Straight Line Backing

Topic 22909 | Page 1

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Philip N.'s Comment
member avatar

Trainco Day 2 of straight line backing and I cannot get it. I panic and overreact. I was told by my Schneider recruiter, Ger, that I would learn on an automatic because I will, if I succeed at backing, drive one. Not true. All Trainco range trucks (20 year old beat crappy trucks that don't shift easily for new drivers) are manual. So I have to learn backing, the hardest maneuver in trucking, by riding the clutch with my leg shaking. If you let it all the way out you go too fast to make the corrections to the trailer drift. I DON'T ****ING DRIVE STICK. (One truck had a misaligned mirror that needed an instructor to adjust them with a wrench. On another, I was told by an instructor, "Don't trust the passenger mirror because it lies. It's upside down and backward.")

I loved driving the old Schneider red Volvo bobtail 60mph today on Ohio roads. Blast!

Class training is not 40 hours of instruction. It's 40 hours of sitting in a classroom (to be fair, coupling, uncoupling and pre-trip inspection are all classroom hours). It's not 40 hours of actual, legally required instruction. We sat discussing the Cleveland Browns and the instructor admitted they don't have enough material to cover (WHY THE **** NOT?) 40 hours in the classroom. So we sit there while he does paperwork.

I don't believe I will make it. (Don't tell me, "Well with that attitude of course you won't!") Backing has been my biggest fear and I don't seem capable of translating the simple methods into actual practice : getting it from my brain to the steering wheel. I don't know why I even thought I could. I feel like a foolish little boy who wanted to play with a big truck. I have an anxiety problem and probably just made a stupid $3410 mistakes (cost of school and hotel I will owe Schnedier if I quit or fail). At least we are staying at a Courtyard Marriott. King size bed to myself. NO sharing rooms

I should say all the instructors are very nice and good and patient and really want us to succeed. They really have worked with me on this backing thing. I just don't need the added stress of having to ride the clutch, leg shaking, while I'm trying to figure out how far to steer and counter steer.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Good grief Dude...get off the ledge. Calm down. Overly emotional reactions have no place in this business.

Look,... everyone has issues learning to back. You are not alone. Straight-line however is the simplest to conquer, once you “get-it”, and you will. Relax...

Next time out, try this...

Hold the wheel, hands next to each other, palms down at the center, very bottom of the wheel. Keep your elbows in, close to your sides. If you do this, it’s virtually impossible to over-correct (which is what you are doing).

Let the clutch out,... stay off it. Feather the service brake to keep the speed in check...”yes” while the clutch is out.

Deep breaths... Good luck.

Philip N.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you. You are right. After a long nap I realize I have completely overacted. I will keep your suggestion in mind. One instructor said it's like rocking a baby and I can see that in my mind using your suggestion.

Thanks again.

Good grief Dude...get off the ledge. Calm down. Overly emotional reactions have no place in this business.

Look,... everyone has issues learning to back. You are not alone. Straight-line however is the simplest to conquer, once you “get-it”, and you will. Relax...

Next time out, try this...

Hold the wheel, hands next to each other, palms down at the center, very bottom of the wheel. Keep your elbows in, close to your sides. If you do this, it’s virtually impossible to over-correct (which is what you are doing).

Let the clutch out,... stay off it. Feather the service brake to keep the speed in check...”yes” while the clutch is out.

Deep breaths... Good luck.

Philip N.'s Comment
member avatar

TOTALLY OVERREACTED TODAY. Got some good direction here and will keep working at it with small corrections.

Glad this forum is here so I can vent and get help from people who know.

Trainco Day 2 of straight line backing and I cannot get it. I panic and overreact. I was told by my Schneider recruiter, Ger, that I would learn on an automatic because I will, if I succeed at backing, drive one. Not true. All Trainco range trucks (20 year old beat crappy trucks that don't shift easily for new drivers) are manual. So I have to learn backing, the hardest maneuver in trucking, by riding the clutch with my leg shaking. If you let it all the way out you go too fast to make the corrections to the trailer drift. I DON'T ****ING DRIVE STICK. (One truck had a misaligned mirror that needed an instructor to adjust them with a wrench. On another, I was told by an instructor, "Don't trust the passenger mirror because it lies. It's upside down and backward.")

I loved driving the old Schneider red Volvo bobtail 60mph today on Ohio roads. Blast!

Class training is not 40 hours of instruction. It's 40 hours of sitting in a classroom (to be fair, coupling, uncoupling and pre-trip inspection are all classroom hours). It's not 40 hours of actual, legally required instruction. We sat discussing the Cleveland Browns and the instructor admitted they don't have enough material to cover (WHY THE **** NOT?) 40 hours in the classroom. So we sit there while he does paperwork.

I don't believe I will make it. (Don't tell me, "Well with that attitude of course you won't!") Backing has been my biggest fear and I don't seem capable of translating the simple methods into actual practice : getting it from my brain to the steering wheel. I don't know why I even thought I could. I feel like a foolish little boy who wanted to play with a big truck. I have an anxiety problem and probably just made a stupid $3410 mistakes (cost of school and hotel I will owe Schnedier if I quit or fail). At least we are staying at a Courtyard Marriott. King size bed to myself. NO sharing rooms

I should say all the instructors are very nice and good and patient and really want us to succeed. They really have worked with me on this backing thing. I just don't need the added stress of having to ride the clutch, leg shaking, while I'm trying to figure out how far to steer and counter steer.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

You said "dont tell.me its my attitude"...so you already know its your attitude. You need to keep that negativity away or you wont do this. instead of "i cant do this" try "how do i figure this out". calm down when in the truck.

you arent the only one who sucks at backing. i was so bad, they had me practice and test on a flatbed cause it is easier than reefer! As far as that clutch....i never drove stick either. But i have been doing it now for almost 3 years. if i can do it...a mere woman...then you can too. imagine how the guys did it back in the olden days with no power steering. wow...crazy huh?

you only need to get through the schooling with that truck so realize that time is limited.

My story is on the link below..

Hope for A Lousy Backer

good-luck.gif

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy, What do you mean a mere woman? After following your posts you always show good common sense, great advice and compassion to all that have posted. In other words never doubt the wisdom of a woman and the fact that you are a "Jersey Girl"! I never doubt you 1 bit.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy, What do you mean a mere woman? After following your posts you always show good common sense, great advice and compassion to all that have posted. In other words never doubt the wisdom of a woman and the fact that you are a "Jersey Girl"! I never doubt you 1 bit.

rofl-1.gifrofl-2.gifrofl-3.gif

thanks Harry....i was being sarcastic. but hey...if riling up.that male ego works to get a guy to pass...im all for it!!!

thank-you-2.gif

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy, You go girl!

Philip N.'s Comment
member avatar

SUCCESS! Straight line backing done 86% of the time (31 of 36 attempts) on an AUTOMATIC!! I used the hands at the bottom of the wheel technique and very small adjustments.

Here is what happened. Wednesday evening I sent an email to my recruiter re: training on a manual. Yesterday morning the owner of Trainco pulls me in with an instructor who wrote an incident report with my complaints. Result is they will get me an automatic (I'll be driving auto for Schneider) as much as possible. The one auto day cab is used for road tests. (Again, I have an arthritic right knee so the clutch was just one more, unnecessary distraction for me.)

Later, I switched with a classmate and got back in the manual, the one I backed up twice in before the auto, and had about a 10% success rate with the clutch OUT. So, it's like an automatic. Turns out that truck's (#139) steering is out of whack.

They teach us on 20 year old trucks that have been so abused it takes 4 or 5 tries to get the damn thing into gear.

GREAT NEWS: I did so well bobtailing local roads I am going out with a trailer today! Yeehaa.

Anyway, I feel very confident now.

Good grief Dude...get off the ledge. Calm down. Overly emotional reactions have no place in this business.

Look,... everyone has issues learning to back. You are not alone. Straight-line however is the simplest to conquer, once you “get-it”, and you will. Relax...

Next time out, try this...

Hold the wheel, hands next to each other, palms down at the center, very bottom of the wheel. Keep your elbows in, close to your sides. If you do this, it’s virtually impossible to over-correct (which is what you are doing).

Let the clutch out,... stay off it. Feather the service brake to keep the speed in check...”yes” while the clutch is out.

Deep breaths... Good luck.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Congrats on your progress....

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