Try Again

Topic 26159 | Page 1

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Derrick P.'s Comment
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I was let go from 4 trucking companies because I can't back a trailer very well . I haven't had my CDL very long at all. I can drive a straight truck and back it to a dock with no problem . I can perform straight line backing and the off set backing but I am not able to do the alley docking maneuver very well. I barely made it out of trucking school because I couldn't back very well but I made it. I have been out of trucking now for a year and 9 months. I guess what I want to know is should I try again maybe with a straight truck company what do you think. Thanks from DP

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

What issues are you having with the alley dock?

The main thing is to always see what you have to see and give the trailer time to react. When you feel the trailer is going where you want keep the wheels straight until it's time to get your tractor in front of your trailer.

On pullups you want to go in the direction of the danger. If you're too close to the left, pull up to the left. It will swing the rear of your trailer right. If you're too far to the right pull up right.

Rick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I did my first session of backing practice (in 23 years) yesterday and found the blind-side alley docking quite difficult. On my way home I realized that I probably need to get glasses--53' trailer, small mirrors--I suspect the cones could look a lot sharper. I have been passing eye exams up to now, 59yo, so I feel fortunate. Considering asking for a pair of slightly telescopic glasses, say 20/18, since I will only need them for backing for now.

Errol V.'s Comment
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How do these trucking companies find out about your problems with the alley dock? Unless you are bumping the back of the trailer into things and getting caught, or you simply give up and ask someone else to get the trailer into its spot, no one should care.

I drove for Swift for three years. I had plenty of time to "practice", at truck stops, shippers/receivers, and of course the Swift terminals. It really took me 18 months before I was comfortable doing an alley dock, though I never damaged any equipment.

Several people have written in this forum about how to do it. Use the search bar at the top. (It's the blank space just under the Trucking Truth title.) That's not the same as sitting in the driver seat with a coach just outside the window, but it can get you a good start.

I know it is frustrating as all get out, and is a newbie's least favorite maneuver, but it is very important to get this one down. Work through the frustration, and treat each alley dock back-up as a learning experience.

Shipper:

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

In my 5 months out here i have yet to do a true 90 alley dock mainly 45s and straights. Even the 90 test wasnt really a 90 its more of a 70°. Not to hijack his thread but how many actual 90s are out here? I mean a true 90, im not being a wise guy im generally curious.

Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

In my 5 months out here i have yet to do a true 90 alley dock mainly 45s and straights. Even the 90 test wasnt really a 90 its more of a 70°. Not to hijack his thread but how many actual 90s are out here? I mean a true 90, im not being a wise guy im generally curious.

No. Your pretty accurate there. If your a company and you know he can do an alley dock, then he will be able to do the others

Jeremy's Comment
member avatar

There are plenty of 90’s out here ime they send people they know that can handle the tough ones with no problems

Tim F.'s Comment
member avatar

I was let go from 4 trucking companies because I can't back a trailer very well . I haven't had my CDL very long at all. I can drive a straight truck and back it to a dock with no problem . I can perform straight line backing and the off set backing but I am not able to do the alley docking maneuver very well. I barely made it out of trucking school because I couldn't back very well but I made it. I have been out of trucking now for a year and 9 months. I guess what I want to know is should I try again maybe with a straight truck company what do you think. Thanks from DP

After that time period you’ll undoubtedly have to go through a refresher. Which will benefit you. Who were the four companies that you were with. It will help with suggestions. Also, as Errol said...there’s no shame in backing troubles...I still have my days even after 4 years.

Listen, you’ll never know if you can give another shot unless you try. Good luck

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

Have you tried flatbed. You won’t have to back very much at all. When you do need to back you usually have all the time in the world to do it and there’s usually not much to hit while backing.

Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

As a flatbed driver I’ve only ever been to one place the required a true 90 to get it in the door. Turtle creek pa.

In my 5 months out here i have yet to do a true 90 alley dock mainly 45s and straights. Even the 90 test wasnt really a 90 its more of a 70°. Not to hijack his thread but how many actual 90s are out here? I mean a true 90, im not being a wise guy im generally curious.

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