Backing Does Not Just “click”

Topic 28056 | Page 1

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Ten T.'s Comment
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I have heard it a thousand times it will just click thats a flat out lie i have tried and tried i am barely on the acceptable range for backing and nothing jas clicked and yet i keep hearing that if it clicks then why hasnt it? It tales me about 10 to 15 minites to back and get it just right in a dock nothing has clicked and made it seem easier its hit or miss and it has driven me to near insanity and yes i know some truckers have been doing this for years and still havent perfected backing it cant be done but I should be able to do better than this

Rob T.'s Comment
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Don't be so hard on yourself. Some people get it quite quickly others it takes them 6 months to a year. In school it literally took me 2 days of class to be able to do straight line backing without goofing up. As long as you don't hit anything it's a success. About a month ago I had a really long day and struggled to put it in a spot back in our yard that I've done dozens of times. Naturally it happened in front of managements office. Other drivers gave me good natured jabs about just learning to back and we all laughed about it. I didn't hit anything and that's really all that matters. How long have you been driving?

G-Town's Comment
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Nothing beats repetitions. Hundreds of them.

It will click, eventually. Truth!

Aubrey M.'s Comment
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You're right, it's not really a click. You, and no one else who drives or has driven a truck, will not someday have a magic click and be able to suddenly execute every back perfectly in the shortest amount of time possible. The click is more like a series of small ratchets that culminate in a final click. The final click being a knowledge base that you can coordinate with your motor skills and make the trailer do what you want it to do (most of the time). Backing over and over begins to ratchet you closer to the final click. Each back is different, but we as humans always recognize similarities, so you gain a new piece of knowledge after seeing the trailer react in the same manner in different situations. You also learn muscle memory which helps to take some of the thinking out of the equation (as in which way do i turn the wheel, how fast do i turn it, do i have to slow or stop the truck, etc.). Those things will become second nature and let more of your brainpower go toward seeing where the trailer is going.

I'm not saying this applies to you, but one of the biggest errors i see people make that messes up a good set up or start into a back is too much steering wheel movement. They run from stop to stop when just a minor correction would fix the situation. That's the bad thing that studying for the cdl road test instills on my opinion. The offset back and the 90 ingrain the habit of working the steering wheel from stop to stop. In the real world where we can set up on a dock at an angle there is no need for such aggressive wheel play and doing so id usually what results in ruining a nice set up and costing us more time to back in.

Speaking of time. Don't time yourself, and don't think about the time it is taking you to back. We always think it is an eternity and then rush, mess up, and cost ourselves more time. If you take it intentionally slow from the beginning and practice that for a number of backs you'll find you will take less time to back. Actually you will become quicker at backing because you're fixing mistakes before they happen rather than after.

Hopefully this makes sense and will help you out.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Aubrey M.'s Comment
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Oh, and if you don't already, watch others back. See what works and what doesn't, and see if they set up as you would have. And don't get set on having to do one kind of set up for every back. You'll learn much more of you force yourself out of your comfort zone. If you pull into a truck stop for your break and there are three or more open spots side by side, then practice a blindside back, or if there are 5 or 6 spots then try swinging into them to cut your trailer back around and do a straight line back into the spot. I've made backs at tight shippers easy because i worked at developing these skills when there was no pressure.

And don't get lazy like these guys do when driving forward. Just because there is no car in the left turn lane, or there is a big shoulder past the white line to run over in a right turn... Don't. Make a point to always clear the lines on the road and you will learn a lot more about setting up your trailer for backs as well. Also stay off of the truck skirt in roundabouts unless it is actually needed. Many are not.

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.

Aubrey M.'s Comment
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Sorry, i got kind of preachy there.

G-Town's Comment
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Aubrey apologizes...

Sorry, i got kind of preachy there.

Glad you apologized. It’s okay though, it happens, we all get “clicked-off” at times.

Aubrey M.'s Comment
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Aubrey apologizes...

double-quotes-start.png

Sorry, i got kind of preachy there.

double-quotes-end.png

Glad you apologized. It’s okay though, it happens, we all get “clicked-off” at times.

Lol... Very punny

G-Town's Comment
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Lol... Very punny

Thanks...the reply just clicked right into place.

rofl-3.gif

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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As the others have said, it's not time. Just get it in without hitting anything. One day you will realize your doing "it" and you will feel better. It took me about 6 months solo before I got it. Most of us have had days where we couldn't back into a 50 foot wide opening. Relax, breath and GOAL. Good luck.

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