Intro,Upgrade Time, Ease My Backing Anxiety

Topic 23277 | Page 1

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IKnowImAwko's Comment
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Hello everyone.This is my first time posting, though I have been lurking for a while now. Just wanted to make myself known and be active on the forums since the information others have provided has been very useful for me.

My name is Awko (as far as the internet is concerned), I went through Prime's training program. Even though I could have upgraded months ago I remained on my trainers truck because I had little to no backing practice outside the couple of days spent cramming it on the pad during the PSD phase.My trainer was a nice guy, we got along well enough, but when it came to training he was lacking.A pretty lazy guy in general.Honestly I should have requested another trainer but I had heard so many horror stories I didn't want to leave the comfort of someone who treated me like one of their own to potentially get saddled with the nightmare trainer. I boarded the Greyhound going from Dallas to Springfield on January 21st, 2018 and started orientation the following day.Now nearly 8 months later, I am sitting at Campus Inn waiting for the upgrade class in the morning, with my anxiety through the roof! Even with the extended time on the truck I did not get to do much backing.Most of the time my trainer would take over when it was time to back just to get it over with.When I had a chance, he made backing so difficult with bad confusing instructions and constant yammering that just confused the hell out of me.Thanks to videos on YouTube I have a better understanding and am noticing a difference but watching me back at shippers/receivers is still pretty pitiful even with ample room.Yes yes I know practice, practice,practice,G.O.A.L. but I'm still incredibly uneasy and get flustered. If anyone self taught backing how?where?have you ever felt overwhelmed?

I hope that wasn't too lengthy. If anyone has questions about my experience/pay/truck(when I get it) I'm more than happy to answer.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


Operating While Intoxicated


Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Old School's Comment
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Actually we have all been self taught when it comes to backing. It is one of the many parts about trucking that we learn from repetition. Your main problem is you don't like being out of your comfort zone. That's why you stayed so long on your trainer's truck, even though it wasn't helping you Improve your backing skills. You were comfortable. It eased your anxiety.

Well, we know your capable of stepping out of your comfort zone, or else you never would have even started this career. You can learn to back on your own by practicing, and the best way to practice is to schedule yourself some time each day between 0800 and 1200. Stop in at large truck stops along your way during that time of day and practice. Find a spot near the back of the lot where you've got three or four empty spots together and work on selecting a spot and putting it in there.

You have the ability, you just need the exposure. Don't let your anxiety keep you from trying to practice this on your own. I've seen this before. The very fear of backing keeps a person from even trying it. Nobody can learn if they don't try to learn. Don't get paralyzed by anxiety.

Also read this Article About Backing, and learn to laugh at yourself!

Big Scott's Comment
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Take your time backing. Don't let other drivers get you nervous. Every driver has been where you are right now. It takes most people a few months for backing to start clicking. Also, plan where you will stop for the night every day you can shut down before 16:00 will make it easier to find parking. If arriving late to a truck stop and it looks full, drive to the back. You can never GOAL too many times. Good luck.

IKnowImAwko's Comment
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Thanks for the advice Old School. Your right I can leave my comfort zone.Like most people I found driving a trucking intimidating when I first started but naturally my fear of driving has dwindled with each day.Going straight, making turns, traffic are all familiar to me now but when it comes to backing my brain shuts down.I think once I get setting up down wiggling into a spot will be a breeze.


Driving While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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I think once I get setting up down wiggling into a spot will be a breeze.

You are exactly right about that. Learning to set the truck up in the right spot before backing it in is 90% of the learning process when it comes to backing. I wish I could just easily lay it out for you, but there are no formulas for this. That's why I don't like the way most schools teach it, but what they do is the quickest way to get newbies past the testing, and that makes sense on one level.

When you try to practice in a truck stop, pay special attention to what works and what doesn't when initially setting up the truck before you put it in reverse. It may sound silly, but purchasing a toy 18 wheeler and pushing it around with your hand, trying to back it into spots you create on a table top can really help you visualize the big picture. A lot of drivers have learned even some advanced maneuvers by going through them repeatedly with a scale model toy truck on their kitchen table. Just be careful and G.O.A.L. so you don't take out the salt shaker!

Joseph L.'s Comment
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IknowImAwko I think Old School nail it perfectly you don't like being out of your comfortable zone. For the record I am the same way. I have this horrible habit of getting comfortable somewhere and building a fort around myself. Before deciding to go CDL school, I was a investigator for a casino. Starting out it had been a fun and exciting job, however by the 5th year it had pretty much ran its course. By year six I had maxed out in pay. The department had a strict no over time policy and there was no room for advancement. On top of that I had begun to have some minor health issues related to the work. But I stayed with it. I stayed because it was a paycheck, I had a job. Than through a series of uncontrollable and unavoidable events, I lost my job. I was thrown out of my comfort zone, I was in a row boat without a paddle in a raging sea. The first thing I did was for exactly the same position at another casino. I found a open position, I applied and got offered the job. Then I saw where I was to work, the people I was to work with it. I saw not from view point of insider but from that as an outsider. In 30 seconds I knew if I took the job I would be gone in 30 days if not sooner I didn't belong there, I didn't want to do the job anymore, I was drowning, I was miserable, I knew I had to get as far away from my previous line of work as I could. Going from being a casino investigator to CDL student was like being dropped off on Mars. Now let's talk about backing. I went through backing with CR.England and later with CRST with whom I got my CDL with. I will not speak badly about CR.England they do have a lot of talented people who work there, but when it came to backing, let's just say it leaves something to be desired. There where instructors who didn't believe in G.O.A.L. they preached it was about getting in and out as quickly as possible. So I ended failing backing at CR. England. When I got to the CRST CDL school in Waterloo and found out I would be face with doing the parallel parking which my failure to be able to do lead to my being sent home at CR.England. I didn't view it as a challenge. I viewed it as an obstacle, it became my arch nemesis a living breathing thing I had to vanquish. IknowImAwko. Your Dragon is backing! It's time to get on the armor, grab your sword and shield and show the dragon whose in charge


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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

IKnowImAwko's Comment
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Also, plan where you will stop for the night every day you can shut down before 16:00 will make it easier to find parking. If arriving late to a truck stop and it looks full, drive to the back. You can never GOAL too many times. Good luck.

I will definitely be doing that.Some truck stops are a nightmare after a certain time,especially the northeast.Honestly if I can i'll avoid them all together unless it's time to fuel. Now that I'm on my own, I'll park at rest/parking areas as much as possible.My trainer didn't like them because he couldn't get food but I plan on keeping things on the truck to save time and pounds.

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