Looking For Help With 90* Ally Dock Manuver

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Daniel A.'s Comment
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hi to every one, my name is Daniel I'm a student that went 3 weeks at daly's truck driving school, and failed all the maneuvers. now the straight line and the off set are not too hard just had a bad day with them, so i can see my faults. how ever the ally dock is the one i never could understand.

with 4 instructors and having one each day, i get told some thing different a lot. so i haven't been able to grasp it. the one i currently tried to follow for a week was to

turn steering wheel one turn right, till you see second landing gear or dolly, stop

then turn wheel 3 turns left or all way left, till you move back past the middle of landing gear or cross part just a little/stop

then turn wheel all way right till you see the small gap just past the second landing gear or dolly and stop.

and i think from there its walking the trailer but i have been getting lost about that point all the time. i am not good with remembering how to turn to get trailer to go a way i need it too, or walk it.

if any one could help me understand what i need to do or a whole diff method for it it would be great, i have been given 2 more weeks at my school to get it right.

parallel is also one i have not much fun with. i keep forgetting the stopping points to look for, any one know a method for this maneuver too?

Chris L.'s Comment
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There are apps you can play on your tablet, truck driving or parking games. It might help you understand how to steer to get the trailer to do what you want. I couldn't hurt, they are pretty realistic. Hope this helps.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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What has me worried is you failed ALL the maneuvering or skills test. If possible you need more practise. Ask the school you went too to allow you more practise.

Basically when backing a trailer you have to act as if your driving the trailer anytime you are backing the trailer. If you want to see how it's done open up a Google browser and search for "90 degree alley dock backing video". You will find a few hundred videos on the subject but nothing beats actual practise.

Pat M.'s Comment
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Besides practice..... SLOW DOWN... This will make it easier for you to keep up with the trailer. It does not matter how fast you back up but rather that you do not hit anything.

Eric C. (Easy E)'s Comment
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Having just gone through this at Advanced School of Driving in Fontana, my instructor gave me some tips to help make it through the backing exercises.

First thing you need to master is straight line backing. Pull forward and get the tractor as close to straight in line as possible and center the steering wheel. As you prepare to back up, put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. While backing, move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go. And never move more than a quarter or at most a half turn of the wheel. If you keep a close eye on the back wheels of the trailer in your drivers side mirrors, use that side as your guide. If you need to move the trailer wheels closer to the left line, you move your hand left from the bottom of the steering wheel. Only move about a quarter turn, then turn back the other way to straighten out the tractor. Practice this and you should master straight line backing.

For the 90 degree alley dock, line up about 8-10 feet away from the front edge of the docking cones. Idle up (I used 4th on a 10 speed) so your door lock knob is aligned with the far side cone, and start counting up 12 seconds then stop. Go into reverse, and turn the wheel to a right hand lock. And allow the tractor to come to just less than 90 degrees off the trailer. Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. You have to remember that right is tight, left is loose. So while you are completing the maneuver, as soon as you hit that 90 degree mark, you stop and lock the wheels back in the opposite direction. At this point, before you start moving again, get your head out the window and track the trailer. This is where you have to just learn how to watch the trailer and get it into the hole, making adjustments as you go back. And you should not need to completely uncurl the hook on the trailer unless you hooked it too tight to begin with, or if you are cleaning up a straight line back. If you need to do a pull up to straighten out the tractor and trailer, then you can back in easier. If you master straight line backing, you should be able to get it into the hole for your test with one pull up, maybe two.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

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.

AntoineF's Comment
member avatar

Having just gone through this at Advanced School of Driving in Fontana, my instructor gave me some tips to help make it through the backing exercises.

First thing you need to master is straight line backing. Pull forward and get the tractor as close to straight in line as possible and center the steering wheel. As you prepare to back up, put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. While backing, move your hand in the direction you want the trailer to go. And never move more than a quarter or at most a half turn of the wheel. If you keep a close eye on the back wheels of the trailer in your drivers side mirrors, use that side as your guide. If you need to move the trailer wheels closer to the left line, you move your hand left from the bottom of the steering wheel. Only move about a quarter turn, then turn back the other way to straighten out the tractor. Practice this and you should master straight line backing.

For the 90 degree alley dock, line up about 8-10 feet away from the front edge of the docking cones. Idle up (I used 4th on a 10 speed) so your door lock knob is aligned with the far side cone, and start counting up 12 seconds then stop. Go into reverse, and turn the wheel to a right hand lock. And allow the tractor to come to just less than 90 degrees off the trailer. Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. You have to remember that right is tight, left is loose. So while you are completing the maneuver, as soon as you hit that 90 degree mark, you stop and lock the wheels back in the opposite direction. At this point, before you start moving again, get your head out the window and track the trailer. This is where you have to just learn how to watch the trailer and get it into the hole, making adjustments as you go back. And you should not need to completely uncurl the hook on the trailer unless you hooked it too tight to begin with, or if you are cleaning up a straight line back. If you need to do a pull up to straighten out the tractor and trailer, then you can back in easier. If you master straight line backing, you should be able to get it into the hole for your test with one pull up, maybe two.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

could you draw this out or break it down i'm confused? 8-10 feet from the front edge of cone?

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.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
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The whole "hold the bottom of the wheel and push it in the direction you want the trailer to go" was the best tip I ever got regarding backing. That, and "don't overcorrect." It really does take time for the trailer to respond to your input, so a little bit will usually go a long way.

As for the 90, I was taught to turn the wheel hard to the right and back until you're at about a 90 degree angle with the trailer (it may not be exactly 90 degrees, I'm just kind of estimating that based on the point on the trailer they told us to look for), then crank all the way in the opposite direction and move the tractor about 10 feet back, crank hard to the original direction and move about 2 more feet, then crank hard the opposite way again and you'll usually just follow her in.

Unless you've been driving for years, I don't think you're ever gonna be able to get it exactly right every time. A) you'll never set up in exactly the same position, and B) each location has different characteristics. It's more a matter of getting a feel for how the trailer reacts and adjusting each backup as you are doing it, according to the current conditions.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Unless you've been driving for years, I don't think you're ever gonna be able to get it exactly right every time

Let me ease the pressure a little bit. Even if you've been driving for years you'll never come close to getting it right every time. Even veterans of 20 years do pull-ups sometimes. Plenty of times in fact. And oddly enough, just like in sports, the best of the best will have terrible days when it comes to backing. For whatever reason you will have times where it takes you three or four pull-ups to get into a spot they would normally use to teach students. I remember one time I was completely alone in one section of a Walmart Distribution Center and had all of the docks to myself. I had to place it in one of the docks near the middle and I did two pull-ups to get it right. It was literally like trying to back it up against the broad side of a barn and I couldn't hit it. Overall I was as good at backing as anyone you'd find. But there would be those days where you would simply embarrass yourself trying to do the simplest backing. All you can do is make sure you don't hit anything and enjoy laughing at yourself a little bit.

confused.gifsmile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
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The instructors have to teach each student the basic layout,you need to figure out the rest,this prevents the school from being sued for discrimination. Use the landing gear like a ruler,know that backing to the center of landing gear, twice,moves you over one lane. If you need to move over more,try counting the rivits along the front edge of trailer,seen Through your west Coast mirror.Everyone steers different,and everyone accelerates at a different pace,so no set of instructions are going to work for every student.Try to take notes as soon as you exit the truck,and note what works for you and what doesnt.Next time in the truck,slightly modify. Your procedures,until you get it right.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Phil C.'s Comment
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On my test we got to use 3 pullups and 2 get outs. Use them. Don't be afraid to simply pass the test using the rules of the test. You don't have to get it in one try or even 2 tries. Try watching some videos and see if any help you. Once you "get" it you wont use any of the "turn the wheel 2 turns to the left" etc. That's just instructor speak trying to help you learn it. Sometimes it might help to just ask the instructor to not say anything. Having 4 instructors in 3 weeks is part of the problem. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alley+dock

Phil

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