Stupid Question About Doubles & Triples

Topic 27076 | Page 1

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Wild-Bill's Comment
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I just took all of my endorsement tests to get them out of the way. As I was studying for doubles and looking at trucks on the road a thought came to me; how the heck would you back one of those things up? It seems like backing is a difficult enough skill with one trailer let alone 2-3. The test and guide talk about a lot of things but turning and space management were about the only things covered about actually driving them.

So how are doubles & triples delivered? Dropped in a lot? Uncouple and back each component into a dock? What about getting into a tight spot where you cant pull through or stopping in a truck stop. The logistical issues seem like they would be endless. or, are there actually drivers out there that can actually back up with those things? I don't anticipate pulling doubles in the foreseeable future, but, I'm curious about how it would work.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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You do t back them. drivers take them from hub to hub and drop them. usually the hubs are just off the interstate

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

PlanB's Comment
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For the most part you simply don't back up doubles. You'll often see the trucks pulling doubles/triples getting creative with their parking at truck stops so they can pull straight out. A standard tractor trailer combo has one point of articulation were the truck and trailer are coupled. The "A" type doubles most commonly used in the US use a separate dolly to connect trailers together. So the front trailer is connected to the dolly at one articulation point and the rear trailer is connected to that dolly at another articulation point. That makes 3 total articulation points for a truck pulling doubles and 5 for a truck pulling triples. Good luck backing up a combination that bends in 3 to 5 places. If a driver needs to back a trailer into a dock they will unhook the combination and back one trailer in at a time. Usually these combinations are just being brought to a terminal where they are dropped.

There are "B" and "C" type combinations that use a single articulation point between trailers. Those type of doubles are possible to back up but still quite difficult. They aren't that common in the US.

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.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Wiggle wagon 's Comment
member avatar

Some of the drivers have a Lotta skills and can back up straight double pups a short distance and a Rocky Mountain double a little ways more. A lot of them get really good at backing a trailer with a gear to hook up the rear trailer. Triples not usually. Only time that you usually see us not driving is during our lunch break and we will usually pick selective parking as We are only going to be there for a bit in the middle night most often. If you get a set like these in a bind you will have to break it apart and find a better location to rebuild the set. Rehook all of it and go again. very time-consuming. When you get to the terminal you will break the set apart and dock or drop all trailers accordingly.

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.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Drivers more brave and skilled than I am can back up a set, I've had to do it but can only manage a few feet before everything goes catawampus. Which is why it is extremely important to make sure you can always go forward and not get yourself boxed in, as others have said you would have drop and rehook your set someplace that is less than ideal.

Truck stops are annoying because people take all the pull through spots leaving us very little parking so we have to get creative and find a spot we can fit. Usually at the end of a isle, along a curb or even at the pumps.

Depending on the terminal some have us break the set on a "arrival pad" we take our dolly and the spotters come park both trailers unfortunately only our largest terminals do this since it let's them keep track of trailers better. Some like mine let you drop your rear trailer and the spotters will take it, you only have to park the lead. The most annoying terminals are the ones where you have to park both trailers on your own.

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.

Wild-Bill's Comment
member avatar

Thanks all for the clarification. That all makes more sense. So it sounds like doubles always run on one day (night) trips not long haul with multiple overnights is that right? Also, What is a rocky mountain double?

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Depends on the runs, we have daytime but most are night time runs. Most of our drivers are home every night but it depends on the region and company.

A rocky mountain double is a "long box" a 53 or 48 foot trailer and the 2nd trailer is a "pup" or 28 ft trailer

Banks's Comment
member avatar

Thanks all for the clarification. That all makes more sense. So it sounds like doubles always run on one day (night) trips not long haul with multiple overnights is that right? Also, What is a rocky mountain double?

That's not always the case. There are plenty of LTL companies that keep guys out all week and they get home on the weekends. Then there's always the possibility of having to layover in a hotel. I know people that have been trapped in a day cab for 36 hours because a snow storm was worse than expected and they couldn't make it to a hotel.

As for backing doubles, I've tried it a couple of times because I got curious. I can't do it. I've seen people do it, but I lose it almost instantly. It's even hard to back up a trailer with the dolly attached.

Like Bob said, at the busier hubs a spotter will come pick up your rear trailer to make space for trucks coming in. At FedEx, if it's not busy or a smaller hub you're on your own. A couple of days ago I had to go to 2 hubs and return to my domicile hub. I finished the day with around 500 miles and I parked the tractor with 3 minutes left on my 14. With LTL companies you do whatever they need you to do until you build some seniorty. Then you'll have more stability.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

Cwc's Comment
member avatar

Enjoy!

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