Backing A Semi

Topic 27824 | Page 1

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John L.'s Comment
member avatar

So I finished CDL school in November 2019, started training with a local company January 27th, 2020. My backing skills hasn’t always been all that great, but my trainer has taught me a lot, some days I do extremely well in backing, others not so much (Ex: losing gears, stalling, crooked backing, can’t aim the trailer correctly, missing the street or exit) I have 2 weeks left in my training (2 months total) and I’m getting pretty nervous, the backing part in tight docks in Los Angeles is getting me extra worried. Like this morning I couldn’t back into a wide open dock because it was dark and raining, but at another customer the dock was very tight and I got it in. How long did it take you guys to get the concept of backing? I’m still confused with backing and getting pretty discouraged about it, especially when I’m going to be out on my own after training.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey John, no worries! I've seen ten year veteran drivers struggle with backing at times. It's one aspect of this career that takes a long time to master. Generally you will get anxious about each backing episode for your first six months solo. You certainly won't get good at it during training.

Don't sweat it. While you're solo you'll actually begin to learn how to set up your truck and back it in properly. Being solo will help a lot simply due to the fact that you have nobody else to depend on.

The Backing Range - It's Like Clown Soup For The Soul

John L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the encouraging words! I GOAL a lot due to the fact that I don’t want to hit anything and also I pull up ALOT, for me I don’t care people Judging me, I rather get it in safe than sorry no matter how long it takes! I guess I just have to be patient with everything and it will fall into place.

Hey John, no worries! I've seen ten year veteran drivers struggle with backing at times. It's one aspect of this career that takes a long time to master. Generally you will get anxious about each backing episode for your first six months solo. You certainly won't get good at it during training.

Don't sweat it. While you're solo you'll actually begin to learn how to set up your truck and back it in properly. Being solo will help a lot simply due to the fact that you have nobody else to depend on.

The Backing Range - It's Like Clown Soup For The Soul

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I GOAL a lot due to the fact that I don’t want to hit anything and also I pull up ALOT, for me I don’t care people Judging me, I rather get it in safe than sorry no matter how long it takes!

That's exactly the approach you want to take. There's nothing wrong with GOALing. Don't let the fact that you see other drivers not GOALing encourage you to do the same. You're doing just great. You've got the right attitude and approach. Keep up the good job!

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

I goal on empty docks with noone around me. Its become a good habit. I will admit i dont goal at truck stops with empty spaces on both sides and i usually regret it and have to pull up to straighten.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Jon H.'s Comment
member avatar

Agree with all of the above. Your number 1 priority is not hitting anything. GOAL as many times as you need.

I took a local job right out of CDL school and had a guy ride with me for a week before setting me loose on my own. My backing was definitely not up to par. However! Once on my own, I just had to figure it out and it really hasn't been an issue ever since. You just start to get a feel for the angles and setup. The greater the challenges and the more times you "fail", the more you learn and the more confidence you will develop. You have the right attitude. Just never get in a rush or lose your patience. If you do, just stop for a minute. It doesn't matter who's getting impatient or watching. Get that truck in safely.

When I occasionally FUBAR a backing, I just tell people I'm applying at Swift. It happens. Some days you'll be a master at it, some days you'll look like a rookie. Even for us guys who get into places a truck was never intended to get into multiple times a day. Just have a sense of humor and don't lose your cool.

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.

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.

John L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks! But dang only one week of training?! I get 2 full months and I asked for an extra week just to practice more on my backing lol and I still struggle. But like everyone else said, patience is the key to succeeding. I been driving and backing super slow, cars and other trucks can go around me. We’re actually very lucky to get a local job right out of CDL school. You always hear people say “OTR experience 1 year before coming back local” I might do OTR in the near future but as of now I like the local work.

Agree with all of the above. Your number 1 priority is not hitting anything. GOAL as many times as you need.

I took a local job right out of CDL school and had a guy ride with me for a week before setting me loose on my own. My backing was definitely not up to par. However! Once on my own, I just had to figure it out and it really hasn't been an issue ever since. You just start to get a feel for the angles and setup. The greater the challenges and the more times you "fail", the more you learn and the more confidence you will develop. You have the right attitude. Just never get in a rush or lose your patience. If you do, just stop for a minute. It doesn't matter who's getting impatient or watching. Get that truck in safely.

When I occasionally FUBAR a backing, I just tell people I'm applying at Swift. It happens. Some days you'll be a master at it, some days you'll look like a rookie. Even for us guys who get into places a truck was never intended to get into multiple times a day. Just have a sense of humor and don't lose your cool.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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.

Just Mitch's Comment
member avatar

Discouraged? Bah humbug. I left my walmart job of 11 years in May 2008. Went to Prime and went home without testing. Thought life was over. Went to Roehl in October of 2008. Passed test but couldn’t do the practical driving. Thought life was over again. Finally came to swift where i have a year under my belt. You’ll be ok

Rookie Doyenne's Comment
member avatar

Discouraged? Bah humbug. I left my walmart job of 11 years in May 2008. Went to Prime and went home without testing. Thought life was over. Went to Roehl in October of 2008. Passed test but couldn’t do the practical driving. Thought life was over again. Finally came to swift where i have a year under my belt. You’ll be ok

Hey, Just Mitch, congrats for achieving that first year!dancing.gifdancing.gifdancing.gifThird time's a charm?! What great encouragement to share! good-luck.gif Best rolling forward!

John L.'s Comment
member avatar

Ebenezer Scrooge lol

Discouraged? Bah humbug. I left my walmart job of 11 years in May 2008. Went to Prime and went home without testing. Thought life was over. Went to Roehl in October of 2008. Passed test but couldn’t do the practical driving. Thought life was over again. Finally came to swift where i have a year under my belt. You’ll be ok

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