Help, Basics Of Backing

Topic 25656 | Page 1

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EllieMae's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone!

I'm a few weeks in training and exactly 1 week away from when I'll be taking my CDL test. But I still can't seem to get a grasp of backing T_T It honestly just hasn't clicked for me yet and I'm wondering if it ever will. Learning what to do, how to control the trailer. I get it to a point but only because at this point in time its mostly all muscle memory. The rest is just doing what I think I should do and watching my trainer for small corrections.

I'll drive all day long, no problem. Backing is a different story. Backing in a straight line is a breeze. Even if my trailer starts drifting, I know what to do.

It's my offset and 90 degree angle I have problems will. My offset I'll get lucky on most of the time with a good set up. I'll set myself up good, get halway through but just freeze if my angle isn't enough or if it's too much.

My 90 is great if I have a perfect set up but if I have to fox a mistake, I'm at a loss. Even with my trainer there, if it happens the next go around, I'm unsure.

Anyway, my question is does anyone know of anything I can use or find to help understand backing a little bit more and how my trailer operates. We also practice backing on different sides, so for example my 90 degree might be backing up on the right and then on the left.

Either way, I'd appreciate any help. I've come to far to start losing my cool over backing! Lol

Thanks! Ellie.

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.
Army 's Comment
member avatar

Have you watched some youtube video's? There are many good ones, with overhead camera's. Also, I have been told that you can locate a small "toy" tractor and trailer, it will help you see how the trailer reacts..etc.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Here is an article from the Trucking Truth Blog Library...

Learning to Back a Truck

Lots of good stuff in the Blog.

So I agree with Army, toy semi is a great way to “see” on a smaller scale how the trailer responds.

In the grand scheme of things, practice is the only thing that will improve your backing...and a bit of patience. Also watch others as they back, you’ll learn a lot by observing.

Keep your chin up. Good luck!

Aubrey M.'s Comment
member avatar

Something that helped it click for me was making sure to keep room. Meaning, if you're doing a sight side 90, don't start turning to the right on pull-ups to fix it... Always go left, whether tight or loose on the hole until you are in the hole a solid 1/3-1/2 way. For a blindside, then always go right on pull up to fix. If you watch, when people get into a bind is when they are barely into the hole and keep trying to move straight in front of the hole by turning in the direction they want the front of the trailer to move while pulling up instead of pushing the front of the trailer while backing up. They run out of space and have to do a million pullups or can never fix it.

Also, when you do a pull up to fix being too tight or too loose, watch your trailer tail and tandems to see what they do. This helps to start seeing the angles better as far as the time and distance it takes for the trailer to respond.

Oh, and on setups with no guide lines, go farther forward than it feels like you need... Not sure if that will apply to you or not, but it helps me.

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".

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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