The FUNDALMENTALS: Get Out And Look (GOAL)

Topic 26304 | Page 1

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Bruce K.'s Comment
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Based on my own mistakes and several posts here recently, I thought it would be beneficial to emphasize the critical importance of G.O.A.L.

I had two preventables due to being in a hurry and not doing my GOAL's. They were not big dollar damages, but nonetheless, they cost my employer money that didn't need to be spent. Both incidents were totally preventable if I had followed what I was taught in training. And to boot, I felt very disappointed in myself because I knew I could do better. After those two incidents, I became a GOAL addict. I was up and down those steps more than my tired legs wanted. But thereafter, I never came close to having another backing accident.

What I'm saying is learn from my mistakes. It takes only a few minutes to GOAL. But if you don't and have an accident, you will probably be required to do more training, without pay. I spent two days in retraining due to my carelessness. Two days without pay. Was it worth it? Obviously not.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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The better I get at backing, and the more experienced I gain, I notice that I am performing more GOALs than I used to.

I had no rookie mishaps, but made lots of mistakes. 450K miles and still no preventable accidents in about 3 1/2 years actual driving (knocks on wood repeatedly).

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Packrat that's an amazing point that you GOAL more now than you used to. Maybe it feels like you're on a good streak of no issues backing and don't want to break it?

I started my first month winding myself around to blind side backing most truck stops and shippers somehow. Can't say I've increased my GOAL count but I at least do the same as I have since going solo. Peace of mind is just so much better than trying to save a few seconds.

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.

G-Town's Comment
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I am going to suggest a technique I use frequently...

In a tight, close-quarter backing situation I actually G.O.A.L. before getting to the "set-up". Especially so at a store or vendor I've never been to, or one that I visit infrequently (there are several in this category). Walmart and Sam's docks are in a constant state of flux. We are coming up on arguably the most congested time, container season. They are used for "Christmas Lay-Aways" and begin magically and randomly appearing late October.

Using this technique, I am able to get a "visual" from every angle, before I have created a more difficult situation by messing up the set-up and have committed to the backing maneuver. I also am an advocate of Google Satellite View so I have an idea of what to expect before arriving.

Preparation and care...are the best weapons to avoid mishaps.

Turtle's Comment
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I just Got Out And Walked 3/4 of a mile from where I parked, down the road to my receiver so I can scope out my 0530 approach. It's at a construction site and I have to back from a 4 lane hwy downhill into the site. GOAWing is a normal thing for me, and it gets the game plan in my head. So GOALing in a parking lot is a no brainer, and lots easier.

G-Town's Comment
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Not sure if our new friend Christopher is reading this thread...but there is a pattern here that hopefully he will begin to see and apply to his future job.

I have never experienced a backing accident (knock-on-wood). But I am also never sooo confident that I neglect the basic fundamentals of safe operation in close-quarters even after many thousands of successful attempts with zero incident. Safety is no accident.

G-Town's Comment
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I neglected to offer kudos here...

Good topic Bruce, well done. Thanks for initiating it.

Turtle's Comment
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Ya know, to Packrat's point on GOALing more often as you gain experience:

It's easy to spot a rookie driver backing into a parking spot. They appear rushed, they often muff the setup as a result, and if/when they GOAL they jump out and run around the truck in a hurry, trying hard to get out of the way.

The experienced drivers simply waltz out, casually stroll to the rear and check things out before they saunter back to the cab and ease her into the hole, without a thought as to who's waiting.

Both end up taking roughly the same amount of time.

Don't get rushed, it's not a race.

PackRat's Comment
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I do it more now because I'm getting to be a smarter driver. In the past I was flying by the seat of my pants. I sit back now and analyze stuff and am always thinking how I could have done particular things better. Always time to learn and get better out here.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

My road trainer taught me that doing GOAL's weren't just to prevent hitting something. They were also for inspecting the space you are backing into. Are there nails or screws in the parking space? Are there jagged pieces of metal that could puncture a tire? That's why every driver should have a good flashlight or lantern handy, for night time backing. Inspect your space, every time.

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