Parallel Back--Advice Needed

Topic 23436 | Page 1

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Mini Me's Comment
member avatar

So I'm in the last week of my cdl school and i am having trouble performing the parallel back. Any ideas or helpful tips would be greatly appreciated.

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.
Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

Slide your tandems full forward, follow the trainer’s instructions to the T and you’ll do it every time. Its not that hard.

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".

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Ok, how I was taught was to line up the rear axle with the very front of the box. Then let's say you're doing a blindsided parallel. Turn wheel hard left and begin backing until you see the "x" on the landing gear. Stop, turn wheel hard right and pivot around that front cone, then continue with a hard right on the wheel to ease into the box, then steer to the left, pulling forward to straighten yourself.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, just ask.. plenty of us here to attempt to help you figure it out.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I had to.constantly ask "which way do i want the back.of.the trailer to.go? turn the opposite. Which way do i want the front of the trailer to.go, turn the same.

The parallel is half of the offset, so.if you can do.the offset you can do this.

i lined the bumper with the front box line parallel to the bumper. Full turn the opposite direction of the box i want. so for a blindside on the right i would turn full left. go.back to the V of the landing gear, now full turn the opposite way, and it straightens out the truck and trailer. You should be at like a 45 degree angle. Now go straight back until the white line is between the trailer tandem tires on your drivers side. Now, "which way do i want the front of the trailer to go?" turn the SAME way. So at this point if blindside, you want the front of the trailer in the right box, so turn right. You can see.the trailer.line up in the box, but the tractor will be slanted to the left. Now, you need to get that tractor in the box, so turn the opposite direction, to the left.

Keep an eye on the mirrors, especially if you have one on the top of the passenger door. You will see the parallel line on that side.

Be sure to GOAL to.make sure you are completely inside the box.

you dont have to be perfectly straight, be in the box fully, and walk the white lines. if you can walk fully around the truck on the lines you are good. any lug nut covered spikes that pertrude or other additions to the truck must be in those lines.

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.
Mini Me's Comment
member avatar

Susan and Rainy thank you both for the advice. I will apply them today, and hopefully consistently get it in the box.

Phishtech--Unfortunately for me i found this website just a little too late to take the advice of going to a company sponsored school. So I'm in a private school. Here's a breakdown:

1. Come to school with your learners 2. Class room- here's a book read it 3. You're shown each maneuver once. by an instructor. Then it's up to you. to figure it out. Literally no. instruction after being shown. 4. On the road with a road trainer 5. Learn your Pretrip with a book

The only time I've had consistently with a trainer is on the road. Other than that it's a learn on your own situation. It may be different in other locations or schools, but this is my experience so far. However I will get my CDL and move on to a great career.

From a student to anyone considering a career. Take the advice of the many experienced drivers and moderators here. Go to a company sponsored school.

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

Phistech wrote:

Slide your tandems full forward, follow the trainer’s instructions to the T and you’ll do it every time. Its not that hard.

In a real world setting this approach is problematic. I parallel next to walks, buildings, dumpsters, parked trailers and in car-lined parking lots at Walmart’s.

The last thing I need is 14-15 feet of tail scoring the side of a wall and turning my bumper into a pretzel. Yes you can move the tandems closer to the cab, but not so much to the point of creating an opposite issue to contend with.

IMO, don’t make “this” a rule...use it for only very tight, front-to-back spaces with a lot of elbow room either side of the truck.

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".

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

Slide your tandems full forward, follow the trainer’s instructions to the T and you’ll do it every time. Its not that hard.

In most school and testing you will not be sliding your tandems. All of the maneuvers can be done with the tandems set where the school has them. I believe that is usually at the California setting.

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".

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

At prime we test backing with the tandems to the rear because it counters the over steering. It takes longer for thr trailer to move therefore longer for you to screw up.

then we slide all the way forward for the road test to help with the off tracking

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".

David John's Comment
member avatar

One thing that may help.

Realize that knocking over the center back cone costs 2 points.

Poking the tractor wheels slightly through the blind side of the box will cost 2+ points.

Points can add up quickly, but ...

The goal is to get it perfect and complete the driving range without losing a single point.

However, for the exam, you are allowed 11 points total that you may lose (ie. points to give up) and still pass the test.

You must have the tractor/trailer completely inside the box when you finish. Being outside costs 10 points and is likely a fail.

In the real world you may not have the ability to push outside the limits of the box (ie. “lose points”), but in the real world you will have the ability to do as many GOAL (get out and looks) and pull-ups as you need.
And in the real world you will further develop your skills to the point those GOALs and pull-ups will become limited to only what is necessary for an experienced driver.

During driver training, losing 2 points by pushing past the back cone may help by giving you the additional space you need to align yourself in the box perfectly. 2 points to save from losing 10...

Knowing this relieved me of a certain amount of pressure/stress during this maneuver. Getting it absolutely perfect is possible, but given the time available for practice (and in our case using different range locations) made perfection a bit harder.

Note: the examiner will not allow you to continue driving through the back cone (or side). They will stop you when you begin to drive out of the box, but knocking the back cone over and then pulling forward to straighten gives you a few extra feet in front.

The Recipie provided by the instructor does work. Almost. Use that sequence of turns and the sequence of pictures the instructor provided.

THEN Learn to adjust things slightly.

Develop an understanding of how the tractor and trailer are moving.
How the back of the trailer is entering the box. (driver side)
How the back of the tractor is entering the box. (blind side)

When you are straight and backing the tractor/trailer into the box, watch the trailer tires and learn how deep they can go in. Then understand the movement of the trailer tires (and back of trailer) relative to the driver side of the box when you are backing the tractor down into the box.

When you turn the tractor to “push” the back of the tractor into the box, watch the trailer tires again, and their movement. Note here also that you need to be watching the blind side tractor tires ALSO to get a feel for where they need to end up before you try to “dive” the front of the tractor into the box.

When backing the tractor tires into the box, before diving the steer tires into the front of the box, I would often go a bit too far. My instructor gave us driver side tire/line points of reference regarding our halt when backing the tractor tires into the box. Watching the driver side in this instance took away my sense of how the tractor was moving toward the far side of the box. That loss of reference caused difficulty in developing my sense of how to adjust when things were not quite perfect.

When backing, for some, the recipie (sequence of turns and pictures) will work perfectly every time. This was not the case for me. In developing an understanding of how the trailer and tractor were moving relative to one another and relative to their desired positions in the box, I was able to begin to learn how to make adjustments.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mini Me's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for the advice. I'm currently at lunch, so half a day using the techniques. The first 2 parallels, 1 on each side I used for gauging and looking for the landing gear. And using a few pull ups. The final 4, two on each side were much better. In the box every time using only 1 pull up. The looking for reference points is a life saver. Again thank you.

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