Advice For A Newbie

Topic 25339 | Page 1

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Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ve been a class b driver for several years and will be taking my class a road test this Tuesday. I currently deliver steel with a tandem straight truck but looking to make the leap to the big rig delivering the same steel. I’ve been out a couple of times in the big rig and even hauled a load that weighed in at 78,790 lbs. I will be going out again with another driver tomorrow and then the big day on Tuesday. My question is; what can I do to become better at blind side backing? I’m really struggling with this and many of the spots we deliver to you have to blind side in. My concern is if I don’t get this down soon my company and supervisor won’t move me up and I really want to move to the bigger truck. I know practice, practice, practice. I know it won’t come overnight but any kind of tricks, pointers, or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

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".

Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

I guess I should give info on what I would be driving and backing. We run Freightliner sleeper trucks with 48 foot flatbeds on spread axel trailers. Our trailers do not have the dump valves to lift one axle for better turning. Hope this helps in the advice given.

Chuck S.'s Comment
member avatar

get out and look.... a lot

I’ve been a class b driver for several years and will be taking my class a road test this Tuesday. I currently deliver steel with a tandem straight truck but looking to make the leap to the big rig delivering the same steel. I’ve been out a couple of times in the big rig and even hauled a load that weighed in at 78,790 lbs. I will be going out again with another driver tomorrow and then the big day on Tuesday. My question is; what can I do to become better at blind side backing? I’m really struggling with this and many of the spots we deliver to you have to blind side in. My concern is if I don’t get this down soon my company and supervisor won’t move me up and I really want to move to the bigger truck. I know practice, practice, practice. I know it won’t come overnight but any kind of tricks, pointers, or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!

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".

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Chuck nailed it.

Go backwards a few feet, stop, get out and look. It doesn't matter if you have to get out 15 times. It's better than hitting something. You can learn to use that convex mirror, but it's still best to take it slow and easy, and get out and look frequently.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Brian, I treat blind side backs just the same as driver side backs. But I do about twice as many GOALs.

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.

PlanB's Comment
member avatar

Before I start a blind side I open my sleeper curtains and take down the blind over the sleepers passenger side window. I can then look through the window giving me increased visibility at certain angles. I'll also have my left hand resting on the passenger side mirror adjustment switch, turning it as my truck and trailer angle change to give me the best available viewing angle. These are both helpful, but very narrow fields of view. It is incredibly important to not let your pride prevent you from setting the brakes and climbing out of the tractor to take that 70+ foot walk to the rear to be absolutely certain your not about to hit something.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Before I start a blind side I open my sleeper curtains and take down the blind over the sleepers passenger side window. I can then look through the window giving me increased visibility at certain angles.

I never thought about doing that!

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