Backing! The Perfect Setup?

Topic 29514 | Page 1

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40 Days's Comment
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I am aware this is situational. I don’t consider myself a pro as nobody is but expect some of you may be close. Do we go straight then 90? 45 into a 90? One and a half length tractor past target or just one? Or do a weird 180 like you’re delivering to a small Lowe’s. I don’t post much as I have more questions than answers. This is more for thought but tips and tricks might help those less experienced. As always G.O.A.L.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Not sure what your trying to do. If you're trying to pass CDL test ask your instructors. If you are newly solo and your trainer didn't show you the basics, it is very difficult to put it in words. GOAL, GOAL, GOAL. You are driving the trailer while backing. Set up, GOAL all the way around tractor and trailer. Look for obstacles to avoid. Go slow. Flashers on, radio off, window down. Watch both sides. Don't hit anything, GOAL. Small steering inputs.

It takes time and practice before one is confident in their backing.

Hope this helps.

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.
KH's Comment
member avatar

I don't mean to present myself as any kind of expert on backing, but I thought I'd post my 2 cents: when I was starting out, I think I had different people suggest everything you mentioned (except maybe the 180 thing - I tried that after seeing a yard truck do it). But when you get better, you will be able to make any of them work, so except maybe in special situations, it would be a matter of preference. What I found was that I was taught a number of "formulas" for backing, but the my real progress happened in stages where something "clicked" and I suddenly felt like I understood a bit more about how backing worked.

Turtle's Comment
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The key in my opinion is to stop looking for a "formula", or perfect setup. As you mentioned, every setup is situational, or dependent on what you're facing at any given time.

The true key in backing prowess comes from "feeling" the trailer, and visualizing the exact position of the trailer before, during, and after the setup approach.

Forget the 45s, 90s, and 180s. It all goes right out the window when you pull up at a slightly different angle than before. Instead, just roll up like you own the place, visualize and feel your trailer behind you while you put it where it needs to be, and adjust as necessary on your way in the hole.

Be the trailer.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

The key in my opinion is to stop looking for a "formula", or perfect setup. As you mentioned, every setup is situational, or dependent on what you're facing at any given time.

The true key in backing prowess comes from "feeling" the trailer, and visualizing the exact position of the trailer before, during, and after the setup approach.

Forget the 45s, 90s, and 180s. It all goes right out the window when you pull up at a slightly different angle than before. Instead, just roll up like you own the place, visualize and feel your trailer behind you while you put it where it needs to be, and adjust as necessary on your way in the hole.

Be the trailer.

What Turtle said. Drive the trailer, not the truck.

Driver 100's Comment
member avatar

When they teach backing in school they make it sound like you're flying a space shuttle. My OTR trainer was selfish and was only focused on racking up miles.

It would take me forever to back the trailer when I went solo.

I rode with a guy for the first week at my next company. His way of backing made it very, very easy.

I would line up like you would for a 90 but flared out, so like a 20 or 25 angle. truck trailer aligned with each other, end of trailer 1.5 parking spots away from where you are backing into.

Then turn all the way right

back up until trailer starts to turn onto the hole

IF ITS GOING IN TOO SHALLOW REDO YOUR SET UP WITH REAR OF TRAILER FURTHER FORWARD THAN YOUR PREVIOUS SET UP and do it closer if it enters too deep.

You will then turn all the way left to get back in front of the trailer. as you move back keep turning left right left right etc. this is done to keep the truck under (straight with) the trailer

KEEP adjusting to keep as aligned with trailer as possible.

Focus on the driver side. Curb side mirror is distorted so it looks like that side is at an angle even when straight

if its a normal sized spot and you are lined up on the left the right side will take care of it's self

GO SLOW

RELAX

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.

40 Days's Comment
member avatar

Not a rookie. Well put Turtle. On another note left Prime for a regional position m-f on days weekends off. The only reason I mentioned is training company doesn’t send you to the pro level places. Scary stuff even prime with 3 deliveries in downtown Chicago didn’t prepare me for. Have a 10 speed manual now not governed life is good. Wanted thought on this and be the trailer is gold!! Example of fun. Bout an inch on each side maybe 13”10” 0005870001612316973.jpg

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

40 Days, are you driving a flat-bed? I think I recognize that tight spot there. If it's where I think it is, I've passed through it a few times.

40 Days's Comment
member avatar

Dry van hauling flatbed freight. St. Louis baldor good call.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I remember the first time I went through there. I said, well, it's got to fit. I don't see any other way for me to go.

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