Backing Delimma

Topic 28124 | Page 2

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Wild-Bill's Comment
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Like you I was very concerned about backing when I went solo. Like you I asked for advice. As you may be feeling now, I was frustrated with the answers of “you’ll get it with practice”. But ya know what, that really is the answer. My prior career was analytical and process driven. Backing is not always that way. Too many variables of space, tandem location etc.

Here’s what works for me. I use the “Roehl Back” as much as possible which is basically the same thing Swift trains. There are plenty of videos in it. Where you have room it’ll get you in the hole like clockwork.

Where a standard back doesn’t work, here’s how I think about it. 1) I need to get my tail facing hole and angling in. 2) I need to get the nose to follow the tail. 3) it’s easier to add steep angle at the end if needed than it is to take angle out in the middle of the back.

None of that may make sense to anyone else, but that’s how I talk myself through it. Banks’ advice about stopping to think about which way you want to turn the wheel is golden.

As soon as I get frustrated or have that gut feeling, I pull the brake and look. A lot of times you can see what you need to do better from the ground.

Lastly don’t let anyone else drive the truck from the outside. People will try to pressure and bully you. Let them wait. I’ve had a few times where people wanted to be helpful and direct me in a tight spot. Just remember you’re still responsible for the rig. There are times I would have ended up hitting something taking their direction Because they weren’t looking at all of the obstacles.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Donna M.'s Comment
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If I can learn to back anybody can !!! Get the back of trailer pointed where u want it to go. If it’s not go back around and do it again. If set up isn’t good you just asking for frustration.

40 Days's Comment
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Stop at times and G.O.A.L - get out and look. Make mental assessments of the angles and what you need to do next to correct what you're doing.

O.S said it right. If I could add one thing your setup makes it gold not G.O.A.L. takes practice. From what I see most experienced drivers will leave a few easy spots for rookies I needed them. Now I park in hard to get places by 80 year old men in Pete's because its safer through the night.

Not sure if the experienced do on this site but leave that straight back for the rookie if you can. You started like that too. P.S leave that radio on don't know how many times I pull in and a driver asks do you need a spot I'm leaving. Flash your lights driver. Boom. Helped so many times I will listen to B.S.

Mike B.'s Comment
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Im not perfect but I'm also not wanting to cry or barf before each back i think im getting better. The second picture is of my first time backing at night at.

0849073001590715530.jpg0842838001590715597.jpg

Rob T.'s Comment
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Great job! It won't be long until you chuckle at yourself that you struggled with a dock early on that now you can hit no problem. Keep up the good work.

PackRat's Comment
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Mine look like that most every day.

Good job, Mike B.

Tee1234's Comment
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For me backing was the hardest I had a bad experience with a trainer. Good thing is you have resources a lot of guys have their method of doing this. When you begin set is key some places you’ll find have tons of room others less as you already know. The farther your tandems the more time it will take for the trailer to react to the steering the closer they are it’s the opposite but don’t get your eyes glued to one thing also look at the end of your trailer see where the back of it is going. Take your time get out and look if your unsure. It doesn’t hurt to do pull ups or reset your self to make it easier. Now that you got your cdl you have no points limit. I use to google map satellite view my shipper and receiver and see how the building is set up and see points of entry to see if you need to back from the road is their enough to straight line back or if you alley dock etc. some Drivers are helpful they will help spot you while you back but remember that you control your ship and if you get help and strike something it falls on you so don’t be afraid to get help but still get out and look and make sure you do your job safely. My very first time at a Sysco in Washington first load out of training was taking reefer load and took a while to get it in the door one knight driver was upset angry cussing telling me I was taking my time. You may have pedestrians drivers trucks being impatient and if you choose so wait until it’s safe to move don’t rush because of surroundings. We all began somewhere.

So I am done with training took my final road test with no backing test. My trainer was green at training and didn't know how to teach me to back i was told I would be able to take a backing class when I got back to the terminal so im kinda on my own. Some of you may be thinking how did he go to cdl and not know how to back. Well I got my CDL five years ago and this is the first trucking job in 5 years. Any suggestions on how I can teach myself how to back properly?

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.

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.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

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.

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