Going To CDL School Soon And Nervous About Backing A Trailer!

Topic 25664 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Chris M.'s Comment
member avatar

So I guess with every new driver there is a fear of backing a long trailer..... I'll be starting school in a few weeks with ROEHL for flatbed and I'm Terrified of trying to back that big behemoth into a tight spot. Hopefully me playing a pc game called "American Truck Simulator" will help me in that area as i can see how the trailer moves without worrying I will mess something up haha... I will be watching videos on youtube as well. any suggestions?

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, just R E L A X !

This is something every new driver worries about. Believe me, I really struggled with it. The skill comes gradually and with repeated attempts. Over-steering was my biggest problem and I think it might be the most common problem. G.O.A.L is so important, even for the veteran drivers. You'll get it. ALL the companies and ALL the instructors and ALL the trainers know it's difficult and will guide you through the process. Once you get out on your own, what will determine your success or failure is your dedication to G.O.A.L. Can't stress that point enough.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

“Get Out And Look”... G.O.A.L.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, if you have never done a thing before, it's easy to be terrified about it. But on the other hand, every day thousands of brand new CDL students grab the steering wheel, look into the mirrors and start backing up.

Your first few weeks should be backing around orange cones - and they are used to being run over. Literally, you can't "crash and burn" on a backing range.

Bruce says it all: the instructors know you're new, and newbies do have a tendency to over steer.

Relax a bit, and join a club of thousands of new drivers.

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.
Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

Does your video game use a steering wheel or a controller. I think if I would have practiced on a decent simulator it would have helped me a lot going into cdl 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.
Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
member avatar

Chris, you will get hundreds if not thousands of iterations of backing in your training. Four things i learned early on from my trainers - small movements of the wheel, visualize where you want the tail to go and put it there (like golf putting or billiards), turn off ALL distractions while you're backing, and GOAL (frequently). Oh, and wear a hat. (It keeps the sweat out of your eyes - thats from me, I needed it for the first few months solo)!

Just remember to relax, and treat it like a big 80000# 65' long puzzle. The first time you oneshot that hole, you'll be grinning like an ape!!

Chris M.'s Comment
member avatar

Appreciate all of you and the tips. Yeah for my PC game I have a steering wheel. So far it is helping me backing up on the simulator but it's a totally different ball game in the real deal, hopefully all the tip and trick on videos and learning in the game with help. Again thanks for everything!

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, I'm real skeptical of the value of the simulator or video games to help with backing. I did learn some good stuff from watching real life You Tube instructional videos on backing set up and technique. But the best training is the practice you get when you are behind the wheel.

Mark B.'s Comment
member avatar

Chris, they should ease you into the backing exercises. You'll start with learning to straight line back, how to back around a corner (a 90 deg back, but in a wide open area), how to serpentine back (through a cone slalom), and how to do a 45 deg back before you get to the maneuver skills exercises. Crawl it - the slower your trailer moves, the easier it is to see and correct problems. When you get to your training location, keep your phone in your pocket and forget about YouTube - you didn't sign up for the YouTube CDL school - they will have a way that they want you to do things. Watch your instructors, ask for examples, ask questions. When you aren't backing, observe your classmates and ask yourself "what are they doing right", "what would you be doing differently" if you were in the hot seat right then. Ask for a couple of chances to back between trailers, not just the cones!

Simulators are a great tool for certain tasks - perfect for teaching the basics of shifting or winter driving - but you'll need to be in and around the truck to get the perspective you need to build your backing skills.

Also, don't run the cones over unless you want an angry instructor. Cones are actually pretty expensive. If it doesn't look right, just stop the truck and check your position before you continue your back.

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.
Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Yes, they are just cones!

But then again... my (main) instructor used to refer to them as his "cousins". Sometimes a student would wipe out an entire family! But he (or others) would pick them up and set them up for another round. Seems we never ran out of cones! Eventually one will get so messed up that it gets "kicked to the curb" and replaced with a new one. Guessing they buy them in quantity and get a great deal on them!

Hitting cones in class is probably the best thing you could ever hit with a big rig! Have fun!

smile.gif

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More