Any Tips On How To Alley Dock Properly?

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Jay B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm currently going through Primes PSD program. My trainer took me on the road for about two weeks and unfortunately i didn't get a chance to practice much. We returned to the Springfield terminal and I got a chance to practice at the pad today. I can do the straight back, offset (I usually need a pull up), and the parallel parking without too much trouble. But i haven't been able to do an alley dock. My trainer has me pull up so that the white line is between my rear tires and the mud flaps. Then I turn the wheele all the way to the right and back up until i see a gap between the mud flaps on the drivers and the landing gear on the passenger side. I maintain the gap until the end of the trailer is near the cone then i just have to push it in. Unfortunately im always either too far left or too far right. I just can't seen to find a way that will work for me. Any tips or advice?

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Papa Pig's Comment
member avatar

Honestly it will just take time. And patience. Remember that they give you pull-ups, and don’t be afraid to pull up a little more than you think you need. It is more correctable when you overshoot than undershoot. You got this. I personally prefer a 45 over a 90

A lot of ppl tend to oversteer and think it needs to be done in one sweeping motion. Not the case at all

Oddball's Comment
member avatar

Honestly it will just take time. And patience. Remember that they give you pull-ups, and don’t be afraid to pull up a little more than you think you need. It is more correctable when you overshoot than undershoot. You got this. I personally prefer a 45 over a 90

A lot of ppl tend to oversteer and think it needs to be done in one sweeping motion. Not the case at all

I absolutely agree. setting up at 45 degree angle is always preferable and much easier on the equipment than 90. When backing make small adjustments, that way don't zigzag around a much

Jay B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm going to practice more tomorrow on the pad, alley dock is pretty much the only thing I'm struggling with. I have the cdl test on Sunday. Hopefully I'll pass.

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
I'm going to practice more tomorrow on the pad, alley dock is pretty much the only thing I'm struggling with.

thats all you can do. Prime has been training drivers for quite some time and gives you proven "marks" that tell you when to do your next action. If you're unsure of it ask to be shown again. We have a couple trainers here that may be able to clarify it when they have some time. Atleast if you have everything else down good you'll save a majority of your points for the alley dock. Don't worry too much about nailing an alley dock once you're out on the road. Its a rare occurrence in my experience to need to do a true 90 and when you do there isn't any time limit or pull-ups and GOALs.

You got this! Stop back on Sunday when you pass to get your dancing bananas to go with that new CDL smile.gif

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.
Rubber Duck's Comment
member avatar

What your trainer is teaching you based on what you described is a 45

I'm currently going through Primes PSD program. My trainer took me on the road for about two weeks and unfortunately i didn't get a chance to practice much. We returned to the Springfield terminal and I got a chance to practice at the pad today. I can do the straight back, offset (I usually need a pull up), and the parallel parking without too much trouble. But i haven't been able to do an alley dock. My trainer has me pull up so that the white line is between my rear tires and the mud flaps. Then I turn the wheele all the way to the right and back up until i see a gap between the mud flaps on the drivers and the landing gear on the passenger side. I maintain the gap until the end of the trailer is near the cone then i just have to push it in. Unfortunately im always either too far left or too far right. I just can't seen to find a way that will work for me. Any tips or advice?

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.

PSD:

Prime Student Driver

Prime Inc has a CDL training program and the first phase is referred to as PSD. You'll get your permit and then 10,000 miles of on the road instruction.

The following is from Prime's website:

Prime’s PSD begins with you obtaining your CDL permit. Then you’ll go on the road with a certified CDL instructor for no less than 75 hours of one-on-one behind the wheel training. After training, you’ll return to Prime’s corporate headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, for final CDL state testing and your CDL license.

Obtain CDL Permit / 4 Days

  • Enter program, study and test for Missouri CDL permit.
  • Start driving/training at Prime Training Center in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Work toward 40,000 training dispatched miles (minimum) with food allowance while without CDL (Food allowance is paid back with future earnings).

On-the-Road Instruction / 10,000 Miles

  • Train with experienced certified CDL instructor for 3-4 weeks in a real world environment.
  • Get 75 hours of behind-the-wheel time with one-on-one student/instructor ratio.
  • Earn 10,000 miles toward total 40,000 miles needed.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar
What your trainer is teaching you based on what you described is a 45

No, that's the alley procedure. He's describing it nearly perfectly.

Jay, you're very close to getting it. It just takes a little fine-tuning and practice.

I turn the wheele all the way to the right and back up until i see a gap between the mud flaps on the drivers and the landing gear on the passenger side. I maintain the gap

Finding that sweet spot and then being able to maintain it is the hard part. The process I taught may help you a bit:

1- From your starting position, remember to pull straight forward until your rear tandem crosses the white line. It's very easy to veer to the left or right when pulling up, and doing so will screw the whole setup.

2- Turn your wheel all the way to the right, and reverse until you get that gap between the driver tire/mud flap and passenger landing gear. The gap will usually be 6-8 inches. Come to a full stop while still holding the steering wheel all the way the right.

3- Turn the wheel all the way to the left, then completely let go of the steering wheel, allowing it to spring back to the right until it stops where it wants. Then continue turning the steering wheel clockwise only until it reaches a 10 o'clock position.

0445286001610204601.jpg

4- Holding that 10 o'clock while reversing will now maintain that gap nearly perfectly, with only minor adjustments needed as you roll.

5- Now extend an imaginary line straight out from the cone. When your rear tandem touches that imaginary line, you immediately go into full left turn , and the trailer will go into the box smooth as butter. Line yourself up, and straightback into the hole. Simple as that.

Again, finding the sweet spot gap will just take a little practice and repetitions. Don't sweat it, you'll get it.

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".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Jay B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I was at the pad for about 9 hours today. Near the end manage to park almost all my alley docks. I feel more confident about tomorrow. I'll report back after the test.

Jay B.'s Comment
member avatar

So i failed on Sunday. I retook it today and I passed!!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Jay B - nice job! Congratulations!

dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif dancing-banana.gif

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