Thanks everyone. I'm relaxing now.☺️ Went to the movies and a couple of stores to buy a few things. We're off of school today and tomorrow for memorial day, do I'm going to study my pre-trip, and try to do all of my homework. I'm at Trainco in Perrysburg Ohio, Kevin K so no, the tractor doesn't have power mirrors. The one I was stuck with yesterday didn't even have working power steering! 😁 If I can get this down with these 💩 trucks, it's gonna be great in the test vehicle!

Sam the Wrestler's Comment
member avatar

First time I have been on this forum for a long time. I was just going to lurk, but Robsteeler, your anguish reminded me of when I was at TDDA in Springfield, MO. You hear of people getting in a truck, and taking to it like a fish in water. I was not one of those people. I was like a fish on dry land, flopping around, and doing very badly. I was so bad, that my first straight back ended up in another lane. I took all the reps I could. When others felt like "they go it," and didn't want any more reps, I took theirs. Off set, just as bad. The thing that finally clicked for me, my "ah ha" moment was when one of the trainers words of, "see the big picture," finally clicked in my head. I kept losing a point or two on the test (I had to take it a couple of times. Like I said, a fish on land) because I would hit a cone. On my last test, I saw my tandems where too far way from the driver side cones for me to fit the trailer into the lane without hitting the passenger side cones. I pulled it out and pretty much was able to make it a straight back maneuver at that point, and got it in there with 0 points lost.

Long story short, I have felt your pain. But I finally got my CDL , and so can you. Just relax ( easier said than done) and see the big picture.

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.

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.
Robsteeler's Comment
member avatar

Thanks. I’m trying not to stress. The biggest contributor is that I don’t want to have to drive back here again to take my test over. I think you have to wait a week and it’ll be $200 in gas that I can’t afford if I have to go home and come back. I NEED TO PASS FIRST TIME! That’s what has me stressing the most. I’m really trying to take it day by day so I don’t get overwhelmed.

Splitter's Comment
member avatar

I wish I knew more about the training techniques you were taught but here’s what helped me on my last attempt. I focused on the reference points I was told to use. I made slow methodical movements on the steering wheel which translated into small responses from my trailer. This allowed me to correct any mistakes easily & quickly.

You have 15 mns. Every time I failed it was because I hurried. Watch the wheels more than the trailer. Use your GOAL’s. I was told I couldn’t get out & look at my set up. To test this, I asked my examiner if I could check my set up? His response was exactly what I thought, “The time doesn’t start until you begin your back.” That saved me & helped me pass.

Use your pull ups. Once you find yourself in a hard place, use it. Whatever it takes. Breathe. Focus. Good luck! 👍

Tony R.'s Comment
member avatar

Don't worry that you're falling behind, don't compare yourself to others all the time. The parallel is very similar to the offset. Keep trying to master the offset, once you get that down you might be surprised how much easier this gets.

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